Hedge fund Verition joins rush to Dubai financial hub

By Hadeel Al Sayegh

DUBAI (Reuters) – U.S.-based Verition Fund Management is opening an office in Dubai, joining a raft of other hedge funds including BlueCrest which have expanded to the Gulf region’s financial hub.

Verition, which oversees about $7.3 billion in assets, has been licensed to manage assets and conduct other financial services activities, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said in a statement on Thursday.

The multi-strategy firm – which bets on a broad array of markets using teams of traders, leverage and centralised risk management – has appointed Saad Mahmood senior executive officer of the Dubai office, according to the statement.

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.

“The opportunity to live and work in Dubai is especially appealing to our current and prospective portfolio managers,” Josh Goldstein, Verition’s co-founder and president was quoted as saying in the statement.

“The region offers a friendly time zone for traders with a global investment mandate, lower taxes, and excellent infrastructure.”

The DIFC has about 60 hedge funds with more than $1 trillion in assets under management waiting to be licensed, DIFC governor Essa Kazim said in April.

It 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.

(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)