Nedbank Private Wealth, a member of South Africa’s Old Mutual financial services group, is planning to double its client base in the Middle East by the end of 2014.

The wealth manager’s Middle East and Asia head Andrew Bates told International Adviser that although Nedbank is in the fortunate position of being able, should it wish, to recruit from a pool of well-connected bankers following several banks’ exodus from the Gulf region, Nedbank’s strategy for now is to build up its business there first, before recruiting any more staff.

Nedbank will, however, be looking to grow its client base next year, he added.

Nedbank currently has four staff on the ground in Dubai, with a support team of 15 people servicing the UAE from the bank’s Isle of Man office.

Bates said that Nedbank customers in the UAE typically fall into the general western expat category. While most of these Nedbank clients, who need at least £500,000 minimum net cash to open an account, require a diversified selection of asset classes.

Speaking about Asia, Bates, business is "constantly growing" and plans to focus on in the future, "particularly in areas with a robust regulatory framework – such as Hong Kong or Singapore.

"The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission are certainly strong in that respect," International Adviser further quoted him as saying.