Axa opens in Qatar, few hires anticipated

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Axa Investment Managers is the latest financial services company to branch out in the Middle East, but don't expect a rush of hiring.

The fund management firm is opening an office in Doha, Qatar, to accompany its existing presence in Bahrain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Muscat and Morocco.

For the first nine to twelve months, the new outpost will be staffed only by Scott Callander, director, Middle East institutional advisory at Axa, and one other. Thereafter, Callander says they will be looking for another sales person and an assistant, probably from the local region: "We don't see a need to hire lots of people."

Qatar has been seeking to expand its financial services industry to compete with Dubai. HSBC is already committed to opening an investment banking arm in Doha and Goldman Sachs and NM Rothschild are expected to follow soon.

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