Arabian Business: Bank of Nevis International targets Dubai millennials with impact investments

Bonits opens UAE office offering sustainable finance options and migration packages

Bank of Nevis International Trust Services Inc. (Bonits), a provider of migration investment, trust, and company formation services, has launched its first international outpost office in Business Bay, Dubai.

Founded on the Caribbean island of Nevis, the investment provider is targeting the emirate as base to reach well-heeled millennials across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“As a global financial centre and the hub for the region, Dubai is a unique and an ideal location from which Bonits can service existing clients and grow its geographic footprint and customer service outreach,” said company CEO Michael J. Prest.

“We’d like to increase the number of investors we have in the Middle East. Around 10 percent of people who bank with us or who correspond with us looking for opportunities are based in the region, and we’d like to build on that,” he added.

The trust offers migration investment packages, with packages starting from $150,000 for a family of four, as well as a range of sustainable impact investments.

“Over the next 12 months, Bonits will launch initiatives that focus on the needs of a new generation of clients for whom positive social and economic development impact is as an important a consideration as the hunt for yield,” said Prest.

“This is particularly true of the UAE and Gulf region, which has a fast-growing number of HNWIs under 40 years looking for new experiences and more positive outcomes from their investments,” he added.

Michael J. Prest, CEO of Bank of Nevis International Trust Services Inc. (Bonits)

According to Prest, the global pandemic has spurred HNWIs to “rethink” how they live, which has spiked interest in migration packages to St Kitts and Nevis.

“Everybody paused and rethought. They rethought their lives, their businesses and their futures. They’ve understood that perhaps if you’re living in an urban city, it may not be the best place for you,” he said.

“The fallout of that is there is a demand for a product that involves migration investment. There is a desire for a product that enables investors to live in an environment that is open, with regular sunlight and a warm, friendly community,” Prest added.

Impact investment

Bonits is set to launch products that support sustainable and affordable access to solar and other renewable energy solutions in small island states, such as Nevis, and other island nations and developing countries around the world.

“In the investment market, environmental social governance (ESG) is so pertinent to the way people think and the way they like to see their money deployed,” said Prest. “Dubai is very much at the forefront in terms of that thinking.”

Bonits will launch property investments with a tilt towards greener, sustainable use of building resources and sustainable energy. The firm is also rolling out a solar panel mortgage investment tool.

“It’s just like any other mortgage but it’s related to enabling local families to affordably put together the solar architecture to harness renewable energy in their homes.”

According to a survey conducted by the CFA Institute – a body for investment professionals – UAE investors have demonstrated a rising appetite for ESG investment, even amid the global pandemic.

The study said 74 percent of UAE investors with a values objective were willing to give up some return in exchange for meeting their investment goals, and 94 percent of retail investors in the UAE were interested in or used ESG in 2020 – up from 90 percent in 2018.

[Source: Arabian Business]


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