Global Investor Middle East Asset Management Forum

The Gulf Hotel, Manama, Bahrain

15 May 2017


Event Overview

Hosted by ISF and the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Middle East Asset Management Forum brings together senior level delegates from the asset management industry. The day will comprise of panel discussions and presentations featuring industry leading experts, regulators and analysts.

The event will be held at the Gulf Hotel. Upon receiving your confirmation email and delegate pass,  you will be eligible to apply for a discounted room rate. To do so, please complete the Delegate Reservation Form and email a completed copy, as well as a copy of your delegate pass, to:


Agenda Overview

9:00: Keynote speech

Central Bank of Bahrain – speaker TBC

9.30 Panel 1: Asset management market development

The first panel will examine recent trends and discuss the outlook for the local and regional (GCC/ MENA) asset management sector – where are new opportunities emerging?

  • How have Bahrain and other GCC financial centres progressed in the past year? What plans are in place for 2017/8?
  • What are the trends in terms of asset flows and competition for domiciling funds in the region?
  • In what areas could the region’s financial centres establish new niches?
  • What are the most recent developments in the booming infrastructure asset class?

Moderator: Alastair O’Dell, Editor, Global Investor Group


Shakeel Sarwar, Head of Asset Management, SICO

Nigel Bradshaw, Partner, PWC

Charles-Henry Monchau, Managing Director - CIO & Head of Investment Management, Al Mal Capital

10.10: Panel 2: Regulatory update

A panel of local and international legal experts will discuss the interaction of global legal and regulatory developments on the MENA market. How will international initiatives impact the local market and how can they be harmonized with local rules?

  • Basel III: How are capital rules changing the services banks are prepared to offer asset managers?
  • Dodd-Frank: The US mega-law is largely complete. Will the new administration seek to dismantle it?
  • EU regulation: Which measures will bite in 2017 and beyond?
  • Local regulation: Which initiatives will have greatest effect in 2017?


Dr. Hassan Ali Radhi, Founder & Senior Partner, Hassan Radhi Associates 

Marwa Faisal Almaskati, Assistant Director of Marketing & Business Development, Bahrain Bourse

10.50: Coffee break

11.20 Panel 3: GCC’s introduction of VAT from 2018

The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) aim to introduce a 5% value added tax (VAT) on goods and services from January 2018, eroding the region’s tax-free reputation. The move, long advocated by the IMF, will help diversify state income during a prolonged period of low oil and gas prices.

  • Gulf economies slowed following the oil price slump and consequent austerity measures that reduced consumer spending power. What will be the effect of VAT?
  • Will GCC economies be impacted equally? What about sectors and companies?
  • Are businesses ready for VAT? How will preparing impact companies’ bottom line?
  • What are the pros and cons of expanding government’s tax raising powers?


Dr. Alexis Antoniades, Associate Professor, Director of International Economics Faculty, Georgetown University Qatar

Philip English, Group CFO, Kanoo Group

12.00 Panel 4: Western political turmoil – the outlook for asset management

The once seemingly inevitable EU transnational integration project is in trouble, with recessions, Brexit and the rise of nationalism. US President Donald Trump has vowed to rip up any trade agreement that does not put America first and has put elements of Dodd-Frank in doubt.

  • Brexit: The world’s leading financial centre could be outside of the EU by the end of the decade. What are the implications for global asset managers?
  • Foreign policy: US foreign policy in the Middle East may undergo a radical overhaul – how will Trump approach the Middle East? The EU’s rift with Turkey is growing rapidly – what are the implications for its neighbours?
  • US economy: Trump has vowed to renegotiate trade deals, review financial regulation and pump money into infrastructure products - what is the outlook for the US economy and markets?
  • Currency: How much stronger will the US dollar become? Will the euro survive its structural imbalances?

Moderator: Nigel Sillitoe, CEO, Insight Discovery


Francis Dassou, Head of Securities Services Bahrain & Regional Head of Global Custody, HSBC

Tim Fox, Chief Economist & Head of Research, Emirates NBD

12.40 Panel 5: Outlook for emerging markets in the strong dollar era

Global growth is expected to accelerate this year, pushing up inflation and encouraging investors to take greater credit risk. The US dollar, already considered as overvalued by many, will likely strengthen further against emerging market currencies if US interest rates rise as predicted.

  • How should fixed income investors approach emerging markets?
  • Emerging market equity indices have made steady gains this year to reach levels not seen since mid-2015. Can the rally continue and which sectors and markets will under- and over-perform to year-end?
  • What does the strong dollar era mean for emerging market currencies and fund flows?
  • How do robust commodity prices play into the emerging market outlook?

Moderator: Alastair O’Dell, Editor, Global Investor Group


Redha Al Ansari, Research Team Leader, Thomson Reuters Robert Ansari, Executive Director, MSCI

Fadi Al Said, Fund Manager & Head of MENA, Lazard Asset Management

Ali Adou, Head of Asset Management, The National Investor Rami Jamal, portfolio manager, Amwal Qatar

Rami Jamal, Portfolio Manager, Amwal Qatar

Marios Tannousis, Deputy Director General, Invest Cyprus - TBC

13.20 Networking lunch

14.40 Market Presentation

Jalil Tarif, Secretary General, Union of Arab Securities Authorities 

15.20 Panel 6: Blockchain and fintech

Fintech is becoming ever more important and distributed ledger technology, or blockchain, has the potential to revolutionise financial systems. This panel will discuss developments globally as well as projects underway in the GCC.

  • Which businesses and process will be most impacted by blockchain?
  • What projects are financial centres, banks and startups working on in the region?
  • How well are the differing approaches of the DIFC and ADGM working to build fintech ecosystems?
  • What lessons can be learned from other fintech centres such as London and Singapore?

Moderator: Luke Jeffs, Managing Editor, Global Investor Group


Nicholas Bone, CEO, Equichain


16.00 Conference concludes




Event Speakers Overview

A full list of speakers will be released closer to the event.



Event Sponsors

For general sponsorship enquiries contact:
Zara Mahmud
MENA & Emerging Markets Director

Tel: +44 20 7779 8478


Event Partners 

 Central Bank of Bahrain

Central Bank of Bahrain

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is a public corporate entity established by the 2006 CBB and Financial Institutions Law. It succeeded the Bahrain Monetary Agency, which had previously carried out central banking and regulatory functions since its establishment in 1973. 

The CBB inherits the BMA's 33-year track record and wide range of responsibilities, including the implementation of the Kingdom's monetary and foreign exchange policies. The CBB also manages the government's reserves and debt issuance, issues the national currency and oversees the country's payments and settlement systems. It is the
sole regulator of Bahrain's financial sector, covering the full range of banking, insurance, investment business and capital markets activities.

The CBB's wide scope of responsibilities allows a consistent policy approach to be undertaken across the whole of the Kingdom's financial sector. It also provides a straightforward and efficient regulatory framework for financial services firms operating in Bahrain.












Knowledge Partner

Thomson Reuters



The Gulf Hotel Bahrain

The Gulf Hotel Bahrain

Al Fateh Avenue, Bldg 11

Road 3801

Block 337 Al Fateh Highway