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Partnership Formation: $3 Billion Team forms to tackle Infrastructure in Africa

A top-ranked infrastructure broker and his team, which oversaw $3 billion in client contracts, have formed to open an independent firm, prompted to do so because of increasing client and government demand for Private-Public-Partnership Advice, Investment Procurement and Consortium Assembly, the broker says.

“We’ve always put clients first. But now as a broker-consultant, we answer to a higher duty of care,- helping developing regions flourish” advisor Samir El Mahallawy, says of his team’s partnership with Businesswoman/Broker Shari O’Donnell.

While military and infrastructure brokers choose to go independent with the assistance of an independent broker dealer, El Mahallawy opted to open his own consultancy firm, also known as an ODEM Consultants. Their partnership was formed to help developing regions with major infrastructure projects, essential to helping them build resilience. Their mission statement is “We bring together experts from across global businesses to help make enterprise more successful and societies more resilient”. El Mahallawy added “Specializing in packaging consortiums for private and public infrastructure projects – our mission is to bring developing regions into a socially, ethically responsible and resilient future using PPP models. We also facilitate major petroleum/oil deals with end users”. 

Joining another firm wasn’t an option, El Mahallawy says, noting that he could have gotten a 7 figure sum, recruiting bonus to join major firms throughout the USA and Saudi Arabia. “Candidly, I didn’t think I could ask somebody to move firms when I was the only one who was benefiting. That’s not what we’re about. Not what my team is about,” he says.

El Mahallawy, and his group made the move into a private formation on Oct 7th, 2022. He spent 50 years in the industry according to public database. 

It wasn’t easy to bid farewell to the firms we previously partnered with, he says. “It was an emotional afternoon on Friday. 

Still, El Mahallawy is looking forward to operating as a consultant with purpose. The new consultancy is dubbed “Team Triple P” and will be based in LA. The company name “ODEM” is derived from the partnership team’s initial “OD” for O’Donnell and “EM” for El Mahallawy. 

El Mahallawy’s team is among a slew of groups that have departed large infrastructure brokerages to become independent brokers and includes some heavyweight financial brokers too. In the recent months, Merrill Lynch lost a team managing $500 million, which broke away to form an independent practice with Sanctuary Wealth. In July, LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer with more than 19,000 advisors, added a former Morgan Stanley group that oversaw approximately $700 million.

The team’s consultants and brokers will get a new title, “Development Advocate,” which El Mahallawy says better encapsulates the work they do on behalf of clients

Joining El Mahallawy from multiple brokerages and consultancies are Abd Hakmi, Chris Wyer, Mathilda Fakude, Tapiwa Chiwota, Fhumulani Munzhedzi and Mubarak Abu Hajia, Investment Strategist Mark Johanson, and Director of Client Experience Lola Smith are also joining the team.

Though only days old, the newly launched firm also hired a new employee: Kate Fagon, a CPA who will serve as chief operating officer and chief compliance officer.

ODEM Consultants will partner with wealth managers who use Pershing as its custodian for client assets. The team is looking forward to developing Africa, El Mahallawy says.

We like firms in the private asset space who support PPP models (Public, Private Partnerships) who use the latest technology such as “Aggregation tools, financial planning software, CRM—they can build our tech stack based on what’s important for our clients. Not what’s important for 7,000 or 15,000 broker/advisors,” he says.

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