Middle East's AuM declines in 2015, says BCG study

Markus Massi
Updated 04 September 2016
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Middle East's AuM declines in 2015, says BCG study

The global growth of asset management stalled as the industry in 2015 recorded its worst year since the 2008 financial crisis, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Growth in assets under management (AuM) stalled — or in the case of the Middle East declined 10 percent — and net new flows of assets, revenue growth, and revenue margins all dipped lower in 2015, according to Global Asset Management 2016: Doubling Down on Data.
BCG’s fourteenth annual benchmark report on the industry has just been released.
Asset managers' future prosperity and competitive advantage will require them to shift from outdated product strategies and develop disruptive investment capabilities using leading-edge data and analytics, the report emphasizes.
BCG reports that the global value of AuM rose just one percent in 2015, to $71.4 trillion from $70.5 trillion in 2014, after growing eight percent that year, and at an average annualized rate of five percent from 2008 through 2014.
“Weak and turbulent global financial markets are today’s reality - one recent example being the market response to Britain’s Brexit vote to leave the EU,” said Ihab Khalil, a partner and MD at BCG Middle East.
The industry’s regional growth, as measured by AuM, reflected in large part the performance of capital markets by region in 2015.
AuM decreased in North America and the Middle East but rose elsewhere. Growth was modest in Europe and strong in Latin America and Asia, excluding Japan and Australia. The 10 percent growth of AuM in Asia, excluding Japan and Australia, was relatively robust, but once again, it trailed the rapid expansion of the region’s private wealth.
“The lack of market growth in 2015 reinforces the urgency faced by managers to pursue a step change in capabilities,” explained Markus Massi, partner and MD of BCG Middle East’s financial services practice and leader of the asset management topic.”


Almosafer Academy to hone next-gen travel advisers

Updated 21 September 2019

Almosafer Academy to hone next-gen travel advisers

Almosafer, an omni-channel travel brand in Saudi Arabia, celebrated the launch of Almosafer Academy, which offers a 10-week specialized recruitment program focused on shaping a new generation of Saudi male and female travel advisers. The inauguration ceremony was held at a state-of-the-art facility in Riyadh and was attended by senior officials from the company as well as several VIPs and stakeholders.

With the rollout of 25 new interactive stores across the Kingdom by the end of this year, Almosafer is utilizing the academy to equip passionate Saudi nationals with the skills and industry knowledge they need to succeed and grow as travel consultants within the company. Forty-eight Saudi recruits from key cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah, will begin the program this month, with a female-to-male ratio of 56 to 44 percent.

The program will entail various familiarization trips to top destinations identified by Almosafer as well as dedicated destination training sessions delivered by tourism boards and travel specialists, including VisitBritain, Dubai Tourism, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Azerbaijan Tourism Board, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority as well as Experience Hub — the trade and promotion arm of Yas Island Abu Dhabi.

Fahad Mohammed Al-Obailan, VP retail of Almosafer, said: “At a time when global travel brands are scaling back on a brick-and-mortar presence, it’s very exciting to have the opportunity to give the brand a physical presence that works in perfect synergy with our other channels. With 50 new retail outlets scheduled to open in key cities across the Kingdom by Q1 2020, we believe that having the option of booking travel face-to-face with a specialized travel adviser will enrich customers’ experience and help them find tailored packages to suit their every need. 

“Almosafer Academy is an integral part of our retail transformation as we are immersing Saudi talent in intensive and specialized training that will give them the knowledge and skills to help customers make the right travel decisions.”

Sofia Santos, GCC country manager at VisitBritain, said: “We are excited about our collaboration with the Almosafer Academy, and the opportunity to be part of training the next generation of Saudi travel advisers. Most Saudi travelers are familiar with London. We will use this opportunity to showcase hidden gems in London and less well-known areas beyond London, such as the Cotswolds and Lake District.” 

Abdulla Yousuf, acting director, proximity markets at Dubai Tourism, said: “We’re giving graduates from Almosafer Academy the opportunity to visit and experience Dubai’s ever-changing choice of tourist attractions, landmark hotels and world-class restaurants and shopping destinations.”

Sevinj Zeynalli, director of international market management at Azerbaijan Tourism Board, said: “Educating Almosafer’s new recruits about our country will not only help raise further awareness around it as a tourism destination but will also boost inbound tourism from Saudi Arabia to Azerbaijan.”