SAS Organises Exclusive 'Enterprise Risk Summit' Focusing on the Financial Sector in the UAE

Middle East financial institutions to invest USD 2 billion on IT solutions to protect financial transactions in 2008 and 2009

Banks and Financial institutions in the Middle East are expected to invest USD 2 billion on IT solutions to protect financial transactions in 2008 and 2009, a significant portion of which will be spent on anti-money laundering software and technology, according to the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force. This reflects the massive 70 per cent growth in anti-money laundering-related spending in the region over the past three years, and is in line with the projected USD 6 billion investments by institutions in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia towards IT solutions aimed at protecting financial transactions. In a bid to address the increasing need for robust IT-based protection for financial transactions, SAS, a leader in business intelligence and analytical software and services, held an exclusive 'Enterprise Risk Summit' in Dubai yesterday (February 25, 2008), which featured an overview of SAS Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and other SAS solutions.

In addition to its highly acclaimed ERM system, SAS also highlighted its SAS Scoring, SAS Portfolio Management and SAS Credit Risk Management at the summit, which drew the attention and active participation from regional IT security experts. Among the impressive line-up of speakers from SAS were Harry Pretorius, Head of Risk Practice, SAS - Middle East and Africa; and Pat Medapa, Head of OpRisk and GRC Practice for RiskTech. The seminar was followed by a discussion on various international and regional case studies, and presentations on various customers of SAS in the Middle East, which showcased the benefits of raising the standards, and overcoming the challenges faced in the absence of effective risk management solutions.

"It is crucial for practitioners to be able to discuss and debate ideas openly in order for us to take progressive steps and effectively build on our strengths as well as overcome our weaknesses," said Harry Pretorius, Head of Risk Practice, SAS - Middle East & Africa. "Through the summit, we have shared our best practices and views on the market and financial services industry, which has also afforded attendees an opportunity to learn from the industry experts. We have designed the summit to gain relevant information regarding the concerns of decision makers in the financial services industry and in turn educate them on the latest Enterprise Risk Management solutions."

Over 30 participants representing BASEL ll and Credit Risk teams from leading UAE-based banks and financial institutions such as Mashreq Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Noor Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and HSBC attended the summit. In addition to gaining relevant information to ensure their organisations' maximum protection from illegal financial transactions, particularly money-laundering, the delegations from leading banking organisations also gathered significant awareness of the outstanding advantages of SAS' wide range of solutions and services.

"Amidst the region's booming economy and the rapidly growing markets, banks and financial institutions today face a wide range of risks in the normal course of their business. Through our Enterprise Risk Management solutions, managers can focus on the risks that have the biggest influence on their ability to achieve strategic goals. Having successfully improved the financial performance of our clients, we are looking forward to administering this revolutionary solution to more financial organisations throughout the region," concluded Pretorius.

With the Middle East banking and financial services sector growing at an unprecedented rate, effective risk management has become one of the most important aspects of a successful financial institution's operation. Through its expertise in the regional financial services market, SAS has built a global consumer base for its SAS ERM, which delivers current and credible understanding of risks while reducing losses, improving capital management and building a risk-aware culture throughout an organization. SAS' breadth of risk technology also extends to market risk, fraud, anti-money laundering, actuarial risk and energy risk, with more than 200 financial institutions using its solutions worldwide.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business intelligence and analytical software and services. Customers at 43,000 sites use SAS software to improve performance through insight from data, resulting in faster, more accurate business decisions; more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; compliance with governmental regulations; research breakthroughs; and better products and processes. Only SAS offers leading data integration, storage, analytics and business intelligence applications within a comprehensive enterprise intelligence platform. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know®.

For more information, please contact:
CommuniGate Middle East
PO Box 66861, Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 4 3988134
Fax: +971 4 3988137


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