Blog

The HOLT consultancy blog is where you can read about HOLT consultancy news and CSR activity, DFSA updates including changes to DFSA Rulebooks, DFSA consultation papers, compliance how-to guides and other compliance news and advice. Visit often for updates or sign up to our newsletter. We also post our updates on LinkedIn. Follow us at https://www.linkedin.com/company/holt-consultancy-llc

Oct
30

HOLT consultancy celebrates its 5th anniversary

30 Oct 2017
Since 30 October 2012 when Ben Holt, CEO established HOLT consultancy, it has achieved significant growth in size, services offered and reputation.   The company has grown to a team of 9 professionals with experience ranging from private banking, asset management, (re)insurance, corporate finance and more, which means HOLT consultancy is best placed to match the experience of the team member to the type of client.     In 2014, HOLT consultancy won the award for Best Consulting Firm of the Year at the Thomson Reuters Governance, Risk and Compliance Awards, 8th GCC Regulators Summit…
Sep
20

Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)

20 Sep 2017
There is no single definition for a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), however, broadly speaking, it refers to those individuals who have or have had a high political profile, or hold or have held public office.   The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) defines a PEP as:   “An individual who has been entrusted with a prominent public function”[1]   The Dubai Financial Services Authority provides the following definition:   “A natural person (and includes, where relevant, a family member or close associate) who is or has been entrusted with a prominent public…
Jul
24
Customer Due Diligence and Know Your Customer

Customer Due Diligence and Know Your Customer

Rigorous Know Your Customer and Customer Due Diligence arrangements help to protect a firm's reputation and the integrity of the financial system by reducing the likelihood of regulated firms becoming a vehicle for, or a victim of, financial crime and suffering consequential reputational damage. Inadequacy of KYC and CDD standards can expose a firm to serious business operation and control risks.   The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommends basic CDD measures as follows:   Identifying the customer and verifying that customer’s identity using reliable, independent source…
Jun
29
Compliance in the DIFC

Compliance in the DIFC

The following article was published on the Business Inside Reporter website as part of its CEO Reports 2017 Middle East Region feature.   To read other CEO Reports, please visit http://businessinsidereporter.com/category/ceo-reports    Ben Holt started HOLT consultancy in October 2012 after 8 years of working as Head of Compliance in the MENA region for HSBC, Societe Generale and latterly Barclays. He could see there was a gap in the market for a high quality, niche compliance consulting firm, one which was smaller with a sole focus to put the needs of clients above all else. This…
Jun
15
Clothes for Humanity - DIFC CSR Campaign

Clothes for Humanity - DIFC CSR Campaign

HOLT consultancy took part in the DIFC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative CLOTHES FOR HUMANITY on Thursday 15 June 2017 by donating clothes and shoes.   The donation was in line with the UAE Year of Giving and in the spirit of the Holy month of Ramadan.   The clothes and shoes donated will be given to the Emirates Red Crescent to be distributed before the Eid holidays.   Well done to all those who contributed.
May
29
Compliance Culture - DFSA Authorised Firms

Compliance Culture - DFSA Authorised Firms

A good compliance culture is where senior management and employees understand and value the importance of compliance within a firm. Senior management should start with setting the right tone at the top. A negative view of compliance can expose firms to risks, for example, Anti-money laundering (AML) risks, reputational risks, financial risks and eventually, even destabilize the financial system. Does your firm have a compliance culture?  Below are some areas to look at.   Responsibilities Do the senior management team and employees understand what their responsibilities are? Do they…
May
25
Eliminate Their Thirst - DIFC CSR Campaign

Eliminate Their Thirst - DIFC CSR Campaign

HOLT consultancy took part in the DIFC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative ELIMINATE THEIR THIRST campaign on Monday 22nd May 2017.   Volunteers distributed food and water to construction workers under the gate in the scorching heat.   Whilst it was a very simple exercise, it is such acts that really bring us close to the daily struggles of millions of people around us and inspires one to do something to change their lives, in whatever way possible.   Well done to all those who took part.
Apr
30
DIFC Consultation Paper No. 1 - Companies Law Regime

DIFC Consultation Paper No. 1 - Companies Law Regime

On the 20th of March 2017, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) issued Consultation Paper No. 1 (“CP 1”) in which a number of significant changes were proposed to the existing DIFC Companies Law regime (“Existing Law”), replacing it with a new DIFC Companies Law (DIFC Law No. 3 of 2017, the “Proposed Law”). These changes were proposed with a view to enhancing the Existing Law to meet international standards and best practices. These amendments are expected to have an impact on both regulated as well as non-regulated companies incorporated in the DIFC…
Apr
16
10 Reasons to Establish in the DIFC

10 Reasons to Establish in the DIFC

Dubai is ranked the number one financial centre in the Middle East and Africa according to The Global Financial Centres Index 21, March 2017.[1]   HOLT consultancy has helped many companies to establish in the DIFC. Below is a list of why the DIFC is so appealing:   Zero taxation rate on income and profits (guaranteed for a period of 50 years). 100% foreign ownership. No restrictions on foreign exchange or capital/profit repatriation. High standards of laws, rules and regulations. International legal system based on Common Law of England & Wales. Access to a large pool of skilled…
Apr
11
12th World Takaful Conference - Enhancing the Authenticity of Takaful

12th World Takaful Conference - Enhancing the Authenticity of Takaful

HOLT consultancy today attended Day One of the 12th World Takaful Conference, held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Dubai. Session 3 of the day was led by Peter Hodgins, Partner at Clyde and Co discussing 'Enhancing the Authenticity of Takaful'.   The session discussed the underlying principles of mutuality in the current Takaful models and probed into the causes for divergences from Shariah standards such as investing in non-Shariah compliant asset classes, not sharing surplus and reinsuring instead of ceding risk to ReTakaful operators.   Peter Hodgins is a partner in Clyde &…
Apr
11
12th World Takaful Conference - Providing a Global Platform for Takaful and Re-Takaful Industry

12th World Takaful Conference - Providing a Global Platform for Takaful and Re-Takaful Industry

HOLT consultancy today attended Day One of the 12th World Takaful Conference, held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Dubai. The event was sponsored by a number of companies including Dubai International Financial Centre Authority as the Strategic Partner and DIFC Insurance Association as a supporting partner. HOLT consultancy is an associate member of the DIFC Insurance Association.   With the global Takaful industry poised to cross the USD 50 billion threshold by 2020, its contribution as a definitive pillar of Islamic finance should not be overlooked, however, fragmented markets, a lack of uniformity…
Mar
21
HOLT consultancy joins DIFC Insurance Association

HOLT consultancy joins DIFC Insurance Association

HOLT consultancy, an award winning professional compliance and risk management service provider, based in the DIFC, is pleased to announce that it has joined the DIFC Insurance Association as an Associate Member.   Ben Holt, CEO of HOLT consultancy said:   “We are delighted to have joined the DIFC Insurance Association.  HOLT consultancy provides advice and outsourced compliance services to a number of DIFC based (re)-insurance firms. Joining a professional body like the DIFC Insurance Association enables us to represent the best interests of our clients in a market that continues…