Utmost Wealth Solutions has secured full authorisation from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to set up a subsidiary operation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The licence allows the subsidiary to work with banks, brokers and other licensed intermediaries in and around the region to provide solutions for affluent and high net worth clients.
Senior executive officer of Utmost Worldwide (DIFC), Derek Gemmell, said: “Having a hub in the DIFC gives us the opportunity to grow our business in what is a very important and strategic area for Utmost Wealth Solutions and we see this as a first step in building a strong presence in the region.”
Middle East journey
In an interview with International Adviser in March, ahead of Generali Worldwide’s acquisition by Utmost and subsequent rebrand, chief executive Giorgio Daboni and outgoing chief commercial officer Nick Griffin spoke about the firm’s plans.
Utmost Worldwide had its sights firmly set on the UAE and was, at the time, in the process of applying for a licence to open in the DIFC.
“That won’t be for local sales, that will be for international sales,” Griffin said. “It’s different onshore and there is more work to be done to see what options we have. We are already working on it.
“We are keen to get established in the UAE beyond the DIFC.”
Another prime target is Hong Kong, in which Generali Worldwide had to cease accepting new business after its then-parent company, Generali Group, also entered the market with a class C licence. Two entities from the same group cannot hold the same licence in the special administrative region.
“Hong Kong is of considerable importance,” said Daboni. “We were very active and approximately a third of our portfolios originated from there.”