Jeff Singer resigns as DIFC Authority chief executive

Departs with immediate effect due to 'personal reasons' after seven-year relationship with the DIFC.
Jeff Singer, chief executive of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority has resigned. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Jeff Singer, chief executive of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority has resigned. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Jeff Singer has resigned as the chief executive of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFC).

The departure, said to be “for personal reasons” by people familiar with the situation, ends his six-year relationship with the DIFC.

Mr Singer joined the Dubai International Financial Exchange, the DIFC’s international stock market, in 2008 and oversaw its transition into the Nasdaq Dubai market.

There was no statement from the DIFC. Mr Singer declined to comment.

The governor of the DIFC, Essa Kazim, who is also the executive chairman of the authority that runs Dubai’s financial hub, will oversee the search for a replacement, a source said.

However, Mr Singer’s decision to leave the chief executive post is unlikely to be the prelude to a change of strategy.

Last year the DIFC reported record business figures, with a 14 per cent increase in the number of companies registered there to more than 1,000 and an 11 per cent jump in the number of employees to 15,600 as the DIFC recovered ground lost during the financial crisis of 2009.

Mr Singer’s departure comes as the DIFC prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary in November, having been launched with the ambition of making Dubai the premier financial market place in the Arabian Gulf.

Prior to his move to Dubai, Mr Singer, from Utah in the United States, was senior vice president of Nasdaq OMX Group, which runs stock markets in 26 countries around the world as well as clearing houses and central securities depositories. He was in charge of relations with markets outside of the Americas.

His strategy At DIFC had been to attract new businesses into the centre from the fast-growing markets of Asia and Africa.

Last year, for the first time the proportion of firms registered in DIFC from the traditional markets of Europe and America was lower than that from the rest of the world.

That growth is expected to have continued into the first half of this year.

Mr Kazim will next month present the DIFC’s operating review for the six months ended in June.

Mr Singer was an active campaigner on behalf of Mitt Romney, the defeated candidate for the US presidency in 2012.

fkane@thenational.ae

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Published: August 20, 2014 04:00 AM

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