|20 November, 2019

$500bln in family wealth ‘will pass to nextgen in Mena’

According to WealthX more than $15trln worth of family wealth will be passed over to the next generations globally

Image used for illustrative purpose. Two arab business people outside.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Two arab business people outside.

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More than $500 billion (Dh1.8 trillion) worth of family wealth will be passed on to the next generations in the Mena region within the next decade, said experts at the 4th Wealth Arabia Summit (WAS) in Dubai, UAE.

According to WealthX, a global intelligence solutions provider, more than $15 trillion worth of family wealth will be passed over to the next generations globally.

WealthX data shows Jeddah appearing in both the top five cities according to the share of people worth more than $100 million and more than $500 million. In Jeddah, almost 29 percent of the ultra-wealthy have more than $100 million in net worth and nearly 8 percent have more than $500 million. Other Middle Eastern cities appear in the top 15 on both measures, including Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Istanbul and Basel.

David Awit, senior director and head of Mena and APAC Sales at WealthX, said, “The Middle East consolidated its position as the fourth-largest Ultra High Net Worth (UNHW) in 2018, ahead of Latin America and the Caribbean, recording by far the strongest growth of up to 6.8 percent in the ultra-wealthy population to 9,710 individuals (People with $30 million worth of wealth).

“The two largest UNHW countries of Saudi Arabia and the UAE posted robust gains in their ultra-wealthy populations, supported by a gradual increase in oil price, better performing equities than most regions and currency resilience owing to the Saudi Riyal’s and UAE Dirham’s peg to the US Dollar.”

The next five years are a golden era for large family businesses, as the institutional investors might shy away from the market due to certain challenges, Adil Al Zarooni, chief executive officer of Al Zarooni Emirates Investments, says. “So, we have a good opportunity to invest and generate more wealth in this market,” he says.

Experts at the Wealth Arabia Summit said, the large family businesses are more than ready for the transformation in line with the global slow-growth environment and the digital disruption.

“Most family businesses are structured and are run by professional investment advisors and other highly skilled officials, so they will not face problems,” Adil Al Zarooni, chief executive officer of Al Zarooni Emirates Investments. “However, I am worried about the 98 percent small family-owned businesses, who might not be able to survive the changes and the digital transformation that we are facing.

“The family businesses are selfish. They family members want to run the businesses themselves. They should leave the business to be run by professionals, which they are doing. In this respect, they are selfish.”

Zulfiqar Ghadiyali, CEO of the Private Office of Sheikh Tahnoon bin Saeed bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, said: “As the whole world and the economic landscape changes, we also need to look at the new trends, the tech-related disruptions. Are we ready?”

The Wealth Arabia Summit takes place amid a rapidly changing global economic environment and challenging geo-political developments that is forcing the investor community to re-think their strategy and find new opportunities amid adversity.

Since its inception in 2016, the summit has established itself as the premium forum bringing together the region's HNWIs, senior investment executives and service providers for actionable investment advice from the world's most informed.

Wealth Arabia Summit 2019 is being sponsored by Al Nabooda Automobiles, Lombard Odier, ADS Investment Solutions, CS Global Partners. Exhibitors include ADIB, Century Financial, DED, Investera, and UBS.

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