Financial services thought leadership

The following articles were written by Strategy& partners and other senior professionals on key topics in the financial services and private equity sector.

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As the GCC private wealth market continues to grow, almost doubling in size since 2010, understanding the underlying sub-segments is becoming increasingly pertinent. Private bankers can make significant gains by identifying one or more of these sub-segments, tailoring meaningful value propositions for them, and strengthening the relevant capabilities to serve them.
Basel III: A silver lining for Middle East banks
Basel III forces regional banks to take a hard look at their capital allocation and deploy their capital more strategically by calling for higher capital requirements and more stringent definitions of capital. Financial institutions should consider the new rules as a catalyst to upgrade their capabilities and as a call for thoughtful, balanced improvements of their risk-return profile.
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As contractors in the GCC face shifts in the type, complexity, and size of contracting projects, they must adapt their overall strategies and operating models to the demands of the new environment.

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The debt dilemma facing many of Kuwait’s investment companies can be addressed through a three-step restructuring process that enables stakeholders to identify investment companies that are worth saving and those that should be wound up.
Policymakers worldwide should work to achieve greater economic diversification, in order to reduce the impact of external events and foster more robust, resilient growth over the long term. Not only must a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) be balanced among sectors, but key elements of its economy must be varied, flexible, and readily applicable to a variety of economic opportunities, and areas of overconcentration must continually be identified.
In April 2010, Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) and INSEAD conducted a survey of private equity professionals in the Middle East to get their perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing their industry. This paper summarizes the results of that survey and provides an overview of private equity's development in the region in order to map out how the industry can progress from here.
Private banks have spent the last 18 months dealing with one of the most difficult periods in modern financial history. A “perfect storm” of asset-price declines and the near or actual collapse of some of the best-known wealth management firms has altered the behavior of clients, prompting them to move into less risky financial instruments that are much less profitable for the banks. All of this has pushed revenue levels 25 to 30 percent below where they were before the crisis. As an added challenge, governments are cracking down on their wealthy citizens’ untaxed offshore accounts, forcing many private banks to find new value propositions.