Swiss-based Lombard Odier is poised to open a branch in Abu Dhabi, expanding its existing footprint in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and cementing more than half a century's commitment to clients in the Middle East.
It is the first Swiss private bank to announce its opening in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an award-winning international financial centre - a dynamic financial centre and business hub spurring the growth of local and global financial services.
The new branch office will complement Lombard Odier's representative office in Dubai, and build on a twelve-year presence in the UAE for the firm.
"The decision to broaden our UAE operations is testament to our faith in regional growth and economic stability, and our confidence in the Emirates' future as a key business location and wealth generator," said Arnaud Leclercq, capital partner and head of new markets at Lombard Odier.
The UAE is one of Lombard Odier's fastest-growing business regions, and a bridge between its European and Asian operations. The bank says it is witnessing increasing demand from UAE clients, including rising demand for onshore wealth services.
"Opening a branch office in the UAE's capital will bring us closer to our clients, and allow us to serve them onshore with bespoke, local solutions," added Leclercq.
Lombard Odier's chief investment officer, Stéphane Monier, previously worked for the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Christophe Lalandre, who will head up the new branch, has lived and worked in Abu Dhabi for almost a decade.
Based in ADGM, Lombard Odier says it will offer Abu Dhabi-based clients an international investment offering, and solutions in line with the principles of Islamic finance. In 2018 the Bank's discretionary mandate was certified as "Shariah compliant" by the Shariah Supervisory Board of Amanie Advisors.
The Abu Dhabi branch has secured approval-in-principle from the local regulator, the ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), and its managing director will be Christophe Lalandre. The granting of a Financial Services Permission from the FSRA is subject to final regulatory approval. Mr Lalandre is currently Managing Director of Lombard Odier's Dubai office, where a recruitment drive is ongoing.