Dresdner to target $2bn of assets

Nigel Putt says Dresdner is keen to expand operations through the DIFC. (SUPPLIED)

German private banker Dresdner Bank is targeting to attract about $2 billion (Dh7.3bn) in assets in the GCC in the next three years through its newly opened arm Dresdner Bank Limited at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The company has received a fourth grade licence from the Dubai Financial Services Authority, which allows it to introduce consultancy and advisory services for its clients in the region. It has decided to focus on consultancy for high net-worth investors and family businesses in the region.

Anton Simonet, global head of private wealth management at Dresdner Bank, told Emirates Business that the bank has more than $200bn of assets under management worldwide, the share of GCC investors in which is only around $2bn, or one per cent.

"Dresdner Bank is one of the top 10 players in Europe's private banking industry, and in Germany ranks number two in this segment. We are not new to the Gulf, as we have maintained a representative office in Dubai for more than 12 years. Building on this experience, the new company has been established to serve as a platform for further growth throughout the GCC, specifically to take advantage of one of the most attractive and fastest-growing private wealth management markets in the world," Simonet said.

According to Nigel Putt, COO of Dresdner Bank DIFC Limited: "The GCC is no longer an emerging market; it has already emerged and there is a high correlation with international financial movements around the world. With such developments, the bank was keen to expand its operations in the region through the DIFC which offers a world-class legislative systems for international operations."

Putt added: "As we are offering international financial products, we need international and transparent legislative systems. Our clients will be able to access a comprehensive offering within the Allianz Group, which now encompasses two Shariah-compliant mutual funds managed by Allianz Global Investors, including Allianz RCM Islamic Global Equity Opportunities and Allianz RCM Islamic Global Emerging Markets Equity."

He said that despite the bank not being specialised in Shariah-compliant products, it has a professional system of introducing and managing these products through co-operation with other parties specialising in the field.

Putt also said regional family businesses are going global and they need to develop their business strategies, investments and financial structures to global standards. "We will help these businesses to grow faster through potential investments in international markets," he said.

The GCC became an important player on the international financial scene through expanding investments in global markets as well as the increasing direct foreign investment coming to the region, Putt said.

"Even our new office here can be considered a direct foreign investment and we see large potential business opportunities in the region. The outlook for the region is very positive and this will help us expand our operations in the markets.

"Companies are considering investments out of the region and they need different financial systems and legislations and this has played a major role in the growth of the DIFC," Putt said.

Speaking about the increasing interest of international financial services in the GCC region, Simonet said the global financial scene had changed during the last decade.

"The United States and Europe were the core of global financial services, but now we see other centres around the world have come up and this has created a variety in investments.

"Around 75 per cent of GCC global investments were in Europe in the past two decades. However, there are changes taking place in the region, as there is more variety in GCC global investments together with increasing global investments coming to the region. Due to these changes, it will be easier for us to be close to our clients, including international players in the region or regional investors intending to go global," Simonet said.

Putt also highlighted changes taking place in the GCC financial and equity markets: "There are major developments in stock markets and asset management in the region.

"These markets have legislations and business systems similar to any other financial centre around the world. This creates the need in the region for more and more financial products and different investment styles."

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