Among Middle East's investors, 59% are more likely than their global counterparts (45%) to move their assets to another provider within the next three years as they search for higher yields, a survey by EY found.

According to the 2023 EY Global Wealth Research Report, the survey findings highlight investment performance as a primary motivator for both groups. In addition, Middle East wealth management providers feel the need to prioritize the enhancement of their digital capabilities and broaden their investment options, the report noted.

"This drive to move assets is not generation-specific, with 81% of millennial and 50% of Gen X investors intending to move their assets before 2026. The service providers most likely to benefit from the shift are fintech, AI trading platforms and full-service institutions."

Another key finding is that nearly half of the clients surveyed perceive wealth management as becoming increasingly complex in the last two years. "In particular within the MENA region, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and those investing through discretionary or execution-only mandates are finding wealth management harder to handle and navigate."

In the Middle East, 96% of respondents have also switched to a more defensive investment style due to a decline of portfolio value in recent years, compared to 73% of global investors. Furthermore, 47% of MENA participants have increased their allocation to savings and/or deposits over the past two years as a safety response.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)