Citco opens Abu Dhabi headquarters in ADGM after 400% increase in MENA assets

New offices set up by fund services provider after enormous growth sees its assets in MENA hit $125 billion.

By Jonathan Watkins

Fund administrator Citco has opened an office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) after increasing its assets under administration (AUA) in the region last year by 400% to approximately $125 billion.   

Citco said its decision to establish a base in ADGM follows a marked rise in calls for asset servicing, administration, banking and governance services from sovereign wealth funds and managers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region last year.  

Citco will partner with ADGM to create a sustainable, fully-integrated ecosystem for the investment management industry, and provide a platform for the local population to further develop the financial services industry in the UAE. 

In addition, the fund services provider said it will source talent with local Emiratis and commit to the employment of women in finance and accounting. 

“Citco has been dedicated to serving the global investment industry for over 50 years, becoming the world’s largest organically-grown asset servicer in alternative investments,” said Roald Smeetspresident and COO of The Citco Group. 

We accomplished this feat with long-term sustainability in mind, a trait mirrored in ADGM’s commitment to further establishing Abu Dhabi as an international financial centre through region-wide education and employment programs. 

“Given the significant increase in demand for our solutions in MENA, we felt that there was one clear solution to our need for a regional headquarters – ADGM. We look forward to sustainably and significantly growing our operations in Abu Dhabi in the years to come.” 

Citco had a stellar year in 2020, building on its $1 trillion in assets under administration milestone with a range of accolades at Global Custodian’s Industry Leaders awards in November. 

The firm won Hedge Fund Administrator of the Year, following its impressive performance in our annual survey, along with awards for Reporting and Client Service. 

“Our partnership with Citco further demonstrates the strategic importance of ADGM as a leading international financial centre and reinforces our robust commitment to attract the world’s leading corporations to Abu Dhabi’s expansive portfolio of institutions,” said Juma Al Hamelisenior executive director of strategy and business development at ADGM. 

As we continue to grow, this symbiotic relationship will enable us to leverage Citco’s global reputation and reach within the alternative investments sector, while providing the financial infrastructure and recruitment opportunities necessary to build a long-term, sustainable hub in the MENA region.”