Winners Of WealthBriefing MENA Awards for Excellence 2020

Editorial Staff 10 November 2020

Winners Of WealthBriefing MENA Awards for Excellence 2020

Here is the list of the winners of this year's awards programme for the MENA region.

The winners of the WealthBriefing MENA Awards for Excellence 2020 were honoured at a gala evening dinner in Dubai yesterday. Below are the winners with the citations from the judges where they are available. (See here for full details of the event.)  As the results show, a number of banks with footprints in a variety of regions - such as Bank of Singapore and Standard Chartered - picked up prizes.

Congratulations to all involved. 

Banking Categories - MENA

Best Overall MENA Private Bank
LGT Middle East
With its strong market presence our winner impressed our judges by offering a wide spectrum of services for private clients. Its particular focus on sustainable investing was commended as was its client-centric servicing.

Best Overall International Private Bank (HQ outside MENA region)
HSBC Private Banking 
Our judges were impressed with the longevity and presence in the region and impressive partnerships that our winner provides. This gives effective access to its other global businesses in order to provide a most comprehensive client offering and service model.

Best Asia-based Private Bank Active in MENA
Bank of Singapore
Our judges were impressed with their winner’s investment in tech-enabled growth. Its ‘Client Front End’ tool provides instant online sign-up to its digital universe of products, much quicker than industry standards. Its tracking of client issues via a state-of-the-art software tool means that it resolves issues quickly and maintains positive client experience.

Best Private Bank Servicing the Expat UHNW Community
BNP Paribas Wealth Management
Judges were impressed with their winner providing multicultural teams specialised in managing international clients. This provides the benefits of an integrated model and leverages the bank’s institutional capabilities and a range of digital solutions to provide ease of connectivity and engagement. 

Best Private Bank Servicing NRI/NRP Clients
BNP Paribas Wealth Management
Our winner impressed the judges because it understands the unique behaviour and needs of NRIs and has created a dedicated and improved offering, ramped up the team in key jurisdictions and implemented a co-ordinated NRI governance proposition. “The income and asset growth results speak for themselves”, said one of the judges.

Best Private Bank – Client Digital Offering
Citi Private Bank MENA
“An industry-leading digital offering that empowers their clients to interact with their account manager makes our winner stand out in this category,” said one of the judges. Others drew attention to the comprehensive features that allow all products, transactions and reports to be easily managed.

Best Private Bank – Overall Client Service
Deutsche Bank 
Through challenging times our winner has transformed and adapted its client service model in order to ensure the best possible coverage for its clients. This was the stand-out factor that swayed our judges.

Best Private Bank – ESG Offering
Standard Chartered Bank
Sustainability is a key emerging trend amongst HNW investors and our winner has become a MENA market leader in this space our judges report. They offer a unique product offering and proprietary tools in this area of investing and enable their customers to reach both their investing and social impact goals. Our judges were very impressed with their winner’s submission.

Best Private Bank – Discretionary Fund Management (DFM) Offering
Arbuthnot Latham & Co
Our judges were very impressed by their winner’s submission. It demonstrated that it has an unparalleled number of investment mandates GBP, USD and EUR and dedicated investment managers who ensure that they understand their client’s business, family and life goals in order to deliver a bespoke portfolio service.

Best Private Bank – Credit Provider
BNP Paribas Wealth Management
Through its presence and set-up in the region, our winner’s clients have access to a comprehensive list of financing solutions including credit facilities, derivatives limits, residential and commercial real estate financing, as well as jet and yacht financing. Our judges were also impressed that Shariah compliant financing is part of the services our winner offers.

Best Private Bank – Investment Management Platform
Citi Private Bank
Our winner believes that clients can invest according to alignment with their values and this is what drew the judges’ attention this year. This bank calls the simultaneous pursuit of financial returns and societal benefits “Investing with Purpose”. The social benefits that Investing with Purpose seeks to achieve were seen as particularly worthy of comment.

Best Boutique Private Bank
Nedbank Private Wealth
With an impressive highly qualified team and strong parent financial strength, this boutique bank delivers a highly responsive and personalised service tailored to suit each client,” said one judge of our winner. “It lives up to its promise of making clients’ lives easier, providing a joined-up approach to protecting and growing wealth, removing complex chains and offering a choice of servicing options – digital or face-to-face,” said another.

Best Pure Play Private Bank
Bank of Singapore
The judges were drawn to a comprehensive and impressive submission. One said “By driving innovation and growth across their client key segments our winner delivers best-of-class private banking for their MENA clients.”

Best Shariah-Compliant Wealth Management Offering
Lombard Odier
Our judges were impressed with our winner’s Shariah mandate which is an innovative, bespoke and fully customisable solution, setting it apart from other products available in the sector. A holistic offering rather than a fund, it gives clients seeking Islamic solutions access to the full capabilities of a global wealth manager, on a truly personalised basis.

Best Private Bank Customer-Facing Digital Capabilities
Our judges’ winner engaged the panel by demonstrating that it has an exceptionally high level of commitment focusing exclusively on GCC resident HNWI, UHNWI and institutions with one of the broadest open architecture private banking platforms, including specialised regional products such as access to the local stock market, local deposit products as well as Sharia friendly managed portfolios. 

Best Private Bank External Asset Manager (EAM) Proposition
Mirabaud (Middle East)
It was our winner’s commitment to the MENA region that really caught the judges’ eyes. Its submission amply demonstrated that the banking relationship is primarily useful to utilise its investment platform with seasoned fund managers and some selective unique external partners where they work very closely to deliver an optimal return/service to the clients.

Best Private Bank Wealth Planning Team
BNP Paribas Wealth Management
Our judges were swayed by their winner’s submission which details their ‘Wealth Planning Charter’ which governs the operations of all of their wealth planners, with special focus on ethical areas including quantitative targets, conflicts of interest, and open architecture. 

Individual Country Categories
Best Private Bank Servicing the United Arab Emirates
Mashreq Private Bank
Judges commended their winner in this category as it demonstrated providing the most accessible and broad range of products for Middle East clients. Its regional presence and commitment really swayed the judges’ decision.

Best Private Bank Servicing the Sultanate of Oman

Best Private Bank Servicing the Kingdom of Bahrain

For both categories: In this case our winner has been judged successful for their work in both the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Bahrain.   

Best Private Bank Servicing the State of Kuwait
Mirabaud (Middle East)
Our winner amply demonstrated its commitment to the Kuwait market. The appointment as the head of MENA region and limited partner of the bank who used to work for eight years with the National Bank of Kuwait was key to the success of their submission.

Investment Categories - MENA
Most Innovative Investment Proposition by a Private Bank
Lombard Odier
Our judges were particularly impressed with their winner’s submission which emphasised partnering with local institutions to ensure that the regional ecosystem is utilised while creating products for the local client base.

Best independent Wealth Manager or External Asset Manager (EAM)
Index & Cie
Independence was key in our winner’s submission which it maintains by performing its own investment research through proprietary models and primary investigative work, and not depending on third-party contribution. Our judges were impressed by the high calibre of professionals working in its investment department, all of whom come from decades of market analysis and active portfolio management for institutional and private capital in major global financial centres.

Investment Management Categories - MENA
Best Overall Fund Manager
REYL Finance (MEA)
In a comprehensive and highly specific submission, our judges found plenty to justify their decision in this case. One judge picked out the 2020, launch of Fund Representation Solutions services for international fund managers by representing foreign collective investments for distribution in Switzerland. Another mentioned the launch of asset management affiliate, Asteria Investment Managers, exclusively dedicated to sustainable investing. 

Best Fund Manager - Global Reach
REYL Finance (MEA)
The judges pointed out that their winner has an innovative approach focused on providing the highest level of service and dedicated personalised attention to its dynamic clientele seeking an innovative, multidisciplinary and integrated service offering. “It constantly adapts and expands its services through its entrepreneurial mindset, open architecture and dynamism of its boutique structure,” said one of the judges.

Best Fund Manager - Regional Reach
REYL Finance (MEA)
In the MENA region, having a regulated presence in Dubai allows our winner to make its full range of services accessible to a local and international client base of private individuals and financial institutions, with a specific focus on the areas of wealth management, asset services and corporate advisory and structuring. The judges were very pleased with such a well considered submission.

Best Real Estate Investment Proposition or Service
BNP Paribas Wealth Management
Our judges were impressed by the many examples that were given showing that their winner benefits from an integrated model leveraging on the global capabilities of the global group and that the offering covers the full spectrum of real estate investment.

Best Private Equity Offering
BNP Paribas Wealth Management
An international and dedicated team with a strong PE experience is what caught the attention of our judges. This, combined with a strict due diligence process and rigorous monitoring and reporting, a long and proven track record over 21 years, swung it for our winner.

Family Office Categories – MENA
Best Wealth Management Team Offering Family Governance Advice
Union Bancaire Privee
Our winner impressed the judges by providing such support through its dedicated family office advisory unit. This has developed its advisory process with a specific focus on providing tailored practical guidance and understandable advice to help families create their own custom single-family office. The process consists of 12 dedicated ‘modules’ to ensure a structured approach and this particularly impressed the judges.

Best Wealth Manager Servicing Family Offices
Citi Private Bank
Our judges were very impressed with their winner’s focus on the important area for many family offices of succession planning and the seamless transition of wealth to the next generation. Our winner’s innovative Next Generation programme in partnership with Singularity University, Cambridge Judge Business School and INSEAD was marked out as being particularly helpful and noteworthy. 

Wealth Management – Estate Planning Team
A clear leader in the field, our winner has extensive experience advising both local and international families – whether Muslim or non- Muslim – with Middle East exposure on a broad range of wealth and structuring issues, the gradual involvement of the next generation and inter-generational legacy planning. It notably advises on mitigating exposure to mandatory local ownership rules as well as on circumventing – or accommodating – Sharia principles.

Technology Categories – MENA: (Open to Non-banking Companies)
Best Front-Office Solution
Our winner’s platform is continuously evolving, and it enriches its solution with new functionalities and simplifies the platform features to create a better user experience with the next generation of its user interface. In 2020 our winner further enriched the portfolio simulation possibilities, and developed risk management features that fully comply with regulatory requirements such as the Mifid II. All this won the judges’ favour in an extremely well put together submission.

Best Transaction Processing Solution
Our judges’ winner offers a unique combination of streamlined processes across a very wide range of activities from client onboarding, with automated KYC and AML checks. The judges were impressed with their winner’s rule-based workflows which automate front-to-back office activity on all asset classes including traded instruments, derivatives, FX, loans, deposits as well as alternative investments.

Best Onboarding Solution
Judges were particularly impressed that their winner has developed a Remote Account Opening Solution that allows Banks to digitally onboard clients; this is particularly useful in pandemic times. Its intelligent rules-driven solution provides companies regulatory proof ensuring that compliance across all frameworks including KYC, AML, FATCA and global OTC derivative rules, and the SFTR in 100 jurisdictions. 

Best Compliance/Regtech Solution
Judges said that their winner’s solution encompasses a sophisticated regulatory rules engine, an advanced workflow tool, and entity data and document management features leveraging AI. This intelligent rules-driven solution provides companies with regulatory proof ensuring that compliance across all frameworks including KYC, AML, FATCA and global OTC derivative rules, and the SFTR in 100 jurisdictions. This really impressed our judges.

Most Innovative Wealth Management Client Solution
The judges said that their winner is using the most innovative solutions to develop the best-end client services. “Their robot advisor and SMA solutions is a true reflection that the innovation is within their DNA,” said one. Another judge said: “This company seems to have an innovative solution, albeit only being a recent entrant. It is a young and growing company in the region and has all the signs of doing well.”

Best Client Reporting Solution
The judges were fulsome in their praise of their winner in this category. The adoption of AI and machine learning technology to enhance its reporting solution set it apart from the competition. One judge said of their winner, “ liked their military level security, total transparency and intergenerational tool.” The judges said that another positive was that their winner had been formed by UHNWIs as they fully understand the clients. 

Best Client Accounting Solution
Their winner’s integrated solutions are industry leading in their field, said one judge in congratulations. “Demonstrates a strong pedigree of a transparent and detailed accounting system that can deal with the complexity of the private wealth industry,” said another. Overall the judges were full of praise for their winner’s entry.

Best Client Communication Solution
SS&C Advent
Judges were impressed by what they said were “proactive and multi-disciplinary communication solutions”. They went on to say that the company has built a reputation for extremely adaptable client portals which transcend the clients’ point of access from desktop to mobile. The judges were also impressed by that fact that many of the systems are interactive which is important for communication. They also drew attention to an impressive list of UAE clients.

Most Innovative Overall Fintech Solution
Profile Software
Our judges noted that despite being present in the market for many years, their winner keeps developing innovative solutions for clients using AI technology or state of the art cloud services. “Its elegant responsive design combined with an out-of-the-box dashboard deliver the ability to have numerous panels, layouts and workflow management functionalities on any device, providing a dynamic modern environment to the user,” said one judge, echoing the general level of praise heaped on our winner by the panel.

Private Client/Consultancy Categories – MENA
Best Trust Company
The winner’s huge investment in technology via acquisition caught our judges attention. Through it, our winner has created solutions for some of the main frustrations regarding the automation and combining of data while always maintaining the highest levels of security and adhering to regulatory and governance rules. This was amply demonstrated by an excellent submission which the judges rated very highly.

Best Legal Advice Provision for UHNW individuals, Families or Wealth Managers
Al Tamimi & Company
According to one of our judges, their winner is “the go to law firm in the Middle East, setting standards and constantly working with the industry to provide the best outcomes.” Another was impressed by the diverse lawyers serving all the MENA region. “Good examples of work done benefitting clients,” said another.

Best Accounting Provision for Servicing Private Clients
The judges thought that their winner combines both the quality of the offering of a large player as well as the flexibility of a boutique player. “The company has demonstrated amazing agility in its client proposition and is able to propose adapted 360 solutions to its clients,” said another.

Best Independent Trust or Fiduciary Company
Asiaciti Trust Administration Pte Ltd (Dubai Branch)
Our winner presented a very impressive submission which stated that it is on the preferred or approved panel for most international private banks and has longstanding relationships with major law firms, accountancy firms and independent advisors in the region. It was also the emphasis on impeccable client service that also swayed the judges.

Best Estate Planning Service
EY Private - MENA
In estate planning the winner impressed because the team covers the entire MENA region which includes all the GCC countries as well as the Levant and North Africa. It leverages the extensive network of the firm as a whole as well as its broad knowledge of the succession planning tools available in the MENA region.

Best Family Office Advisory Offering
EY Private - MENA

Best Family Office Governance Service Provision
EY Private - MENA
Special Wealth Management Categories

Best Private Bank Marketing Campaign
Standard Chartered Bank
Our judges were very impressed with an outstanding submission in which our winner gave a case study of its title sponsorship of the Dubai Open Polo Gold Cup tournament in March 2020 as well as demonstrating its focus on its sustainable agenda. The panel was wholehearted in its praise for the work of their winner in this area.

Best International Financial Centre (IFC)
Jersey Finance
Our winner is focused on differentiating through a comprehensive outreach programme which saw its first full year as the first IFC to establish a presence in the Dubai International Finance Centre. Our judges were very impressed by their winner’s detailed submission which listed areas of excellence and leading the way in terms of international compliance and regulatory cooperation.

Most Innovative Wealth Management Model
Standard Chartered Bank
Our winner boasts a truly open architecture platform for clients to invest into an expansive local and international product offering - managed by world class partners in its Investment and Insurance solutions. The winner impressed our judges by demonstrating that depending on client needs and considering their investment profile was paramount.

Leading Individual
M/HQ - Yann Mrazek

Yann has formulated, contributed to and commented on the majority of the recent wealth planning initiatives in the Gulf, proactively contributing to exceptional advancements in the field of private wealth management regionally. He has also been instrumental in the development of the DIFC Wills & Probate Registry.

Leading Woman in Wealth Management and rising star under 40
M/HQ - Kath Zagatti

Judges note that Kath has significantly contributed to and made a measurable impact on the recent regional evolution and advancements in the field of private wealth management. She has been one of the first non-Emirati individuals succeeding on the transfer of real estate properties in Dubai to Foundations in 2019, when the Dubai Land Department started accepting registering properties under Foundation structures.

Wealth Management Rising Star under 30
M/HQ - Celia Titouni

Judges note that since joining M/HQ in 2016, Ce?lia has quickly made a name for herself – and has become a Senior Associate at the firm – for her work helping domestic and regional and regionally-based families structure their wealth and past it to the generation.

Best Global Citizenship/Immigration Programme Offering
Huriya Private    
In a very impressive submission our winner detailed how it opened in January 2019 with just one person. Despite the pandemic continuing to ruin business and industries throughout the world, it has managed to survive and thrive. Our judges took note that it now has 12 staff, with new offices opened in Qatar and Zurich and strategic partnerships have been signed with the world’s leading banks and law firms.

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