Equiom is pleased to announce two new appointments to its Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited (DIFC Branch) office. Chris Cain joins as Client Services Director (Middle East), and Hugh O’Donnell joins as Senior Executive Officer and Head of Equiom Fiduciary – Middle East. These key hires mark the next step in the company’s continued expansion and investment in the region.
Chris joins Equiom from Zurich International where he spent 22 years predominantly focusing on relationship management and Middle East distribution for its award winning workplace pension/savings plan product. Over that time he had close and regular interaction with some of the biggest companies in the world helping them design and administer their own workplace pension/savings and/or end of service benefits. Chris has taken responsibility for ensuring the highest levels of service delivery and client relationship management for Equiom’s diverse Middle East client base. He sits on the Equiom (Isle of Man) board and his main focus will be the oversight and growth of Equiom’s employee savings/pensions and end of service business line.
Hugh has 20 years of experience in international and Middle Eastern wealth planning and fiduciary management. He trained as a barrister in the UK, is a TEP qualified member of STEP and is Vice Chairman of STEP Arabia. Hugh has taken responsibility for running Equiom Isle of Man’s DIFC branch and developing new private client business across the Middle East. Based in the region for over eight years, with a 15 year career in top-tier private banks, Hugh’s focus is on assisting High & Ultra High Net Worth families with structuring solutions to protect their private and business assets.
Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority while Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited (DIFC Branch) office is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and is responsible for the promotion of a full range of trust and fiduciary services. The company’s offering aims to meet the individual requirements of clients including high net worth individuals, family offices and corporations. Equiom offers a trustee solution for organisations who wish to enhance their existing End of Service Gratuity obligations to their employees in line with UAE Labour Law and was appointed as the Master Trustee on the landmark DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) plan that launched in February 2020.
Hugh O’Donnell, Head of Equiom Fiduciary - Middle East commented:
‘I’m excited to have joined Equiom at this key stage in its growth and I am looking forward to introducing private clients to Equiom’s entire global suite of products and solutions, as well as introducing them locally to the increasing opportunities that the DIFC offers. I look forward to harnessing the international professional network of bankers, lawyers, accountants and private client experts to provide value to our growing client base in the region.’
Chris Cain, Client Services Director (Middle East) commented:
‘I’m looking forward to developing Equiom’s End of Service Gratuity service offering in the region to ensure companies in the UAE set aside specific funds on behalf of their employees. This will provide added security for employees, the requirement for which has been proven by companies not having sufficient cash flow to fund EOSG during the current COVID-19 pandemic. There is still a gap in the market where companies neglect their liabilities to employees, and this is one I hope to be able to address with the provision of the right solutions.’
Nina Johnston, Managing Director of Equiom (Isle of Man) added:
‘I’m thrilled to welcome Chris and Hugh to Equiom. Chris brings substantial experience in end of service benefit arrangements for employees and employers in the Middle East and is a welcome addition to the Isle of Man board whilst Hugh’s private client experience provides us with the bandwidth to service our Middle Eastern client base on the ground and promote the services of the wider Equiom Group in the region.’