09 November 2023
Ritz Carlton JBR
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Thusday, 09 November 2023
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, JBR Dubai UAE
Huge transfer of wealth across generations is taking place in the Middle East, but roughly only a quarter of the regions’ HNWIs have adequate succession plans. How can this be addressed in ways that keep pace with the development of the region? What are the consequences poor succession planning on this scale, not just for relatives but for the whole region, with many families who built their wealth over recent decades owning large business employing many people? What instruments and efforts are in place or in development to make succession planning easier, attractive to families and more comprehensive in the region?
Environmental and ESG concerns of the newer generations taking over family businesses, prospering from their own efforts or inheriting wealth are increasingly being factored into their investment decisions. How are wealth managers and investors meeting these demands? Are wealth stewardship institutions leading by developing new vehicles and products, or are client requirements moulding the industry? How do regional ESG and philanthropic values differ from other parts of the world when planning and maintaining wealth?
Uncertainties and challenges, economic, geo-political and environmental still linger. Do traditional safe investments such as Gold, Real Estate, US Treasury Bonds, Preferred Stocks and Corporate Bonds still retain value as dependable options, might other choices supplant them or are we becoming inured to continuing instabilities and seeing investment risk aversion decline? Currently enjoying buoyant energy sectors with a resulting favourable wider economy, encouraged by business and economic reforms, are GCC states viewed as a “Safe Haven,” by regional and global investors?
Family offices remain a growing presence, all aiming to service the growing numbers and needs of the prosperous in the Middle East. While there is no typical family office, with each nurturing their charges in their own way, are there common factors particular to the region when setting-up or running such a service? As the region continues to attract wealth, is pressure increasing to improve governance and transparency, and what services will family offices themselves need as their presence and activities grow here?
Change and uncertainty are with us for the duration of the coming years, requiring keen observance of trends and attention to investment strategies. While conventional asset classes will remain central to portfolios, are there emerging alternative options that will bring better returns? Much talked of alternative investments - the Metaverse, NFT’s, Tokenisation and Crypto currencies have been noticeably humbled. Will they come back refreshed, renewed and as improved investment options, or will alternatives to day-to-day asset classes only ever provide transitory peak performances?
Digitisation technology in banking is the norm and its’ uses in wealth management and investing are pretty much part of the landscape too, reflecting both conversion to its’ conveniences and more digitally native generations moving into the higher net worth brackets. Nevertheless, questions remain. How will this evolution affect the way that private banks interact with clients, or change the necessary skills of wealth managers and service providers? What efforts must technology providers make to ensure their products and systems can provide the service levels, outcomes and security demanded by the wealthy clients of financial institutions?
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