Global Investor Middle East Asset Management Forum

The Gulf Hotel, Manama, Bahrain

14 May 2018

Event Overview

The 3rd Middle East Asset Management Forum will be held in May 2018. The conference is jointly organised by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and Global Investor. The event brings together around 200 delegates primarily drawn from the local and regional and international asset management community.

For any events queries please contact Valerija Slavina on

To discuss sponsorship options please contact Zara Mahmud on


If you require a visa to enter Bahrain, please go to Bahrain e-visa website 

Please note that each delegate is responsible for issuing his/her visa.

Agenda Overview

 *This draft of the agenda is subject to slight amendments


8:15 Registration and Networking

9:00 Global Investor Welcome Address
Luke Jeffs, Managing Editor, Global Investor Group

9:05 Keynote Address
Abdul Rahman Al Baker,
Executive Director – Financial Institutions Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain


9:30  Asset management market dynamics and outlook to 2020
Low liquidity has pushed MENA asset managers to look beyond their local markets to find new clients, while the lack of regional pension funds and insurance companies means the asset management industry relies more on individual investors, rather than an institutional client base.

• What does this mean for asset managers in terms of their investment strategies?
• How can the institutional investor base expand?
• Where can Gulf investors find the best value in terms of regional markets and sectors?
• To what extent is geopolitical risk a factor in regional investors’ thinking?
• What is the role of oil in shaping regional equity markets’ performance?
• What is the outlook for AUM growth in GCC asset management?

Moderator: Luke Jeffs, Managing Editor, Global Investor Group

Rachel Pether,
Advisor, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute
M.R. Raghu,
Managing Director, Marmore MENA Intelligence
Gary Dugan,
Chief Investment Officer, Namara Wealth Advisors
Rupert Copeman-Hill,
Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys


10:10 The role of regulation and mega new equity listings in supporting regional markets
Bahrain is reputed to have the best Asset Management regulations in the Gulf, helping the island claim an outsized share of the regional industry, while all plan to float their state-owned oil businesses, which if listed locally will boost their domestic bourses.

• How significant an impact could these listings have on their host exchanges and their investor base?
• Exchanges have long talked of convincing more family-owned conglomerates to go public, could we see finally see an influx of IPOs to help diversify regional markets?
• What impact has MSCI emerging market status had on some GCC countries and what could it mean to achieve the same status?
• What are the strengths of Bahrain’s asset management regulations and how do these differ from other Gulf jurisdictions?
• Gulf-wide, what key improvements to market regulations should be made?

Moderator: Reem Abdellatif, Editor in Chief, Argaam

Robert Ansari,
Executive Director and Head of Middle East,  MSCI
Brad Douglas, 
Director, Markets, Dubai Financial Services Authority
Steve Barnett,
Financial Centre Development Director, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM
Nizamuddin Arshad,
 Assistant Manager, Central Bank of Kuwait


10:50 Coffee and Networking


11:30  Diversification and alternative revenue for asset managers
Gulf equity markets are retail-driven, what is the appetite among investors, brokerages and fund managers to introduce new financial products to help move away from being solely long-only investments?

• What new financial products would best suit the Gulf?
• How can Fintech better meet the needs of investors?
• Blockchain entered the mainstream in 2017 as Bitcoin made incredible price gains/losses. What opportunities does blockchain offer the regional investment industry?
• How well are REITs performing in the GCC and what is take-up like among investors?
• What are the prospects for securities lending going mainstream? Can it potentially be transformative for the GCC pension fund industry?
• What is expected in terms of pension fund regulation, and how will it impact that industry?

Moderator: Nigel Brashaw, Partner, PWC

Marwan Shurrab, Head of HNW & Retail Equities Brokerage, Al Ramz Capital
Manuel Rensink,
Head of Middle East, Lykke
Ashar Nazim, 
Managing Director, Finocracy


12:10  How technology is changing the brokerage industry
Historically, Gulf bourses and brokerages were a place for local citizens to meet, trade and socialise, but as exchanges became more internationalised and the easy gains of the early-mid noughties faded, trading has become a more remote, focused activity.

• How well have brokers adapted to the changing needs of their clients?
• What technological innovations will shape the regional industry to 2020?
• The likes of Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are pouring resources into building Fintech hubs, can these start-up ecosystems create industry-changing innovations?
• What impact has technology had on broker revenues and what further effects will it have going forward?

Moderator: Bloomberg TBC

David Parker, Bahrain Economic Development Board
Nihal Abughattas,
MarketPlace Community Director, Temenos


12:50 Lunch and Networking


14:00  Fixed income outlook
MENA international bond and sukuk issuances set a new record high in 2017 as investors sought the relative safety of fixed income. With GCC bond spreads inexpensive compared with Asia, regional fixed income should withstand further rate hikes.
• What is driving the increase in fixed income issuance and can this growth be maintained in the long term?
• How important is it for the region to achieve a critical mass of sovereign debt issues to create a yield curve against which corporates can price their own bonds and sukuk?
• Who are the main buyers of GCC debt and what factors could influence their appetite for such investments going forward?

Moderator: Selloua Chakri, Managing Director, SCL Advisory Limited

Bruto Bertoni,
Head of Fixed Income Investment, Gulf Investment Corporation
Dr. Mohamed Damak,
Senior Director, S&P Global Ratings
Amine Bentaleb,
Senior portfolio Manager, Kimera group
Anita Yadav, Head of Fixed Income Research, Emirates NBD
Shaima Hasan,
Research & Bespoke Solutions Manager, Thomson Reuters

14:40 Event close


Speakers list

Nihal Abughattas, MarketPlace Community Director, Temenos
Robert Ansari,
Executive Director and Head of Middle East, MSCI
Nizamuddin Arshad, 
Assistant Manager, Central Bank of Kuwait
Steve Barnett,
Financial Centre Development Director, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM
Amine Bentaleb, 
Senior Portfolio Manager, Kimera Corp (Dubai based family office)
Bruto Bertoni, Head of Fixed Income Investment, Gulf Investment Corporation
Nigel Brashaw,
Partner, PWC
Selloua Chakri, 
Managing Director, SCL Advisory Limited
Rupert Copeman-Hill, 
Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys
Dr. Mohamed Damak, 
Senior Director, S&P Global Ratings
Brad Douglas, 
Director, Markets, Dubai Financial Services Authority
Gary Dugan, 
Chief Investment Officer, Namara Wealth Advisors
Shaima Hasan,
Research & Bespoke Solutions Manager, Thomson Reuters
Luke Jeffs,
Managing Editor, Global Investor Group
Ashar Nazim, Managing Director, Finocracy
David Parker, Bahrain Economic Development Board
Rachel Pether, Advisor, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute
M.R. Raghu,
Managing Director, Marmore MENA Intelligence
Manuel Rensink,
Head of Middle East, Lykke
Marwan Shurrab,
Head of HNW & Retail Equities Brokerage, Al Ramz Capital
Anita Yadav,
Head of Fixed Income Research, Emirates NBD

Event Partner


Central Bank of Bahrain

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is a public corporate entity established by the 2006 CBB and Financial Institutions Law. It succeeded the Bahrain Monetary Agency, which had previously carried out central banking and regulatory functions since its establishment in 1973. 

The CBB inherits the BMA's 33-year track record and wide range of responsibilities, including the implementation of the Kingdom's monetary and foreign exchange policies. The CBB also manages the government's reserves and debt issuance, issues the national currency and oversees the country's payments and settlement systems. It is the 
sole regulator of Bahrain's financial sector, covering the full range of banking, insurance, investment business and capital markets activities.

The CBB's wide scope of responsibilities allows a consistent policy approach to be undertaken across the whole of the Kingdom's financial sector. It also provides a straightforward and efficient regulatory framework for financial services firms operating in Bahrain.






PricewaterhouseCoopers ME Limited



PwC is a network of firms with more than 236,000 people operating from 158 countries across the globe, making us the largest professional services provider in the world. We are committed to delivering quality services in Assurance, Tax and Advisory (which includes our Consulting, Deals and Strategy & practices). In doing so we help to build trust in society, enable our clients to make the most of opportunities and solve important business problems.

We work with an extremely diverse range of clients, ranging from private individuals and family-owned businesses, to government organisations, right through to the world's most iconic brands. We are the professional services advisor of choice to more of the world's largest companies than any of our competitors. We have an active international mobility program which means our staff are understanding of different working practices and cultures and are well networked across our global firm.

We are a market leader when it comes to environmental management, equality and diversity, and the training and development of our staff, and leading publications such as Fortune and The Times consider us to be one of the best companies in the world to work for.


Supporting Organisation




Founded in May 2014, the Bahrain Asset Managers Association (BAMA) is the first professional body created to represent the bourgeoning asset management industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is a joint initiative between key industry players and the Kingdom’s regulatory authorities and aims to enhance Bahrain’s uniquely articulated offering as a banking and financial destination and hub in the Arabian Gulf and the broader Middle East. Importantly, BAMA has been established with the full backing and approval of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

The primary objective of the Association is to represent and promote the interests of the asset management industry and its players on the local, regional and international levels and across both conventional and Islamic asset management platforms.

To help industry participants in Bahrain build upon these dynamics. BAMA, in close coordination with and under the supervision of the CBB, works to develop strategies and mandates in support of effective further growth and advancement.



Media Partner



About Argaam : -
أرقام الاستثمارية هي شركة سعوديه متخصصة في تزويد و نشر البيانات و المعلومات المالية و الاقتصادية التي تهم المستثمرين وصناع القرار في السوق السعودي كانت البداية في  عام 2007 ، ومنذ ذلك الحين وأرقام تقوم بدور ريادي في رفع مستوى الوعي الاستثماري وتعزيز شفافية الاسواق ، من خلال توفير المعلومات الصحيحة و الدقيقة بالشكل المناسب في الوقت المناسب للمستثمرين و صناع القرار
تعتبر بوابة أرقام الوجهه الأولى للباحثين عن المعلومات المالية والتحليلات الاقتصـادية الدقيقة والمتعلقـة بالشـركات المدرجة في أسـواق الأسـهم السعودية.

Argaam Investment Company is Saudi Arabia's leading provider of financial news and intelligence. The company was incorporated in Saudi Arabia in 2007. Since then, it has played a leading role in raising investment awareness and improving market transparency in the Kingdom and beyond.
Accurate news reporting, objective coverage and insightful analysis of markets have become the cornerstones of the Argaam's brand, since inception.










Gulf Hotel Bahrain

Building 11 Road No 3801