Franklin Templeton Investments has expanded its presence in the Middle East by teaming up with an as...
Franklin Templeton Investments has expanded its presence in the Middle East by teaming up with an asset manager in Israel to sell its funds and opening an office in Dubai.
Jed Plafker, managing director of Franklin Templeton Investments, said its agreement with Ilanot Discount will enable it to distribute funds to the Israeli market for the first time. He said that the funds sold in Israel will be co-branded Ilanot and Templeton.
Ilanot, which is part of one of the largest banks in Israel, will distribute the Templeton funds through its own group's branches, other banks and financial advisers. The first three funds to be offered in Israel are expected to be global, US and European funds. Ilanot Discount, which was established in 1981, manages 54 funds with $2.75bn. It is estimated that this comprises 12.67% of the Israeli market.
Plafker said that Templeton approached Ilanot about joining forces after examining the Israeli market for 12 months. "We believe there is great potential in the Israeli market, particularly as pension funds and investors are realising the importance and benefits of international diversification." He added that it is a large market as there are around $20bn assets under management in Israel.
"It made more sense to team up with Ilanot than to set up our own operation from scratch. This gives us a way into the Israeli market, enables us to gain a better understanding of the market and lets investors get to know Franklin Templeton."
Templeton has also been granted a licence to open an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Templeton's presence in the United Arab Emirates was previously confined to Abu Dhabi.
"From our base at the DIFC, we will provide marketing and sales support to our distribution partners in the Gulf, Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern European regions," said Plafker. "This location will enable us to distribute our range of mutual funds and alternative strategy products across the region."
Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, director general of the DIFC, said: "Franklin Templeton is a truly global investor and its decision to locate in Dubai shows it recognises the potential of regional markets as well as the attractions of the DIFC's infrastructure."
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