Northern Trust sets up Middle East HQ in Riyadh ahead of new Saudi rule

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Northern Trust sets up Middle East HQ in Riyadh ahead of new Saudi rule
Credit: © Reuters.

RIYADH - Northern Trust Corp (NASDAQ: NTRS )., a global financial services firm with $1.3 trillion in assets under management, has announced the establishment of its Middle East headquarters in Riyadh. The firm's decision aligns with Saudi Arabia's impending regulatory change, which mandates international companies to have regional bases within the kingdom by January 2024 to partake in government contracts.

The strategic move by Northern Trust follows its successful acquisition of a license from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Investment. This development is indicative of Riyadh's expanding role as a financial nucleus in the region, attracting prominent institutions to establish a local presence.

In a related trend, Lazard (NYSE: LAZ ) Ltd., an investment banking giant, is also reinforcing its commitment to the region by inaugurating its MENA headquarters in Riyadh. The company has appointed Sarah Al Suhaimi, a veteran banker, to lead its advisory operations across the Middle East and North Africa. Al Suhaimi's leadership is expected to strengthen Lazard's regional foothold and enhance its advisory capabilities.

Both Northern Trust's and Lazard's expansions into Riyadh represent a significant endorsement of Saudi Arabia's efforts to diversify its economy and bolster its status as an influential financial hub. As the January 2024 deadline approaches, more international firms are anticipated to establish their regional bases in compliance with the new Saudi business engagement rules.

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