November Newsletter

I write to you from the North Yorkshire moors for this month’s newsletter, where winter has arrived. It is bitterly cold, and the snow has started to fall this morning. The children are excited about potential snow building activities!

Back in the UAE, we wish you a happy 52nd National Day this coming weekend, celebrating 52 years of the Union.

As we enter the year’s final month, it is a time to review and reflect on another amazing year as we continue to scale and attract the best people in the industry (more on that below). We have some exciting plans for 2024 as we innovate to build the business and proposition. We can’t wait to share details when we are able. Once again, thank you for your support.

A November to remember!

November was an excellent month for Team GSB, as we collected two trophies at the Tenth Annual WealthBriefing MENA Awards.

The WealthBriefing MENA Awards are part of a global programme run by WealthBriefing and its sister publications WealthBriefingAsia and Family Wealth Report. Showcasing ‘best of breed’, these awards have been designed to recognise outstanding organisations grouped by specialism and geography, which the panel of independent judges deemed to have demonstrated innovation and excellence during the last year.

GSB was awarded the AUM Up To US$1 Billion and, for my wife Alison (and co-founder of GSB), an exceptional award in being crowned Leading Female Executive. All categories being highly contested and subject to a rigorous process before the judges select the ultimate winner.

While being recognised by the industry we’re seeking to innovate is terrific, at GSB, we’re also mindful that winning awards is particularly important in these challenging times. Particularly with winning WealthBriefing Awards, our clients can feel reassured of the solidity and sustainability of our business and operating models. For Team GSB, this is a fantastic achievement, recognising all the hard work put into the business over the past few years ⏤ and a true testament to their commitment to building better solutions for our clients. On behalf of the board, I want to thank everyone at GSB for helping us become one of the best in our field!

Team GSB

Firstly, I am delighted to share two senior promotions with the appointment of Christopher Wright as the new Senior Executive Officer & Head of UAE and David Smylie as Group Head of GSB Private – both with effect from January 1st 2024.

Christopher and David have been integral to our GSB Community, demonstrating exceptional leadership, dedication, and a deep understanding of our company’s values and vision. They have consistently exhibited strategic thinking, innovation, and a commitment to excellence that aligns perfectly with our company’s mission.

In addition to this news, I am pleased to introduce you to Nigel Gregory and Stuart Ritchie, who have joined as Managing Partners, and Mauro De Santis Bo as Partner. All three are based in our Dubai office.

Nigel has over 25 years of banking and wealth management experience, including 10 years in senior executive roles in compliance, training, sales, and management in UK banks. He also has substantial experience in building international IFA businesses in the USA, Europe, MENA, and Asia. Nigel has a proven track record of implementing business plans in large, established organisations and start-ups.

As part of the leadership and senior executive team, Nigel will focus on developing GSB’s retail offerings and overseeing global expansion into new territories.

Stuart is a Chartered Wealth Manager and Managing Partner of the Wealth Management Team. Part of the GSB leadership team, Stuart supports the strategic direction to help the business reach its objectives. As a Chartered Financial Planner, Stuart works directly with executives and entrepreneurs as their trusted adviser, discovering their aims and ambitions to help create a personalised financial plan. This well-articulated plan supports clients in wealth creation, wealth preservation and succession planning.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Mauro started his career as a lawyer in 2010 with one of the top 3 firms in Argentina, before moving to the UAE in 2013 and embarking on a new journey in the financial services sector. He holds the certificate in International Advanced Wealth Management and the Chartered status of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI). Mauro now benefits from a decade of experience as a Financial Planner and specialises in providing comprehensive financial planning solutions for expats around the World.

Further appointments will be announced over the next quarters as we scale out our presence in the UAE, UK and KSA.

Charity Work

At the CEO Sleepout UK, held at Marylebone Cricket Club (Lords Cricket Ground) on the night of the 20th of November, Alison and I slept in the ground stands to unite with other participants to highlight the real-world issue of homelessness.

As the sun rose in London, we reflected on an eventful night. Bracing the long, cold winter in the UK is a challenge for anyone, especially for the nearly 271,000 people recorded as homeless in England, including 123,000 children (January 2023, research from Shelter.)

Every little helps in supporting this initiative, and thank you to everyone who supported a cause close to our hearts.

Click here to find out more

Dubai Rugby 7s – The Cats 7s

With the Dubai Rugby 7s kicking off this weekend, GSB continues supporting and sponsoring the Cats 7s team. This year, we are sponsoring the men’s and women’s teams.
The Cats 7s were set up in 2019 are an exciting and competitive team based in the South West of the UK with players based across the world
Both men’s and women’s sides compete in elite tournaments both in the UK and internationally
The Cats are notorious for turning heads on the 7s circuit due to their leopard print kit & expansive playing style
Their biggest highlight was the women’s side becoming 24/7s National Champions
Both sides have won silverware at Dubai 7s

Men’s fixtures:
Cats 7s v DESC Old Boys, Friday 1st December, 8 am, Pitch 5
Cats 7s v Jumeirah Old Boys RFC, Friday 1st December, 11 am, Pitch 6
Cats 7s v Speranza 22 (Social), Saturday 2nd December. 9:20 am, Pitch 5

Women’s fixtures:
Cats 7s v Five O’s. Friday 1st December, 3:40 pm, Pitch 7
Cats 7s v Briars, Friday 1st December, 6:20 pm, Pitch 5
Cats 7s v Savvy Pink Panthers, Saturday 2nd December, 3:20 pm, Pitch 4
Cats 7s v CNCF Ladies, Saturday 2nd December, 5:20 pm, Pitch 8

Look out for and support the Cats if you are at the Dubai Rugby 7s this week. Go Cats!

Your Feedback Matters

We have recently distributed our client satisfaction survey. If you have completed this, thank you for your feedback. If not, we would be grateful if you could spare 5 mins to complete our short questionnaire.

Click here to begin the GSB Client Survey

In advance of the holidays, and on behalf of the entire GSB community, we want to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season filled with happiness and joy. We hope you enjoy reading this month’s newsletter. We always welcome any comments, thoughts or feedback. If you would like to send us any suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Ross Whatnall
CEO & Founding Partner

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