Managing Director

Deal Advisory & Turnaround Services

United Arab Emirates

Nigel Smith is a Managing Director and Head of Deal Advisory and Turnaround based in Dubai. He has over 30 years’ experience in Restructuring, Turnaround and Debt Advisory and has led some of the most high-profile restructuring cases in the UK, Switzerland, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and East Africa. Nigel specializes in pre-court and pre-insolvency appointment turnarounds.

During his career, Nigel has extensively advised the boards of listed entities in understanding, structuring and raising new finance. He has successfully raised in excess of US$2bn for corporate clients over the past five-year period and has also attracted equity partners for his clients. 

With a background in banking, Nigel has advised many businesses in their negotiations with banks and in turn has assisted banks and other lenders looking for support with their own restructuring clients. He led the restructuring and turnaround of Amlak Finance which was shortlisted for the Restructuring deal of the Year (ME&A).

He has worked across several sectors including Retail, Manufacturing, Education, Healthcare and Financial Institutions. On the latter, his M&A success was awarded the PE (Africa) 2021 winner. Nigel has a proven track record in leading teams, external stakeholders, and agents/advisors in complex situations.


  • Turnaround services – prevention of insolvency 
  • Multi-bank and cross-border turnarounds
  • Restructuring using out of court processes
  • Debt advisory
  • International and complex situations
  • Personal and corporate debt 
  • Due diligence
  • M&A

Recent assignment highlights

  • Advised one of the largest oil traders in the Middle East dealing with 42 lenders and debt of US$2bn.
  • Led the turnaround and ultimate sale of a Kenyan Bank.
  • Successfully led the turnaround of a large family manufacturing business in East Africa. He then advised the board on how best to implement the restructuring plan and subsequently raised new capital.
  • Undertook in excess of 20 due diligence exercises for ‘buy-side’ clients and 15 for ‘sell-side’ clients.
  • Led the refinancing and turnaround of c.$1bn of facilities for a UK-listed automotive company, including negotiating new vehicle funding, working capital, hedging facilities and a rescheduling of mezzanine and loan note.
  • Led the restructuring of UAE’s largest automotive retailer ($2bn across 15 lenders).
  • Assisted a high profile individual within UAE in analyzing the options available for large land banks in a prominent area of Dubai. JV investors have recently been attracted.
  • Advised multiple listed entities, in the UK and across the GCC region, on refinance options.
  • Led the successful refinancing negotiations with the large syndicate of an Aviation business.
  • Assisted management in the restructuring / turnaround of a National Airline in Europe ($10bn).


  • Financial services
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Automotive 
  • Retail 
  • Property 
  • Manufacturing


Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers


BA (Hons) in Economics, Liverpool University

FCA Approved Person

Certified Investment and Financial Analyst (KASNEB)