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The international hunt for talent for this new financial regulator

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Financial regulators around the world are staffing up – the European Central Bank is adding an additional 1,000 people, the Bank of England is in the midst of a risk recruitment spree and the SEC has unveiled a raft of new hires. In short, demand is high and the supply of people required to fill these roles is short. So, would you move to the Middle East to work for a fledgling financial centre?

According to sources close to the situation, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the new financial freezone currently under construction in the UAE capital, is searching internationally for 100 people to join its regulatory team. It’s not looking locally – we’re told that headhunters are currently scoping out new recruits in London and the U.S.

The move represents the scope of ambition at the ADGM, which is effectively aiming to create a financial centre from scratch that could rival Dubai in the region. UAE officials have previously said that the two financial centres will complement one another, but it’s unlikely that international financial services organisations, particularly those with small operations in the Middle East, will want to duplicate regulatory costs in two locations so close to one another.

Based in Al Maryah, the new financial centre is aiming to attract 30,000 residents and the first of the buildings to be completed is already full occupied. Currently, JPMorgan, Deloitte and General Electric (and supposedly a range of other firms) are already there.

Last month, it hired Jan Bladen as ‘executive advisor and programme lead for ADGM’. He was the former chief operating officer at the Dubai International Financial Centre and will establish ADGM’s regulatory authority, legal infrastructure and registrar – hence the recruitment spree.

Abu Dhabi’s standing as a financial centre has been on the up – it ranked 32nd in the Global Financial Centres Index by consultancy Z/Yen released this week, up from 42nd three months ago.

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