UAE golden visa: who is eligible for long-term residency?

Scheme introduced last year to attract and retain key talent and investment

The UAE ushered in the start of a new golden era last year to secure the talents of its brightest and best residents for decades to come.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of a golden card visa scheme in May, 2019, to give exceptional workers and foreign investors the opportunity to establish deeper roots in the country and allow the nation to benefit from their expertise.

Sheikh Mohammed said the forward-thinking 10-year residency scheme aimed to attract workers in the fields of health, engineering science and art.

Long-term residency was also extended to the spouse and children of the cardholder.

"Throughout history, the UAE opened its doors to millions of people looking to pursue their dreams and better their lives," said Sheikh Mohammed when the project was launched.

"The golden card is our way to welcome all those seeking to be a part of the UAE’s success story and making it a second home."

Eighteen months on, the door is now open for many more people to set up home long-term in the UAE.

UAE expands golden card scheme

On Sunday, the UAE announced a significant expansion of the golden card scheme, allowing any medical doctor to qualify for the long-term visa.

In addition, a wide range of scientists and data experts will be able to easily secure long-term residency.

The list includes people with backgrounds in computer and electrical engineering and those with AI and programming expertise.

High-scoring pupils who leave high school with top marks will also be eligible – as will their families. Students leaving universities with a GPA of 3.8 will also be included.

How does the visa work?

The visa offers 10-year residency on a renewable basis.

As long as the recipient continues to meet the conditions of the visa, they can renew for a further 10 years when it is due to expire.

Typically, expatriate workers must renew their work visa every two to three years.

The golden visa offers greater stability for those planning to invest and build long-term careers in the Emirates.

"After 10 years, [the visas] are continuous for another 10-year period every 10 years. There are medical insurance and other procedures that need to be done in between, but it comes without any extra conditions," said Maj Gen Mohammad Al Marri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, last year.

He said the visa would be renewed as long as residents continued to satisfy the terms and conditions under which they were granted the visa.

But if investors decreased in worth or their business failed duringn those 10 years, "things would be looked at on a case-to-case basis", Maj Gen Al Marri said.

Golden card holders can travel freely becaus there is no minimum requirement for staying in the UAE – for example, if the golden card carrier leaves the UAE for longer than six months, their visa would still be valid.

Who was already eligible for the golden card?

In May 2019, the UAE Cabinet approved 10-year residency visas for five categories of expatriates: investors, entrepreneurs, chief executives, scientists and outstanding students.

Maj Gen Al Marri said there was no age restriction on applicants.

It was announced that executives with a salary of Dh30,000 or more can apply for the visa, too. The applicant should have at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and five years' work experience. They must also have a valid employment contract.

What are the requirements for investors?

At least one of the conditions below must be fulfilled:

A deposit of up to Dh10 million in an investment fund in the UAE.

Owner of a company with Dh10m in capital or a partner in a company with a share of up to Dh10m.

In addition, all the conditions below must be met:

The investment fund must be fully owned rather than funded through a loan. Proof must be provided.

The investment should be held for at least three years.

The investor must provide a comprehensive insurance document for themselves and their family.

What are the requirements for entrepreneurs?

They must own a successful project valued at Dh500,000 or more in a certified field in the UAE.

Must have approval as a certified business incubator who founded the project.

Must provide a comprehensive health insurance document for themselves and their family.

Which specialists in their field are eligible?

Professors from any one of the top 500 international universities, approved by the Ministry of Education, can apply.

Those who have obtained an award or certificate of appreciation in their current speciality are also eligible.

Scientists who have contributed to major studies or research.

Those with doctorates and 20 years' practical experience in their field.

People who specialise in fields considered important to the UAE.

Who has received the golden visa so far?

The golden visa has opened up an avenue for long-term residency to everyone from global sports stars to stalwarts of the business community.

Recipients include Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, founder and chairman of VPS Healthcare; Dr Azad Moopen, chairman and founder of Aster DM Healthcare; Firoz Merchant, founder of Pure Gold Jewellers and Yusuff Ali, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group.

Notably, footballing great Cristiano Ronaldo and tennis champion Novak Djokovic received golden card visas this year.

Ronaldo is a keen visitor to the UAE while Djokovic has regularly brought his star power to the country's premier tennis tournaments.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK finance minister George Osbourne reforms stamp duty, replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:
Up to £125,000 - 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; Over £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak decides the fate of SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget, with expectations he will extend the perk unti June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

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