Abu Dhabi: The Capital of Capital Ends 2023 with ADGM as the Region’s Fastest-Growing IFC

ABU DHABI, UAE, March 7, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), has declared 2023 as a year of success for the international financial centre of the UAE’s capital, highlighting its performance as the fastest-growing financial centre in the region for two consecutive years, as well as Abu Dhabi’s rise as a globally recognised financial hub.

ADGM had a strong start to 2023, building on the significant growth demonstrated in 2022 along with a positive outlook for the year ahead. This was underscored by the 2023 quarterly and half-yearly growth numbers across every aspect.

Region’s Strongest Financial Capital

ADGM’s asset management sector started strong in 2023 and ended even stronger as it continued to experience an unprecedented influx of global asset managers establishing their operations in the IFC.

Assets Under Management (AUM) as of 31st December 2023, showcased a year-on-year increase of 35% when compared to 2022 numbers. Numerous investment firms and hedge funds were set up within ADGM as recorded in the year-end data; with the total asset managers operating in ADGM reaching 102 who are managing 141 funds.

Emerging as a preferred destination for businesses across borders, ADGM has witnessed major global and regional giants within the sector establishing themselves in ADGM. Operational entities jumped to 1,825, a growth of 32% against 2022 figures (1,378 operational entities in 2022). Some of the names worth highlighting include Brevan Howard, Ardian, Goldman Sachs, Tikehau Capital, Blackstone, SBI Capital, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Apollo, Fifth Wall, Fidera and Vibrant Capital. Including renowned local and regional entities such as ADQ, Chimera, G42, Gulf Capital, OneIM and Investcorp. Furthermore, there are over 125 firms in the pipeline to be registered with ADGM.

The end of 2023 numbers also reflect 88 financial institutions and 2 exchanges that have received IPA from ADGM, of which a significant number are part of the asset management sector. Due to the number of asset management firms moving to ADGM, leading Asset and Fund Service Providers such as Fund Accounting and Fund Administration service providers are banking on the opportunity ADGM is unlocking.

This growth is substantiated by the increase in ADGM’s workforce which has climbed to 13,394 – a 22% rise in one year. Several global financial institutions and investment banks based within ADGM such as JP Morgan and BNP Paribas.

H.E. Ahmed Al Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM said, “A year into Abu Dhabi’s Falcon economy and a year of exceptional growth for Abu Dhabi Global Market. When we think of these factors together, it leads us to the realisation of what consistency, persistence and alignment to economic goals can achieve. In merely eight years, we have become one of the world’s largest financial districts and the fastest-growing international financial centre in the region, for two years consecutively.”

H.E. added, “Enhancing Abu Dhabi’s international standing as the ‘capital of capital’, ADGM has truly capitalised the capital city’s potential for the financial landscape and strategically unlocked opportunities within underlying sectors. The growth that we are witnessing today is the realisation of the visions of the UAE’s leadership. We remain strongly positive as we move forward into 2024.”

ADFW 2023 – Financial Titans rally to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW) 2023 has raised the bar for finance events in the region, by introducing the best of the best from across the globe. The event successfully hosted 18,000+ attendees, featuring five forums that encompassed 46 sub-events, 180 sessions and 300 international, regional and local speakers from diverse backgrounds. The global impact of the event stood quite high where 39% of the attendees represented global participants from100+ countries.

International icons of the financial industry such as Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JP Morgan and Ray Dalio, Founder, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer, of Bridgewater Associates spoke of the rise of Abu Dhabi as a global finance centre during ADFW.

A total of 23 market announcements were recorded during Abu Dhabi Finance Week, including major operational upgrades by The World Bank & JP Morgan, along with a strong lineup of emerging financial institutions ranging across fintech and sustainable finance.

Year of Sustainability’ and COP28

With the ‘Year of Sustainability’ – 2023 continuing into 2024 and the conclusion of COP28 hosted in the UAE, ADGM led multiple initiatives that promoted sustainable finance, aligning seamlessly with the sustainability goals of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

In the first half of 2023, ADGM introduced the region’s first comprehensive regulatory framework for Sustainable Finance. This was followed by the UAE Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) chaired by ADGM, publishing its third public statement emphasising three pivotal objectives of the UAE’s SFWG, right before COP28. Another announcement around the same time was ADGM being designated ‘Principal Climate Finance Partner’ of COP28 and becoming home to the pioneering Global Climate Finance Centre (GCFC), which will accelerate the development of climate finance frameworks and skills, and champion best practices in the UAE and globally. COP28 also witnessed the launch of ALTÉRRA, a USD 30 billion catalytic climate vehicle, in ADGM, which will drive forward international efforts to create a fairer climate finance system with an emphasis on improving access to funding for the Global South.

Furthermore, 28 new signatories signed the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration last year, an initiative led by ADGM, bringing the total count of committed signatories to 145.

Key Achievements – 2023

ADGM expanded tenfold by bringing Al Reem Island under its jurisdiction in May 2023, making it one of the world’s largest International Financial Districts with a geographic area of 14.38 million sqm. ADGM launched its inaugural Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) Risk Assessment of ADGM Legal Persons and Arrangements Report (LPA Report) in May 2023. ADGM FSRA announced revisions to its Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Rules and Guidance (“the AML Rulebook”). The Registration Authority (RA) of ADGM published the legislative framework for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Foundations.