Saracen Ventures 2016

Our Company

  • Saracen Ventures UK Ltd is a private research and consultancy company. Our focus is on strategic advisory and consultancy work, putting to use our industry and market knowledge to work with a select group of clients and help them develop and evolve into new markets. Additionally, we have more recently created a venture platform that supports startups through proactive advisory, business development, as well as selectively investing capital.
  • Historically, since the company was founded in 2011, we have primarily been involved in working with companies and investors from the Middle East. Whilst this geography remains a sector speciality, we have built a broad ranging expertise and networks across various other sectors and geographies, enabling us to plan strategically, as well as react opportunistically to changing market dynamics.
  • The management and advisory team calls on significant experience in project research, finance and risk assessment across the Middle East, Europe, North America & Latin America. Sectors of expertise include: Capital & Financial Markets, Islamic Banking, Energy & Water, Shipping & Transportation.


  • Saracen Ventures has been able to forge a unique knowledge of both Islamic finance and Investment banking, as well as a broader range of strategic consultancy services.
  • Saracen Ventures is affiliated with the Saracen Group of companies. Over the last ten years the group’s affiliates have been involved in successfully raising funds in excess of US$ 13 billion for debt finance in Latin America, the Far East and Europe.
  • These financing packages also include asset backed finance with major groups for container ships, tankers and aircraft. During 2007, Saracen Group became a founder shareholder in a major global Shipping fund, as well as a distressed commercial real estate business.

Corporate Philosophy

  • Our philosophy is to present our partners and clients with only those projects to which we can add significant value. Saracen Ventures performs its own proprietary analysis as part of several ongoing macro economic strategies being tracked. Periodically, we do call on the input of specifically selected, specialist consultants to enhance the groundwork done by our core network.
  • Through our approach, we have managed to forge long lasting relationships with independent family offices, financial institutions, Islamic banks, boutique investment houses, regional private equity firms and other venture investors.
  • We have also managed to establish a specialist team and network across a variety of economic sectors, enabling us to offer specifically tailored solutions for our clients and partners on a case by case basis.

Areas of Coverage Include:

Project Finance

Islamic Banking

Structured Finance

Mergers & Acquisitions

Private Equity & Venture Capital

Strategic Consultancy


our team

Laith Allawi

Management Team

Contact: LinkedIn

Director of Strategic Projects

  • Graduated from Cass Business School in 2010 having studied Banking and International Finance.
  • During his studies, he completed a series of internships at a Swiss-based hedge fund, overviewing investment strategies.
  • He began his career at a London based hedge fund placement and advisory office, where he specialised in preliminary due diligence on international hedge funds whom were looking to form partnerships with the company.
  • This included a mixture of quantitative and qualitative aspects applying to a variety of different strategies in the group’s existing portfolio.
  • In 2010 Laith founded Saracen Ventures, where he is currently the Director for Strategic Projects. Saracen Ventures is boutique research firm, specialising in strategic, economic and risk analysis on direct investment opportunities across global markets.
  • Laith has performed detailed research on a variety of sectors from a private equity and venture capital perspective into diverse industries including logistics, infrastructure, media and technology assets. 
  • In addition to sourcing and overseeing specific project work, he is also responsible for all aspects of marketing and business development, and has established a private investor database in excess of over 1000 groups including family offices, sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms, investment banks, corporate investors and other investment houses – with specific strength in the GCC.
  • He has represented Saracen Ventures in various conferences and journals, speaking at multiple investment forums such as MEED and Symexco conferences as part of panel discussions and giving interviews to sector specific journals such as TOGY.

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Georgina Mills

Management Team

Contact: LinkedIn

Executive Assistant and Junior Researcher

Role at Saracen Ventures
  • Executive Assistant to the Director.
  • Providing support to senior management with organisation, scheduling, correspondence, human resources, and meetings.
  • Taking responsibility and ownership of office organisation, project management, deadline compliance, and important documents and files.
  • Research for the current and perspective portfolio.
Professional Experience
  • Underwriter for High Performance and Specialist Car Insurance – Sky.
  • Sales Advisor and Consultant
  • Head Receptionist.
  • Mount Grace Secondary Academy – GCSE to A Level
  • Future Fit Training (Levels 2-4) Personal Training and Nutrition
  • Social Media, blogging and website/graphic design
  • Photography
  • Foreign Languages and culture
  • Fitness

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Luay Allawi

Advisory Team

Contact: LinkedIn

Member of the Advisory Committee

Professional Experience

  • HSBC graduate training programme in London before moving to Chemical Bank: where acted as Marketing Executive covering International Cross Boarder Leasing business. This included aircraft lease packaging and construction equipment finance in the Gulf Region through affiliated Arab Leasing Company in Bahrain.
  • Gulf International Bank, Bahrain: Head of Project Finance the role involved arranging construction and asset backed finance, primarily in Saudi Arabia.
  • Investcorp: Executive Director initial 4 years in Bahrain and then has moved to the UK, where was a founder of the Placement and Marketing team, in London office managed 53 Personnel.
  • Active consultant (1987-1991) for: Touche Remnant, Guisness Peat Aviation, ANZ Bank, P&O, NCB, Quanta Capital, East Asiatic, United Bank of Kuwait and Al Rajhi Bank – London. 


  • BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry followed by an MSc (Distinction) in Cell Biology from Queen Elizabeth College, London University.


  • Chess
  • Stamps of Iraq

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David Bloch

Advisory Team

Contact: LinkedIn

Member of the Advisory Committee

Professional Experience

  • Co-founder of Iron Creek Ventures, a  U.S. distressed debt manager.
  • Serves on several boards (private funds and investment adviser).
  • Senior adviser for alternative investments (private equity and debt, venture capital, hedge funds) to Meridian Investments Limited, a family office. 
  • Formerly an attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell and clerk on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
  • Foundation Fellow of Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford and member of endowment investment committee.
  • B.A. Amherst College, M.Phil. University of Oxford, J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Daniel Prime

Advisory Team


Member of the Advisory Committee 

Role at Saracen Ventures:

  • Investment analysis of private and public securities, hedge funds, private equity funds, convertible bonds, mutual funds.
  • Portfolio construction, and analysis:  including constructing portfolios that match clients targeted market or factor exposure, volatility, liquidity requirements, etc.
  • General market analysis, and sector specific analysis (e.g. shipping, oil sands extraction, real estate)

Professional Experience:

  • Consultant on investment analysis and portfolio construction for Saracen Ventures, and Saracen Trade & Investment.
  • Consultant on operations and financial management for Meridian Investments Limited.
  • Portfolio Manager and Director – The Somers Fund Limited (a Hedged Equity Fund)
  • Director and Member of Advisory Board – The Somers Real Estate Opportunity Fund Limited (a Real Estate Investment Fund)
  • Chief Financial Officer – Meridian Investments Limited, Bermuda.
  • Assistant on Islamic Trade Financing and Documentation, and Financing in Emerging Markets
  • Hazardous Chemicals Inspector – US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Chemistry Teacher (A-level) – Tanzania  – US Peace Corps
  • Chemist – Rollins Environmental Services


  • University of California – B.S in Chemistry
  • Series 65 – Uniform Investment Advisor


  • Conversant in French and Swahili
  • Tennis, skiing, cycling, and tree pruning

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    06th Dec 2016

    TechCrunch Disrupt 2016 London

    5.12 – 6.12

    The Copper Box Arena

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    06th Nov 2016

    The inaugural edition of the Islamic Enterprises event was held in London at Hyatt Regency – The Churchill on 1-2 November 2016.

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