Abu Dhabi Global Market-based proprietary investment company Falcon Capital Group Limited has acquired a 20 per cent stake in the London-based Gulf Wealth Management Limited (GWM) to join GWM’s Founders team and position GWM for a targeted pilot business launch in the UAE and Bahrain by Q1 2019.
GWM will place digital technology at the centre of wealth management in the GCC, enabling affluent individuals to gain digital access to discretionary wealth management services that are currently only available to high net worth individuals. It will also empower self-directed investors, whether affluent or high net worth, by giving them online access to international investment funds. The GWM platform will work as a digital bridge to link the high net worth, affluent and mass affluent individuals in the GCC region with leading international asset managers.
“Falcon’s proprietary GCC Fintech Fund is focused exclusively on providing start-up and early stage capital to fintech initiatives focused on the GCC region. We seek outstanding founders and innovators with scalable ideas whom we can partner with to drive sustainable and profitable growth. We are excited about GWM’s vision to achieve within a five-year period a market leader position in its chosen segment in the GCC. We believe that GWM’s entry into the GCC wealth management sector will prove a game-changer for the affluent segment that currently has far more limited investment options available compared to it counterparts in the UK or the USA,” said Ashar Nazim, CEO of Falcon Capital Group Limited.
Somewhat akin to Alibaba which was inspired by eBay but modified for the Chinese market, the GWM initiative modifies for the GCC region a successful e-commerce business model as exemplified by Betterment and Wealthfront for automated advice and Hargreaves Lansdown for investment funds.
“At GWM we are delighted to be joined by Falcon as an anchor shareholder, which will enable GWM to apply for regulatory approval with a view to a business launch early in 2019,” said George Robb, non-executive Chairman of GWM and a former Chairman and Group CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management in the UK, welcomed Falcon’s investment in GWM.
Highlighting certain unique features of GWM’s business model GWM’s Chairman added that, “In addition to state-of-the-art technology and access to international asset managers, the GWM initiative is differentiated by its focus on working with GCC banking, insurance and brokerage firms rather than disrupting their business. Like Visa International, GWM will work as a ‘cooperative’ of the banking, insurance and brokerage firms in the GCC region, which will provide digital wealth management services on a jointly-branded basis in alliance with its member firms. This will allow the alliance partner firms to benefit from the economies of scale, reduced regulatory burden, and collective bargaining power vis-à-vis international asset managers, to achieve the best possible deal for the end investor.”