29 April 2022
BDA alumni newsletter | April 2022
The firm you used to work for is performing well and growing fast.
2021 was a big record year for us, and we expect 2022 to result in significantly higher revenues again.
I can point to lots of data points to show our growth. We’ve celebrated 25 years in business. We have closed a couple of deals recently with enterprise value over $1bn. We now have over 20 Managing Directors, 11 of whom are Partners of the firm. We have a successful tie-up with William Blair which has worked well for nearly 11 years.
As part of this growing sophistication, we have decided to take a more active approach to alumni relations.
We’re confident that you can help us in several ways:
- Refer business to us. We are always looking for mandates where we can earn US$2m or more, so typically advising on deals valued at over US$100m
- Refer employees to us. We have a diverse and highly intelligent, generally likeable team of over 120 bankers. We’re looking for more, and even better ones
- Keep in touch with us. We want to hear ideas, insights and advice from you
- In some cases, even come back to work at BDA. We’ll always be glad to have returnees
Meanwhile, we will try to engage more regularly with you, so you can share stories, hear the latest from BDA, and keep in touch with your former co-workers.
There are more than 500 BDA alums out there. You’re an extraordinary group of people from all over the world, in some cases still in your early twenties and, in one or two cases, over 80 years old.
Let’s make sure we stay more regularly in contact.
With my best wishes to you all.
Alumni in focus
For our first Alumni in Focus, we would like to shine the spotlight on Ahmed Al Balooshi. Ahmed worked with BDA from 03/09 to 01/17.
What have you been up to lately?
Since my transition out from a full time role with BDA in Jan 2017, I spend my time between the US, London, and Bahrain. I still work with BDA as a Senior Advisor not only offering BDA continued access to Middle Eastern counterparties and transactions, but also sourcing and jointly executing global transactions. I set up Balooshi Capital Advisors in 2018 – a fully remote lower mid-market advisory firm offering bespoke solutions to entrepreneurs, corporates and financial sponsors in the areas of M&A Advisory, Capital Raising, and Strategic Business Development & Partnerships. I also co-founded Tribepod in 2020, which is an outsourced talent marketplace connecting best in class creative talent with clients from various industries.
Anything other than “business” related stories for us?
Launched Ramenaki (Winter 2020) – a fun, hip ramen winter pop-up. It started with a night of home-cooked ramen amongst friends, to a small pop-up to showcase our ramen but more importantly to give people something different to do during the pandemic given the restrictive measures in Bahrain. The concept took off like we never imagined, from a small 25-seater pop-up from a temporary container to a 70-seater in one of Bahrain’s landmark buildings offered by The Ministry of Culture. My partners and I all work there – we cook, serve, run the till and fully operate the concept which resonated well with our customers and added to the authenticity of the experience.
I have also recently become a Founding Member of the Mohammed Tadayyon Foundation – a Bahrain based NGO that supports children with autism coming from low income families.
Wow thats a lot of things to do for one person! What inspired you to go down this journey?
I’ve always been someone with varied interests. Getting entrenched in a variety of sectors during my time at and post BDA helped feed and form those interests through the detailed exposure and understanding of their operational dynamics. Continuous travel and understanding different market landscapes also played a big part in my inspirational drive. My post BDA initiatives weren’t really an epiphany that came up once I had more free time, but more of a gradual development into acting on my interests.
Do you miss anything from BDA?
A lot of things but mainly the people. I spent most of my post grad life since 2009 with BDA-ers who I considered family and still do. I still speak to BDA colleagues and alumni on a regular basis. We meet up socially and continue to collaborate professionally. BDA creates a sense of belonging that transcends beyond the time spent working at BDA. I’m grateful for the SMDs and Partners for their attention to my personal development and their go-getter attitude. I’m equally grateful for the rest of the BDA family for their camaraderie and sense of unity which in my opinion has developed BDA to what it has become today. BDA is not only the go-to investment banking firm for Asia, but a family that will always be there for you and willing to support you to the extent they can wherever, whenever.
How did BDA equip you for your current success?
Let’s keep this short. If it wasn’t for my formative years at BDA, I wouldn’t have become the person I’ve become or have achieved the successes I have to date. It equipped me with personal and professional development through training, instilling a structured approach to looking at situations, and most importantly giving me the right exposure to develop the skill of professionally and confidently relating to people across the board – junior staff, c-suite executives, govt officials, ministers and even heads of state. That confidence is built through the limitless interactions BDA throws you in and the exposure to ways of doing things that you pick-up from your more experienced BDA peers because no matter how junior you are, you’ll be in a room full of decision makers, and expected and encouraged to present your thoughts.
Any parting words?
Have Fun – You’ll burn-out at times, as we all did, but know that that is temporary. Stay focused on what you’d like to achieve and most importantly have fun along the way. Get personal with your colleagues, know more about their lives, spend time with your chosen family – it makes the ride much more meaningful and enjoyable.
Feel free to get in touch at any time!
Get in touch
If you have anything you want to share with us and the alumni community, to know more about the referral program, or to be featured, please get in touch with any of the MPs or through one of the following channels:
Finally, don’t forget to join the BDA Partners LinkedIn Alumni Group.