As a former Managing Director with the Brown University endowment, Kemal Ahmed discovered that smaller, resource constrained, institutional investors seeking emerging markets exposure are limited in their ability to undertake meaningful due diligence on specialist strategies and smaller countries.
Old Square invests primarily with in-country, long-only equity and fixed income managers in both more developed and frontier emerging markets as well as equity and fixed income hedge funds with emerging market expertise. Arguably, it is in these less than transparent markets that in-country managers and regional specialists have an information advantage.
Old Square launched on June 1, 2006 with the University of Richmond’s (Richmond, Virginia) endowment as both seed and strategic investor.
Mr. Ahmed has been investing in the emerging markets industry for over 19 years. Most recently, from March 2003 to September 2005, he was a Managing Director with the Brown University Investment Office, an Ivy League endowment. Prior to that, from October 2001 to February 2003, he was Senior Vice President for Calvert Asset Management, where Mr. Ahmed was responsible for managing sub-advisors for all U.S. and non-U.S. equity mutual funds totaling approximately $2 billion. Prior to Calvert, from June 1993 to September 2001, Mr. Ahmed served with the World Bank Group. As a Senior Investment Officer in the World Bank’s Treasury Department (1998-2001), his responsibilities included selecting managers and managing the $4 billion U.S. equity allocation for the World Bank’s pension plan. From 1993-1998, Mr. Ahmed served with the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group where he honed his emerging markets skills. His transactional experience included providing debt and equity financing to industrial businesses and financial intermediaries. Mr. Ahmed started his career as an international banker with a predecessor of Bank of America where he served from September 1989 to June 1993. After completing a management training program he worked in international trade finance and asset-based lending, with a primary focus on the emerging markets.
Mr. Ahmed earned an MA, with distinctions, from Johns Hopkins University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BA. In 1993 he also earned a diploma in International Factoring from Factors Chain International. From 2003 to 2005, he served on the Advisory Board of Blakeney General Partners II Limited, an emerging markets fund.