The Middle East private banking business is growing at more than 25 per cent annually while the asset value of high net worth individuals in the region has grown by over 29 per cent, experts at a conference in Ras Al Khaimah said on Monday.
Oussama El Omari, Director General of Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ), said that liquid wealth held by wealthy individuals in the UAE and the GCC is forecast to rise dramatically after 2008.
He was speaking at the two-day International Ras Al Khaimah Family Office and Investment Summit inaugurated yesterday by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
El Omari said: “Ultra-high net worth family offices in the GCC are not only investing in equities and debt but also commodities, private equity, venture capital, emerging markets, hedge funds and real estate.”
The situation has prompted especially large banks to scale up their private banking divisions, open new offices and recruit bankers who can manage the assets of the wealthy families and the new wealthy class of entrepreneurs in the Gulf, he said. He said the GCC is exhibiting the fastest growth rates since the initial petrodollar bonanza three decades ago, making this a very appropriate time to stage a conference which, among other things, will look at new ways to manage family wealth.
The two-day International Ras-Al-Khaimah Family Office and Investment Summit is organised by the Geneva and London based Financial Events International, and is attended by international line-up of delegates including representatives of leading wealth management specialists, banks, law firms, business consultants and financial advisor.
It has attracted an extremely distinguished international line-up of delegates, including representatives of leading wealth management specialists, banks, law firms, business consultants and financial advisors.
The event is also aims to explore investment opportunities in RAK which is seen by the delegates with its strong investment potential as the future investment destination, said Dr Nabil Charag, Arttorney at Law and President of Financial Events International.
The conference was jointly chaired by Dr. Ludovic Verbist, Managing Director of Swiss-based AAMIL Ltd, a leading provider of international financial services, and Dr Nabil Charaf. The panel of financial experts addressing the summit includes Dr Ariel Sergio Goekmen, Director, Credit Suisse Head Office in Switzerland, Lisa Gray, President and CEO, Graymatter Strategies, US, Dr Hatim Tahir, Head of Training, Dubai International Financial Exchange, Mohamad Bakkar, Attorney at Law, Arab Economy Establishment, Lebanon and Dr Sabahuddin Azmi, of the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies in Sharjah.
Liquid wealth in GCC set to rise sharply