ADGM agrees on research tie-up with Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Partnership will provide research that will inform policymakers and be used as a basis for education programmes

FG81FD View of new business district at Abu Dhabi Global Market square (ADGM) on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. Alamy
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Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy, the education arm of the UAE capital's free zone, has signed a research agreement with the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF).

The partnership will carry out regional market and regulatory research which will inform decision-making. It will also undertake data-driven and evidence-based capacity building and education, which can be used both for online courses and offline training programmes for regulators and policymakers in the Mena region, the organisations said.

“We are pleased to ink this agreement with our strategic knowledge partner … as we reinforce our commitment to enriching the Mena region’s knowledge sector,” said Hamad Al Mazrouei, managing director of ADGM Academy.

Partnering with international and regional academic institutions was a key pillar of the academy’s “overarching strategy and mandate”, Mr Mazroui added.

"We will continue to work alongside like-minded institutions to further our learning ecosystem and introduce progressive frameworks that look to strengthen the financial sector.”

ADGM Academy already has a number of partnerships in place, offering training and education with organisations such as the Insead Business School and the London Institute of Banking and Finance, as well as professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and the CFA Institute, according to its website.

CCAF is part of the University of Cambridge's Judge Business School, which was placed 26th in the 2020 FT Executive Education Rankings published by the Financial Times on Sunday.

The FinTech sector in the Middle East and Africa is forecast to make up 8 per cent of the total revenue from financial services by 2022, driven by customer demand and increased investment, according to a report released by professional services company Accenture in November 2018.

The region's young and fast-growing population, who are more familiar with new technologies, was one of the main drivers for FinTech sector growth cited by the report.

“Given ADGM’s leadership position in terms of regulatory innovation, market creation and cross-border connectivity … the CCAF is pleased to collaborate to support the potential of FinTech and achieve systematic impact in the region,” said Robert Wardrop, director and co-founder of the CCAF.

The FinTech sector is enjoying fast growth in the region, with the number of companies set to grow to 1,845 by 2022, up 230 per cent on the 559 companies in 2015, according to a MENA Research Partners report.