Abu Dhabi Is the World’s Newest Wealth Haven for Billionaires

Abu Dhabi Is the World’s Newest Wealth Haven for Billionaires

More than 5,000 SPVs are said to have been set up in Abu Dhabi including by CZ, Lisin and Dalio.

For decades, many of the world’s richest people chose to safeguard their assets in overseas locales ranging from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands. But a new wealth hub is becoming wildly popular with billionaires — the skyscraper-studded emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The richest man in crypto Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, India’s Adani family, hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio and Russian steel magnate Vladimir Lisin are among the dozens of high net worth individuals who’ve set up special purpose vehicles in Abu Dhabi’s international financial center this year, according to a review of hundreds of corporate filings in the United Arab Emirates by Bloomberg News.

More than 5,000 SPVs now exist in Abu Dhabi Global Market compared with just 46 in 2016, according to data compiled by M/HQ, a wealth advisory firm that’s among the leaders in setting them up. It isn’t publicly known where individual billionaires moved their assets from, why they did so or what each one contains. Yet the wealth influx reflects broad global shifts in how the world’s rich are protecting their money.

Popularized by junk-bond king Michael Milken in the late 1980s, SPVs are separate legal entities that have become go-to structures for high net worth individuals seeking to isolate their financial risk. Essentially holding companies that manage wealth, Abu Dhabi says its SPVs can contain assets such as property and equity.

Read more: bloomberg.com

Photo: bloomberg.com

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