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Seminar: 'What opportunities does the Dubai International Financial Centre offer to Private Wealth & Family Offices?'

DIFC Seminar: ‘What opportunities does the Dubai International Financial Centre offer to Private Wealth and Family Offices?’

Outer Temple Chambers and DIFC hosted a seminar on ‘What opportunities does the Dubai International Financial Centre offer to Private Wealth & Family Offices?’ in September 2023 at 180 Soho House, London.

Dubai-based Outer Temple barristers, David Russell KC and Shabana Saleem, joined senior representatives of Dubai International Financial Centre for an exclusive lunchtime seminar on the growth of private wealth and family business in the MEASA region recently.

Chief Business Development Officer, Salmaan Jaffery, and Senior Representative for Europe & North America, DIFC Authority and Director of Business Development for the Centre, Ali Hassan, visited London to host this exclusive event focused on private wealth in the MEASA region. The four speakers discussed how Dubai International Financial Centre, a common law legal jurisdiction and the largest financial centre in the region, caters for regional and international families, entrepreneurs and private wealth through innovative structures for succession planning, managing assets and business interests highlighting in particular ground-breaking Foundation and Trust Law.

The MEASA region has a collective GDP of USD 8 trillion and is made up of 72 high-growth countries. While many companies are expanding successfully, there are many others in the region looking to access funding, talent, expertise in operational and regulatory frameworks, and connectivity with other markets – presenting huge opportunities for Private Wealth and Family Offices.

The DIFC – the financial free zone in the United Arab Emirates that is one of the region’s leading investment hubs. DIFC is a vibrant business ecosystem of over 39,000 professionals working across more than 4,900 active companies that benefit from the centre’s robust independent judicial system and regulatory framework, a global financial exchange, inspiring architecture, and enabling support services.

Topics of discussion included:

  • Private Wealth/Family Business in the MEASA region;
  • Evolving Middle East locations for Private Wealth/Family Business;
  • Legal and regulatory landscape;
  • The DIFC Family Wealth Centre; and
  • Benefits of locating business and financial functions in the region.

About the speakers

David Russell KC, Barrister at Outer Temple Chambers

David Russell KC is admitted to practise in England & Wales, the Courts of the DIFC, New York (as a Legal Consultant), Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

He has acted for numerous Commonwealth and State Governments as well as HNW individuals and corporations. Since 2016, he has been recognised by Legal Week and The American Lawyer as part of the Private Client Global Elite.

He was Deputy Chair and a director of STEP and a member of its World Wide Council. He is a co-chair of the UAE Chapter of the International Section of the New York State Bar Association. He is a Member of the Middle East & North Africa Branch Committee of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (UK). In 2016 he chaired the DIFC’s Wealth Management Review Working Group.

Shabana Saleem, Barrister at Outer Temple Chambers

Shabana is a member of Outer Temple Chamber’s International Team specialising in private wealth. She spent a number of years in-house at leading Legal 500 UK law firms and relocated to Dubai to focus on her Middle East based practice.

Shabana specialises in working with UHNW individuals to address private client matters, with a particular understanding of contentious family matters and the English law treatment of Islamic marriages.

She has advised trusts, family businesses and UHNW clients on wealth protection matters. She advises on contentious and non-contentious wealth management matters.
Shabana is licenced to undertake public access work.

Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC

Salmaan Jaffery is the Chief Business Development Officer for the Dubai International Financial Centre. He is a member of the management team and is responsible for overseeing the DIFC client portfolio as well as the DIFC’s growth strategy.

Mr. Jaffery has 25+ years of experience in North America, Asia and MENA with leadership roles at global firms such as Oliver Wyman, Citibank, American Express and PwC. He holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BA in International Relations (Phi Beta Kappa) from Colgate University in the US and serves on the Boards of several non-profit organizations.

Ali Hassan, Senior Representative for Europe & North America, DIFC Authority and Director of Business Development for the Centre

In his current role, Mr Hassan supports the CEO in developing and promoting the Insurance, Banks & Capital Markets, Wealth and Asset Management financial sectors, the ecosystem for Innovation and multi-national companies, and professional service providers, in line with the Centre’s business strategies. He plays an active role in managing client development. He is also responsible for promoting and spreading awareness of DIFC’s positioning regionally and globally.

Mr Hassan brings vast regulatory knowledge and commercial experience to his position at DIFC Authority, having supervised and authorized a diverse range of businesses including exchanges, trading platforms, wealth management, investment banking, and brokerage operations with experience in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Find out more

Outer Temple Chambers has been in the Middle East for close to a decade with some members for over 20 years. We are committed to the Region and fully understand the business and local culture, Civil and Islamic Law (Shari’ah) underpinnings of many of the Countries’ Laws as well as interface with Common Law. To find out more about our team or discuss any of the topics covered in this seminar please contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669, who will be happy to advise or put you in touch with our speakers.

News 3 Oct, 2023


David Russell KC

Call: 1977 (Australia) Silk: 1986

Shabana Saleem

Shabana Saleem

Call: 2014

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