Middle East Wealth Management Forum 2020

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, DIFC,UAE

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We were delighted to host our annual Middle East Wealth Management Forum in Dubai. Over 250 CEOs, COOs, CIOs, senior management, asset managers, and advisers attended – from a mix of Private Banks, Retail banks, IFAs, Family Offices, Insurance Companies, Asset Management Firms and other Independent Wealth Management Firms.

Thank you to all of our event partners: Swissquote, 1291 GroupAlpadis GroupIntellect Design ArenaSun Life FinancialAsiaciti TrustERI BancaireRGNPraxisIFM and Invest Samoa.

Below for your interest and reference are links to various content we captured from the day. Please click on the orange headlines – and do send any comments or feedback to events@hubbis.com.

 

Content Highlights

Video Highlights
Video Highlights Summary PDF
Exclusive Insights
Testimonials
I Love Wealth Management
Photos
Event summary
Panel discussions
Presentations & Workshops
Videos
Post Event Supplement

 

Post-Event Report

You might also like to view the full Post Event Report – which is a consolidated summary, including photos of speakers & delegates, the attendee profiles & some delegate feedback, polling results, and more.

 

Event Summary

Middle East Weath Management Forum Summary
We were delighted to host our annual Middle East Wealth Management Forum in Dubai. Over 250 CEOs, COOs, CIOs, senior management, asset managers, and advisers attended – from a mix of Private Banks, Retail banks, IFAs, Family Offices, Insurance Companies, Asset Management Firms and other Independent Wealth Management Firms.

 

Video Highlights - Videos 

Full Video Highlights - What are the opportunities and challenges for the year ahead?
Video Highlights Summary PDF
I Love Wealth Management
Testimonials

We asked leading industry experts - what are the opportunities and challenges for the year ahead? Click the links below to view the individual highlight video, or the speaker's name to view their bio.

Ayesha Abbas, VCGM, Head of Priority and Premium Segments, Standard Chartered Bank
Watch the video HERE

Prashant TandonCEO, Managing Director, Lighthouse Canton
Watch the video HERE

Fadi Barakat, Chief Investment Officer
Watch the video HERE

Madhavan Sivashankar, Founder, CEO & Member of The Board of Directors, Gulf International Finance
Watch the video HERE

Tomasz Bortnik, Head of Wealth Management Product – UAE & Bahrain, Citi
Watch the video HERE

Asad KhairiRegional Head Investment & Insurance, Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, HSBC Bank
Watch the video HERE

Laurence Black, Regional Director, Client Solutions, EMEA, Asiaciti Trust
Watch the video HERE

Ismael Hajjar, Director, MENA Private Client Services, Family Enterprise, Family Office Advisory, EY
Watch the video HERE

Nirav Dinesh Kumar Shah, Founder and Managing Director, FAME Advisory
Watch the video HERE

Vinod KrishnanManaging Director, Arch Corporation
Watch the video HERE

Sunita Singh Dalal, Of Counsel, Stephenson Harwood
Watch the video HERE

Oliver MuggliChief Executive Officer 1291 Private Office, 1291 Group
Watch the video HERE

Deepak MalhotraChief Executive Officer, Mayfair Private
Watch the video HERE

Anand Rai, Presales Lead, Intellect Design Arena
Watch the video HERE

Martyn CrespelDirector, PraxisIFM
Watch the video HERE

 

Exclusive Insights -  Exclusive Insights

We asked leading industry experts for their exclusive and incisive insights. Click on the questions below the speaker's name to view their insights, or click their names to view their bio:

Exclusive Insights PDF

Ayesha Abbas, VCGM, Head of Priority and Premium Segments, Standard Chartered Bank
How is the legal and regulatory landscape developing?
Does the quality of talent fall short in comparison to Singapore, London and New York?
How can you transition clients to the next generation of bankers?

Prashant TandonCEO, Managing Director, Lighthouse Canton
What are some of the common challenges for the IAMs/MFOs today?
Are the majority of MFOs firms truly independent? How should clients decide which firm is best to use?

Fadi Barakat, Chief Investment Officer
How will Private Banks and Independent Firms collaborate or compete in the future?
Where is the most robust and organised financial centre for UHNW wealth?

Madhavan Sivashankar, Founder, CEO & Member of The Board of Directors, Gulf International Finance
Why start a Multi Family Office in the GCC?
The vast majority of AUM remains with private banks and bankers – with investment decisions still driven by the client on an advisory basis. Will this change? What’s the value that an MFO brings? How do you compete?

Tomasz Bortnik, Head of Wealth Management Product – UAE & Bahrain, Citi
Delivering investment products and advice to clients – time to re-think everything?
What innovative investment solutions are HNW clients looking for?

Asad Khairi, Regional Head Investment & Insurance, Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, HSBC Bank
How are clients looking to diversity in 2020?
What innovative investment solutions are HNW clients looking for?

Laurence Black, Regional Director, Client Solutions, EMEA, Asiaciti Trust
How does the UAE compare to Singapore, Switzerland, London and the Channel Islands?
With economic substance tests and CRS, are mid-shore financial centres such as Singapore and Switzerland at a competitive disadvantage with the UAE?
Are the leading private banks and asset management platforms in these booking centres sufficiently focused on the UAE and delivering appropriate levels of custody, product and transaction related services? What could be improved?

Ismael Hajjar, Director, MENA Private Client Services, Family Enterprise, Family Office Advisory, EY
How should a Single or Multi Family Office be set up properly?
Are GCC based families open to outsourced services or do they prefer to keep it all inhouse?

Nirav Dinesh Kumar Shah, Founder and Managing Director, FAME Advisory
With economic substance tests and CRS, are mid-shore financial centres such as Singapore and Switzerland at a competitive disadvantage with the UAE?
For Families utilising the UAE as a FO/MFO location where are the optimal booking centres for liquid assets – are we observing changes to the traditional booking centres (London and Switzerland) in favour of other centres (Singapore or Hong Kong)?

Vinod KrishnanManaging Director, Arch Corporation
What trends do you see in GCC families being prepared to pay fees for services and advice?
How is the UAE positioned competitively to attract FO/MFO family members to establish residency? What are the pros and cons and what are the competitive advantages of UAE over other jurisdictions?

Sunita Singh Dalal, Of Counsel, Stephenson Harwood
Which jurisdictions do GCC based clients prefer to utilise for their wealth planning / trust structures? Is there any evidence of movement from traditional centres to new locations?
For some GCC based clients Common-Law Trusts may not be a suitable solution for their wealth transfers needs – what alternative structures are being utilised by which client segments?

Oliver MuggliChief Executive Officer 1291 Private Office, 1291 Group
How can a Family Office add more value to its wealthy clients?
How can you get succession planning right?

Deepak MalhotraChief Executive Officer, Mayfair Private
Which jurisdictions do GCC based clients prefer to utilise for their wealth planning / trust structures? Is there any evidence of movement from traditional centres to new locations?
For older structures, with the development of economic substance / CRS etc. is there sufficient focus on reviewing and remediating these structures? What are the opportunities here?

Anand Rai, Presales Lead, Intellect Design Arena
How can wealth management firms reduce operational costs?
How can Relationship Managers increase productivity?

Martyn Crespel, Director, PraxisIFM
End of Service Benefit within ADGM/Abu Dhabi: What are the main considerations?

 

Panel Discussions - Panels

We held 5 interactive panel discussions throughout the day – which involved senior industry practitioners who we invited to participate and share their thoughts. We have also incorporated into the summaries below the briefing notes which speakers sent to us in advance of the event. Plus, we have included the results of audience polling as well as questions we received from delegates. Click on each headline to view the PDFs.

The UAE Wealth Management Market: A Diamond in the Raw for Providers and Clients Both
The state of the wealth management industry in the GCC was debated by an erudite panel of experts during the first panel discussion of experts at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum. These professionals concluded that although dramatic strides forward had been made by both the authorities in the region and the private sector, there is still much work to be done before the industry can realise anywhere near its full potential.

Panel Members

Muneer KhanPartner, Financial Markets, Simmons & Simmons
Ashok SardanaManaging Director, Continental Group
Ayesha Abbas, VCGM, Head of Priority and Premium Segments, Standard Chartered Bank
Paul CoxRegional Head of Wealth Development, MENA and Turkey, HSBC Bank
Saif Al KeemHead of Priority Banking, Wealth Management, and Liabilities, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

The Middle East and the Multi-Family Office (MFO) – New Horizons for the Region’s HNWIs
The expansion of the family office concept across the globe has not been missed on wealth management advisers and wealthy families in the Middle East. The independent asset management model has been gaining greater traction in recent years as the region aims to develop its financial centres, especially in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. And the Multi-Family Office (MFO) is a natural extension of that phenomenon. Hubbis invited a panel of experts to offer their views at the Middle East Wealth Management Forum.

Panel Members

Madhavan SivashankarCEO & Founder, Gulf International Finance
Prashant TandonCEO, Managing Director, Lighthouse Canton
Fadi Barakat, Chief Investment Officer

The Evolution of the Advisory Landscape for Wealth Management in the GCC
For wealth management to thrive in the Middle East, the quality of advice on investments, wealth structuring, and estate planning must improve. A panel of experts at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum gathered to debate the state of the industry, and just how far the protagonists have come in their efforts to professionalise and expand their industry.

Panel Members

Tomasz BortnikHead of Wealth Management Product – UAE & Bahrain, Citi
Asad KhairiRegional Head Investment & Insurance, Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, HSBC Bank
Malik S. SarwarCEO, K2 Leaders

Opportunities Aplenty in the Growing Market for Family Offices in the UAE
Is the UAE yet offering a competitive service in the single-family office and the multi-family office segments, both of which are seeing a rapid expansion globally and especially in recent years in Asia? Can the GCC region compete with Singapore, Switzerland, London and the Channel Islands? And is the Middle East client base interested in creating SFOs or using the services of MFOs in their own region, or do they prefer to keep these at some distance? A panel of experts deliberated these matters at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum.

Panel Members

Nirav Dinesh Kumar Shah, Founder and Managing Director, FAME Advisory
Ewald ScherrerManaging Director, Alpadis Switzerland, Alpadis Group
Laurence BlackRegional Director, Client Solutions, EMEA, Asiaciti Trust
Ismael Hajjar, Director, MENA Private Client Services, Family Enterprise, Family Office Advisory, EY
Vinod KrishnanManaging Director, Arch Corporation

Estate and Succession Planning Solutions for GCC’s Wealth Market Clients
Which jurisdictions do GCC based clients prefer to utilise for their wealth planning and trust structures? Is the recent availability of common-law trust structuring through the DIFC resulting in a boost for business there? Are wealthy clients remediating older structures, with the arrival of the CRS, economic substance and soon Mandatory Disclosure Rules? How does life insurance fit into wealth and succession planning in the region these days? A panel of experts debated these matters at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum in January 2020.

Panel Members

Sunita Singh Dalal, Of Counsel, Stephenson Harwood
Ahmad ChahidiExecutive Director - Wealth Planning, Advisory International, Bank Julius Baer
Karim GhandourFounder & Chief Executive Officer, Legacy Line
Oliver MuggliChief Executive Officer 1291 Private Office, 1291 Group
David VarleyChief High Net Worth Officer, Hong Kong, Sun Life Financial
Deepak MalhotraChief Executive Officer, Mayfair Private

 

Presentations - Presentations

Below are summaries of the Presentations and Wealth TALKS delivered at the event. These were 10-minute slots hosted either by senior industry practitioners who we invited to speak (Wealth TALKS), or by some of our event partners (Presentations). Also listed with each summary are links to the presentation slides (where these are made available by speakers). Click on each headline to view the web versions of these – from which you can also access the PDFs.

Value-added Family Office Services beyond Asset Management: A World Awaits
Oliver Muggli, Managing Partner of 1291 Private Office, which is part of the Swiss boutique advisory firm 1291 Group, addressed delegates at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum to highlight how a Family Office can add far more value to wealthy families than simply managing their assets and helping them invest. He advised delegates to help wealthy Middle Eastern families take a more holistic view, and consider the advantages such as succession planning, sophisticated wealth planning, and tailor-made financing solutions for illiquid assets ranging from blocks of listed stock to private jets and even historic Italian castles.

Selecting the Right Fiduciary and Jurisdiction – Key Benefits and Considerations
Laurence Black, Regional Director, Client Solutions, EMEA at Asiaciti Trust, has more than 25 years of experience in wealth structuring for HNW clients in the GCC region. He told the audience at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum how important it is to choose trustees and jurisdictions wisely, advising them to opt for an independent trustee based in a reputable, accessible jurisdiction.

PraxisIFM Trust on the Value of the Employee Benefit Trust in Abu Dhabi and Wider UAE
Martyn Crespel,
Director of PraxisIFM Trust, gave a noteworthy presentation at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum to highlight his firm’s ring-fenced employee benefit trust solution, which aims to resolve some of the practical shortcomings in the country’s EoSB programme, which stands for End of Service Benefit.  He explained that this is a great step in formalising and protecting employee pension and other benefits, and the PraxisIFM solution is also helping to enhance the reputation and therefore future of the ADGM financial centre itself.

From Success to Significance - How to Excel Professionally in Wealth Management
Malik S. Sarwar,
CEO of wealth management firm K2 Leaders, never disappoints the audiences at Hubbis events, and again this year at the Middle East Wealth Management Forum he lived up to his billing and gave a lively and engaging presentation full of invaluable insights into how wealth management professionals in the region can boost their proposition, and thereby become the trusted advisors for their high-net-worth and ultra-wealthy clients. He explained his three tenets for excellence - integrity, competence, and compassion, and he advised delegates that success is only complete with significance. 

The State of Play – RGN Offers Updates on the Rollout of CRS & AEOI Worldwide
Ivan Pellean expert in international taxation and Executive Director and one of the Founders at Recontam Global Network (RGN) is on a mission to make its clients and partners aware of the rollout of CRS and AEOI worldwide, and how this might affect tax planning and investment strategies. He addressed the audience at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum in Dubai to update them on practicalities around the Common Reporting Standard, as pertaining to participating and permanent non-reciprocal jurisdictions. Supported throughout by an excellent slide presentation, he also talked about the practical implications of the Automatic Exchange of Information. He explained the difference between territorial and worldwide income taxation. And lastly, he pointed to some practical examples of the rollout of CRS and AEOI as pertaining to the United Arab Emirates.

Family Governance and the role of the Family Office in the Middle East
Ewald J. Scherrer, Managing Director of Alpadis Switzerland, is a firm believer that the foundations of a family structure and a family office must be embedded in good governance. He addressed delegates at the Hubbis Middle East Wealth Management Forum to articulate how family governance is so essential for family cohesion and stability, across the generations. And to explain why good governance in the family office will help ensure well-managed wealth preservation and estate succession.