Abu Dhabi financial free zone appoints Jan Bladen as executive adviser

Abu Dhabi Global Market has made its first senior executive appointment since the project was launched last year.

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Abu Dhabi Global Market, the financial free zone being established in the UAE capital, has made its first senior executive appointment since the project was launched last year.

Jan Bladen, until recently the chief operating officer of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, has been given the job of executive adviser and programme leader for the Global Market. The appointment was made by Ahmed Al Sayegh, the chairman of the new free zone. He is also the deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Media, owner of The National.

“We are delighted to have Jan Bladen to take forward the development of Abu Dhabi Global Market as he has a wealth of experience and a proven track-record,” said Mr Al Sayegh. “He is ideally suited to address our key priorities which are to develop the legal, regulatory and operational platforms that will provide the foundation for the growth of The Global Market.”

Mr Bladen said: “I’ve been offered the position of executive adviser and programme lead for the Global Market, and I’ve been delighted to accept. It’s a major challenge and a huge strategic initiative for Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

His immediate task will be to oversee the construction of the three main pillars of the Global Market: the registrar, the regulator, and the courts. The free zone intends to provide the full range of financial services from its 46-hectare headquarters on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.

Until late last year, Mr Bladen, who is Dutch-born with British and Swiss citizenship, was the longest serving member of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) executive board, having served since 2005 when the DFSA was launched. He began work in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of this month.

Before his time at the DFSA, he worked for international accounting firm PwC in Geneva and Dubai as a member of the global risk practice, setting up the risk management services for the Middle East, and before that as a management consultant.