Swiss wealth adviser and UK insurance broker open Dubai offices as DIFC new firms soar

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Swiss wealth adviser and UK insurance broker open Dubai offices as DIFC new firms soar

Zurich-headquartered wealth adviser Kendris has set up a subsidiary in the Dubai International Financial Centre in a strategic push to develop its client base in the Middle East.

Kendris Corporate Services (DIFC) led by managing officer Fadi Kikano will continue to serve existing clients built up over a 35-year period from its Swiss base while giving a presence DIFC which marked its "long-standing commitment to the region and an important new step in our Middle East strategy", it said in a statement.

The new office is based in the DIFC innovation Hub in Gate Avenue.

We can now offer the full range of Foundation and corporate vehicles available in the DIFC for private wealth structuring of regional assets; adding to our already comprehensive range of traditional international estate planning solutions."

Kikano said: "We chose to establish our presence in the region's leading financial centre, the DIFC, to provide more permanent local support to clients in this growing market, and to better address their evolving needs. We can now offer the full range of Foundation and corporate vehicles available in the DIFC for private wealth structuring of regional assets; adding to our already comprehensive range of traditional international estate planning solutions that we have historically provided and continue to provide from our offices in Switzerland."

Kendris already has a global footprint with locations and licences in Switzerland, Cyprus, BVI, the USA and the UK.

Its clients comprise companies, individuals and families as well as family offices, financial institutions, law firms and tax consultancies.

Kendris is fully owned and operated by its management and employees, with around 180 specialists at its headquarters in Zurich, our offices in Aarau, Geneva, Lucerne and Zug and our subsidiaries in Larnaca (Cyprus), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the UK and the US.

"While our roots are in Switzerland, we are active in more than 40 countries around the world. Our strong Swiss presence - in central/northeast Switzerland and in French-speaking Switzerland - and our specific know-how in various sectors and markets make us an expert and reliable partner for both corporate and private clients", it said.

In a separate move, international broking company Oneglobal named Matthew Warren as CEO of it new Middle East operation based in an office at the DIFC.

His appointment at Oneglobal Middle East will contribute to London-headquartered Oneglobal's strategy to build out its operations across the region and will be another step towards its ambitious growth plans following the opening of the Netherlands and Bermuda this year, the firm said in a statement.

Oneglobal Broking is a specialist international broking company, owned by financial services private equity firm JC Flowers, focused on the placement of open market and delegated authority business, across marine, aviation, property, casualty and specialty lines.

The business was founded in 2018 following the merger of the SSL and Endeavour insurance broking houses.

Warren has over 35 years in the insurance industry and will shortly be leaving his current employer having held the position of Chief Operating Officer. He has also held senior leadership positions at Talbot Underwriting, Investors Guaranty Group, Lloyd's of London, Marsh and more having begun his career at English & American, ILU London.

Mike Reynolds, Group CEO, Oneglobal said: "Oneglobal is delighted to be opening an office in the dynamic market of the Middle East. This has been an important objective of ours since our launch in 2020. With this office opening and the appointment of Matthew as CEO, Oneglobal can continue to provide high quality and comprehensive services to our clients around the globe. I look forward to working with Matthew and the team he will be onboarding shortly."

Warrren said: "I am thrilled to be joining Oneglobal at an exciting time in its growth. I look forward to securing our regulatory license from the DFSA and leading the Middle East operation. There is a lot of exciting but challenging emerging business happening in the market, and we are thrilled to be a part of this. During the coming months I will be building a team of highly experienced insurance brokers from around the market to work alongside me in delivering excellent and specialised broking services to our clients".

Meanwhile, the DIFC yesterday (8 September) announced strong growth in the first half of 2021, with 492 new company registrations, up 59% from the same period in 2020.

The performance enabled DIFC to achieve its ‘2024 Strategy' growth targets three years ahead of schedule, it said.

The total number of active registered companies reached 3,292, an increase of 27% year-on-year (H1 2020: 2,584) which represents a tripling in size since 2014 when the ‘2024 Strategy'

Overall, DIFC is now home to 1,025 financial and innovation related companies in total, up 25% from last year (H1 2020: 820).

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and president of the DIFC, said: "The announcement of the H1 2021 results coincides with the launch of 50 new initiatives and projects in the UAE on Sunday based on the ‘Principles of the 50' document, which is set to serve as a strategic roadmap for the country's new era of political, economic and social development. These ambitious steps taken by the UAE will pave the way for continued growth within various vital sectors, including the financial sector - further accelerating Dubai's reputation as a leading global financial centre and raising the trust of our stakeholders and partners."

Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC, added: "DIFC has successfully built a global reputation as the leading financial centre in the MEASA region and the achievement of our ‘2024 Strategy' target to triple in size three years ahead of schedule is testament to the appeal of our proposition. Our continued growth also reflects the success of our forward-thinking approach to focus on driving both the future of finance and technology and innovation more broadly, enabling DIFC to attract pioneering start-ups and best-in-class global institutions alike. DIFC will continue to build on our success to date to play a key role in accelerating not only our own growth but also the economic diversification of Dubai."

Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority, said: "Our reputation as a leading global centre for finance, FinTech and innovation has contributed to our ability to attract new entities to our ecosystem, alongside our continued efforts to enhance our operating environment, regulatory frameworks and innovation initiatives. As we look ahead to our next stage of growth, DIFC remains committed to working together with our partners and clients to lead the way in delivering the future of finance and the tremendous growth opportunities that this offers to us all."