MENA Asset Management and Trading Summit

Conrad, Dubai, UAE

06 Nov 2019


Now in its 10th year, Global Investor’s MENA Asset Management and Trading Summit will be held at Dubai’s Conrad Hotel on November 6. Featuring expert panellists from across the region and beyond, the summit will debate the hottest topics in the industry right now.


The conference also provides a unique marketing platform to the industry, giving the opportunity to reach the most influential participants in derivatives. 

For information on sponsorship opportunities please contact Hanna DeBank 

If you have any questions about the event please contact Yasmin Okolo at 


09:00 Registration and Networking

09:55 Welcome Address

10:00 MENA asset management outlook – how to prosper in volatile times

Gulf stock markets enjoyed an upbeat start to 2019 only for steep declines in May to wipe out much of these gains. A renewed rally on some bourses has buoyed sentiment,
but a prolonged bull-run seems unlikely amid a stuttering regional economy.

  • Has Gulf markets’ haphazard performance made regional asset management services a tougher sell?
  • Or does the difficult market environment make the services of skilled asset managers all the more essential for regional wealthy and institutional investors? Are
    individual investors becoming warier of investing directly themselves?
  • Are Gulf markets oversold? Where is the most value to be found?
  • DIFC and ADGM are the Gulf’s two leading financial centres. What is this duo doing to support the asset management sector?
  • In the likes of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, asset managers have deployed momentum strategies to profit from the huge inflows of foreign money due to emerging
    market upgrades and changes in EM index weightings, how much longer can this play last?
  • Is austerity over in Saudi and what does that mean for equities?
  • What further reforms would help boost Saudi bourse trading volumes?


10:45 Conventional asset managers face fintech conundrum

Automation in equity market trading began in the 1990s. Now, fintech-based financial advisors and wealth managers seem poised to take market share from
conventional asset managers as well as bringing in new clients. Fintech firms claim their proprietary technology provides unparalleled, near-instant research
and analysis across a variety of asset classes, including equities and fixed income, while their platforms can be tailored for retail, high net worth, and institutional

  • Can active fund managers still provide investors with a competitive edge or will algorithms ultimately prevail?
  • How are MENA fund managers responding to the fintech threat and what more should they do?
  • Is fintech a friend or foe?
  • Could MENA asset managers use fintech tools to provide their clients with more opportunities to invest internationally?
  • Can technology help MENA asset managers diversify their product offerings?


11:30  Coffee and Networking


12:00 Alternative asset classes for MENA investors

Diversification is an essential tenet of investment, and real estate has long been a favoured alternative asset class for MENA investors – retail, high-net-worth and
institutional. As well as property, there are plenty other unconventional asset classes to consider.

  • What alternative assets are most in demand from MENA institutional and wealthy investors? And why?
  • Is interest from regional investors in these asset classes growing and why?
  • What are biggest challenges to increasing the regional AUM of alternative assets?
  • Real estate will always be a popular investment among regional investors, although Gulf property markets have broadly suffered a prolonged downturn.
    How does Gulf real estate compare with other emerging property markets?
  • Real estate industry players report an influx of consultants, lawyers and other experts from abroad to Saudi Arabia. What are the biggest opportunities in Saudi real estate and why?


12:45 Lunch


14:00 Investing beyond MENA to boost returns

In an increasingly globalised, interconnected world, investors are less constrained by geographical boundaries.

  • Where should MENA investors be putting their money to work outside the region?
  • What asset classes offer the most potential in the short to medium term?
  • How can MENA asset managers work with their international counterparts to help clients invest beyond the region?
  • How does the dollar’s prolonged strength against the likes of the pound and the euro affect international investment strategies for MENA asset managers?


14:45 Trading Saudi: Nasdaq Dubai launched in January 2019 futures on 12 of the largest Saudi listed firms and followed this with a Saudi
index futures in February while the Dubai Mercantile Exchange cut in July 2018 a deal with Aramco to become its crude oil pricing benchmark.

  • What role can the exchanges in the Gulf region play in offering access to the Saudi market?
  • How can the exchanges in the region work with the Saudis to boost trading across the region?
  • What are the key challenges in harmonising market structures across the different financial centres in the region?


15:05 Shariah Products: DGCX launched in March 2018 the first physically-backed Sharia-compliant gold contract, marking the latest launch
by a regional exchange.

  • What is the outlook for the trading of Sharia-compliant contracts?
  • What changes need to be made to ensure greater traction in the trading of Sharia-compliant products?
  • What are some of the new Sharia-compliant products that exchanges should look to list?


15:50 Close of Conference and Networking Drinks

Currently confirmed speakers:

Nigel Sillitoe, CEO, Insight Discovery

Yazad Darasha, Partner & Director, White Paper Media Consulting

Paromita Dey, Business Editor, Argaam

Selloua Chakri, Managing Director, SCL Advisory Limited

Steve Barnett, Director, ADGM

Robert Ansari, Executive Director, MSCI

Khalid Howladar, Managing Director & Founder, Acreditus

Krishnamurthy Sundaresan, COO, Dubai Investments Group

Ali Adou, Head of Asset Management, Daman Investments

Sandip Bhatt, CIO, Damac Invest

Salah Shamma, Head of Investment, Franklin Templeton Investments

Amjad Bangasj, Head of Sharia Advisory,  National Bank of Oman

George Hanna, CIO, AD Invest

Bashar Al Natoor, Head of Islamic Finance, Fitch Ratings

Ismail Dadabhoy, Advisor, IIFM

Jahangir Aka, Managing Director & Head of MEA, Neuberger Berman

Shakeel Sarwar, Head of Asset Management, SICO

And many more to be announced

Silver Sponsor

ADS Investment Solutions







Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (“Cboe Global Markets” or “Cboe”) is one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, offering cutting-edge trading and investment solutions to investors around the world. The company is committed to relentless innovation, connecting global markets with world-class technology, and providing seamless solutions that enhance the customer experience.

Cboe offers trading across a diverse range of products in multiple asset classes and geographies, including options, futures, U.S. and European equities, exchange-traded products (ETPs), global foreign exchange (FX) and multi-asset volatility products based on the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX Index), the world’s barometer for equity market volatility.






Established in 2005, DGCX is the region’s leading derivatives exchange and the only one allowing global participants to trade, clear and settle transactions within the Gulf region. The Exchange has played a pioneering role in developing the regional market for derivatives and financial infrastructure. DGCX is an electronic commodity and currency derivatives exchange with over 200 members from across the globe, offering futures and options contracts covering the precious metals, energy, equities and currency sectors.  DGCX is a subsidiary of DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre), a Dubai Government Authority for trade, enterprise and commodities. For more information: 

DGCX also owns and operates the region’s largest and only multi-asset Clearing House – Dubai Commodities Clearing Corporation (DCCC). DCCC is federally regulated by the Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA) and is recognized as a Third-Country CCP by European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) with over 90 clearers from across the globe. For more information: 



Eurex Exchange is the marketplace of choice for the global derivatives community. It offers a broad range of international benchmark products
and operate the most liquid fixed income markets in the world with about 2,000 products across nine asset classes, featuring open and low-cost
electronic access. With market participants connected from 700 locations worldwide, trading volume at Eurex exceeds 1.7 billion contracts a year.
We offer a wide choice of equity-based contracts on indexes, single equities, ETFs, dividends and some of the world’s most liquid fixed income
derivatives on one single platform.

Eurex Clearing is one of the leading central counterparties globally, clearing the broadest scope of products under a single framework in Europe.
It serves 176 Clearing Members in 17 countries, managing a collateral pool of EUR 50 billion and processing a gross risk valued at almost EUR
16 trillion every month.



Conrad Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Road, 308 Road, 49,