Why investment banking isn’t just about making money

Why investment banking isn’t just about making money

To the rest of the world, investment banking is often seen as a money-making sector alone. But when we spoke to Hasnae Taleb (Chief Investment Officer at Ento Capital), she pointed out that it’s not just about making money. It creates new jobs, supports economic growth, and is a critical driver of innovation – in tech and across other industries.

Taleb is adept at structuring business portfolios and designing investment strategies. She co-founded a stock market scanner that specialises in automated research, and she has a clear view of the positive role of investing for socio-economic development. 

Dig into her perspective on investments in Saudi Arabia – and how female investors can increase their confidence and build their portfolios.

What's your perspective on the investments ecosystem in Saudi Arabia right now?

“The Saudi Arabian ecosystem has experienced rapid growth in recent years. There are over 1,600 startups in the country, supported by a network of venture capital firms and government initiatives. The government is actively working to attract foreign investment and position the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a regional hub for innovation. 

“In my opinion, some of the factors contributing to the growth of the investment ecosystem in Saudi Arabia include:

  1. A large and young population with a growing disposable income.
  2. The increasing government support for startups.
  3. The emergence of a number of successful startups that are attracting the attention of investors like us.”

Do you have a personal investment portfolio – and if so, what are your criteria for adding investments to that portfolio?

“I do have a personal investment portfolio. My criteria for adding investments to my portfolio include four things: the long-term growth potential of the company, the strength of the management team, the company's competitive advantage and the overall risk profile of the investment.”

What advice would you give to female investors at an early stage in their journey who lack confidence in their abilities?

“There are a number of things that female investors can do to build their confidence, and I will sum them up in 4 rules:

“Rule #1:  Educate themselves about investing. There are a number of resources available online and in libraries that can help you learn about different investment options.

“Rule #2:  Talk to other female investors. There are a number of organisations that support female investors, such as the Arab Businesswomen Council and others.

“Rule #3:  Start small. Don't feel like you need to invest a large amount of money right away. Start with a small investment and gradually increase the amount of money you invest as you gain experience.

“Rule #4: Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are a number of financial advisors who can help you create an investment plan and choose investments that are right for you – just make sure you go for an investment firm that is regulated and legit.”

What's one thing you wish everyone knew about investment banking?

“Investment banking is a complex industry, but it is very rewarding. One thing I wish everyone knew about investment banking is that it is not all about making money. Investment bankers play an important role in helping companies grow and create jobs.”

Could you describe your experience at LEAP 2024?

“Wonderful! One of the best events I have been to. I was particularly impressed by the number of young people who were interested in learning about investing. It was encouraging to see so many people excited about the future of the financial industry in Saudi Arabia.”

Thanks to Hasnae Taleb at Ento Capital. Did you miss LEAP 2024? Don’t worry – pre-register now for the 2025 edition.


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