Marshall Wace Plans to Open an Office in Abu Dhabi - Latest Global News

Marshall Wace Plans to Open an Office in Abu Dhabi

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Marshall Wace plans to open an office in Abu Dhabi in the coming months, people familiar with the matter said, making him the latest hedge fund manager to establish a presence in the United Arab Emirates.

The move is intended to help the group get closer to its investor base in the Middle East – a key source of capital – and better compete for talent, the people said.

The Gulf States market themselves as financial centers with attractive regulatory and tax systems and a growing pool of talented employees.

Marshall Wace, which manages about $65 billion in assets, would follow hedge funds such as Chris Hohn’s TCI and macro fund Brevan Howard in opening an office in Abu Dhabi. Brevan Howard currently manages more money from Abu Dhabi than from London or New York.

Marshall Wace declined to comment.

Other funds such as Izzy Englander’s Millennium, Steve Cohen’s Point72 and quant investing giant AQR have chosen Dubai as the location for their presence in the region. Both cities benefit from their geographical location as they are on both European and Asian trading days.

Hedge fund managers have been expanding their presence in the Middle East to do local business and build relationships with sovereign wealth funds in the region. Low taxes are also attracting them to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The majority of them are London- or New York-based funds that are opening subsidiaries.

The pandemic has helped Dubai and Abu Dhabi position themselves as attractive alternatives to London, New York and Hong Kong. Hedge fund managers reported seeing a surge in relocation requests during government-imposed lockdowns in Europe and the US, indicating that Covid restrictions were less stringent in Dubai. In addition, Abu Dhabi has sought to develop itself into a hub for blockchain technology.

Since Paul Marshall and Ian Wace founded Marshall Wace in 1997, the hedge fund has established itself as the European answer to the US industry giants Citadel and Millennium.

Assets under management have grown to a record $65 billion, bucking a trend that has put pressure on many of the region’s equity hedge funds.

Founder Marshall’s Eureka fund, which accounts for about a third of the company’s assets, has risen by about 8 percent this year, according to investors.

The remaining two-thirds of assets are managed in systematic strategies that use computer algorithms. About a third of the roughly 575 employees work in technology-related roles, and the company spends tens of millions of dollars annually on technology.

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