Steve Lipin's Gladstone Place Partners is working for the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which is backing the construction of a $500B mega-city that is meant to help the Kingdom diversify its economic base and reduce its dependence on energy revenues.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans in 2017 for Neom, which is now under construction in the northwest part of Saudi Arabia near its border with Egypt.

Neom is envisioned as a separate economic zone, which will nurture advanced manufacturing, biotech, food, media, digital and entertainment sectors. It will operate as a "transnational entity" with its own labor/tax codes independent of Saudi law.

Situated on the Red Sea, the Neom site enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate and is viewed by Saudi leadership as a future global hub connecting Europe, Africa and Asia. The first phase of construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

Neom is an outgrowth of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, the plan to re-orient the Kingdom's economy and society.

Gladstone's work began Jan 1 and runs through July 31, 2019. It will receive $200K for establishing the Neom story and developing its brand in the US via strategic communications, thought leadership and relationship-building with top-tier media, influential commentators and key business/financial executives.

Lipin, who did a 10-year stint as Wall Street Journal finance editor and a 15-year run as Brunswick Group senior partner, launched New York-based Gladstone in 2017.