PineBridge, an investment management firm with US$67.3bn in assets, has appointed former Bahrain sovereign wealth fund chief Talal Al Zain as its new head of MENA. Al Zain’s recruitment marks the start of the launch of PineBridge’s full service operations in the region. At present, the company only has a distribution office in Dubai and a private equity office in Turkey. He will also serve on PineBridge’s executive committee and take up the role of co-head of alternative investments. Until last month, Al Zain had been CEO of Bahrain’s US$9bn sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat. Al Zain apparently resigned from that role over differences in strategy with Mumtalakat’s board and disappointment in the fund’s lack of deal-making as it focused on reviving loss-making domestic assets. He was said to be particularly exasperated at Mumtalakat’s focus on housekeeping at indebted Bahrain national carrier Gulf Air, which is owned by the fund. “Talal’s background and expertise speak to PineBridge’s strengths, namely, a solid investment track record grounded on deep knowledge, aligned with global capability and best practice,” commented David Jiang, CEO of PineBridge, announcing Al Zain’s appointment.