The event, entitled ‘Jersey and the GCC: An Enduring Partnership in the Gulf’ and which marked the 10th anniversary of Jersey Finance having a presence in the UAE, demonstrated the importance of the relationship between Jersey and the UAE as a hub for GCC financial wealth management.

At the event, Jersey Finance launched a significant study into the attitudes towards the Islamic finance wealth management market by Muslim high net worth individuals (HNWIs). Among the key findings of the ‘Global Attitudes to Islamic Wealth Management’ report, which takes into account the views of more than 2,000 respondents across the key markets of the UK (London), Asia (Kuala Lumpur), the GCC and Africa (South Africa), were:

  • 96% of Muslim HNWIs are actively planning or preparing for wealth succession, with more than half (57%) planning to seek tax advice, and nearly two-thirds (63%) seeking Shari’a compliance advice
  • The Islamic finance investor base is becoming ever more sophisticated, demanding greater professionalism from financial service providers, while continuing to adhere to Shari’a principles
  • Islamic HNWIs are taking an active interest in ESG and ethics in making financial decisions, yet more than half rely on their own knowledge to do so, presenting an opportunity for private wealth managers to offer more advice and a codified approach to ethical finance

Launching the report, Faizal Bhana, Director – Middle East, Africa and India, Jersey Finance, said: “This study provides unique insights into the evolving needs of Muslim high net worth individuals, and highlights what private wealth managers, financial services providers and international jurisdictions need to do in order to meet those needs.”

In addition, following the conference, Jersey Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Authority, paving the way for closer collaboration over the coming years. The signing was attended by Joe Moynihan, CEO of Jersey Finance; An Kelles, Director – GCC and Faizal Bhana, Director – Middle East, Africa and India.

Commenting on the new agreement, Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “Our relationship with Jersey continues to grow and today’s partnership is testament to our joint commitment to driving the future of finance and innovation. The agreement puts in place a comprehensive framework to facilitate new ways of working to position DIFC and Jersey as global business and innovation hubs.”

The signing of this agreement marks a significant new chapter in the relationship between the DIFC and Jersey, two complementary IFCs that share a focus on innovation, driving positive change and delivering high quality services to global investors.”

Joe Moynihan, CEO of Jersey Finance, who provided a welcome address at the conference, added: “Jersey has a well-established relationship with the UAE and today our office in the DIFC is the central hub for us in the GCC region. Our strong partnership with the DIFC is the fruit of a real commitment from both sides for over a decade. Today that mutually beneficial relationship has put us both in a really good position, able to support the increasingly complex needs of investors in Dubai, the wider GCC region and around the world.”

Jersey Finance’s Dubai conference also featured a government update from Senator Ian Gorst, an analysis of Jersey’s global connectivity from Allan Wood (Global Head of Business Development, Jersey Finance) and sessions exploring the integration of the next generation into family businesses and the future of family offices.

This year marks 15 years since Jersey’s regulator, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), signed its first agreement with the Dubai Financial Services Authority, while in 2011 Jersey set up its first office in the UAE and a further agreement was signed with the Central Bank of the UAE. In 2018, Jersey became the first IFC to have an office within the DIFC.