ISIL commander killed in drone strike near Raqqa

A drone strike near Raqqa killed an ISIL commander who was heading to Aleppo province on orders from the organisation’s chief.

BEIRUT // A drone strike near Raqqa killed an ISIL commander who was heading to Aleppo province on orders from the organisation’s chief, a monitoring group said Thursday.

His death is the latest in a series of blows to the group in recent weeks, and comes days after Russian-backed Syrian government forces recaptured Palmyra from its grip.

Abu Al Hija, a high-ranking Tunisian ISIL commander, was killed late on Wednesday in a strike by a drone that was “most likely operated by the US-led coalition”, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

He had travelled to Syria from Iraq just 24 hours earlier at the behest of ISIL chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the Britain-based monitoring group said. Al Hija is the latest senior IS member to be killed in recent weeks.

Last week, US forces killed ISIL’s deputy leader Abd ar-Rahman Mustafa Al Qaduli. Earlier this month one of the group’s most notorious commanders, Omar Al Shishani, also died.

“ISIL’s leadership is being debilitated,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said. “Without [the] infiltration of ISIL, these killings would not have been possible.”

The latest killing came after Syrian government troops backed by Russian forces seized Palmyra on Sunday.

While Russia and the US back opposing sides in the conflict between the Syrian government and rebels, both are intent on crushing the group.

“It is clear that Russia and the United States are coordinating in the fight against ISIL,” Mr Abdel Rahman said.

Al Hija had been ordered by Baghdadi to travel from Iraq to Aleppo province, to oversee ISIL resistance to an offensive by US-backed fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

“The fighting, which has been especially fierce in the past four or five days, could lead to ISIL being expelled from the area and pushed eastward into Raqqa province,” Mr Abdel Rahman said.

A top Pentagon official said earlier this week that ISIL was losing the fight against the US-led coalition in both Syria and Iraq, even as it continues to mount attacks overseas.

* Agence France-Presse

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

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.”