DWS Group acquires stake in GCC FinTech start-up Neo Technologies

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Source: The National 

DWS Group, a European asset manager in which Germany’s Deutsche Bank has a majority stake, agreed to buy a 15 per cent stake in Dubai and Kuwait-based FinTech start-up Neo Technologies for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition is part of DWS Group’s strategy to partner with or acquire companies to expand beyond Europe following its initial public offering in March, Thorsten Michalik, board member and co-head of the DWS Global Coverage Group, said in Dubai on Sunday. The deal is expected to complete by the end of 2018.

“By investing in this platform, we further underscore our growth commitment to digitisation and technology, as was communicated during the course of our IPO,” he said. “Neo Technologies enables DWS to obtain further presence in a region with high growth rates in asset management.”

DWS Group is “open to opportunities” to invest in other start-ups across the world – not just in the FinTech sector, but such opportunities are scarce at present, Mr Michalik told The National. At the time of the IPO, DWS Group said it planned to grow its assets by between 3 and 5 per cent per year.

Neo Technologies has operations in Dubai and Kuwait and a technical office in Beirut. It aims to work with asset managers and other financial institutions in the Middle East to help them provide digital wealth advisory and other asset management and banking services to clients in the region.

It currently partners NBK Capital and is in talks with three or four other prospective clients that it hopes to sign in the near term, according to its founder and chief executive Fahad Albader. “Technology has redefined investment management and client engagement over the past few years,” he said.

“In the near future, platforms with specialised multi-tenant service providers will bring new solutions for the financial services industry.”

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