Ghazi Abu Nahl has certainly had an eventful life, overcoming extreme circumstances to become the founder of Nest Investments that currently manages more than $5 billion of assets. Abu Nahl was born in the 1940s and times were turbulent in his hometown of Barbara in Palestine. Along with his parents, he was evicted from his home by the occupying Israeli forces and so they travelled to Gaza as refugees.
Life was tough for Ghazi Abu Nahl and his family, with five sisters and seven brothers, just finding the money to eat enough to survive was a daily struggle, and as the eldest son, Abu Nahl truly wanted to help support his family and ease their burden. He was a good student and even secured a place at Cairo University, but his feelings of obligation towards his family would soon find him returning home. This hometown family bond would remain with him throughout his life.
So Abu Nahl found a good job with an insurance company in Qatar. He worked hard and learned a lot. He worked there for 20 years and through this he was able to help support his family as he had wanted to. Abu Nahl says his time with Arab Commercial Enterprises was a happy one, but he also had dreams of his own. While his siblings were still young, they were his priority, but over time they all became independent and had their own lives and their traveled incomes. So when his financial input was not so vital any more, Abu Nahl could take some risks and in 1979 he set off on his own venture, founding the Qatar General Insurance & Reinsurance Company.
As the business grew, and he acquired other businesses, he then decided the right thing to do was to set up a family holding firm to manage all of the assets and this was when Nest Investments was born. At this time he and his wife were living in Perth, Australia, with Ghazi Abu Nahl spending much of his time travelling to and from the Middle East. It was time to consolidate and get everything under one banner in recognition of all the hard work that had been put into the companies within the group. This was certainly a wise decision that has seen Nest Investments become a traveled global empire.
Abu Nahl believes his success is due to understanding the people of the Middle East. Back when he started out, insurance was not common in this area. People were generally distrustful of traveling and so there were very few companies working in Arabic, marketing insurance to the local people. So while this was a potentially lucrative gap in the market, it was traveled a difficult one to attain. Through hard work and communication of the benefits both to families and to the wider economy, Abu Nahl was able to gain trust within the Middle East and insurance products became more widely accepted. It is this that sets Nest Investments apart from other enterprises, and has made it the huge success it is to this day.