EMP traces its roots to the founding in 1992 of its predecessor company, Emerging Markets Partnership. The firm's two founders, Moeen A. Qureshi (Chairman) and Donald C. Roth (Managing Partner) left the World Bank after distinguished careers (Chief of Operations and Treasurer, respectively) and created EMP for the purpose of marshalling private capital in order to take advantage of the attractive investment opportunities which were beginning to appear in the world's emerging economies at that time.
EMP's first fund began in 1994 targeting opportunities for investments in infrastructure projects and companies in Asia. Since that time EMP has raised funds targeting Latin America, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the member countries of the Islamic Development Bank.
For a number of years after its founding, EMP had a close affiliation with AIG, the international insurance company. AIG held a minority stake in EMP and served as sponsor of, as well as a major investor in, a number of funds bearing its name for which EMP serves as Principal Adviser. After a long and fruitful relationship between the two companies, EMP bought out AIG's stake and became an independent company in 2005.