WealthBriefing GCC Awards 2017


A warm welcome to the WealthBriefing GCC Region Awards 2017. Nominations are now open and we look forward to seeing old and new faces taking part in this prestigious event.

For those new to the awards, the categories are focused around three main areas:

  • Experts (individuals and teams)
  • Products
  • Services for wealth managers and clients/institutions of all sizes and types

As in previous years, independence, integrity and genuine insight will be the watchwords of the judging process and will be conducted by an expert panel drawn from both private banks and trusted advisors/consultants to the sector.

To avoid any conflict of interest we have two judging panels. One panel of bankers who judge the trusted advisor categories. Another panel of trusted advisors who are responsible for judging the banking categories.

Winning an WealthBriefing GCC Region Award sets organisations and individuals apart from their peers and is a tangible demonstration that they have something special to offer, rewarding achievement and showcasing top class performance and innovation.

We very much hope you take part and look forward to seeing you at the 2017 awards ceremony.

Key Dates

  • Nominations close 8 September (at midnight)
  • Shortlist announcement 20 September
  • Awards dinner 8 November (from 7.00pm)

Judging Process

There will be two judging panels for the awards. A panel of trusted advisors who will be responsible for judging the private banking categories. A second panel of private bankers will judge the trusted advisor categories. This is to ensure that commercially sensitive information is kept confidential and to avoid conflicts of interest.

Trusted Advisor Panel

Ausaf Abbas

Managing Director

Coombe Advisors

Ausaf Abbas founded Coombe Advisors to provide strategic, business and financial advice to a network of clients and associated businesses, with a focus on family offices, the wealth management industry and growth-oriented companies. Prior to that, Ausaf had a 25-year career at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, where he held various senior management positions in both investment banking and wealth management. His international experience includes 13 years based in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, and extensive experience managing wealth businesses across the MENA region. His broad range of interests include acting as senior advisor to a real estate investment banking firm and serving as a director of TeachFirst and SEO London, two education charities.

Laurence Black

Regional Director, Client Solutions, MENA

Asiaciti Trust Group

Laurence is regional director, client solutions, EMEA for Asiaciti Trust in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He joined Asiaciti Trust in 2012 and has over 30 years experience in the offshore finance industry. Based in the Middle East for the past 20 years he has particular skills and experience in cross border planning, the establishment of offshore trusts and company formation. Before joining Asiaciti Trust he held a number of senior positions within the trust & fiduciary industry and more recently was head of fiduciary services, MENAP for a major international financial institution in the Dubai International Financial Centre. He is a full member of STEP Worldwide (Society of Trust and Estate Planners) and was the founding Chairman of STEP Arabia.

Tim Casben


Gowling WLG

Tim Casben is managing partner of the firm’s Dubai office and heads the firm’s corporate practice in Middle East, focusing on corporate structuring, finance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private investments. Tim works across a number of sectors including advising family offices on succession structuring and working with the firms IP team advising the new wave of technology related entrepreneurs.  Before moving to Dubai Tim spent 12 years with Lawrence Graham in London principally advising entrepreneurs on IPO’s and M&A transactions. He has worked in the Middle East for over eight years.

Michael Chahine

Founder and CEO

Nexgen Desert Green Consultancy

Michael Chahine invested his 35 years experience in global finance, corporate and investment management in Nexgen Desert Green Consultancy, a management consultancy focused on family businesses and wealth management solutions, he founded as its CEO in April 2016.

Prior to this he had been general manager at Emirates NBD Private Bank where he headed the private bank.  He has also worked at major global players such as Citibank, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and HSBC with global assignments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Chicago, New York, London, Geneva and Dubai.

Michael enjoys close strategic relationships with institutions, sovereigns, merchant families and family offices across the MENA Region, and in particular the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Walid S. Chiniara


Deloitte & Touche, Middle East

Walid is a partner at Deloitte & Touche and heads its private client services practice in the Middle East. He is an international corporate finance lawyer with 35 years’ experience across the five continents. Walid is a leading family business advisor who dedicated the last 20 years to building and serving family offices. He provides legal strategy, dynastic planning and mediation services to elite business families and HNW family business entrepreneurs in the GCC and the MENA region.

Sabila Din

Chief Executive & Founder

Din Consultants

As CEO and founder of Din Consultants, Sabila Din offers a wealth of global experience in business management and marketing to the wealth management sector. She has advised a number of leading banks on growth, assisted six institutional start-ups and transformed leading brands across EMEA and Asia. The female economy is also a key aspect of Sabila’s work. Here she advises financial institutions on the development of diversity programmes and client propositions. Before establishing Din Consultants, Sabila worked as commercial director of ABN AMRO, Retail Bank, Asia and managed marketing agencies in the UK and Hong Kong.

Valérie Mantot


Sanne Group

Valérie is head of CRM –Asia Pacific based in Singapore and has overall responsibility for business development and the services delivery for the Asia and MENA region.

Prior to joining Sanne, Valérie worked for more than fifteen years as a corporate law and funds lawyer at leading law firms in Paris, Luxembourg and Dubai. She has gained considerable experience working with asset managers and family offices with respect to structuring their cross border investments globally.

Yann Mrazek

Managing Partner

M / Advocates of Law

Yann is the managing partner of M/HQ, a Dubai based multi-services platform primarily providing for the needs of successful individuals and wealthy international families. He chiefly focuses on private wealth, tax and immigration practice and is regularly solicited as a speaker on these themes. He has vast experience advising successful individuals and entrepreneurial families with Middle Eastern exposure on implementing inter-generational wealth transfer strategies and structuring their operational assets and global wealth. He notably advises on mitigating exposure to mandatory local ownership rules in Middle East corporate vehicles and complying with Shariah succession principles. Yann is the Chair of STEP Arabia.

Manoj Prasad

Executive Vice Chairman

Que Capital Limited

Manoj Prasad is executive vice chairman & CEO of Que Capital, an investment banking and legacy planning advisory firm headquartered in the DIFC providing bespoke corporate and private finance solutions for its global client base. With extensive experience in corporate finance, wealth management and investment banking, Manoj worked in senior  management positions at Morgan Stanley and HSBC before establishing QueCap in 2013. He also played a key role in re-establishing Barclays in the Middle East and sub-continent as the firm’s director and head of south Asian business. Manoj sits on the board of several global companies and is an executive committee member of the Indo European Business Forum.

Izabella Szadkowska

Partner, Corporate Commercial Department

Al Tamimi

Izabella is a partner in Al Tamimi & Company’s Corporate & Commercial Department (UAE and Saudi Arabia).  Prior to moving to the UAE, Izabella worked in Warsaw at Clifford Chance and White & Case.  Izabella combines private practice and in-house experience, having acted as Head of Group Legal Department for a major UAE conglomerate, Al Rostamani Group. Izabella specialises in corporate and commercial work, M&A transactions as well as provides corporate restructuring, ownership restriction and trust structures advice and assistance and advising family businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Private Bankers Panel

Mannan Adenwalla

Managing Director

LGT Bank (Middle East)

With more than 29 years’ banking experience in the UAE, Mannan Adenwalla assumed the role of managing director of private banking and asset management group, LGT (Middle East) in 2012. Mannan had previously been managing director of Clariden Leu Asset Management, Dubai which he set up and then led for six years. Before this he worked for ABN AMRO Bank, where he managed his clients and a team of relationship managers for nearly ten years. Having begun his career in the banking industry in 1984, Mannan’s responsibilities at LGT include developing the business across non-resident Indian and subcontinent markets.

Elissar Farah Antonios

Chief Executive Officer

Citibank UAE

Elissar is a seasoned international banker with over 25-year experience in the financial industry and the region where she enjoys a reputation for delivering private banking services with an investment banking touch. As CEO for Citibank UAE her responsibility cover the institutional client group and Global Consumer Bank overseeing corporate, investment banking and wealth management services. She is also senior executive officer for Citi DIFC entities.

Elissar’s banking career began as a management associate covering the wealth management Middle East desk in the London office of Republic National Bank of New York. She then moved to Credit Agricole Indosuez (CALYON) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before joining ABN AMRO Private Bank covering Abu Dhabi and Egypt.

Elissar joined Citi in 2005 as head of private banking in Abu Dhabi and later served as CEO for Citibank Lebanon before assuming her current position.

Walid S. Chiniara


Deloitte & Touche, Middle East

Walid is a partner at Deloitte & Touche and heads its private client services practice in the Middle East. He is an international corporate finance lawyer with 35 years’ experience across the five continents. Walid is a leading family business advisor who dedicated the last 20 years to building and serving family offices. He provides legal strategy, dynastic planning and mediation services to elite business families and HNW family business entrepreneurs in the GCC and the MENA region.

Patrick Crowley

Senior Vice President

DBS Private Bank

Patrick joined DBS Private Bank Dubai in March 2017 as its senior vice president after a spell with Standard Chartered Private Bank Dubai.

In his new role Patrick aims to exploit his reputation as a trusted advisor with entrepreneurial families to drive the bank’s growth in the ultra-high net worth and NRI private client segments, principally in the ME and Africa.

Patrick’s 20-plus years experience in the sector began at Allied Irish Banks where he rose through the ranks to head up its deposit-taking unit in Jersey. His subsequently moved to BNP Paribas, then Bank of Nova Scotia before joining ABN AMRO Jersey where he rose to become head of private banking and later its country head. He moved to Dubai to join Lombard Odier in 2012.

Gary Dugan

Chief Investment Officer

Emirates NBD

Gary Dugan is the chief investment officer (CIO) for Emirates NBD Wealth Management. He is responsible for setting out the investment views for clients of Wealth Management. Gary returned to Emirates NBD at the start of 2016 having previously worked for the group between 2009 and 2012 as the CIO & acting general manager for the private bank. Gary until recently was the CIO at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and prior to that worked as the CIO for Coutts international in Singapore. Earlier in his career Gary served as CIO for EMEA Merrill Lynch and Barclays Wealth.

Georg Hartmann

Head of Private Banking Middle East

Liectensteinische Landesbank

Georg Hartmann is head of private banking Middle East at Liechtensteinische Landesbank (LLB) where he is responsible for the bank’s activities in the Middle East having been instrumental in developing and implementing its global private banking strategy. Prior to this Georg worked at McKinsey & Company, in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Europe and the US as a core member of its family business practice, private banking practice and risk management practice. Georg has served many UHNWI families helping them build up or restructure their family offices. He also advises on organisational topics such as family governance, family charters and next generation issues.

Manoj Kapur

Managing Director

Bank J Safra Sarasin Asset Management (Middle East)

As managing director at Bank J Safra Sarasin (Asset Management) Dubai, Manoj Kapur is responsible for leading a team of private bankers, a role he assumed in March 2010. He has over 30 years banking experience in the sector in management, private banking and corporate banking. Manoj joined the bank from Lloyds International Private Banking where he was head of private banking for nearly four years. He was a senior manger at HSBC Private Bank in Dubai prior to that.

Kieran McDonnell


Arbuthnot Latham

Kieran McDonnell is a director within the international private banking team based in Dubai and has over 15 years’ experience within the financial services industry. He relocated to Dubai in 2013 to be part of the team opening Arbuthnot Latham’s first international office in the DIFC. Prior to joining Arbuthnot Latham in September 2012 as a chartered financial planner, Kieran was a senior financial planning specialist in the International client group at Coutts & Co. He is a fellow of the Personal Finance Society, the financial service arm of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Sofia Mota

Head of Regulatory and Compliance Services


Sofia has over 10 years experience in the financial services sector and of consulting across Europe, Middle East and Africa. She has a strong knowledge of financial products regulatory framework derived from extensive work experience in top-tier financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered, and is a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments diploma in investment compliance. Sofia’s acumen also embraces internal control expertise in compliance, operational and regulatory risk management across retail and wholesale markets.

Bruce Weatherill

Chief Executive

Weatherill Consulting

Bruce is a chartered accountant with over 37 years financial services experience, previously a partner in PwC, latterly as Global leader of their Wealth Management practice and the key driver of their bi-annual Wealth Management Report. Bruce is now CEO of Weatherill Consulting providing advice on client centricity and wider strategic matters to wealth managers. He is the author of The Value of Trust: the quest by Wealth Managers for Trusted Advisor status and a number of other thought leadership reports. Bruce is chairman of ClearView Financial Media and a non-executive of a number of companies including Fidelity Holdings UK, The Wisdom Council, ComPeer and JDX Consulting.



Benefits These prestigious awards recognise excellence within the wealth management and family office industry. In addition they provide your business with a highly affluent, captive audience of private bankers, lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and technology providers across the wealth management sector. Consequently these awards present your business with a unique opportunity to be involved in industry sector sponsorship giving your company the following:
  • Exposure across our subscription base and associated international media (60,000 subscribers worldwide).
  • Extensive brand exposure on the night to over 300 of the world’s leading wealth management professionals.
  • The opportunity to target an affluent market with high disposable income.
  • Excellent networking opportunities with senior decision-makers.
  • Association with leading industry awards.
  • The chance to develop new contacts and expand your sales network.
  • Increased brand exposure within the wealth management sector.
  • Listing in IFC world


Taj Dubai

Address: Burj Khalifa Street, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates





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