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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Global asset management firm Mercer receives advisory license from CMA, plans team expansion
RIYADH: Global asset management firm Mercer has received its advisory investment license from the Capital Market Authority to operate in Saudi Arabia.
During the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference held in Riyadh, Mercer’s President for Asia, the Middle East, and Africa Renee McGowan told Arab News that the company intends to rapidly expand its team in the Kingdom during the next six weeks.
McGowan said that the company is already known in the region for their operations in the human resources space, and is now planning to expand its investment advice arm in Saudi Arabia.
She added that the company, which has been operating in Riyadh for a decade, has grown staff numbers tenfold, and is planning to invest more in local talent by implementing intern, graduate, and talent development programs.
“We’re the investment advisor on $13 trillion of assets globally, and we have our own investment, implemented solutions where we manage $400 billion of assets as well. Our plan now is to obviously be able to provide a lot more investment advice to clients in the Kingdom,” McGowan told Arab News.
She also added that Saudi Arabia’s economy is changing rapidly with the implementation of Vision 2030, and that the Kingdom is an almost unique market.
“Saudi Arabia has done a very good job of continuing to run a high-growth economy, and I think the gross domestic product will actually be the highest in the next 10 years,” she said.
McGowan also stated that the world is still not familiar with the activity currently happening in Saudi Arabia, and with Vision 2030 in place, she believes that the Kingdom is going through profound economic and societal transformation.
The company is planning to support Saudi Arabia’s growth with its advisory license to provide advice on investments without placing any assets.
“The investment opportunity here is obviously to not only make sure that growth continues, but also making sure that the asset pools here are well diversified, that the investors are looking at their asset allocation, their portfolio construction, and what governance is (there) for managing them,” she added.
With pension plans not prevalent in the region, Mercer was able to contribute to the implementation of the UAE’s Dubai Employee Workforce Savings Plans, DEWS, in addition to working with many sovereign wealth funds across the Middle East.
“With regards to our investment advisory services, we do work with clients all over the world. We want to make sure that any environment we’re working in has strong governance and regulatory environments in particular, so that investors are investing with confidence and security,” McGowan said.
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