Kamil Homsi, founder and CEO of Global Realty Capital, sees the U.S. as the best place to invest the wealth of his clients, all of whom are from the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries: Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And the reason is very simple.
“There are no tax advantages for us if we were a hedge fund or we were a family office, while here in America and in Europe you can save a lot of money if you have sizeable capital by dropping the hedge fund and running your own family office,” Homsi recently told Buyouts.
He called the U.S. a “destination” for capital preservation and security, as well as a place providing myriad investment opportunities and tax incentives. Homsi sees it as much preferable to Western Europe, which he called “volatile,” and to emerging markets.
Global Realty Capital is the onshore arm of GRC Investment Group, a single-family office domiciled in Dubai with offices in New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Miami and Los Angeles.
Homsi founded GRC in 1997 while running a consulting group Hong Kong.
Before he started the family office, he knew the original members, who were from the Kuwaiti royal family but have married into other royal families throughout the region.
“They were all my clients,” Homsi said. “I am not from the family, but I am the one who established the family office. … I’m the one who identifies the investments and also maintains the portfolio oversight.”
Homsi added that he also invested alongside his clients as a partner, while the actual members are kept secret for security reasons.
He said about 55 to 60 family members directly control the capital he works with, with several hundred other affiliated family members.
Homsi declined to specify how much he manages but said it was “probably a lot more than the GDP of certain countries in the world.”
“We are the largest private equity in the region after the sovereign wealth funds of the region,” he said.
Homsi told Buyouts that GRC’s core business is oil and energy, but the firm is also involved in renewable energy, pharmaceutical advancements and natural resources.
GRC is also interested in opportunity zones, and Homsi frequently appears in panel discussions at conferences on the topic.
Homsi feels strongly that OZs are primarily a chance to make a positive impact and that investors should look at them that way. “To me, this is all about impact,” he said.
Of late, venture technology investments have also caught Homsi’s eye. “That will be another target for me, not to invest in startups on the seed level, but pre-IPO or even post-IPO,” he told Buyouts.
Homsi identifies himself as a “data junkie” and he does consulting work and provides data for other families who come to his firm because of their familiarity with different data portals.
Homsi has also invested in funds, none of which he identified, and he also does direct investments and co-investments with other family offices.
“I get a lot of deals from family offices directly, asking for co-investment,” he said.
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