By Hadeel Al Sayegh
DUBAI (Reuters) -Edmond de Rothschild Group, which specialises in asset management and private banking, said on Tuesday it is expanding its presence in Dubai with an advisory office as it looks to the fast-growing Middle East hub to cater to an affluent pool of clients.
The Switzerland-based investment firm has obtained a licence from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) that will allow it to advise clients locally and provide access to the entire group’s offerings, the company said in a statement.
It previously had a representative office in Dubai, but said the new office will “enhance” its ability to serve clients in the region.
Edmond de Rothschild plans to hire about five people in Dubai next year, a spokesperson said.
“Dubai is the city in the Middle East with the highest concentration of wealth and has access to more than $3 trillion of private wealth within an hour’s flight,” DIFC Governor Essa Kazim said.
The DIFC registered record breaking growth last year, with the number of active companies in the Gulf’s financial hub up by a fifth year on year to 4,377, driven by fintech and innovation firms.
DIFC has about 60 hedge fund firms with more than $1 trillion in assets under management waiting to be licensed, Kazim said last week.
A growing number of hedge funds have set up shop in Dubai, attracted by lower licensing fees and capital requirements for the industry, including Millennium Management, ExodusPoint Capital Management and BlueCrest.
Private equity firm General Atlantic on Monday named Samir Assaf as chairman of the Middle East and North Africa, a newly created role as the firm deepens its focus on the Middle East, it said in a statement.
French private equity firm Ardian said last month it was opening an office in neighbouring Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, while CVC opened an office in Dubai last year.
(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Additional reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Shounak Dasgupta)