How promising is the demand for digital wealth management solutions in the GCC region?
From a B2B perspective, we expect to see strong growth among digital wealth solutions. Technologies like blockchain are finding a home in GCC countries and developing immensely powerful use cases to influence the capital market ecosystem here. From a B2C perspective, we do not see significant traction with digital wealth management solutions. The B2C products generally take stronger hold in economies with more dispersed wealth like Europe and the US.
In terms of M&A, is further consolidation expected in the GCC region?
We are waiting to see consolidation of certain logistics and delivery companies in the GCC. There are several smaller regional players, each establishing a foothold in their native markets. We think there is strong value for a roll-up strategy for companies like this, which saw a boost during the pandemic, as we move to a post-Covid world.
How will the concept of wealth evolve in times to come?
We see a shifting of wealth in the region to be defined solely in terms of cash flow to becoming defined through a combination of cash flow and assets under management (AUM). The idea that growth can be more valuable than cash flow has been seen in technology stocks like Amazon and the rise of venture investing. Traditionally, cash flow was all that mattered to the investors in the GCC. Due to the growth of venture investing, more are seeing the value of growth as defined through AUM. It should be noted, however, that cash flow will always be king.
A growth strategy should only be combined with sound cash flow investing, it cannot replace it.
How are regional equity markets expected to perform in the upcoming months?
Generally, equity markets are up across the world as of early May. The UAE’s index funds are up more than 20 per cent compared to the start of the year. We anticipate continued growth as vaccines roll out and the pandemic’s impact subsides.
Besides M&A, what other services do you offer to regional clients?
We specialise in M&A, capital placement, joint ventures and global trade. We trade coffee as a principal and work with a variety of other clients to trade everything from oil field sensors, to digital billboards, to medical equipment. Our goal is to improve the commercial capacity and financial position of our holding company and family office clients