- Supervisory Board members will provide oversight of the governance and commercial aspects of DEWS
- Employer and employee interests are protected as part of DEWS through the newly appointed DEWS Supervisory Board
- Region-first employee workplace savings scheme highlights DIFC being at the forefront of driving the future of finance in the region and attracting world-class talent in line with UAE’s National Agenda and Dubai Plan 2021
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 18 March 2020: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, today announced the appointment of the members of the Supervisory Board of its newly launched DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Scheme (DEWS), which will assist DIFC employees in securing their financial future.
Introduced from 1 February 2020, DEWS is a progressive end-of-service benefits plan aimed to restructure the current defined benefit end of service gratuity scheme into a funded and professionally managed, defined contribution savings plan. The initiative also offers employees the ability to make voluntary savings into DEWS.
The DEWS Supervisory Board will oversee the governance and commercial aspects of the scheme that are not subject to regulatory supervision, and ensure the interests of all employers and employees based in the DIFC are protected. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) will supervise regulatory aspects of the master trustee and scheme administrator’s duties.
The first DEWS Supervisory Board will consist of:
- Hamed Kazim, as the Independent Chair;
- Jacques Visser and Madeya AlKtebi, as DIFC Authority (DIFCA) representatives;
- Thenji Moyo, as the employee representative; and
- Gordon Barr, as the employer representative.
As part of the nomination process for both employee and employer representatives, DIFCA received more than 200 nominations, which were then narrowed down to a shortlist of 21 highly qualified and experienced individuals. The final shortlist was then voted on by the DIFC community, which ultimately led to the final appointment of the board members.
Employers based in the DIFC have until 31 March 2020 to enroll into a Qualifying Scheme, which includes the best-in-class default Qualifying Scheme, DEWS. The move to a professionally managed and cost-effective savings plans reflects DIFC’s standing as a world-leading business hub with values of ease, transparency and international best practice that will drive the future of finance.
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority said: “We take great pride spearheading the regions’ first employee savings scheme, supporting employees at the DIFC in securing their financial future. We have been overwhelmed with nominations for the DEWS Supervisory Board resulting in several accomplished and experienced members who share our core values of transparency and integrity.
“This is not only important for delivering on our 2024 growth strategy, but also retaining our status as a world-leading international business hub that drives the future of finance and supports the UAE’s National Agenda and Dubai Plan 2021. Ultimately, the newly appointed members of the Supervisory Board will ensure DEWS matches the international standards that top global talent expect.
“The new DEWS Supervisory Board should reassure employers and employees at the DIFC that we have an unwavering commitment to protecting their finances and delivering returns”, added Amiri.
DEWS will offer a low cost investment platform for receiving and managing mandatory employer end-of-service contributions on behalf of their employees and any added voluntary savings by employees, including cash or cash equivalent options for those members that do not want to take investment risk with their contributions.
DEWS Supervisory Board Members
Hamed Kazim is a veteran independent director with many years of distinguished service in eminent positions and directorships. He owns Hamed Kazim Consultancy, his own advisory practice, advising major groups and international firms. He is also currently a Senior Advisor to PricewaterHouseCoopers (PwC).
Jacques Visser is the Chief Legal Officer of DIFCA and also holds the position of Secretary to the DIFC Higher Board and the Boards of the DIFC Authority and DIFC Investments LLC. He also currently serves as DIFC’s Security Registrar and Commissioner of Data Protection.
Madeya AlKtebi is Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources at DIFCA, working with business leaders at the DIFC to meet the objectives and aspirations of the Centre by leading the development of HR strategy and planning in line with its business goals.
Thenji Moyo is a UK trained and qualified specialist employment lawyer advising on all UAE and DIFC employment law and is the co-Head of Employment at DWF (Middle East) LLP.
Gordon Barr is a Partner within Al Tamimi & Company’s Employment & Incentives practice. He was a member of the DIFC working group that provided recommendations to the DIFC Higher Board that led to the establishment of DEWS, where he also led the legal and regulatory advisory committee.