DIFC becomes 1st financial center in Dubai to partner with AIMA

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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DIFC as 1st financial center in AIMA
Rep.Image (Courtesy: WAM)

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has become the first financial center in the region to enter into an agreement with the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the alternative investment industry’s pre-eminent voice globally.

The agreement further solidifies AIMA’s long-standing commitment to the region and DIFC’s ever-growing role as an international hub for alternative investments and hedge funds.

Mr. Jack Inglis, CEO of AIMA, commented that “The past year has seen many reports of alternative investment managers, including some of the industry’s largest names, opening offices in the United Arab Emirates. AIMA has enjoyed member representation in the region for over 15 years and has closely watched its growth as an important global financial hub, not just for alternative investments but also for the wider asset management industry. In signing this MoU, we are pleased to partner with a recognized industry leader in the DIFC to further assist our members in Dubai and support the maturation of the alternative asset management sector in this vibrant location.”

Arif Amiri_DIFC as 1st financial center in AIMA
Arif Amiri
CEO – DIFC Authority

“DIFC is delighted to be the first financial center in the region to partner with AIMA. Innovation and cross-border collaboration attract capital flows and opportunities in growth markets for high-performing hedge funds with a range of investment strategies. This agreement marks yet another pivotal moment for Dubai and DIFC as we continue to attract world-class talent, whilst driving the future of finance by providing a robust and hyper-connected ecosystem for the alternative investment industry that enables them to manage their global portfolios efficiently.”

The news comes as DIFC continues to witness an unparalleled inflow of alternative investment firms and hedge funds. Hedge funds establishing their regional presence in DIFC during the second quarter this year include, Hudson Bay Capital, a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund operating in Greenwich, New York, Miami and London, Asia Research and Capital Management Ltd., the privately owned asset management firm founded in 2011 headquartered in Hong Kong.

Others include, King Street Capital, a leading global alternative asset manager founded in 1995 with over $23 billion across an institutional platform spanning multiple segments of the public and private markets; Balyasny Asset Management, founded in 2001 with over 1,000 investment professionals across all major financial centers, and Verition Fund Management LLC, the multi-strategy, multi-manager hedge fund founded in 2008 focusing on global investment strategies. The firms will relocate senior employees to DIFC to conduct portfolio management and investor relations activities.

Demonstrating broader growth across alternative investment classes, new private equity firms establishing offices in DIFC include TPG Global, Rockpoint and CVC Capital Partners.

DIFC offers a broad network of partners for portfolio managers setting up in Dubai. As the number and scope of hedge funds established in DIFC grows, the Center envisions a further deepening of the ecosystem, including hedge funds with a range of investment strategies, additional prime brokers, and technology startups.

This augmentation of the ecosystem creates a flywheel for traders, portfolio managers and support teams, further strengthening Dubai as a global hub for hedge funds. DIFC continues its discussions with global hedge funds that are looking to establish offices within the Center, where they benefit from a large and growing bank of support services, including prime brokers, law firms, consultancies, and tax specialists.

Related: US-based AllianceBernstein opens regional office in DIFC