News

DFSA sees first graduate from sandbox

Robo-advisorRobo-advisor firm Sarwa has become the first graduate from the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s (DFSA) regulatory sandbox. The startup, which launched its platform in February 2018, underwent 12 months of testing before being granted an innovation testing licence (ITL). The DFSA has been encouraging local startups to apply for these licences arguing that it offers a flexible environment to test new business models and innovative products and its chief executive Bryan Stirewalt said that “Sarwa’s progress is the first tangible demonstration that this goal can be achieved”. Sarwa’s graduation comes just weeks after it secured $1.3 million in its pre-series A round of financing. Investors included Abu Dhabi-based veture capital firms Shorooq Investments and Middle East Venture Partners as well Lebanon-based Saned Partners and the US venture fund 500 Startups. ©2018 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.

Roundtables

Middle East Investor Roundtable 2020: Dimensions of diversification

Investors in the Middle East consider the tools that will be needed to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, the continued appetite for dividend and why it’s all about tech. Chaired by Romil Patel.

South Africa asset management roundtable: Global rebound on ice

Experts discuss the investment implications of the coronavirus pandemic, a delayed rebound in global growth and dealing with South Africa’s energy issues head on. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

South African roundtable: Taking the bull by the horns

Our panel discusses Chinese investment in Africa, financial institutions’ contribution to economic sustainability and regulatory concerns. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.