Private banking heats up in the Middle East
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Private banking heats up in the Middle East

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Wealth management had a tough 2022. Assets under management fell across the board, undermined by global uncertainty. But one region is not struggling. More wealth than ever is being formed in the Middle East, and more of it than ever is staying there. Private banks are hiring as fast as they can and expanding their repertoire in Shariah-compliant asset classes.

Selim Elgen is on the move. The private banker is preparing to head to Dubai from London in a move that was announced mid April and looks set to be completed sometime in August.

Until this spring, the 30-year Citi veteran, thoughtful and softly spoken, was covering private banking customers in the Middle East and Africa out of London, the place he has called home since graduating from the US firm’s private bank graduate scheme in 1994.

In March, he was made head of Citi Global Wealth (CGW) for Middle East and Africa, a role that sprawls to an almost incomprehensible degree. He oversees north and sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, Israel and Russia, not to mention all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Add to the mix the sweep of client segments his team must serve.

Created in 2021 under then-new chief executive Jane Fraser, CGW serves all the bank’s wealth customers, from private-bank clients (average assets under management $350 million) down to Citigold (used by individuals with at least $200,000 in linked deposits and investments).



Elliot Wilson headshot.jpg
Asia editor and Global Private Banking and Wealth Management editor
Elliot Wilson is Asia editor and Global Private Banking and Wealth Management editor. He joined the magazine in 2020 having been a regular contributor focusing on China and the Indian subcontinent, Russia and Eastern Europe/the CIS. He is based in Hong Kong.
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