14 leading financial institutions, representing over $450 billion, confirm setup in Abu Dhabi

A total of 23 market announcements were recorded during Abu Dhabi Finance Week


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 7:24 PM

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on Thursday announced 14 major financial institutions representing total AUM of $452 billion have committed to establishing new operations in ADGM.

A year into Abu Dhabi’s ‘Falcon Economy’, these announcements, coinciding with the second edition of Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW), reaffirm the emirate’s rapidly increasing appeal to global finance and ADGM’s strategic role and contributions towards the significant growth of the “capital of capital” and its emergence as a global financial powerhouse.

In a signal of confidence in the financial centre’s pivotal role across the global and regional financial landscapes, the world’s largest bank, JP Morgan, reiterated its commitment to the capital in an upgraded licence, to operate its payment and banking business.

Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer, JP Morgan, said: “The determination of the emirate that is forging ahead with its reform agendas is extremely impressive, be it their economic, financial, and social agendas. These are not easy changes but there is clear progress on all fronts towards the goal to create a safe and secure society and a dynamic Falcon Economy. We have continued to add to the team this year and have submitted an application to upgrade our operating licence to a full category one banking entity, signalling our intent and commitment to the size of the opportunity here.”

This is in addition to the world’s largest independent financial services group, Rothschild & Co, who have expanded their strong two-decade presence across the Emirates via a newly granted ADGM licence as part of the firm’s broader expansion strategy and commitment to the region, and the World Bank renewing their long-term presence in the financial centre.

Saeed Al Awar, partner and head of Middle East, Rothschild & Co, said: “We are delighted to have received our licensing approvals from ADGM. This is an expansion of our existing presence in the UAE where we have been operating for nearly two decades which reaffirms our commitment to our clients in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and is part of our broader expansion strategy and commitment to the region.”

The attractiveness of ADGM as a holistic financial hub, which stands as the sole jurisdiction in the region to adopt the direct application of English common law, has resulted in renowned global firms establishing themselves in the nation’s capital, including billionY Mellon venture Alpheya, GQG Partners, Joy Capital, Apeiron Group Investments, The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), Copper, Vibrant Capital, Centricus, and Eiffel Investment. The UAE’s capital international financial centre also recorded six further announcements made by emerging growth firms, bringing the total to 23.

Commenting on the “Falcon Economy’s” impressive flight, Ray Dalio, founder, co-chairman and co-chief investment officer, Bridgewater Associates said: “We’re talking today about how the world order is changing, and how Abu Dhabi and the whole GCC region are becoming a renaissance state.”

Echoing his fellow fund manager’s sentiment, Alan Howard, co-founder, Brevan Howard Asset Management, said: “Abu Dhabi’s robust regulation, rule of law and favourable taxation, represent a lure for financial firms moving to the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Out of this place, you can see the Bank of Japan at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, you can see the Fed. As soon as you get more top hedge funds coming here, that can lead to the banks having to send their best people.”

Commenting on Abu Dhabi and ADGM’s positive developments, Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Member of Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council & Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and ADGM, said: “What we are witnessing in Abu Dhabi today, with major global players choosing the capital city to base their business operations is proof of a unique global opportunity being seized by future thinking institutions. We warmly welcome their presence and support in the growth and diversification of the ‘Falcon Economy’. This is the most successful week in ADGM’s history.”

The market announcements were released during the second edition of Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW) held under the theme “Investing in the Transition Era”, this edition of ADFW welcomed over 17,000 attendees from over 100 countries.

The flurry of positive announcements surrounding ADFW amplifies ADGM’s effective role as a major contributor to the economic diversification plans of Abu Dhabi.

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