The Rich and the Dead
Anthology
Grand Central Publishing 
Dh53
The Rich and the Dead Anthology Grand Central Publishing Dh53

The Rich and the Dead: How money begets crime



Here's a perfect read for the plane, the pool or the beach - and that's not damning it with faint praise.

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The Rich and the Dead is the Mystery Writers of America 2011 anthology of short stories. Its editor, Nelson DeMille - a best-selling novelist in the genre and a former president of the group - has chosen well, with the newcomers Karan Catalona and Carolyn Mullen joining such veterans as Ted Bell, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, David DeLee and Harley Jane Kozak among the 20 offerings.

As in all anthologies, one man's meat is another man's poison - the latter of which features as a means of murder in DeMille's own clever Death Benefits.

Indeed, clever is the word for these pieces, which adhere to the theme of rich people who are killed or who kill. When the tale is told in as few as eight pages, plot will always trump character.

Inevitably, favourites emerge, and Connelly's Blood Washes Off is hard to ignore. It uses the transcript of an interview in which the usually unflappable detective Harry Bosch is taken unawares. Likewise, Mullen's Poetic Justice, whose title slyly hints at the true identity (adroitly revealed at the end) of the two main characters.

The 15 players selected

Muzzamil Afridi, Rahman Gul, Rizwan Haider (Dezo Devils); Shahbaz Ahmed, Suneth Sampath (Glory Gladiators); Waqas Gohar, Jamshaid Butt, Shadab Ahamed (Ganga Fighters); Ali Abid, Ayaz Butt, Ghulam Farid, JD Mahesh Kumara (Hiranni Heros); Inam Faried, Mausif Khan, Ashok Kumar (Texas Titans

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Letstango.com

Started: June 2013

Founder: Alex Tchablakian

Based: Dubai

Industry: e-commerce

Initial investment: Dh10 million

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 300,000 unique customers every month

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”


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