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Inaugural Ocorian Forum Dubai interrogates DIFC growth dynamics and investor value

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Inaugural Ocorian Forum Dubai interrogates DIFC growth dynamics and investor value

In line with the growing appetite of institutions and high‐net‐worth individuals to diversify their portfolio, the panel discussion focused on avenues for the DIFC to add value to investors at a time when recent statistics reveal its rising popularity as a destination for funds establishment

The inaugural Ocorian Forum Dubai took place at The Capital Club this morning, brought to the UAE for the first time by Ocorian, a global corporate, private client and alternative investment services firm. Some of the top players in the global wealth and asset management sectors joined forces to examine and discuss the growth dynamics of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Funds ecosystem and how the jurisdiction can add value to investors.

Event attendees


In March 2019, DIFC reported the highest net profit in its history, at a record Dh323 million for the year 2018. With the number of firms setting up in the financial free zone continually increasing, the financial hub has also revealed plans to generate over 26,000 new jobs by 2024, further cementing its triple growth target. In addition, DIFC aims to join the league of the world's top 10 financial centres in the next five years.

Nina Auchoybur, Managing Director of Ocorian UAE, said: “In line with the growing appetite of institutions and high‐net‐worth individuals to diversify their portfolio, fund jurisdictions around the world increasingly face the challenge of adding value for investors whilst creating a niche positioning. Just 15 years since the establishment of the DIFC, we see the emergence of a thriving and dynamic financial centre in Dubai, with a complete ecosystem of professional firms, service providers and financial institutions.”

“For Ocorian, we saw the surge in fund activity and the reputation that the DIFC was building in the GCC region and worldwide, which is why we decided to move from the DMCC to the DIFC in 2017. The move allowed us to expand our Middle East offering to include a full range of Fund Administration and supporting services. Our presence in the DIFC opens up additional new horizons for us, moving us closer to the fund activities in the Middle East which represent around USD 7 trillion in terms of sovereign wealth funds, family offices and pension funds ‐ not to mention high and ultra‐high net worth individuals.”

In her welcome note, Mrs Auchoybur also referenced statistics from the DIFC, which revealed strong progression in the number of funds domiciled in the DIFC – 70 in total, but with 28 new set‐ups in 2018 alone, as well as a 46% increase in the number of fund managers getting established in the DIFC in the same year.

The panel featured recognised experts in the funds eco‐space, including:

Marc Hambach, Chief Operating Officer of Investbridge Capital Limited; Meher Mirchandani, Director of Manrre REIT; Philip R. Dowsett, Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (Dubai); and Jyoti Iyer, Chief Executive Officer of Xanara Investment Management. The panel was moderated by Mahen Govinda, Ocorian's AMEA Regional Head of Client Services.

Crucial questions relating to the growth dynamics of the DIFC as a powerhouse for investments – both locally and globally, as well as its ambitions to become the region’s leading fund jurisdiction were addressed.

Since its establishment, the DIFC fund regime has experienced ongoing progression; ironing out any issues it may have experienced and now providing enhanced benefits to both companies and investors as a result of its infrastructure, governance and insight.

The panellists discussed the immediate reach of the DIFC funds ecosystem, both in the GCC market and worldwide. The DIFC has become increasingly flexible due to the immense global pressure from the markets, and is seen as the best way for investors and institutions to grow in a strong manner with targeted returns. With the number of DIFC Funds nearly doubling during 2018, the growth shows how the region is a top choice for investors within the GCC region and globally.

About Ocorian Forum

Launched in July 2010 under the name of ABAX Forum, Ocorian Forum is a series of encounters with authoritative speakers involved in cross‐border business. The series helps to build awareness on global investment trends, including the role of International Financial Centres as accelerators of growth and the contribution they bring as investment platforms to the economies attracting foreign investment. More generally, Ocorian Forum provides a platform to share experience and best practices between the international and local business communities, whilst also unveiling key trends in global business and opening doors for fruitful business partnerships.

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