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eVestment opens Dubai office

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eVestment has opened its newest office in Dubai, its first office in the Middle East.

The office is located in Building 01 in Dubai Internet City and will serve as eVestment’s base of operations for the company’s growth in the Middle East and Africa.
 
Since Q1 2009, investable institutional assets domiciled in the Middle East and Africa have grown more than 180 per cent, from USD196.8 billion to USD560 billion as of Q2 2014, according to eVestment figures.
 
Sovereign wealth funds have also grown dramatically, and the wealth of the Middle East’s high net worth individuals has increased from USD1.4 trillion in 2009 to USD2.11 trillion in 2013, according to the Capgemini/RBC Wealth Management Wealth Report.
 
At the same time, global institutional investor interest in mature, emerging and frontier Middle East and Africa markets has grown as investors look to increase portfolio diversity and returns.
 
While Dubai and the Middle East are not yet major centres for hedge funds and other alternative investments, Dubai recently eased restrictions on asset managers operating in the Dubai International Financial Center, the country’s financial enterprise zone. This is seen by some experts as a bid to attract more hedge, private equity and other alternative funds to the area.
 
“Technology has created opportunities like never before for institutional investors, investment consultants and managers around the globe to connect and make smart investment decisions,” says eVestment co-founder and CEO Jim Minnick. “The rise in investable assets in the Middle East and Africa region and the increased interest in the region among global investors makes this the perfect time for eVestment to open this office to help forge those connections.”
 
Wissem Souissi will lead the office as eVestment’s vice president Middle East and Africa region. He brings to eVestment a 12-year track record in financial and investment sales and business development in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Prior to joining eVestment, Souissi served as sales manager for the Middle East and the Russian Commonwealth with eFront, which specialises in private equity, real estate and alternative investment management solutions. He also has worked with Moody’s Analytics in Southern and Eastern Europe and Africa.
 
“This is an important step and very exciting time for eVestment’s worldwide growth,” says Souissi. “We have been covering this region from our London office, but the time is right to establish a local presence that will allow us to be closer to clients and to this growing investment market. The flourishing South African financial market, the upgrade by MSCI of UAE and Qatar indexes to Emerging Markets and Saudi Arabia’s plans to open its stock market to foreign investors will make eVestment’s services even more valuable to investors, consultants and managers working in the region or those from around the world interested in the region.”

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