GCC advisers face ‘year of reckoning’ in 2017

By Kaushiq Kodithodika
6 February 2017

An industry under stress.

Financial advisers in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are facing challenging times ahead, according to Insight Discovery’s latest Middle East Investment Panorama report[1]. It’s an environment in which nearly all players expect to have to revamp their business models, as they battle to cope with regulatory changes (including calls for greater transparency), evolving client demands and intense competitive pressures.

But there’s a bigger worry too. A new and truly fundamental threat: the growing reluctance among clients to invest. Or more specifically, to invest with them.

In short, with the rise of DIY investment approaches and robo-advice, advisers can no longer take it for granted clients will continue to use their services.

Hence their message to asset managers this year is clear: give us more value for money.

Finger on the GCC pulse

What advisers see as the main challenges and opportunities for their businesses in the coming year is just one of the topics the new Investment Panorama report investigates. It also provides a raft of insights on the most important issues confronting local and international asset managers and international life companies, as well as the service and solution providers who work with them.

Just some of the hot topics featured in this year’s report include must-read analyses of:

  • What the top management of advisory groups really think?
  • Trends in demand for discretionary fund management services.
  • Changes in asset allocations for clients’ portfolios.
  • How advisers are using social media.
  • The biggest shift in regulation of the UAE’s life insurance market in modern times.
  • The potential bonanza for financial services companies in Saudi Arabia.

A healthy future?

For all parties across the financial services spectrum then, 2017 is likely to be a ‘Year of Reckoning,’ says the report. The pace of change looks set to accelerate, and market participants will need to move fast with new and improved services if they are to keep up.

Crucially though, many of these changes have positive implications for forward-thinking advisers and the organisations that work with them. As a result, the report concludes, a Year of Reckoning need not be a Year of Disaster.

Access the full report here

[1] Middle East Investment Panorama 2016: The Year of Reckoning?, by Insight Discovery