Investment management firm Gemcorp Capital has appointed Simon Penney to lead its regional business in the Middle East. 

Penney was the UK’s trade commissioner for the Middle East until July this year. He has also been head of wholesale and international banking at First Gulf Bank UAE, chief executive for the Middle East and Africa at the Royal Bank of Scotland and chief executive, South Africa, at ABN Amro. 

In the newly created role, Penney will be responsible for increasing Gemcorp’s origination and fundraising activities in the region and developing partnerships with Gulf investors and institutions. 

“The region’s crucial geographical and geopolitical position make it an ideal launchpad for Gemcorp Capital’s continued growth,” says Penney. 

“We look forward to applying our emerging markets expertise to investing in the region and aspire to become an important conduit between the Middle East and Africa and the wider emerging markets,” says Gemcorp’s chief executive, Atanas Bostandjiev.  

Bostandjiev adds that the company is aiming to become “a regional partner of choice for infrastructure, technology and energy transition opportunities”. 

The investment manager, which is headquartered in the UK and focuses on emerging markets, says it plans to invest US$10bn in Africa over the next 10 years.