The UAE UHNW Opportunity

30 Nov, 2016 - Consumer & Retail


The manner in which wealth is managed in the Middle East is changing. UHNW individuals in the region have been evolving strategies to include investments outside of big name trophy assets and into lower profile but more dependable assets. An example of this is the rise in use of syndicating companies which pool the resources of multiple investors. These firms have opened markets to new non-institutional investors by lowering the barrier to entry. Institutional investments can be $50m at entry, syndicating firms allow private investors to operate with sums as low as $10m.

As the Middle Eastern investor pool deepens the opportunity for asset management firms with international experience grows. Capital outflow from the region into London in the past 18 months has reached $5.2b, $1.8b to New York, and $0.6b to Paris. In 2016 announcements have been made by a number of local asset management firms regarding expansion into the US; regional investors are looking to move away from bank deposits, which yield close to zero percent.

To capitalise on the growing market, Aberdeen Asset Management has recently started operating in Abu Dhabi’s ADGM. The firm has been working with clients in the region but now has an official presence in the form of an office in the UAE’s second financial free zone. To aid with the setup of their business we organised a launch party at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The event was presided over by Her Majesty’s Ambassador Philip Parham and among the guests was HE Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman on the ADGM.

Setting up business in the UAE is not just about the licence and accompanying office. It’s about knowing who’s who and being able to meet them. A company moving to the UAE does not need to use our incubation centre to take advantage of our trade services. We’re pleased to have been able to support Aberdeen Asset Management with their launch and wish them the best of luck in this emerging market.

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