The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the global hedge fund association, has launched a Middle East initiative.
AIMA is seeking to create a network for managers and service providers in the Middle East that can give the local industry a voice in terms of engaging with investors and its relations with policymakers and regulators.
The initiative will be spearheaded by former AIMA chairman and current AIMA EMEA Regional Advisory Council member Sohail Jaffer of FWU Group, who is based in Dubai.
The focus of AIMA’s Middle East initiative will be investor engagement given the increasing interest in hedge funds from the region's investors, including sovereign wealth funds, family offices and private clients. A series of educational and networking events are planned in the region, with the first one likely to take place next month. An initial AIMA Middle East group meeting has been held in Dubai.
“There is already a significant hedge fund industry community in the Middle East, both in terms of managers and service providers,” says Jaffer. “The region’s authorities are also taking a keen interest in hedge funds and are encouraging the growth of the local asset management industry. And of course many investors in the region either have extensive experience of investing in alternative investments or are looking at increasing their allocations in that area. We look forward to working with investors, policymakers and regulators across the region.”
“The Middle East is a strategically significant region for the global hedge fund industry,” says Andrew Baker (pictured), AIMA’s chief executive. “I am delighted that we have a former chairman of the association there to take forward this important initiative.”