Management Team


Yousef Al-Obaidan

Acting Chief Executive Officer

Yousef first ‌joined TFI  in November 2007, where he focused on post acquisition/investment area of Direct Strategic Investments (DSI), monitored and reported on such investments. Prior to joining TFI, Yousef was the Head of Customer Finance for four years n QAPCO. He serves on the following board of director:  Waseef (Qatar), Smeet (Qatar), First Leasing Company (Qatar), and Nuzul Holdings (Bahrain). Yousef graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing & Communications from the California State University. Yousef was appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer starting March 9, 2014.

 Soufiane Ouenniche

Acting Head of Real Estate

Soufiane has worked in leading banks, financial institutions, private equity and real estate groups in the GCC, North America, North Africa, Europe and the Levant for the past fifteen years and has an in-depth understanding of Islamic banking , private equity and real estate investments.

Soufiane has a Master of Science degree in Banking & Finance from H.E.C., University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He also has a Graduate Certificate in Treasury & Finance from McGill University and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from H.E.C., Montreal, Canada.

Soufiane is leading the real estate funds division within the First Investor where he is in charge of structuring/originating and managing real estate funds globally. Prior to that, Soufiane was a Director at the private equity and real estate origination department at Capital Management House Bahrain as well as a Director at Gulf Finance House where he was instrumental in successfully originating major real estate projects. Earlier, Soufiane was Assistant Vice President at KAMCO corporate finance in Kuwait and senior financial analyst with Jones Lang LaSalle Dubai, advising major MENA clients for their real estate investments, during his tenure with JLL he advised clients on projects worth USD 50 billion across all the MENA region. Earlier in his career Soufiane was a Financial Analyst at Arab Banking Corporation in Tunis and has previously worked for the African Development Bank Group as well as Citibank in Tunisia and Jordan . In Montreal,  Canada, Soufiane worked with Desjardins Trust as a Financial Advisor, advising on retail banking products .He also worked with Vinci Group, formerly Campenon Bernard SGE, in Paris, France, focusing on hotel and real estate investments throughout Europe and the Middle East. ‌Soufiane is fluent in English, French and Arabic.

TFI- Robert

Robert Pramberger

Head of Asset Management

Robert first joined The First Investor’s Asset Management team in January 2009 as Head of Regional Products and is responsible for the management of MENA and GCC Funds & Portfolios. Robert has more than 15 years experience in research, due diligence, portfolio management and trading.

Previously Robert was Associate Director within the Equities team at Dubai International Capital, taking significant stakes in public listed companies. From 2006-2007, Robert worked with Mizuho International PLC in London as proprietary equity trader. From 2001-2006, he also worked as an equity research analyst for Lehman Brothers within the European Utilities and Consumer sector in London.

Robert was educated in Austria, graduated from Vienna University in Business Administration, specialising in Finance and is a CFA charter holder. He was awarded his charter in September 2006 and joined the CFA in the UK.


Allen Merhej

Executive Director- Head of Legal

Allen Joined The First Investor as its Head of Legal in 2010. He is responsible of the legal department, advising on the investments and the financial products made or offered by the company. He structured investments funds combining Islamic and conventional financing in the GCC, US, Brazil, EU, and Russia. He also advised on the UK Sovereign Sukuk, (GBP200M).

Allen is a banking and finance lawyer with more than 12 years of experience ranging from real estate financing, project finance, structured products, capital markets, funds, mergers and acquisitions. He has a detailed knowledge of Islamic finance structures. He has working knowledge of both common and civil law in addition to a working experience, in London, Paris and the GCC and his transactional experience spans Europe, North America, and the MENA.

Before joining The First Investor, ‌ was a lawyer working with the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright in their London and Paris offices.

Allen was a member of the work group established by the French Ministry of Finance to study and propose legislative amendments to facilitate the introduction of Islamic finance in France. Allen was a speaker in a number of conferences in London, Paris, Milan and New York, where in a conference organized by the New York Bar he was described as “a rising star in the very competitive London Islamic finance market’’.

Allen was nominated as ‘‘Highly Commended’’ General Counsel by the 4th Annual Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards 2015 (event organized by Legal Week and Association of Corporate Counsel Middle East) and he was shortlisted to the General Counsel of the Year - Middle East 2015 Awards.

Allen has a postgraduate degree in banking and capital markets law from Pantheon-Assas, a postgraduate degree in international commercial law from Aix-en-Province University, France and MSc Finance from ESCP Europe, France.

John Obilo

Head of Operations

John joined TFI in April 2011 for the purposes of developing and managing the Operations Department. His department is responsible for handling of all the fund operations and valuations of Real Estate Funds, Asset Management GCC Funds, Discretionary and non-discretionary Portfolios and Investment Banking Private Placement Investments.

John has extensive Fund operations and Investment portfolio valuations experience which he acquired over 14 years whilst working for various markets and jurisdictions, including JP Morgan Bank in Dublin, Ireland, Citi Bank Fund Services in Bermuda, State Street International Bank (GmBH) in Toronto, Dublin and Milan.

John was educated in Canada, graduated from University of Toronto in Commerce, Specializing in Accounting, Finance and Economics.