The new firm hopes to have $300m in assets under management within a year of launching and will set up a women’s investment house by the end of the third quarter of 2008.

The investment house will target women with disposable assets of $5m-10m across the region, including the GCC, Egypt and Iran.

Banks and financial institutions are increasingly targeting women as an underserved market. Women in the GCC are estimated to have assets of as much as $245bn, most of which is held in cash and real estate. Almost half of that wealth is in Saudi Arabia.