Key trends

The financial-services sector in the Middle East has experienced several years of uninterrupted growth. Macroeconomic growth — spurred by rising oil prices, demographic shifts, and regulatory changes — has been the catalyst for this expansion.

Lured by these financial developments and by the launch of such offshore financial centers as the Dubai International Financial Center, the Qatar Financial Center, and Bahrain Financial Harbour, foreign players have been flocking to region. As a result, the Middle East has become a financial-services center in its own right.

The key challenge facing both local and foreign players is to how to take advantage of the burgeoning opportunities. Organizations must identify which opportunities to pursue, decide how to pursue these opportunities — alone or through strategic alliances with other local or foreign partners — and determine what capabilities are needed to succeed.

In seeking to rise to the current challenges, private equity is also undergoing a shift in strategy — from one founded on financial engineering to one founded on tangible performance improvement, profitability, and bottom-line growth.

How we help our clients

Strategy& helps clients in all areas of financial services — banking, capital markets, exchanges, credit cards, insurance, and others — to develop winning strategies. Our industry teams partner with specialist colleagues in our Operations and Information Technology communities, bringing deep functional expertise to our clients.

We help clients develop business strategies to position themselves in the growing financial-services markets in the Middle East. Working in retail banking, corporate banking, and insurance, we assist clients in developing unique service offerings targeting specific customer segments. Working in capital markets, we help clients identify the opportunities in the marketplace and develop the business models to pursue these opportunities.

We also assist clients in designing organization structures that are aligned with their strategies. This includes the design of the overall organization structure, required governance, and performance measurement systems.