Nomura expands wealth management business in Dubai with new DIFC office

The Japanese financial services company has obtained a category 4 licence from the DFSA to launch operations from the financial hub

The DIFC Gate building. Nomura is the latest to join DIFC's ecosystem of more than 300 asset and wealth managers. Photo: DIFC
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Nomura, a Japanese financial services group, is expanding its wealth management business in Dubai with a new office in the emirate’s onshore financial hub, the Dubai International Financial Centre.

The company has obtained a category 4 licence from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the regulator of DIFC, to offer services to affluent clients in the region, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

A DIFC category 4 licence is issued to companies that intend to carry out financial activities that are related to asset management, including fund management, investment advice and portfolio management.

The move follows Nomura’s announcement last year to open a branch of Nomura Singapore in DIFC to expand its client franchise and increase the footprint of its relationship managers to capitalise on growth opportunities.

“DIFC has long established itself as the Middle East’s de facto financial hub and international financial centre,” said Ravi Raju, head of International Wealth Management at Nomura.

“Our on-the-ground presence here will help us better tap into the vast pools of wealth in this region, to complement our strategy of serving clients across Greater China and South-East Asia as well as the global NRI [non-resident Indian] segment.”

The new office marks Nomura's commitment to expanding its presence in the broader Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and serve its growing clientele that demands comprehensive financial solutions.

Nomura’s international wealth management arm will primarily serve high-net-worth individuals, single family offices and external asset managers in the UAE as well as the broader Middle East region, including the GCC, North Africa and Levant countries, it said.

Dubai is home to more than 55,000 HNWIs. More than $3 trillion of private wealth is accessible within an hour’s flight of the emirate and the MEASA region combined represents $8 trillion of gross domestic product, the company said.

Nomura wealth management joins DIFC's ecosystem of more than 300 wealth and asset management companies that manage $500 billion in assets.

The DIFC grew at a record pace last year, with the number of active registered companies climbing by 20 per cent, while the financial centre's annual revenue exceeded Dh1 billion ($272 million) for the first time.

The number of active registered companies in the DIFC rose to 4,377, while new companies registered in the centre last year surpassed 1,000 for the first time since its inception.

Updated: July 20, 2023, 6:05 AM