Winter 2017

EDITORIAL: Home advantages

George_MittonRich families from the middle east often bank their money in places like Switzerland or Singapore, much to the dismay of wealth managers based in the region, who would prefer to manage that cash locally. Middle Eastern governments, hoping to develop a domestic financial services sector, have an interest in bringing the money home. That is why financial zones in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, to take two examples, have set up funds regimes designed to attract the wealth of locals (see cover story). These efforts have been helped by an international drive to combat tax evasion and promote transparency. Thanks to regulation such as the Common Reporting Standard, and to leaks such as the recent Paradise Papers, bank secrecy in offshore wealth centres is no longer guaranteed. For Middle Eastern wealth managers, these changes are positive. But, there are challenges. The Gulf region seems less stable today than it has in years. Qatar is diplomatically isolated and subject to an embargo (see pages 14-16) and Saudi Arabia has begun an assault on corruption that some are calling a purge. The Saudi authorities have reportedly leant on banks in the UAE to give up account details of individuals who have been detained as part of the investigation. In this volatile environment, some rich Middle Eastern citizens will insist on keeping a portion of their wealth overseas as a sort of insurance policy. For the region’s wealth managers, that is a limit to growth. George Mitton, Editor, Funds Global MENA ©2017 funds globla mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Nov 23, 2017

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Mar 08, 2017

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.

Roundtables

ROUNDTABLE: Charting the pace of reform

Nov 23, 2017

Saudi Arabian index inclusion, the onset of taxes and the Dana Gas controversy were among the issues discussed by our cross-industry panel. Chaired by George Mitton in Dubai.

SOUTH AFRICAN ROUNDTABLE: Spirit of Ubuntu

Mar 08, 2017

The move to a three-day settlement cycle, the appearance of new stock exchanges, and recent rules on hedge funds were discussed by our panel in Cape Town. Chaired by George Mitton.