Saudi women play a growing role in driving local economy

Keynote speaker Nahid Ghazzawi addresses the Jeddah audience

JEDDAH — Jersey Finance, the body that promotes the jurisdiction as a robust, transparent, International Finance Centre (IFC), recently hosted the 2019 Women and Wealth Management Events Series in Jeddah, the sixth of its kind. Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural event, the 2019 edition received an overwhelming response from women in Saudi Arabia who are increasingly taking control of financial affairs. Held in collaboration with the British Consulate in Jeddah, the event hosted more than 60 guests, and high-level speakers from the wealth management industry.

In line with Vision 2030, KSA continues to press on efforts to diversify its economy at pace, with women playing a growing role in driving this change. Considering Jersey Finance’s increasing number of Jersey practitioners who visit and assist clients in the Kingdom, the women-only event recognized the growing impact of Saudi women leaders on the country’s economy, given the significant financial decisions they take at a corporate level. As women in the Kingdom increasingly take up bigger roles in family businesses, as well as higher positions in the corporate world, Jersey Finance’s presence here, and their support to women leaders, reflects the important role women play in the country’s financial future.

Featuring a prestigious panel of local and international speakers, the event aimed to assist and educate a select audience of women about the impact of international trends in regulatory and legal architecture on wealth preservation. It also discussed structuring as well as the changes that lie ahead for family businesses. Additionally, the event covered several key topics ranging from asset protection and growth, sound financial planning and international investment, to governance and succession planning.

Led by Jersey Finance’s Deputy CEO Amy Bryant and GCC-based Director Ella Moldoveanu who both play a fundamental role in identifying trends and opportunities in the region, the event offered women attendees the opportunity to network with leading members of the Jersey, GCC and London advisory communities, including wealth practitioners, lawyers, investment managers, fund managers and other finance professionals. Furthermore, the event welcomed industry experts such as Kholoud Al Dosari, Executive Manager, Chartered Financial Analyst Society, Saudi Arabia and Board Member of the Northern Trust Corporation Saudi Arabia; Dr. Taghreed Al Saraj, best-selling author, international public speaker, and certified female leadership coach; and Nahid Ghazzawi, VP and Deputy Regional Head, Saudi Fransi Capital, who offered valuable industry insights.

Commenting on sidelines of the event, Amy Bryant, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Jersey Finance, said: “We are very excited about the successful turnout to this event; women leaders continue to demonstrate a strong ambition to further contribute to the decision-taking process in both family and corporate businesses .They contribute to shaping the economic future of Saudi Arabia, today one of the world’s most favored investment landscapes, signaling a promising era for wealth creation.”

“As a leading international financial center, Jersey plays a key role in the region. Having managed wealth for Saudi clients for the past five decades. We see these educational, thought-provoking events as a great way to connect Saudi women with industry practitioners and provide them with financial knowledge and support,” she added.

Kholoud Al Dosari said: “We understand the difference that women can make in the investment industry. Now, we are working together to build a gender-balanced culture that better serves investors and society. This is essential to creating a sustainable future by sharing best practices and real-life experiences that act as an anchor of support for women in the region.”

Dr. Taghreed Al Saraj said: “Women’s increasing participation in high-level decision-making roles in the Kingdom and the GCC was celebrated at the event, and Jersey Finance’s contribution to women’s engagement via this educational seminar is highly appreciated. The event promoted women empowerment by raising awareness on options for Saudi women to take control of their financial future, which in part supports the Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia.”

Nahid Ghazzawi said: “Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the empowerment of Saudi women to leave their stamp on the Kingdom’s economy has been massively accelerated. This has played a major role in women’s ability to impact social and financial aspects in the country’s future. I am a firm believer that the continuous involvement of women in the financial sector will create a rippling effect that will further expand the horizons of the Kingdom as well as the Gulf’s economy.”

The promotional body for the international finance center of Jersey, the British Crown Dependency in the Channel Islands, Jersey Finance was established in 2001 to promote Jersey as forward-thinking IFC of excellence. Jersey proudly contributes 5% of the UK’s inward FDI, £14bn to the British Economy and supports 250,000 jobs in Britain. Jersey Finance aims to create a safe and secure environment for investors and families, and also works to help grow local and international companies.

In recent years, Jersey Finance has collaborated with the British Embassy in Riyadh and the British Consulate in Jeddah to host annual receptions to further raise awareness and provide opportunity to directly engage with Jersey practitioners. — SG