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Citi UAE targets threefold growth in its assets under management to $15bn by 2025

January 13, 2021

The lender is looking quadruple the size of its affluent customer base in the second-biggest Arab economy over the five-year period

Citibank UAE plans to expand its assets under management threefold to $15 billion by 2025 and will double the number of relationship managers to support the growth of its wealth management division.

The lender, among the top wealth management services providers in the UAE, is also looking to quadruple the size of its affluent customer base in the country over the five-year period, Citi said in a statement on Tuesday.

Growth will be driven by a mix of “physical and digital investments” including technology and by expanding Citi’s institutional products. The increasing use of technology to provide wealth advice on demand will also support growth, the bank said.

“With the further investment in our platforms and talent pool, the expanded clientele will be able to book and manage their wealth across multiple jurisdictions through a single universal relationship manager,” Dinesh Sharma, Citi Middle East head of consumer banking, said.

“This, combined with Citi’s research capabilities, will ensure that we remain top provider of integrated wealth management services in the country.”

Citi, through its Citigold business that deals with wealthy individuals with investable assets of $200,000, has signed up about 3,000 new customers, 40 per cent of whom are “actively engaged with the bank through investment or insurance products”, the lender said.

Local, regional and international lenders are increasingly looking at boosting their wealth management services in the UAE, the Arab world’s second biggest economy, as they look to tap into the growing number of ultra-high net worth individuals in the country.

The combined wealth of millionaires in the UAE is forecast to grow 4.2 per cent each year to $510bn by 2024. It is however, subject to the pace of the post-coronavirus recovery, the Boston Consulting Group said in its Global Wealth 2020 report.

The aggregate wealth of the UAE millionaires is expected to hit $510bn if the economic recovery is slow. It is forecast to grow 3.2 per cent to $480bn if there is lasting damage in the wake of the pandemic, but wealth creation could accelerate by 5.3 per cent to $530bn if there is a quick economic rebound, according to the BCG report.

Last year, Citi grew its mobile user numbers across the Asia Pacific region by more than 1 million through its mobile banking offerings that included digital tools for wealth management. The service will be introduced in the UAE, along with video banking this year, the lender said.

“We see a significant opportunity in the growing affluent segment in the UAE,” Venkat Mahadevan, Citi Middle East head of wealth management, said. “We will continue to bring them … wealth management services and further enhance our capacity.’’

Citigroup, the third-largest US lender, expects its UAE business to maintain its five-year revenue growth track despite the pandemic-driven global economic downturn, David Livingstone, Citigroup’s chief executive of Europe, the Middle East and Africa told The National in October.


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