The Road Ahead in the MENA Investment Industry

The asset management industry is responding to a changing investment landscape as global economic headwinds caused by uncertainty in China and ongoing lower oil prices impact the strategies of the leading investment players

The Middle East investment markets continue to dynamically evolve, with several headline initiatives creating the conditions for the further advancement of the asset and wealth management sectors across the region. The recent opening of several GCC and Arab markets and the inclusion of these markets in the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Emerging Markets Index, have not only reinforced this exciting trend but will also drive growth across the entire wealth and asset management ecosystem, including pensions and support services. Middle East Asset Management Forum (MEAMF), 2016 will tap into these developments and how they are creating new opportunities in the region.

“The asset management industry is poised to enter an exciting stage in its evolution in the GCC region. The shape of the wealth and asset management sectors in the GCC is unique and the past two decades have confirmed the region’s position as an important financial hub for wealth and asset management, as well as a key trading centre connecting the east and west. Indeed, the financial services industry has made significant contributions to the impressive economic growth rates across the GCC,” Mr. Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al-Baker, Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain was quoted at the launch announcement of the forthcoming Middle East Asset Management Forum.

Al-Baker continued: “However, global economic headwinds, created by uncertainties in China and the decline in oil prices, are challenging the international asset management industry to respond to this changing investment landscape. Nevertheless, positive prospects continue to attract capital to the region in search of high‐quality investment opportunities. Bahrain is already the Gulf’s most established fund distribution centre and is an internationally recognised financial hub, with the financial services sector in Bahrain being not only the largest sector of the non‐oil economy but also the largest employer.”

He concluded: “Against this dynamic backdrop, the Middle East Asset Management Forum is being launched with the strategic support of the Central Bank of Bahrain. MEAMF 2016 will tackle the most pressing questions that will drive the ongoing progress of the asset management industry across the dynamic markets in this region.”

MEAMF 2016 will take place on the 30-31 May, 2016 at the Gulf Hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain, under the theme ‘The Road Ahead in the MENA Investment Industry’.

The Forum is an essential platform for asset and wealth management professionals to connect on the issues that are driving change in the industry and will be attended by delegates from key investment centres across the world.