The 2nd International Investment Middle East Forum saw many in the insurance and advisory industry call for revisions to the new BOD-49 legislation that was introduced last month.
Nigel Green gave the keynote speech, looking at the UAE's role as a global financial centre. Christopher Copper-Ind, editor of International Investment, introduced the event and the forum's five sponsors: RL360, Fairway Group, Zurich International Life, Finance Isle of Man and Rathbones.
The advisers' panel, moderated by Gary Robinson, our commercial director, featured Robert Parker, CEO of Holborn Assets, alongside Con Lillis of Abacus Financial Consultants, Ashok Sardana of Continental Group, Noel O'Leary of deVere Acuma, Tim Searle of Globaleye and Tarun Khanna of Nexus Group.
Key topics for discussion included the BOD-49 reforms to the life insurance sector and the impact of covid-19 and technology. Many spoke of being surprised at an uplift in business through a turbulent year.
Depsite the many controversial changes to the life and advisory industry this year, many speakers were upbeat about 2020, and optimistic for next year.
David Kneeshaw of RL360 spoke of having benefitted from the stability afforded by the Isle of Man, and the jurisdiction's strong links to the UAE.
Holborn Assets' Riyad Adamou said he has seen an increase in business through the year, with the uptake of technological solutions having made the company more flexible and better place to adapt.
However, Con Lillis of Abacus sounded a cautionary note, saying he was slighly concerned that an uptick in investor engagement was driven by expat and HNW clients seeking to get their finances in order before leaving the UAE.