From the 146th floor to the racing track: AIX's drive to elevate impact
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From the 146th floor to the racing track: AIX’s drive to elevate impact

From the 146th floor to the racing track: AIX’s drive to elevate impact

AIX has become one of the big-name investment advisory firms here where GCC and global investors turn to invest their wealth

Gareth van Zyl

Being located on the 146th floor of the Burj Khalifa — standing among the distinguished few corporate offices in the world’s tallest tower — is something that many businesses would love to tout as part of their DNA.

For financial services firm, AIX Investment Group, this has been their home for several years now, and they not only have a bird’s eye view of one of the world’s most important business centers, but they’ve also developed an understanding of the region’s unique markets and dynamics. Ever since establishing itself in Dubai, AIX has become one of the big-name investment advisory firms here where GCC and global investors turn to invest their wealth.

Strong growth in the GCC markets has helped firms such as AIX tap new investor markets. According to the World Bank’s new Global Economic Prospects report, the UAE’s real GDP is expected to grow by 3.4 percent in 2023, rising to 3.7 percent in 2024 and to 3.8 percent in 2025. Some forecasts, such as those from ratings agency S&P, have gone as far as to suggest that the UAE will grow by 5 percent in 2024. However, AIX has a wider ambit than just the UAE as the company also has a presence in Zurich.

“We currently cater to a diverse range of markets globally, leveraging Dubai as a hub and gateway to connect with investors from various regions. Our strategic presence in Zurich has facilitated access to a broad audience. We remain committed to our expansion trajectory to further grow our reach and impact.

Fadi Dabbagh, President of the Board of AIX.

While specific details on upcoming markets are proprietary at this time, our overarching goal is to continue extending our services to new regions and strengthening our global presence,” says Fadi Dabbagh, President of the Board of AIX.

In many ways, the investment advisory firm has kept its approach minimalist and to the point by primarily focusing on providing just two products in the market. The first is AIX’s bond offering that touts an 18 percent annual yield, a fixed quarterly coupon rate of 4.5 percent, and a 36-month maturity period. The other key offering that AIX has in the market is dubbed its ‘Property Secure Investment’ offering, which the company says allows investors to achieve rental returns from 14 up to 20 percent at pre-established dates and paid directly to investors’ beneficiary accounts.

This product exists amid a backdrop where the real estate market in cities such as Dubai has been on a tear. Billions of dirhams in transactions have occurred in Dubai’s real estate in just the first few days of 2024, according to data from the Dubai Land Department. The authority, earlier this year, revealed that a total of 2,910 real estate and property transactions valued at Dhs10.1bn were conducted for the week ending January 12. This, in turn, provides investors from the GCC and the rest of the globe with more choices.

“The appeal of these investment offerings extends both regionally and globally. We have witnessed significant interest and participation from investors in the local region as well as from around the world. This widespread demand underscores the attractiveness of our investment products, reflecting their ability to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of investors across different geographic locations,” says Dabbagh. But the minimalist approach goes one step further with AIX sticking to an investment philosophy of its so-called ‘70/30 rule’. This involves the company focusing on 70 percent fixed-income investment opportunities and 30 percent variable income opportunities.

“Our commitment to the 70/30 rule, focusing on 70 percent fixed-income investment opportunities and 30 percent variable income opportunities, remains steadfast,” Harish Prithvi, Chief Operating Officer of AIX tells Gulf Business.

Harish Prithvi, Chief Operating Officer of AIX.

“This strategic allocation is designed to provide a balanced approach that combines the stability of fixed income with the growth potential of variable-income investments. While we continuously monitor market conditions, economic trends, and performance metrics, our core investment philosophy remains centered around this well-established ratio. “We believe that this allocation strategy not only aligns with our historical success but also reflects our dedication to prudent risk management and delivering consistent returns for our investors. The 70/30 rule provides a framework that allows us to navigate various market scenarios while maintaining a resilient and diversified investment portfolio. Our approach is built on the principles of stability, security, and long-term value creation,” adds Prithvi.

The COO goes on to say that while AIX does make adjustments in response to evolving market dynamics, the company is “confident that this balanced approach positions us well to capitalize on opportunities and mitigate risks, ensuring the continued growth and protection of our investors’ capital.”

Growing its footprint

When asked about whether AIX will add any more products to the market, the team says it plans to stick to its two offerings for now. AIX is also not opening up new offices in any other markets any time soon. However, the company is still expanding its footprint through a growing network of interesting partnerships that span the world of sports, innovation, and changemaking.

Dubbed ‘We Are The Future’, this initiative is aimed at being a catalyst for positive change, bridging what AIX calls the gap between innovation and impact through strategic investments and philanthropic investments. For starters, AIX Investment Group is the new co-owner of the PHM AIX Racing Team, which participates in Formula 2, 3, and F4 regional championships. Nurturing young racing talent has been the cornerstone of this partnership.

PHM Racing, a name synonymous with success in Formula 2, contributes its cutting-edge technology and expertise in developing top racing professionals.

“Last year, we proudly backed F2 driver Brad Benavides, and this year marks a significant milestone as we have become the co-owner of the F2 team, PHM AIX Racing,” says Morne Reinecke, CEO of We Are The Future.

Morne Reinecke, CEO of We Are The Future

“Our involvement in various tiers of racing, from the launchpad of F4 and the Formula Regional Middle East Championship (FRMEC) to the exhilarating competition of F3 and the challenges of ACI F4, reflects our commitment to providing diverse proving grounds for emerging talent. These platforms, where rookies like Maksimillian Popov hone their skills and experienced drivers like Joshua Duerksen push the limits, serve as crucial steps towards the pinnacle of Formula 2,” says Reinecke. In addition, AIX has partnered with Euro 4, which further fuels the company’s passion for racing at the grassroots level.

Furthermore, AIX Investment Group is also supporting the motorsport talents of Charlie Wurz and Oscar Wurz, who are the sons of the famous Former F1 driver and two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner from Austria, Alex Wurz. Charlie is rapidly advancing in Formula 3, while Oscar is making waves in Formula 4.

“Our belief in Charlie’s remarkable abilities in Formula 3 and Oscar’s potential as he enters the competitive arena of Formula 4 underscores our commitment to supporting these young racers. It’s our way of contributing to the development of emerging athletes, providing them with essential support as they pursue their racing aspirations,” Reinecke adds.

Another key partnership that AIX has is an initiative with Fursan Hispania FC, which is an initiative that improves access to training activities, and awareness about the significance of sports, and supports regional talent and growth. Then there’s also its partnership with the Al Jalila Foundation, where as part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility and enhancing healthcare in the UAE, AIX made a Dhs1m donation during the holy month of Ramadan last year.

The donation and partnership are expected to help in supporting essential medical treatments, advancing medical education, and pioneering health research. Key figures who attended a ceremony marking the launch of this partnership last year, included Dr. Amer Al Zarooni, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, and AIX strategic partner Rashid Khalaf Al Habtoor.

Past partnerships in the We Are the Future initiative have further included tie-ups with RC Celta, Iker Casillas Academy, and Brad Benavides. But whether it’s in the boardroom or out on the racetrack and in the CSI space, AIX COO Prithvi says his company has a growing team to help it meet all its obligations.

“As for our team, we are in a constant state of growth, consistently expanding to meet the evolving needs of our clients and the dynamic financial market. The exact size of our team can be dynamic due to ongoing recruitment efforts and business demands. We prioritise attracting top talent to ensure our clients receive the highest level of expertise and service. While specific expansion plans are proprietary, our commitment to strengthening our team remains unwavering as we continue to elevate our standards of service and performance,” says Prithvi.

And just like its office location, the team at AIX say that they are determined to further entrench their position in the local market.

“Our prestigious headquarters in the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai serves as a symbol of our commitment to excellence and delivering unparalleled service to our clients. Much like our elevated location, we are constantly working towards reaching new heights in providing outstanding returns and financial solutions,” Prithvi concludes.

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