Private Office Regional Insight Series: Janine Cubbon, Middle East

29 May 2024

Janine Cubbon, Director at Suntera Private Office, gives her insights into what is on the horizon for the family office landscape in the Middle East…

There is a long history of Middle Eastern families seeking expert support in nurturing and safeguarding their wealth but with the current geopolitical volatility creating an added layer of uncertainty, that pull towards safe harbours has never been more compelling. As a result, multi-jurisdictional providers like Suntera Private Office can go a considerable way in providing a guiding hand throughout such tumultuous times.

Unsurprisingly then, safety alongside quality of life are key influencing factors for Middle Eastern families with both driving jurisdictional decisions while also influencing structuring choices. Service providers with expansive international reach and multi-jurisdictional expertise are consequently likely to be sought after, especially when combined with a thorough understanding of Shari’a principles. The trend for families of great wealth to adopt a global lifestyle – both from a business and lifestyle perspective – is also echoed in the Middle East and that is why functions such as our specialist concierge and lifestyle services can provide a comprehensive package of support rooted in a deep understanding of a family’s assets, needs and aspirations.

Succession planning is or should be a key consideration for families in the region. Notably, family businesses represent 80 – 90% of commerce and employ up to 70% of the labour force in the GCC alone so the contribution is considerable and the strategy for transferring that wealth is crucial. Understandably a delicate and thoughtful approach is required, and more and more families are now recognising the substantial benefits to partnering with a trusted external service provider to navigate the process. The art to this from our Private Office perspective is to foster a genuine understanding and awareness of a family’s wealth and objectives in order to support effective governance – underpinned by core values – to ensure knowledge is shared across the generations while creating a clear and smooth proposal for transition. 

Impactful governance can also create the space for families to grasp fresh opportunities and with next generation voices taking on more prominence, we are seeing an increasing interest in ESG strategies especially when set against a post-Covid, climate conscious backdrop. 

Pursuing such philanthropic endeavours – a time-honoured tradition in the region – again benefits from a clear strategy supported by appropriate governance to ensure seamless delivery. And while some families formerly may have looked inward for the answer, many are now realising the substantial benefits of working with an external private office like Suntera to understands their bespoke needs and provide a gold standard of service.


To discuss our tailored solutions for your family’s future, please contact Janine, Director:

Janine502x364 meet the team     Janine Cubbon


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