The Fund’s Investment Committee shall approve all investments in the Fund. The Investment Committee is comprised of four high caliber business-savvy individuals with extensive experience in investing in Palestine and other parts of the world. Biographies of these four individuals are presented below:
Bashar Masri offers a decades-long focus on, and extensive knowledge of, various business and investment sectors, as well as an outstanding entrepreneurial record. He actively promotes Palestinian private sector business opportunities to companies and individuals across the globe.
Mr. Masri is the founder of Bayti Real Estate Investment Company. Bayti, jointly-owned by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and Massar International, was created to build Rawabi, the first Palestinian planned city and the cornerstone of a new, modern, viable Palestinian society. This ambitious undertaking is both the largest project and by far the largest private sector investment in Palestine’s history, at a cost of well above $500 million.
Mr. Masri is also Chairman of the Board of Massar International, a company he founded in 1994 to realize his vision for private sector development to serve as the path (“massar” in Arabic) leading to Palestinian economic development and growth. Under his energetic leadership, Massar International has grown to include 15 successful subsidiaries with operations in Palestine, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.
His unique combination of technical ability and entrepreneurial drive led to his being named as a “Global Leader of Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum. In addition to Massar, Mr. Masri was also instrumental in creating a number of companies in the fields of financial services, journalism, printing, and information technology, among others. He played a pivotal role in establishing the first investment fund dedicated to the growth of the Palestinian private sector and has served as an advisor on privatization and public reform issues.
In addition to his professional work, Mr. Masri serves as an advisor and board member on numerous private and philanthropic organizations and is the current Palestinian Chapter Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
Michel Zaleski joins the Fund as a member of the Investment Committee through his affiliation with the Soros Economic Development Fund. Mr. Zaleski’s extensive experience in private and real estate investments serves as an added value to the Fund. Mr. Zaleski is the retired Chairman of the Board of the investment firm, Zaleski, Sherwood & Co., Inc. which during his leadership acquired over thirty mid-sized American companies, reorganized them, helped them grow and ultimately sold them. He was previously Senior Vice President of AEA Investors, Inc., a national buyout firm. Mr. Zaleski has served on the boards of numerous public and private companies.
He is a founding trustee and President of the Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring Project ("The DREAM Project"), a US foundation that is engaged in building and supporting public schools and running private schools in the Dominican Republic. Over the last ten years, more than 70 Dartmouth students have taken a term off or longer to teach in the schools supported by the Dream Project under the auspices of the Tucker Foundation and Mr. Zaleski.
Mr. Zaleski is associated with a number of other organizations including the contemporary art museum PS1, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, where he serves as a trustee, and the Council on Foreign Relations, where he is active as a member helping formulate foreign policy positions and as a Director of the Soros Economic Development Fund, which invests in job creating enterprises in distressed countries in three continents.
Mr. Zaleski holds an M.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.E. from Thayer School of Engineering, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Samir Zraiq is an investor savvy member of the Investment Committee with more than ten years experience in the financial services sector in Palestinian and regional markets. He consistently exhibits immense talent as an investment manager and business start-up expert, as he has several personal investments in many local companies.
Currently, Mr. Zraiq is the General Director of Sahem Trading & Investments Company, where he is responsible for oversight of the financial, managerial and organizational activities of the top stock brokerage firm in Palestine. He is also an expert in aiding and facilitating companies in reaching the goal of joining the Palestinian Securities Exchange (PSE) and launching IPOs. Mr. Zraiq has served on the board of directors for a number entities, including the Palestine Securities Exchange from 2004-2005, and is currently the Chairman of the publicly traded Palestinian Investment and Development Company.
Under his leadership, Sahem dominated the Palestinian stock exchange in trading volume, outpacing the performance of all other firms working in the Palestinian market. In the space of a decade, Sahem has transformed itself from an equities brokerage to a force in the regional financial market. Mr. Zraiq also manages a team of experts that oversees the development and performance of other financial subsidiaries in Jordan, Egypt and Serbia.