3 May 2016 — DFSA Hosts Outreach on Corporate Governance and Investor Relations

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Dubai, UAE, 3 May 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), together with Hawkamah, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Institute for Corporate Governance, and the Middle East Investor Relations Society (MEIRS), organised an outreach event last week on topics of Corporate Governance and investor relations. Panelists from each of these groups covered key topics, provided market insight and answered questions at the event.

The event was targeted at representatives of companies listed on the DIFC markets, companies considering a listing, advisors and legal professionals advising firms on listing in the DIFC, investment bankers representing the buy-side for such listings, as well as investor relations professionals. Over 60 stakeholders attended the event.

The DFSA explained its regulatory requirements for Corporate Governance and the panelists discussed the challenges of implementing Corporate Governance principles with a case study outlining the day to day implementation of Corporate Governance. The case study highlighted the role of Sharia compliance in attracting foreign capital.

Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "This was a significant event, bringing together three key organisations to hold an interactive forum on topics of direct relevance to listed companies, as well as companies seeking to list. The aim of this event was to raise awareness of the DFSA's framework on Corporate Governance applicable to listed companies as well as to discuss key issues within the realm of Corporate Governance and investor relations affecting companies day to day".

Dr Ashraf Gamal-El Din, CEO Hawkamah, said: "We look at governance as a corporate asset, it adds value, and it protects investors and other stakeholders. Therefore, an event like this is crucial in making sure that companies do not look at governance only from the compliance point of view, but from the strategic point of view as well".

Alex MacDonald-Vitale, Chairman of the Middle East Investor Relations Society (MEIRS) said: "This is a successful and positive forum encouraging further exchange of ideas and shared challenges around the strategic roles of Corporate Governance and investor relations, both crucial to the region's development. MEIRS is delighted to be part of a trend of increasing openness in dialogue around investor perception and engagement, and welcomes the opportunity to continue working closely with its co-organisers in helping promote and foster best practice across our markets".

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For further information please contact:
Kaja Mohaisen
Corporate Communications
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662

Editor's notes:

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange. In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).