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Sat 12 Nov 2011 03:39 PM

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Abu Dhabi's Falcon to hit $1bn assets target by year-end

CEO says performance helped by Gulf investors moving away from Swiss banks

Abu Dhabi's Falcon to hit $1bn assets target by year-end
Falcon Private Bank

Falcon Private Bank, owned by Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments, will achieve its target of $1bn assets under management in the UAE by the end of 2011, helped by Gulf investors shifting away from traditional investment hubs, its chief executive said.

"People in this region don't go by default to Switzerland any more," Eduardo Leeman, said, speaking on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

"People want to diversify geographically their assets so the default is now Singapore and Dubai."

Leeman told Reuters in April that it aimed to achieve $1bn AUM in the United Arab Emirates by the end of the year, a target which the bank would meet "after the race," he added.

However, the bank was still waiting to receive an investment advisory licence from the UAE Central Bank, Leeman said.

The Zurich-based bank is not one of the four banks under investigation by the Swiss financial regulator FINMA regarding their conduct in relation to the assets of dictators, Leeman added.

"We are not part of the four. Everyone has their suspicions but I know it's not me, that's for sure," he said.

Falcon was the private banking unit of American International Group (AIG) before Aabar bought it in April 2009.

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