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Equitable reports major growth in fund deposits

Leading UK fund manager says it now has $100 million under management from regional customers.

The Equitable, a British financial services company, reports that it now has over $100 million in funds under management for the region. Altogether, the company reported an increase in business in the region of 50% during the first half.

“We are delighted with the performance of the Middle East operation,” John Martin St Valery, Middle East manager, The Equitable. “There are now 5,500 people in the UAE with funds under our management and our growth pattern looks set to continue as we expand our operations both in the UAE and around the region."

Not surprisingly, St Valery is keen to play down recent setbacks that have hit the company in the UK, where the parent is putting itself up for sale. This follows a run-in with the government over Guaranteed Annuity Rates (GARs).

“Naturally, some of our clients were concerned about the situation, but we are very confident that the sale of the business will have no major affect on our operations in the Middle East,” said St Valery. “We have communicated this to our clients and we are delighted with the commitment they have shown us.”

St Valery said the regional operation will increase its headcount and open new offices in the UAE and other Gulf states. The Equitable serves mostly personal clients in the region, but is seeing growing demand for corporate or group schemes.