Former Jersey financial services boss heads new UAE financial centre

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Joe Moynihan,a former Jersey government financial services boss, has been named to head up a new initiative by the Ras Al Khaimah government, which plans to offer financial services companies an alternative to the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Moynihan is widely recognised for his role in helping to establish Jersey as an important global financial centre, left the Jersey government last April to work in the private sector. His new title is chief executive officer of RAK International Corporate Centre.

RAK is one of seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates, and is adjacent and less than an hour’s drive from Dubai. It has been building its global reputation in recent years while at the same time growing its physical infrastructure and reaching out to expatriates with such attractions as less stringent rules on alcohol and significantly cheaper property prices than other Gulf financial centres, while otherwise offering the same sorts of business incentives.

The government of Ras Al Khaimah released a statement unveiling the new RAK International Corporate Centre (RAKICC) as a corporate registry jurisdiction for International Business Company (IBC) incorporation, with Moynihan, pictured left, at its helm.

The centre was formed following the merger of RAK International Companies and RAK Offshore organisations, the RAK government said in its statement.

Moynihan brings more than 30 years’ experience in financial services best known for his work with the government of Jersey, where he served as director of financial services.

Moynihan worked as a conduit between the global financial services industry and international regulators to build Jersey’s position as an international finance centre.

Further Jersey appointments

The AKICC board of directors also includes other well-known Jersey financial services figures. Helen Hatton, managing director of BDO Sator Regulatory Consulting, chairman of BDO Group Limited and former deputy director general at Jersey Financial Services Commission and Simon Morris: partner at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, commissioner of the Jersey Financial Services Commission (and member of the City of London Law Society Financial Services Sub-Committee).

‘Statement of intent’

Moynihan said: “Ras Al Khaimah has made a clear statement of intent by establishing RAKICC in line with the highest international standards of compliance and regulation.

“Throughout my career, I have strongly believed in regulatory frameworks providing the right environment in which businesses can thrive. I came to Ras Al Khaimah as CEO of RAKICC because it embodies the values of the best jurisdictions in the world.

“I very much look forward to adding value and forging strong relationships in the industry for this premium Corporate Registry, and steering RAKICC into a very exciting future,” he said.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, chairman of Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (Rakez), Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ), pictured left, and RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA), has also been appointed chairman of the board of RAKICC.

The board also includes Fiona Luck, special advisor to the chief executive officer of XL Group, non-executive director of Bermuda Monetary Authority; Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid bin Abdullah Al Qasimi, managing director of RAKEZ, RAK FTZ and RAKIA; Dr Sameer Al Ansari, vice chairman and chief operating officer of The Industrial Group and Ramy Jallad, chief executive of RAKEZ.

‘Truly international’

“The merger of RAK International Companies and RAK Offshore brings together a truly international client base and gives us the critical mass we need to accelerate the growth of RAKICC,” said Ahmed.

As a corporate registry, RAKICC is responsible for the registration and incorporation of International Business Companies, as well as providing a full suite of Registry services related to IBC activity. IBCs are offshore companies that allow businesses and individuals to trade internationally, invest around the world and own real property globally, it said.

Following the merger of RAK International Companies and RAK Offshore, RAKICC has more than 27,000 companies, with clients from over 100 countries around the world, it stated.