Eisa Kazim Image Credit: Supplied

Staff Report

Dubai: The size of the wealth and asset management sector at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is now worth $424 billion (Dh1.56 trillion) according to Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC.

Speaking at the Global Financial Forum hosted by the DIFC in Dubai, Kazim said the DIFC had risen from 15th to 12th on the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), reflecting the record-breaking success of DIFC over the past 12 months.

The second edition of the Global Financial Forum attracted 700 leading figures from across the financial services industry and the line-up of speakers included investment guru Mark Mobius, Sir Gerry Grimstone, the former Chairman of Barclays Bank, and Nicolas Cary, co-founder of Blockchain.

The approximate size of the wealth and asset management industry in DIFC is now $424 billion. To put this in context, that is equivalent to roughly 30 per cent of the combined GDP of all GCC countries.

- Eisa Kazim, Governor of DIFC

“Over the past 15 years, DIFC has grown into what is today a focal point for the global business and investor community, and a testament to this is amount of capital being raised in the Centre. The approximate size of the wealth and asset management industry in DIFC is now $424 billion. To put this in context, that is equivalent to roughly 30 per cent of the combined GDP of all GCC countries,” said Kazim.

The Forum also witnessed the official appointment of Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Wamda Capital to manage $10 million of the DIFC FinTech Fund. The fund aims to accelerate the development of financial technology in the region by investing in start-ups from incubation through to growth stage.

The Forum also witnessed the signing of a number of key agreements aimed at driving the future of finance, including an MoU with Dubai SME to help foster entrepreneurship in the UAE and further the National Innovation Agenda.

FinTech Hive at DIFC, the region’s first and biggest FinTech accelerator and hub, also announced MoUs with three new FinTech hubs — FinTech Saudi, Milan’s FinTech District and FinTech Istanbul. The agreements bring the size of FinTech Hive’s network of strategic partnerships to 14 FinTech hubs in various parts of the world.

FinTech was one of the hot topics at this year’s GFF, which focused on the opportunities presented by disruptive technology, demographic shifts, new trends and a greater focus on sustainability in MEASA. It offered a chance for investors, entrepreneurs and members of the business community to learn more on the potential of these fast-growing markets and the opportunities to thrive in this fast-changing sector. Nicolas Cary, Co-Founder and vice-chairman of Blockchain, gave an address to open a session on ‘Tomorrow’s Innovation Today: Top 10 FinTech Predictions for 2019 and Beyond’.