Repatriation of Abu Dhabi asset management mandates could trigger transformation in Gulf financial services industry: Rasmala

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  • Even relatively limited mandates for regional asset managers could ‘supercharge’ Gulf fund management sector

London and Dubai, 4 June 2018: The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)’s move to repatriate asset management mandates is an opportunity to trigger transformation in the Gulf’s financial services industry, says Rasmala, the alternative investment firm.

It was reported recently that ADIA managed 55% of its assets through external asset managers last year, down from 60% in 2016 and 75% in 2013, as the Authority moves away from global asset management mandates, and towards greater in-house control of assets.

Rasmala says that this trend would supercharge the development of the Gulf’s financial services sector if sovereign wealth funds used the opportunity to grow their use of regional asset managers. Growing the region’s fund management and broader financial services industry is a major part of the economic reforms programme for the governments of the UAE and other GCC states.

Zak Hydari, CEO of Rasmala Group, comments: “Governments in the Gulf have signaled a strong commitment to economic reform – developing the local financial services industry is a central part of that.”
“Huge expertise and experience does now exist in the asset management industry in the Gulf – making it a win-win if sovereign funds grant even relatively limited mandates to specialised local managers.”

“It would also mean that the financial services sector in the Gulf would be able to fully embrace the reform agenda.”

“If the UAE government were to use the repatriation of asset management mandates as a way to drive growth in local markets, it would result in significant job creation in financial services. It would continue to build the UAE into an asset management hub for the wider region.”

“We are not surprised to see a major SWF take mandates away from international fund managers who specialise in equities. This doesn’t prevent regional SWFs from allocating to regional managers and therefore support the governments reform agenda.”

About Rasmala Group
Rasmala Group (“Rasmala”) is a leading alternative investment group. Rasmala invests globally as principal as well as on behalf of its investors including pension funds, family groups, corporates, financial and government institutions. This publication is issued by Rasmala Investment Bank Limited (“RIBL”), a member of the
Rasmala Group. RIBL is authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”).

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