Assets under management in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) are expected to rise to $1.5 trillion by 2020, from a total of $600bn in 2012, according to a report by UK professional services firm PwC.
Mena-based high net-worth individuals are moving their wealth back from developed markets to the region, and asset managers and private banks have doubled their share of assets in the past decade, says PwC.
In addition, there is interest from foreign private banks to set-up operations in the GCC following the regions economic recovery.
The coming years will bring the industry higher volumes of assets than ever before, which places more responsibility on firms to manage these assets to the best of their collective ability, says Graham Hayward, Middle East financial services leader at PwC. Asset managers must clearly outline the value they bring to customers while being fully transparent over fees and costs. Strong branding and investor trust in 2020 will only be achieved by those firms that avoid making mistakes that attract the ire of investors, regulators and policymakers.
But GCC-based investors frequently point out work will also need to be done by policymakers to help the industry grow.
The Mena asset management industry is currently still limited compared with global markets – Mena mutual funds under management in 2012 were only around 2.5 per cent of market capitalisation.