10 year anniversary of TRL Programme

The DFSA marked the 10 year anniversary of the Tomorrow’s Regulatory Programme. Since its launch in 2006 33 Emiratis have graduated from the Programme which has significantly contributed to UAE Nationals making up over 30% of the DFSA’s regulatory staff.

As the UAE celebrated 40 years of nationhood, the DFSA signed an MoU with the UAE Insurance Authority, completing MoU arrangements with all three UAE federal financial regulators.

By 2009, the Enforcement Division, led by Stephen Glynn, had a team of six and during that year received and assessed some 83 allegations of misconduct. A review conducted in 2009 found a robust Enforcement Framework with some minor recommendations to enhance its effectiveness.

First AML Report

The DFSA published its first Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Report. The findings of this report should be considered by all Firms in reviewing and implementing their on-going AML programs. The findings are based on an analysis of the 2014 AML Returns; they should not be viewed as exhaustive but as guidance to be applied where relevant.

In November 2007, the DFSA licensed its 200th Regulated Firm within the DIFC. It also reached 100 employees for the first time.

The DFSA issued its Hedge Fund Code of Practice, the first of its kind to be issued by a regulator and a landmark code in the regulation of the international Hedge Fund industry.

In September 2010, the DFSA and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICEAW) hosted a Breakfast Briefing, ‘The Future of Audits’.

The DFSA’s financial regulation training programme for young UAE Nationals entered its eighth successful year in 2014. 21 UAE Nationals have completed the programme since it began in 2006. Today, graduates of the TRL Programme have joined other UAE Nationals in key positions within the DFSA, now representing more than 30% of the regulatory workforce and comprising the largest national group in the organisation.

In November 2008, the DFSA licensed its 300th Regulated Firm within the DIFC.

On 11 December 2008, Paul Koster assumed duties as Chief Executive succeeding David Knott.

The DFSA established a Market Practitioner Panel to review its Collective Investment Funds regime.

In October 2006, the DFSA licensed its 100th Regulated Firm.

On 20 September 2005, the DFSA authorised the Dubai International Financial Exchange (now NASDAQ Dubai).

Cooperation with fellow regulators and supervisors would be an abiding goal. On 27 September 2005, the DFSA’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with our federal counterpart, the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), was a significant milestone.

The DFSA received the “Best Government Initiative of the Year” award from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners for the excellence of its Trust Law.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority is born. On 13 September 2004, the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, enacted the Dubai Law creating the DFSA as an independent entity within the DIFC.

The European Commission granted the DFSA’s audit monitoring system ‘equivalent status’ with European Union Member States. The DFSA issued a report on its key findings of audit inspections conducted by the DFSA from January 2008 to December 2012. It was the first public report issued by the DFSA on its monitoring programme of Auditors registered in the DIFC.

The DFSA became a signatory to the Boca Declaration, the multi-lateral MoU on co-operation and supervision of International Futures Markets and Clearing organisations.

The DFSA commenced a joint regulatory initiative with the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong to enhance access to Islamic financial products in Hong Kong and the DIFC.

The DFSA signed two important MoU’s with the UAE Central Bank and the Anti-Money Laundering Suspicious Cases Unit regarding co-operation and exchange of regulatory information.

On 26 April 2007, the DFSA licensed the Dubai Mercantile Exchange Limited (DME) as an Authorised Market Institution in the DIFC.

The DFSA’s securities regulation received a highly positive assessment following the visit of an expert team from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank under their Financial Sector Assessment Programme.

On 4 October 2010, the DFSA launched an Arabic version of its website. Pages including About the DFSA, Doing Business with the DFSA, Tomorrow’s Regulatory Leaders,Islamic Finance, and Legal Framework were made available in the language of the region, meeting the needs of local stakeholders and broadening dialogue with the broader market. Since then, most DFSA publications are also produced in Arabic and English.

On 1 August 2011, Mr. Saeb Eigner was appointed Chairman of the DFSA, succeeding Mr. Abdullah Saleh.

On 1 October 2004, the DFSA Regulatory Council (soon to be the DFSA Board) met for the first time under the new Law.

By the year’s end, seven financial services firms and three ancillary services providers had been licensed and registered. This was made possible by having a comprehensive Rulebook in place allowing our executive to license, register and supervise.

In pursuit of its mission to develop, administer and enforce world-class regulation, the DFSA joined the first two of its standard-setters, becoming a member of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).

Since its inception the DFSA has recruited experienced staff from around the globe. As at 30 September 2014, DFSA staff numbered 135, representing 22 nationalities. Regulatory staff have an average of 9.75 years’ regulatory experience.

HK leaders visit DFSA and DIFC

The DFSA hosts a delegation of 35 government, financial and business leaders to further links between Dubai and Hong Kong as leading international financial centres in their respective time zones and as gateways for the fast growing trade and investment flows between China and the Middle East.

As part of the DFSA’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, DFSA staff and their families put together care packages for those in need during Ramadan.

Every year since its launch in May 2006, the DFSA’s Tomorrow’s Regulatory Leaders Programme has trained and developed sustainable career opportunities for UAE Nationals.

DFSA Hosts Outreach on Extended Audit Reports

DFSA jointly organises an outreach event with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) on the new Extended Audit Reports.

DFSA staff gathered under The Gate as a farewell to Paul Koster.

Changes to the Collective Investment Rules

The DFSA enacted changes to simplify the current Collective Investment Rules and align the regime better with international standards while still catering to specific features of the DIFC market.

In November 2007, the DFSA won the “Best Regulator for Islamic Funds” award during the 5th Annual Islamic Funds World Conference, recognising the DFSA’s efforts to facilitate cross-border marketing of Islamic investment funds.

In December 2007, the DFSA hosted the IOSCO Emerging Markets Committee Annual Conference, representing more than 90% of the world’s securities regulators.

On 14 February 2012, the DFSA was honoured with a visit from His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum whose vision it was to establish the DIFC.His Highness, accompanied by the Crown Prince of Dubai, met with the Chairman and Members of the DFSA Board.

In May 2005, David Knott commenced his term as Chief Executive.

MoU with Kuwait

Regional ties are further extended by the signing of a MoU between the Capital Markets Authority of Kuwait and the DFSA. Through these agreements, the DFSA maintains its focus on strengthening its engagement in the region, particularly its links with counterparts in the GCC.

The DFSA and the Securities Commission, Malaysia announced a joint project to remove regulatory barriers to Islamic Finance transactions between the two jurisdictions.

In July 2006, the DFSA became the first GCC regulator to sign IOSCO’s multilateral MoU.

The DFSA was appointed a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS.

The DFSA became a signatory to the IAIS multi-lateral MoU, a first for the GCC.

The DFSA introduced a new regime for Financial Services Marketing to provide greater clarity with regard to financial promotion in the DIFC.

The Lord Mayor of London made his annual visit to the DFSA, emphasising the ties between the City of London and the DIFC.

Confirming its commitment to regional collaboration and capacity building, the DFSA became a signatory to an MoU between members of IOSCO’s Africa and Middle East Regional Committee.

The DFSA signed an important MoU with the European Securities and Markets Authority.

The DFSA’s Communications team has produced an in-house magazine, 13th Story, since 2007, sharing news, views, personal stories – even recipes. 13th Story, now retitled CONNECT, has fostered a greater sense of family among the DFSA community and given a voice to anyone wanting to communicate an experience, an opinion or a good cause.

The DFSA’s Finance Department won the DIFC ‘Distinguished Department of the Year” Award 2009 in recognition of their outstanding commitment to excellence.

The DFSA launched ‘Bawabaty,’ a financial services awareness initiative for the UAE National community.

The DFSA successfully hosted the 17th Annual Conference of the IAIS in Dubai.

MoU with Indonesian Regulator

The DFSA extends its formal ties with its counterpart in Indonesia through the signing of a MoU with Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK).

MoU with the Telecoms Regulatory Authority

The DFSA entered into a MoU with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The MoU set the means of co-operation between the DFSA and the TRA in the field of cyber-security.

On Sunday 24 April 2005, the 48 members of the DFSA moved across the road from Emirates Tower to its headquarters on Level 13 of The Gate building.

In October 2011, the DFSA assumed the responsibility for maintaining the Official List of Securities from NASDAQ Dubai.

The DFSA also introduced a new Markets Law.

The DFSA received a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies under which the regulation of DIFC’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) in the DIFC was transferred from the DIFC Authority to the DFSA.

On 17 June 2007, Mr. Abdullah Saleh was appointed Chairman of the DFSA, succeeding Dr Habib Al Mulla.

By September 2014, the DFSA had licensed and was supervising 355 Authorised Firms.

By the end of 2008, the DFSA workforce was comprised of 13% UAE National staff - almost a 100% increase from just under 7% at the end of 2005 prior to the launch of the TRL Programme.

2009 proved a challenging year for regulators across the globe. The DFSA, now in its fifth year, calmly navigated the choppy waters, working closely with fellow supervisors and its firms.

DFSA Hosts Outreach on Corporate Governance

The DFSA hosted an outreach on Corporate Governance together with Hawkamah, DIFC Institute for Corporate Governance, and the Middle East Investor Relations Society (MEIRS), on topics of Corporate Governance and investor relations.

In 2005, the DFSA entered its first enforcement action by assisting law enforcement agencies in closing down a rogue investment firm.

In July 2005, the DFSA became a member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

On 17 June 2012, Ian Johnston assumed duties as Chief Executive Succeeding Paul Koster.

The DFSA celebrates 10 years as a regulator in pursuit of its mission to develop, administer and enforce world-class regulation of financial services within the DIFC.

TRL Programme Graduates

The DFSA held its annual Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) awards ceremony. The awards mark the successful completion of a two-year development programme for UAE Nationals. During the ceremony the DFSA congratulated 4 TRL Associates bringing the total number of graduates from the programme to 24.

MoU with Australia’s Prudential Supervisor

The DFSA entered into an agreement with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The Memorandum of Understanding commits the DFSA and APRA to information sharing and co-operation in the supervision of financial institutions.

In June 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai,reappointed the Chairman and members of the DFSA Board.

Certification of 10 UAE Nationals in Islamic Finance

As part of its Bawabaty ('My Gateway') initiative, the DFSA facilitates the certification of 10 UAE individuals in the Fundamentals of Islamic Banking and Finance from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).

As at 30 September 2014, DFSA staff had an average length of service of 5.33 years. These images represent staff who have been employed with the DFSA for ten years or more, and those recruited in the last year.

European Commission Recognises DFSA Audit Oversight System

The European Commission recognised the DFSA’s Audit Oversight System. With this announcement, the Commission has concluded that the DFSA has competence in oversight, external quality assurance and investigation of auditors and audit firms.

Visit of DFSA Delegation to India

A senior delegation from the DFSA, meet with the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April, to enhance co-operation and to discuss initiatives to promote further growth in these two leading financial centres.

Business plan key strategic themes

The DFSA publishes its 2015/2016 Business Plan outlining three key strategic themes of delivery, sustainability and engagement are announced by the DFSA to drive business plans over the next 2 years.

Mobile App and Website Launched

The DFSA announced the launch of a new mobile application and its newly revamped website. The new application and revamped website provide stakeholders with a more innovative and direct way to access information about the DFSA's activities.