St. James's Place has received approval from regulators at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) as it looks to enter the Middle East market with the opening of a new office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

In a statement on 13 June, the DIFC said following formal approval and licencing from the DFSA, the Dubai office will form a part of SJP's Asia and Middle East business alongside existing offices in Hong Kong and Singapore and supports its 2025 strategic objectives.

Currently, the FTSE 100 company has $192.22bn in funds under management and serves more than 917,000 clients.

The office will be led by Matthew Deeprose, who has been appointed senior executive officer of SJP Middle East and will initially have an adviser base of twenty, which SJP plans to grow as it establishes a presence in the region.

Deeprose has more than 30 years of experience, including 10 with St. James's Place, where he has performed several international roles including CEO of SJP Hong Kong Limited.

SJP Middle East will focus on offering financial and wealth management advice to both local and expatriate clients with increasingly complex financial needs.

The expatriate population in the Middle East now accounts for approximately 48% of the total population as the Dubai government and others in the region have made significant moves to make the business environment even more attractive for foreign investment and workforces.

Iain Rayner, chief operating officer at St. James's Place, said: "Dubai has long established its position as a strategic wealth jurisdiction with immense growth potential. A presence in the Middle East will present a wealth corridor supporting a new generation of internationally mobile clients and this is an opportunity for us to expand our international reach as well as that of the SJP Partnership.

Deeprose said: "We have chosen to work with the DIFC and DFSA given their reputation as leading authorities and regulators for international finance respectively. Establishing our presence in this market is complementary to our businesses in the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore and is instrumental in supporting our growth in Dubai and the Middle East.

"We look forward to working in partnership with the DFSA and DIFC Authority as we grow our operations, providing high quality, regulated advice to those in the region with complex financial needs."

Salmaan Jaffery, chief business development officer at DIFC, said: "Congratulations to St. James's Place on receiving a licence from the DFSA to establish their Middle East presence in DIFC. The Centre is the perfect location for Wealth and Asset Managers because Dubai has the highest concentration of wealth of any city in the region, and over USD 3trn of private wealth is available within a one-hour flight radius.  

"Dubai and DIFC also continue to attract the very best talent in financial services, including portfolio managers in the hedge fund space.  There are tremendous opportunities here for our clients and DIFC is confident that St. James's Place will successfully grow their business using our platform."

St. James's Place joins over 300 Wealth and Asset Management firms in DIFC. Collectively, they represent an AUM of c.$500bn.