Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Middle Eastern Wealth Management Industry: Boon or Bust?

Michael, Bryane and Apostoloski, Nenad (2012): The Middle Eastern Wealth Management Industry: Boon or Bust? Published in: Middle East Institute Working Paper Series (2012)

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The wealth management industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) represents a roughly $800 billion opportunity. Yet, tapping this opportunity will require new strategies by the wirehouses looking to penetrate into this market. In this paper, we argue that Middle-Eastern policymakers and bankers will need to develop an indigenous wealth management industry which keeps the super-wealthy’s investments at home. Developing a local national wealth management industry requires letting in foreign competition, changing banking and securities laws, and growing local companies whose share are worth buying. We show why Turkey has succeeded in growing a nationally and internationally competitive wealth management industry – whereas Saudi Arabia’s remains less than ideal. We also describe how policymakers can help brings the billions abroad home by making business easier, reforming banking and securities law, and forcing local banks to become more efficient. We also describe how foreign wealth management firms can increase their assets under management in the region. These multi-trillion dollar mammoths should use their negotiating power to open MENA markets and grow local multi-millionaires.

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