Six small or obscure finance firms with big hiring plans for the Middle East

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Hiring is picking up in the Middle East financial sector, but often even large international banks have a small headcount in the region. Sometimes it’s worth looking at smaller firms where the Middle East is a key growth market for potential opportunities. Here are our top six at the moment.

1. Banque Internationale à Luxembourg

BIL is the latest international wealth manager to gain its stripes from the DIFC and has plans to bolster its team in Dubai as it aims for 5-10% of its total global assets coming out of the region over the next three years. Currently, it has nine people and intends to get 15 employees by the start of 2015.

2. Coutts

OK, so Coutts isn’t exactly small, but nor is it up there with the larger international financial services organisations. The private bank has been building its team in the Middle East over the past year or so and its latest hire, Rod Sampson from Barclays, who joins as an executive director, suggests that this is continuing.

3. ADS Securities

The Abu Dhabi-based brokerage has decided to expand the range of services it offers to include investment banking and asset management – or in other words, a full-service finance firm. It has around 180 employees globally, but expect other hires to follow in the near future.

4. Arqaam Capital

The latest significant recruit to join growing regional investment bank Arqaam Capital in recent months is Anis Bibi, the former head of private equity at Shuaa Capital, who will lead its principal finance business. It’s another indication that the boutique operation that has been hiring for its investment bank and going into Africa from its Dubai HQ is still expanding.

5. United Overseas Bank

Again, UOB, as Singapore’s third largest bank by assets, may not be a small fish globally but it’s still a relatively obscure player in the Middle East. However, Dubai is a new area of focus for the bank, and its eyeing an expansion of its futures business in the region.

6. Markel International

The insurer has hired Leroy Almeida to lead its new office in Dubai ahead its approval by the DFSA. It plans to focus on trading credit covers, but could launch new business areas if successful, so expect other opportunities to arise.

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