New GCC wealth firms reach record numbers

The number of wealth management firms operating in the GCC reached an all-time high during 2023.

The latest Middle East Investment Panorama report published by Insight Discovery, found that the number of firms rose by 22% to reach 240.

The rise has been spurred on by the growing number of expatriates emigrating to the region and the growth of the region’s economies.

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According to Insight Discovery chief executive Nigel Sillitoe, the numbers “fully justify the optimism that pervades the wealth management industry in this part of the world”.

The report found that wealth managers were generally upbeat about prospects for 2024. Just over half (53%) had grown their businesses over the previous 12 months but almost three-quarters (73%) expect this growth to continue in 2024.

Another finding in the report is the greater use of alternative asset classes among wealth managers due to a confluence of factors including greater access for retail investors, and a strong bias among institutional investors.

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But while Sillitoe states that there is cause for optimism for the next 12 months, it will take more time for the GCC wealth market to fully mature.

“After years of false starts, excessive hype and promises of ‘jam tomorrow if not today’, the broadly defined wealth management sector of the GCC region can look forward to a great year in 2024-25 and beyond,” he said.

“Wealth management in the GCC countries will – at some point – reach maturity: however, that is not going to happen in the next 12 to 18 months.”

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