The suspension followed serious concerns from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) related to “the adequacy of its human and financial resources, its non-compliance with DFSA rulebook requirements, and its failure to deal with the DFSA in an open and cooperative manner”.
The firm describes itself as a “diversified financial services group based in Dubai”.
It offers investment banking, wealth management and corporate advisory services to high net worth individuals, family offices and small to medium-sized business in the region.
Morgan Gatsby, formerly known as Sidra Capital, is owned by Essel Group ME (EGME); a business conglomerate operating across a range of sectors including media, entertainment, infrastructure, precious metals and finance.
Bryan Stirewalt, chief executive of the regulatory body, said: “The DFSA will take immediate action to ensure the interests of its clients and the DIFC are protected.
“We will not hesitate to suspend a firm that repeatedly fails to comply with our regulatory requirements and also fails to deal with us in an open and cooperative manner.”
Stirewalt added that the DFSA is “committed to protecting the investors’ interest, as well as the reputation and integrity of the DIFC’s financial services”.
The action against Morgan Gatsby comes less than a week after the DFSA confirmed that it had secured a $52,500 (£39,573, €45,493) fine from the former boss of an insurance intermediary firm based in the DIFC.
Andrew Grimes was fined after his firm was found to be selling insurance policies outside of the DIFC. He failed to pay the fine and was eventually, successfully, pursued through the UK courts.
It would be, perhaps, too soon to see the two cases as indicating the DFSA is ramping up its regulator activity, given that the Grimes case had been ongoing for at least three years.
However, the action taken against Morgan Gatsby is still relatively unusual and could signal a step-change from Stirewalt, who only assumed the top role in October 2018.