Khaled Sifri, CEO of Emirates Investment Bank (“EIBank”), an independent private bank based in UAE, said at a conference today that the UAE has the right formula and proposition to expand its role from a regional hub for international financial firms to a global hub for wealth management.
Speaking at FundForum Middle East & Africa on Wednesday 11October, Mr Sifri highlighted that the UAE is in a favourable position to replicate the success of well-established hubs like Switzerland and Singapore and become an attractive destination for regional and global wealth. He explained: “By providing the right ecosystem and regulatory environment for local players, the UAE can benefit from a large pool of wealth that, for decades, used to be drawn to foreign markets. Local banks and wealth management firms are well capable of offering world-class services that accommodate to the changing needs of HNWIs, and the success we have achieved at EIBank is a clear testament to this.”
On a panel titled “Middle East as A Centre for Wealth Management”, Mr Sifri discussed the main elements contributing to the UAE’s growing importance as a normal choice for international firms to build a presence in the region. He said: “The advanced regulatory system in the country, together with its strategic location and stable environment have contributed to its leading position as a regional hub. Thanks to global centres like Dubai International Financial Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market, the UAE is now home to the world’s largest banks and financial services firms. However, we have a bigger role to play and a larger opportunity to embark on in a region that is known for its wealth.”
Mr Sifri referred to the findings of the latest GCC Wealth Insight Report, which suggests that a significant majority of HNWIs in the GCC prefer to keep their assets closer to home. The report, which is based on a survey commissioned by EIBank, attributes this preference to HNWIs’ confidence in the GCC region as a safe investment haven.
In addition to his role as the CEO of EIBank, Mr Sifri acts as the Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation’s (UBF) Wealth Management Group.