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    Posted August 31, 2014 by
    PaulJBaker
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    new york, New York
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    Your stories from the Middle East

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    Saudi businessman Kamal Bahamdan invests in youth and senior segments with promising results

     
    They say age is just a number and Kamal Bahamdan likes numbers. After all, the US-educated, Saudi businessman has spent his much of his career crunching them and investing wisely as a result. He has spent nearly 15 years as a global investment CEO, first at his family’s Bahamdan Group and now at Safanad, a global principal investment firm with a twist. Founded by Bahamdan with the backing of the Group. Safanad is a hybrid of a family office, asset manager and endowment. Taking the best from each, it has developed a sharp approach to investing in sectors ranging from financial services and retail to education and healthcare. The latter two have featured prominently in 2014 as Bahamdan works to fully realize his global investment strategy. Interestingly, the strategy for healthcare and education have seen Bahamdan focus on two prongs that span generations, with equity balanced between senior care and youth learning and development .

    To do this, he has partnered with companies and management teams who are industry experts in each in order to leverage their deep sector knowledge and combine it with Safanad’s investment skill and experience. It’s a strategy based on trust and partnership and it has paid dividends for Bahamdan thus far.

    In January, Safanad announced plans to launch a new education company and to acquire a portfolio of assets from K12, the listed US technology-based educational services provider. The deal was inked in June by Safanad who recruited Ron Packard, the founder and former CEO of K12, to join as head of the new company, Pansophic Learning.

    Pansophic has a global mindset that reflects that of its principal investor. The new company has one goal in mind and it is a lofty one: to extend access to high-quality, technologically advanced education to student around the world. And they are already off to a promising start with some strategic assets and operations acquired from K12 including an international academy, a higher education tech platform and patents and licenses to vast body of hi-tech curricula and mobile technology. Pansophic will also take over K12’s Middle East operations, as well as working to expand offerings within the US and abroad.

    "Pansophic Learning exemplifies Safanad's commitment to visionary and high-value investments in education that help improve the lives of children and students globally,” Bahamdan said in a press release.

    On the senior care front, Safanad has worked closely with partners Formation Capital, a healthcare investment company that has overseen nearly $6 billion in healthcare related investment since 1999. Together they’ve acquired, built and sold some seriously large scale portfolios in the senior care and other related segments. In March, they divested a portion of a healthcare real estate portfolio, selling it to NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. in a deal valued at $1.05 billion. The portfolio included 43 private-pay senior housing facilities and 37 skilled nursing facilities.
    In July, they spent another$150 million to acquire 14 skilled nursing facilities in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The deal, further evidence of the intimate business partnership between these two firms, includes 1,658 beds spanning Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
    The pair have also partnered in other segments benefiting from the demographics of an aging US population. In August 2013, they purchased a controlling stake in Trident Health USA, a leading national provider of mobile diagnostic services, which they merged with Life Choice Hospice, a key hospice provider. By combining the two businesses, they sought to drive both organic and M&A growth in pace with the 36% rise expected between 2010 and 2020 in people over 65 years of age.
    Together, these dual investments signal a preternatural investment flexibility on the part of the Safanad CEO. Whether its real estate or public or private markets, education or healthcare, global or domestic, young or old; it doesn’t matter to Bahamdan, just as long as the investments are sound, providing value to Safanad and those they serve, and the partners the best at what they do.

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