MENA investment strategies in a digital age

Main Conference Day | Thursday, 21 February 2019

09:00 Opening Remarks from the Chair

Rosanna Lockwood, Broadcast Journalist & Television Presenter

09:10 Welcome address by CFA Society Emirates President

Amer Khansaheb, CFA, President, CFA Society Emirates

09:20 Host Welcome by ADGM

Hamad Al Mazrouei, Managing Director, ADGM Academy


Opening Global Keynote Address
Artificial Intelligence: The Coming Disruption (What Investors, Managers and Everyone Else Needs to Know)
This talk draws on Martin Ford’s unique experience as a futurist and author—as well as his role as the consulting expert for Société Générale’s new “Rise of the Robots” equity index, which is focused specifically on investing in companies that will be significant participants in the artificial intelligence and robotics revolution

Martin Ford, Author, The Rise of Robots

Martin Ford is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and the author of the best-selling Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. A computer engineer with over 25 years’ experience in software development and design, he has become one of the leading voices on artificial intelligence and automation in the world.

CFA Honours
Leadership, Service & Professional Excellence

H.E. Hareb Masood Al-Darmaki, Chairman of the Board, UAE Central Bank, Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board, Gulf Capital, Advisor, Managing Directors Office, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Chairman, Global Investment House

10:45 Networking Break

Macro-Economic Briefing: The impact of global politics, US sanctions policy, market crises and trade wars on MENA economies

  • The state of global economies, the key factors in play and their impact on regional economies
  • The effect of rising political risk, and the reaction to those crises on emerging market countries and regional economies

Christopher Dembik, Global Head of Macroeconomic Research, Saxo Bank


Dual Discussion
Hunting returns through alternative investments and private asset classes

  • Private markets vs. Private equity: the short, mid and long-term assessment and where the greatest gains lie
  • Understanding the increasing popularity of alternative investment classes by Middle East investors
  • With fierce competition and rich valuations, attractive deals are becoming harder to find – what are the most attractive opportunities regionally and globally?

Dr. Karim El Solh, Co-Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of Private Equity, Gulf Capital
Eric Swats, Senior Executive Officer, Rasmala

Moderated by:
Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist, FXTM and Anchor, CNBC Arabia


Taxation and the long-term prospects for global equity markets

  • After the (almost) longest bull market of the 2010s, what to expect for the 2020s when fiscal policy will become more relevant?
  • Will the US market move from a leader- to a laggard position as the political economy of income redistribution will hit the US most?

Luciano Jannelli, Ph.D., CFA, Head, Investment Strategy, ADCB Asset Management

12:40 Lunch

Afternoon Keynote
Factor crowding and commoditized investing: How to avoid the herd and navigate today’s correlated markets
Investors globally have left “vanilla” active management for two ends of a barbell: passive investments on one side and “alternative” investments on the other. In an increasingly correlated world how can investors position to avoid the herd and protect against crowded unwinds?

Jesse Barnes, Managing Partner & Portfolio Manager, HighVista Strategies


Blockchain and Crypto Currencies: Understanding the regulatory framework that will make the UAE a destination of choice for the crypto industry

Saeed Hareb Al Darmaki, Co-Founder & Managing Director, ALPHABIT


Data Science in Finance: Using Machine Learning and AI to Draw Insights and Make Predictions

  • Transforming the financial services industry by engaging clients, improving decision making and managing risk and compliance
  • Augmenting, not replacing the Human Advisor to take on more tasks and maximise the impacts to the client being serviced

Johnson Poh, Adjunct Faculty, Big Data Analytics, Singapore Management University

15:30 Networking Break

Panel Discussion
Emerging Markets and Frontier Markets: What’s new, what’s now and what’s next?

  • Africa or Egypt? India or the MENA? What are the latest hot-spots in emerging and frontier market investing?
  • Understanding the consequences to the GCC’s regional finance hubs as other markets open up
  • What to expect in 2019

Panellists include:
Jeremy Crane, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Yellow Door Energy
Mohamed El Sabban, Chief Innovation and Strategic Development Officer, Misr Capital Investments
Kato Mukuru, Managing Director, Head of Frontier Markets Research, EFG Hermes

Moderated by:
Rosanna Lockwood, Broadcast Journalist & Television Presenter


Risk Management in Financial Markets: From Currency and Trade Wars to Global Political Tensions What are the Major Areas of Risk for Investors – What are the major issues at stake?

  • Understanding the Global Risk Indicators: What should be keeping you awake at night?
  • Are the current risks worthy of investors repositioning their portfolios?
  • Rhetoric vs. reality: Will political self-interest prevail and will tariffs be walked back to ensure long-term economic gains?

Jae Yoon, Chief Investment Officer, New York Life Investment Management

17:20 Closing Remarks from the Chair
18.00 Buses leave Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi for Louvre Abu Dhabi Tour followed by Gala Dinner at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
19.00 Gala Dinner



Abu Dhabi Global Market – PLATINUM SPONSOR at MENA Investment Congress                   Abu Dhabi Global Market – PLATINUM SPONSOR at MENA Investment Congress


ADCB Asset Management Limited  - GOLD SPONSOR at MENA Invest Congress


Candriam – SIVER SPONSOR at MENA Investment Congress


Gulf Capital – NOTEBOOK SPONSOR at MENA Investment Congress


FactSet – EXHIBITOR at MENA Investment Congress
IG – EXHIBITOR at MENA Investment Congress
Rasmala – EXHIBITOR at MENA Investment Congress
BVD Moody – EXHIBITOR at MENA Investment Congress
CFA Society Emirates - Organizer | MENA Invest Congress


CFA Society Emirates is the local United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) member society of CFA Institute, which is the preeminent global association of professionals in the field of investment analysis. CFA Institute administers the globally recognized Chartered Financial Analyst® Program. The local society, founded in 2002, was created to serve the growing requirements of investment professionals in U.A.E. for support, continuing education programs and networking opportunities. Our society seeks to fulfil the CFA Institute mission at the local level: to lead the investment profession by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.
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