AES International is to open an office inside the Dubai International Financial Centre.
The firm announced the move in a statement today, making it one of the few UK-headquartered, independent investment adviser to operate in DIFC and to be licensed by both The Dubai Financial Services Authority and the UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority. (Another is Killik & Co.)
AES International chief executive Sam Instone, pictured, said the move was part of his company’s commitment to what he called a ‘Positive Change initiative’ in the Middle East, and what he dubs the firm’s “mission to disrupt the status quo of traditional expat investing”.
“Expats are accustomed to the swarms of poorly regulated, international financial salespeople charging unreasonable, undisclosed commissions, and causing serious, long-term damage to their personal finances,” said Instone.
Pippa Miller, chief financial officer at AES, said: “We have proven ourselves to the UK FCA since 2007. The DFSA approval process was rigorous and fair. We very much look forward to welcoming clients to our new offices.”
Increased regulatory scrutiny
Instone also welcomed his firm’s move into new premises within the DIFC and the increased regulatory scrutiny that he believes it will bring. He hit out at a lack of transparency generally within the Middle East region, and scarcity of product advisers who act on a fiduciary basis.
“We are passionate about setting the example of transparency,” he added. “The sorry truth is that most international investors have never understood the costs they incurred, the under-performance they have endured or the protections they have waived by failing to choose the right type of organisation with which to work.”
AES International was established in 2004 and has seven international offices, 65 financial licences and operates in 35 jurisdictions in which it holds licences to operate.