First Time Buyers Advice on Their First Mortgage

Whether you are one of the chosen few who has money to spare in this volatile world economy, or you were strangely left unaffected by the economic recession that plagued the entire Western economic bloc, if you have the money to buy a home, take this first time mortgage buyers advice, consider yourself lucky and do it as soon as possible.

If you are lucky enough to be a first time buyer in this environment, especially in Ireland, you may actually have even better luck than someone without a first time mortgage opportunity. The government has started many programs that can actually serve as your complete down payment if you are savvy enough to understand how to use the programs for a first time mortgage.

Beyond that, there are some things that every first time buyer should know in general. This article will discuss some of those kits that are relevant at all times, no matter when you are buying your first home.

How to get the lowest mortgage interest rate

In order to get the lowest mortgage interest rate possible as first time buyers, you must know the difference between a fixed and variable mortgage. A fixed mortgage is a mortgage interest rate that will stay the same no matter what. A variable mortgage is a mortgage rate that changes with the market. For most underwriters of mortgages, they will be much more willing to offer you a low teaser rate on a variable mortgage, hoping that they will be able to raise the rate later as interest rates rise in the market. Although you may not get as low of an initial interest rate with a fixed mortgage, you can definitely save money on a first time mortgage if market conditions fluctuate.

Consider the term of your Mortgage; especially in Ireland

Make sure you take an assessment of the market throughout the period that you expect to be your term. The shorter that your term is, the better that it will be for you to take advantage of a variable mortgage rate package, as the bank or the underwriter will have much less time in which to raise the mortgage rate on you. Banks love to do this in Ireland.

Consider your down payment and your current financial situation

The prevailing notion of having 20% of the total house payment to put down as a down payment is good first time mortgage buyers advice because you can avoid extra interest and insurance costs which will save you thousands over the life of the mortgage. However, if you have a home that you are planning to stay in for longer than a decade, you should not let these charges stop you from buying the house.

In a time period over a decade, the opportunity cost is greater not buying the house because of the utility that you will be foregoing if you do not make the purchase.

Consider your emergency accounts

First time buyers advice is that you should have six months worth of mortgage payments set aside in a savings account is never bad advice, no matter the economic market. This is to protect against sudden unemployment or other cash flow problems that you may have during the life of your mortgage.

Ontario Commercial Mortgages – How to Find a Good Commercial Mortgage Broker

Ontario commercial mortgages are designed for businesses and/or investors who want to purchase or refinance an income producing commercial property. Commercial properties can include retail centres, condo developments, apartment buildings, office buildings, industrial properties, retirement homes, zoned land and more.

Like residential mortgages there are many different types of commercial mortgages and many different types of commercial mortgage lenders.

Commercial mortgage brokers can be a major asset to a borrower or residential broker or agent because commercial mortgages are complex. Commercial mortgage financing is a very specialized field and few brokers specialize in this type of financing. Even experienced residential mortgage brokers and agents will turn to a commercial mortgage broker as a trusted advisor and partner to help them get their commercial deals financed.

What should you look for in a commercial mortgage broker?

Flexibility – Your commercial mortgage broker should offer many financing options and be flexible.

Commitment – When working on complex financing there is nothing worse than working with a mortgage broker who is not there for you. It is important to establish a relationship with a trusted advisor and business partner that you can rely on. This means they should answer and return calls promptly and be prepared to be an advocate for your deal.

Resources – A good commercial mortgage broker will work with both banks and asset based lenders including private lenders. This ensures that if something changes in your deal there will be a “plan b”. They should also have a strong rapport with their lenders and be able to access decision makers on demand.

Range of Products – They should be able to offer you access to first mortgages, second mortgages, construction financing, mezzanine financing, joint venture financing, private lending and more.

Expertise – Your commercial mortgage broker should have substantial expertise and experience that one only comes by with many years in the business. Experience should include financing development and re-development projects, debt structuring as well as experience conducting project viability assessments.

Generally speaking commercial mortgages can be divided into one of two categories:

Owner occupied commercial mortgages – the owner of the property has his/her business occupying at least 51% of the space in the building that is to be financed.

Investment commercial mortgages – the owner of the property will occupy between 0% and 50% of the available space in the building that is to be financed.

A good commercial mortgage broker is a major asset to both borrowers and residential mortgage agents and brokers because commercial lending is specialized and relies on an acquired skill set. Also lenders tend to be much more difficult to deal with when it comes to arranging commercial mortgage financing. They will want an abundance of detail about the security being offered. This could include the type of business the client is engaged in, business plans, business records, whether or not the building is occupied as well as rent roll, environmental report, building condition, and specific insurance detail. Outside of approving credit, they will assess the overall viability of the borrowers business. Asset based lenders including private lenders tend to be somewhat more flexible because they lend more so based on the equity in the real estate rather than the character and credit worthiness of the applicant. A good commercial mortgage broker will know how to assess the application and identify potential issues before they become issues and propose viable and effective solutions to ensure that you are successful obtaining financing.

Ras Al Khaimah- One Jurisdiction.a Number Of Benefits

The Ras al Khaimah International Company is one of the most confidential, secure, and flexible offshore solutions available today. Apart from its integral features, it draws enormous credibility and prestige from the broader socio economic context of the UAE as a global financial centre. Born out of a multi-award winning Free Trade Zone (operating within a world class regional business hub), the RAK IC enjoys a strong commercial authenticity, untarnished by the tax haven status attributed to so many jurisdictions.

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven emirates forming the UAE federation. Since 2003 it has pursued a highly successful policy of industrialisation and economic diversification in various sectors. A key engine driving the Emirates economic growth and development has been its Free Trade Zone. Established in 2000, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) remains one of the fastest growing and most successful free trade zones in the UAE. It is also home to the RAK International Business Registry and the RAK International Company.

In September 2006, the RAK Government launched an international business registry (the second offshore facility in the UAE), regulated by the RAK Free Trade Zone Authority – enabling foreigners to register international companies in the RAK Free Trade Zone without the need to establish a physical presence and with nominal equity investment (no minimum capital requirement).
This International Company model was based on a set of rules and regulations designed to offer one of the most attractive and flexible offshore tax and legal regimes in the world.

RAK ICs enjoy absolute confidentiality in every respect. There is no disclosure whatsoever of any details pertaining to the company, the beneficial owners or directors, and no public access to details on the international business registry.

Foreign individuals and entities can be 100% owners of RAK ICs, which enjoy zero corporation or capital gains tax as well as respected white list status deriving from the UAE. Indeed the UAE is the only OECD white listed jurisdiction that has no taxes for international companies, free zone entities, or local companies and individuals.

Businesses who do not intend to conduct any onshore operations within the UAE, can utilise the RAK IC for a wide range of purposes including international trade, ownership of international assets and real estate, as well as ownership of intellectual property (patents, trademarks and copyright). It can be used for head office operations, and act as a global holding company for entities engaged in various international activities. The RAK IC may hold shares in any legal entity in the world, including offshore companies in other jurisdictions. Naturally, there are no restrictions on capital and profit repatriation.

Despite a general prohibition on conducting business with persons resident in UAE or carrying out any trade within the UAE (unless it has obtained the appropriate licence from the relevant authority), the RAK IC can hold shares in both offshore, free zone and onshore UAE companies. It can also own or hold an interest in designated freehold properties throughout the UAE.

In addition a RAK IC can of course hold and operate a bank account in the UAE, and may also maintain professional relations with legal consultants, accountants, management companies or other similar persons within the UAE.

The UAE currently has in place 48 double taxation prevention treaties and plans to implement 5 new treaties every year. The majority of these treaties do not contain the recent OECD clause for exchange of information. Moreover, other than the Netherlands-UAE bilateral treaty, the UAEs bilateral treaties do not discriminate between entities established on the mainland or within the free trade zones. In this context a RAK IC will be able to avail itself of the benefits deriving from the UAEs comprehensive treaty network thus helping to safeguard profits remitted abroad arising from dividends, interest, royalties and fees.

In cases where certain anti avoidance provisions or optimal tax planning contingencies require a physical presence, a basic RAK Free Zone entity (flexi desk or flexi-office facility) can easily be established and can be wholly owned by the International Company affording a high degree of flexibility and confidentiality together with a physical presence, as well as the opportunity to procure visas for designated officials. If desired, a bona fide local business activity can be established through the acquisition of an appropriate business licence. Local management and control can also be asserted through the appointment of a corporate director in the UAE.

Although all UAE companies must abide by UAE law, RAK ICs can choose which legal system should be applied for resolving inheritance issues, commercial disputes, and any other legal matter. .

Flexibility is evidenced in the ability to tailor the memorandum and articles of association of a RAK IC to suit specific needs, including the citing of the preferred legal convention, whether it is common law, civil law, Sharia or Hindu succession law etc and also the issuance of multiple classes of shares, including custodian shares and restricted bearer shares.

The incorporation process itself is extremely straightforward with comparatively minimal compliance procedures and with a minimum requirement for one director and shareholder (which may be the same person). The director and shareholder can be individuals or corporate entities, and may of course be non resident in the UAE.

Moreover on an ongoing basis, RAK ICs have no annual reporting requirements, no need to conduct AGMs, and no need to file accounts or annual returns.

The RAK IC derives enormous strength from the stable socio-political environment and economic dynamism afforded by the UAE, and its location within of one of the fastest growing emirates. The Confidentiality, versatility, and security of the IC, combined with its zero tax status and access to the UAEs double tax treaty network make it a uniquely attractive proposition.

There is only a restricted number of fully licensed agents directly authorised to incorporate and manage International Companies in Ras al Khaimah, some of which can benefit from a prestigious World Trade Centre registered office address in Dubai.

Industrial Real Estate Jargon Traders Must Know

John Sobrato of Sobrato Development Providers calls Atherton, house, but he designed his fortune in Silicon Valley specializing in services for substantial tech and R&ampD organizations. Yet another self-manufactured man, he commenced in 1953 with one particular of the 1st “tilt-up” buildings in Santa Clara County. Sobrato, who owns and manages the buildings it constructs and maintains single tenant occupancy, boasts a portfolio of $1.5 billion. His assets incorporate land all the way through Silicon Valley, San Jose, Fremont, Newark and Santa Clara and he has produced in excess of 7,000 rental units.

Be able to see the residence for what it could be. Just because you buy a buying complicated isn’t going to imply that’s the highest and most effective use of the house. Know the local zoning codes and be open to the choices…Los Angelino Ed Roski did just that. Roski is the founder of Majestic Realty, the greatest commercial builder in Los Angeles, boasting an office, retail and industrial portfolio totaling a lot more than 55 million square feet. The USC grad with a net value of $1.1 billion found the best and greatest use of the previously blighted spot close to the convention middle and developed the Staples Middle with Philip Anschutz. Roski is also a minority owner of the Lakers and the Kings. Headquartered in Town of Business, Majestic Realty also has offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and Las Vegas – where they have a 400-acre business park and 3 million square feet of casinos.os.

Be tenacious and relentless. Billionaires do not allow road blocks or pitfalls hold them from accomplishing their objectives. Newport Beach billionaire George Argyros is the grandson of Greek immigrants. Argyros started by managing a Palm Springs grocery. He graduated to shopping for and promoting corner loads at hectic intersections for fuel stations. Turned to apartments in 1968. Nowadays, as aspect of Arnel &amp Affiliates, Argyros manages apartments and business properties in southern California. He has a internet value of $1.2 billion.

Have a thick skin. Folks can be resentful and jealous of effective people. Don’t permit criticism of your function deter you from your goals. Contemplate Red Emmerson – the second wealthiest genuine estate titan in California. Emmerson is the biggest non-public forestland holder in North The united states – assets include things like one.52 million acres in Northern California, timberland stretching far more than 350 miles from Mount Shasta to Yosemite National Park. For the previous twenty a long time, even though other logging corporations retrenched or relocated, Emmerson, and his organization – Sierra Pacific Industries – quietly grew into the second-largest non-public landowner in the United States. Needless to say, Sierra Pacific is a darling of environmental groups.

Have superior information. If you do a lot more research than your rivals, you’ll have an advantage in any transaction. Self-built billionaire Carl Berg was a loan processor just before investing in Silicon Valley commercial authentic estate with John Sobrato in the 1960s. He struck out on individual, forming Mission West Properties, a genuine estate expense trust (REIT) in Silicon Valley. Berg owns a managing stake in the REIT, which focuses on single-tenant study and improvement and company attributes in Silicon Valley.

An Introduction To Mortgage Insurance

Not all people can come up with a substantial down payment on a property. If the lender thinks that your down payment is too small and the has to finance more than 80% of the purchase price, you may be approved for a high-ratio mortgage. Theres one requirement before getting approved for a high-ratio mortgage: it must be insured.

Mortgage insurance therefore works for both lender and borrower. Should you become ill or lose your job, your insurance automatically pays off your mortgage. The lender knows that should anything happen to you, their loan will be paid by the insurance company. The fees are over and above your mortgage payments.

Most banks and credit unions in fact finance up to 80% of a mortgage, but charge a high-ratio insurance fee on the total mortgage amount. In Canada, mortgage insurance is available through Genworth, the CMHC, and more recently, Canada Guaranty, although the insurance can be processed at the bank or lenders office.

The premiums you pay for the insurance hinges on the whole concept of risk. The higher the loan or debt, the higher the risk, and therefore the higher the insurance premium. Most lenders will include the premium with the monthly or weekly payments. Or, you might pay the lump sum of the premiums when you finalize the mortgage transaction. Premiums can range anywhere between 0.5% and 3% of the total mortgage amount, depending on how much risk the lender is exposed to.

Mortgage insurance is available to borrowers who purchase property, whether it be a single family home, a condominium, a duplex or triplex, or even a commercial building.

Life Insurance Versus Mortgage Insurance

You may want to consider purchasing life insurance instead. With a mortgage insurance policy, the lender is the beneficiary. With life insurance, you get to select your beneficiary.

With mortgage insurance, the insurance amount decreases with the mortgage, and you run the risk of not receiving adequate protection after a certain number of years. Not only that, your insurance amount decreases but you pay the same premiums. With life insurance, your coverage and premiums remain the same.

If you change lender, you cannot transfer your mortgage insurance to the new lender.

When deciding between mortgage insurance and life insurance, people are tempted to go with mortgage insurance because the premiums are lower, but this may be an disadvantage when the time to claim protection comes.

As for the underwriting principle: the underwriting for a mortgage insurance policy, when purchased from a bank, is done on a post claim basis. This means that the insurance is not underwritten until a claim is made. Think of the implications. The insurance company can decide that youre not eligible for a payout even if you have been paying premiums consistently.

In a life insurance policy, a licensed insurance broker will examine your medical history before a policy is issued. Once the policy is issued, you start paying premiums. This way, you will know whether or not you have been approved for life insurance.

Mortgage insurance is a standard, one size fits all. Everyone is considered equal risk. The premiums are calculated according to your age and the size of your mortgage. No discounts are offered to women or non-smokers. The premium payments do not decrease as the mortgage is paid off.

In a life insurance policy, your premiums are determined on your personal situation. The premium amount depends on your health and health exam. Unlike mortgage insurance, women and non-smokers receive a discount.

As for the payout itself, the policy will only pay the balance outstanding of the mortgage. If your mortgage was originally 100,000 but have paid off $70,000 by the time you make a claim, the payout will only be $30,000. With life insurance, if you purchased coverage for $100,000, your beneficiary gets the full $100,000.

And finally, mortgage insurance will pay your lender. You have no say in this matter. With life insurance, you have the right to select who your beneficiary will be.

There are advantages for having your own term insurance. One principal advantage is its portability. This means that even if your mortgage is paid off, you still have the life insurance. But should you become ineligible for life insurance because of a health exam, you may still qualify for mortgage insurance without a medical exam, although youre strongly encouraged to speak to your lawyer about this.

Buying Off Plan Real Estate In Thailand Condominium Acquisition And Escrow

Off plan condominium purchase in Thailand means buying a condo in a planning stage or a condominium not yet fully constructed. The standard payment schedule found in an off-the-plan sale and purchase agreement of a condominium in Thailand is:

1. a reservation agreement with a reservation fee of 100,000 baht (approx 3300 USD)
2. a deposit of 10 to 20% of the purchase price on the execution of the condominium sale and purchase agreement
3. periodical installments during the construction of the condominium with a final installment of 1/12th to 1/20th of the purchase price upon transfer of ownership of the condominium.

Who to pay to?

Paying in escrow for a condo in Thailand means that payments are made to an Escrow Act licensed third party financial institution or bank that will hold the deposited monies till the conditions of the condominium sale and purchase agreement have been met, depending on the contract. The use of escrow services in Thailand for property purchases is not common!!

Generally developers in Thailand DO NOT offer escrow payment arrangements. Property developers in Thailand are under the Escrow Act or new Condominium Act and Condo Act regulations NOT required to offer escrow agreements to consumers. Property developers in Thailand are free to require deposits and installments in agreements without offering any protection for the purchaser payments. There is no legal protection structure in place for realty buyers. This part simply depends on the agreed and accepted contract terms and conditions between the seller and purchaser. If the buyer pays directly into the developer’s account this is an accepted risk he as the purchaser takes.

In 99% of the property development projects in Thailand the purchaser makes the payments directly to the developers bank account. Obviously payment made directly to the developer, as opposed to payments made in escrow, carries some serious financial risks for buyers in case of default by the developer. They risk loosing all. In addition, pre-paying the development, the buyer looses all leverage in case of delay or poor workmanship. At the time of completion the buyer has paid up to 95% of the purchase price and the developer is in a much stronger position and can simply refuse transfer of ownership to the buyer.

The developers company

The standard payment schedule by which the purchase price is paid directly to the developers bank account during the construction or even before the start of a condominium project carries risks of losing your payments in case of default or bankruptcy of the developer.

An important part of this arrangement is the developers company. Is it a large SET listed (Thailand stock exchange) real estate developer or a limited liability company with a low share capital and a poor track record? Limited liability for the developer means limited liability and in case of default there is for the buyers little chance of getting any of the payments back.

The Condominium Act supposed to protect the interests of the buyers of condos in Thailand but does not require the establishment of escrow arrangements in an off-plan condominium development.

Paying directly to the developer in Thailand is taking a risk.

Avoiding Large Hidden Costs Building A Home

Building a home can be one of the most exciting, yet costly projects that you ever do. You can finally build your dream home, but if you are not careful, you might get slammed with various large hidden costs which will create even more devastating effects. The last thing you want is to start building this dream home only to be stuck with a half built home because you did not have the hidden costs in mind. When you plan out your home you should always be rounding up and expect to pay at least a third of the total cost more.

Building your own home can be a great financial investment but you have to consider all of the factors before you make this commitment. Some of the extra costs that you can encounter include legal fees, materials and even extra labour. Below you will find some of the common hidden charges that are associated with building a home:

Many people borrow money in order to build their dream home, but these funds have costly finance fees that are attached to them. Some of the more common fees which you will be paying are lender’s survey and valuation fees which can be up to $1000. You will also have to pay for inspections in order for mortgage payments to be released which can be almost $100 per visit.

Don’t forget about your broker. The person who arranges your mortgage will also benefit from you as you must pay for their services.

Arrangement fees are also common if you are using a fixed rate. Arrangement fees are also very common when you want the stage payments in advance. The only upside to the arrangement fee which can be around $1200 or less, is the fact that you will not have to pay for the interim inspection fees.

Another large fee that you should not forget about is your surveyor’s and engineer’s fee. Before work can be done, the plot of land must be inspected by a site surveyor which will cost between $600 and $1000. Archaeological surveys will also cost you around $5000. If there is a problem with the land, expect delays and costs to come with these delays.

Legal fees can be quite costly, at least $2000 for buying a plot and selling your home. When you purchase the property you will have to pay stamp duty and then register it which will have additional fees.

Building your home can be a dream come true but if you do not take into consideration the additional costs, it could soon turn into a nightmare. Other cost considerations are architecture fees, scaffolding and plant hiring fees, delivery charges and costs associated with connecting sewage lines.

Strategies For Multiple Offers In Real Estate

Purchasing a house can be extremely thrilling, however when you are tackling multiple offers, it is tremendously important to keep cool head and not let your feelings — or your competitive nature — overshadow your good judgment because there are a lot of unscrupulous maneuvers a homeowner can implement when confronted with potential purchasers attempting to outbid each other for their home. Real estate professionals are also susceptible to taking advantage of both the purchasers and sellers to boost their commissions higher and closure rates more impactful. Without a doubt there are accepted rules of engagement that deal with such scenarios, however they are not always respected — so all involved has to stay focused and alert for signs of foul play.

To curtail unfair tactics that arise in the bidding procedures, some provinces literally make it illegal for sellers to list any price that they do not plan to agree to simply to escalate a bidding war. There are specific regulations involving multiple offers that involve non-disclosure of details while demanding that any alterations to the bidding procedure must be discussed with all parties before implementing. However in the search to finagle a higher bid, often times critical facts are intentionally revealed or even misrepresented to influence the potential bidders.

Ideally, when buyers find themselves up against multiple offers, they will present an agreement that has as few terms and conditions as feasible and gives a fair amount for the home with the hopes it will entice the homeowner. It is generally hard for prospective purchasers to resist the urge to make excessive offers in the heat of the moment, a behavior that can be exploited by unscrupulous sellers and agents who could send back a perfectly good offer to see if it can be sweetened.

Bargaining strategies frequently incorporate an agreement between the seller and their agent not to disclose multiple offers, and purchasers in these circumstances are not even alerted that there is competition for their offer. Most sellers, however, are very keen on letting all purchasers know that they are anticipating other offers, but it then becomes their duty to make sure no sensitive facts leak out and that the process remains fair for all parties. This does not stop some realtors from communicating with their colleagues by making it public that bidding has started on one of their listings.

Another tactic sometimes used by unscrupulous sellers is deceiving potential purchasers, and also their realtors, by entertaining offers they have no desire of considering just to panic the other purchasers and starting a bidding war. A few homeowners even begin with a very low price in hopes of creating massive interest that will generate bids so high they actually go over the value of the property. However such schemes may backfire when word gets out among the real estate industry that a seller is influencing a bidding war because they will refrain from bringing their buyers to look at the property.

Have Prices Bottomed Out in Los Angeles County

Values have held up here better than the majority of counties… and there is a reason for this.

L A county… not like many counties (especially in the Inland Empire)… didn’t suffer from having to soak up a glut of brand-new homes from building investors.

Due to this factor, M A county figures to emerge from the real estate recession faster than almost every other California counties. Here’s precisely how: When you close your loan using a Banker or Broker, your loan is always sold off, usually to Fannie Mae or Freddie Macintosh. When your loan comes, the investor (Fannie and Freddie) pays reduced to the Lender, Banker, or Broker for which loan. The higher the eye rate is, the higher the premium the investor pays for that loan. In this Borrower Paid (Standard Refinance) example, shutting down costs amounted to $5, 000. To give an example, let’s say that the interest rate you got with paying the $5, 000 closing costs was 3. 625%. The rate to get a No Cost Refinance loan could be at least. 250% higher , or 3. 875 to 4. 00%. A slightly higher associated with interest will be how the closing costs are going to be paid.

Choose the best Payment Option Based on the Situation

Now you know that you have 2 choices in how to structure your home refinance. Have your Financial loan Officer show you these options so you can choose the one that fits your situation preferred . In choosing, consider how long you mean to stay in your home – the longer you stay in your house and in your brand-new loan, the more likely you’ll want a Customer Paid transaction. Have even more questions? Send an email to info@resfund. com with regard to specific refinance questions.
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If you are in the market for a home mortgage, there are plenty of places to find an individual. You simply need to look on the World wide web, turn on your TV, or tell you lot more a newspaper to see a myriad of Los Angeles mortgage lenders offering their services. You may receive a cold call with a bank inquiring about your mortgage needs. There are, nevertheless, huge disparities between a good LA mortgage lender and then a great mortgage lender. Let’s take a look at a few differentiators that set top lenders apart from the rest.

Are generally They Being Referred?

One of the best and easiest ways to find a trustworthy and reliable Los angeles mortgage lender is to ask your friends, friends and family, neighborhood friends, and co-workers which lender they’ve had a positive experience with. An additional good person to ask is a real estate agent, as the affected individual works in the discipline and therefore has a great idea of who’s good and who’s not.

Look at More Than Just Rates

Do not simply choose the Los angeles mortgage lender offering the bottom interest rate. You must also find an LA mortgage lender with excellent customer company, in any other case your loan may get unapproved, or you may pay unnecessary fees. Help yourself make the home-buying experience as seamless as possible by researching and selecting an LA mortgage lender offering both quality company and low, small rates. mortgage Los Angeles

Hiring Continues In The Middle East Wealth Management Bonanza

Despite chilly global credit markets, the Middle Eastern wealth management arena is a recruitment hotspot. Firms are busily hiring senior executives to spearhead new wealth management teams. For example, Merrill Lynch recently appointed Mazin Al-Shakarchi as a financial advisor covering Qatar from the Bahrain office. HSBC Bank Middle East has appointed Walid Boustany to the role of executive director, strategic investments, Middle East & North Africa. He will be responsible for HSBC’s strategic planning across the region. Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, has appointed Fadi Abuali as co-head of its Middle East private wealth management business, alongside current head Farid Pasha.

And there is more: the Central Bank of Bahrain has approved Douglas Hansen-Luke as Robeco’s new chief executive for the Middle East. Mr Hansen-Luke formerly worked in senior positions for ABN Amro Asset Management in Asia, Europe and Saudi Arabia. Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank has appointed Shaikh Salman bin Ahmad Al Khalifa as managing director, group business development.

The rash of appointments seen in recent years will continue, barring an unlikely collapse in demand for wealth management, Professor Amin Rajan, chief executive of Create-Research, a UK consultancy on the investment management industry, told WealthBriefing.

Wealth managers are going into the Middle East in a big way, said Professor Rajan. This is a high-margin business to be in as banks get fees right along the value chain, he said. But although the region is lucrative, making money is not easy. Local investors typically punish poor investment performance quickly – often far faster than is the case with European or US clients, said Professor Rajan.

The real issue is to understand the client mindset. Client money [in the Middle East] isn’t sticky at all. When performance is bad they ask for a rebate, which is how it should be. If [wealth managers] can survive in the Middle East, they can survive anywhere, he added.

Barclays Wealth, for example, has every intention of doing more than just survive in the region. As an illustration of its ambitions, Barclays is moving into a new 14,000 square feet office in the Dubai International Financial Centre, which will be a hub for the firm’s operations in the region. Operating currently in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Barclays Wealth is also planning to make its Doha Qatar office operational this year.

Barclays Wealth leadership believes that the Middle East is a core area of growth. A substantial investment in human resources and capabilities and a rigorous expansion plan will lead to a substantial increase in the scope of operations, Soha Nashaat, managing director, head of Middle East, North Africa & Turkey for Barclays Wealth, told WealthBriefing.
Like Professor Rajan, Ms Nashaat says wealth management firms entering the Middle East from outside the region must understand the local culture if they are to make a success of their business. For example, more than 70 per cent of businesses are family-owned, which requires managers to forge long-term connections.

Wealth managers must understand and cater to the regional trends such as the dominance of family offices, Ms Nashaat said. Investors tend to be intolerant of risk and hold a high proportion of assets in cash and in offshore locations, she added.

Middle Eastern clients put great stress on strong relationships with investment advisors and dislike high turnover in staff, a factor that wealth managers must consider in their staff recruitment and retention plans, Stuart Crocker, chief executive, Emirates Platform and Southern Gulf States, HSBC Private Bank told WealthBriefing.

People don’t like seeing relationship managers moving on every two or three years to other banks, he said. His own bank, part of the HSBC banking group, serves clients both from local Middle Eastern locations as well as from its teams of specialists in Geneva.

The general background for wealth managers is certainly favourable. The investable assets of HNW individuals will rise by 50 per cent between 2006 and 2010, according to Barclays Wealth data.

The number of HNW individuals rose by 11.9 per cent in 2006 from a year before, according to the latest Merrill Lynch/Capgemini World Wealth Report issued last June. Wealth management intermediaries have only started to manage a significant share of assets in the region. Research from Zurich International Life, for example, reveals that expats living in the Middle East prefer to rely on their own judgment or friends and family when purchasing financial products. The survey showed that fewer than one in ten expats would enlist a financial advisor, either in their country of domicile or residence, to help them make the financial decisions. Financial advisors have a vast untapped market to go for.

While researchers like PricewaterhouseCoopers have warned that wealth management firms face a skills bottleneck, hiring staff for Middle Eastern slots is being helped by a benign tax regime and attractive pay packages.

Private bankers in tax-free Dubai earn 25 per cent more than their peers in Geneva and almost 40 per cent more than colleagues in London, according to a recent survey by Dubai-based headhunter Dunn Consultancy FZ-LLC.

Excluding bonuses, private bankers in Dubai with at least 10 years experience receive an average salary of $276,500 with allowances, compared with pre-tax earnings of $221,900 in Geneva and $199,100 in London, it found.

The economics of wealth management in the Middle East certainly look compelling. For the time being at least, the toughest challenge for players in the region is keeping up with the pace.