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Next-Gen private clients in the Middle East lead new surge in impact investing

Next-Gen private clients in the Middle East lead new surge in impact investing

15 March, 2023

The surge in impact investing, domestic structuring and more diverse family offices are cited as the top new trends amongst private clients in the Middle East which are being driven by a generational shift, according to Ocorian, as it strengthens its commitment to the region.

Impact investing and ESG is of increasing interest to private clients in the Middle East and experiencing significant growth according to Ocorian, the specialist global provider of services to financial institutions, asset managers, corporates and high net worth individuals – as the region undergoes a generational shift.

However, this is causing a ‘generation gap’ between family members, with next-generation private clients leading this growth in ESG investments and taking a very different approach to that of their parents or grandparents. Next-gen family members are not only looking at very different types of investments, from ESG investments to crypto, but are increasingly wanting to transform their own family businesses to become true advocates of ESG and sustainability. 

New rise in domestic structuring

Traditionally, families and ultra-high net-worth individuals that hold assets outside of the Middle East tend not to structure them domestically, but, for the first time, there is a significant rise in the use of foundations for domestic structuring.

As part of this, the DIFC, ADGM and RAK ICC foundations regime has increased dramatically, with 550 foundations registered with Ocorian as of September 2022. 

The UAE foundations are also the only private wealth vehicles which can hold UAE real estate. These are also the only orphan structures without shareholders in the Middle East, allowing for the transfer of the ownership of assets from own name, which is a key tenet of asset protection, which facilitates the flow of wealth across generations and the continuity of business. 

This is another generational shift, with next-gen family members becoming much more aware of the need for asset protection and financial security. There is an increase in the awareness of the need for structuring alongside a deepening sophistication of family governance. 

Family offices becoming more diverse and complex

Next-gen family members also have an increasing desire to professionalise the family office. Alongside investments, family offices are now being used for protection of wealth, succession and intergenerational planning and governance.

Lynda O’Mahoney, Global Head of Business Development – Private Client said: “As we strengthen our commitment to the Middle East, we’re seeing a generational shift which is resulting in far-reaching changes in how private clients operate – everything from their investment outlook and a rising trend in impact investing and ESG through to how they are structured and a professionalisation of the family office. These new trends are very exciting but can also bring new challenges, such as making sure that investments are both achieving target returns as well as the desired ESG credentials. We are helping private clients across the region to navigate these new issues, whether it’s with foundation and trust services to succession planning for family assets and businesses, so that they can take full advantage of the opportunities in the Middle East and beyond.”

In an increasingly uncertain world, wealthy families and individuals need a trusted partner to guide them through the complex challenges that uniquely impact them and their affairs. With offices worldwide, Ocorian's highly regarded private client teams provide customised and scalable solutions to protect, preserve and grow your and your family’s wealth – exactly how and where you need us to. We do this on a foundation of close and trusted relationships with our clients.

We offer a complete end-to-end service, from establishing and maintaining appropriate structures, to acting as a trustee or director, and we can take care of all administrative tasks and regulatory duties. Our award winning dedicated family office team provides a seamless and holistic approach to the challenges and opportunities families face. Our service is built on long-term personal relationships that are founded on a deep understanding of what matters to family office clients. Our global presence means Ocorian can provide bespoke structures and services for international families no matter where they live.

We offer tailored, practical solutions that are flexible enough to adapt to changing family circumstances. They can act as an outsourced family office or multi-family office, providing support around issues such as managing investments, running family homes and philanthropy. We have dedicated family office teams in key jurisdictions including Jersey, Guernsey, London, Singapore, the UAE and Mauritius.

Areas we provide support for include:

•    Administration of liquid and illiquid investments and banking relationships
•    Consolidated asset and liability reporting
•    Management of ownership structures
•    Luxury assets
•    Family homes
•    Philanthropy
•    Personal financial management
•    Family governance

Get in touch with our award winning team to find out more.