Billionaire BR Shetty launches holding company for financial services brands

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Abdul Basit

Dubai – UAE-based businessman and philanthropist, Dr. BR Shetty on April 23 announced the creation of “Finablr”, a new holding company which, subject to regulatory approvals, will consolidate his global portfolio of financial services brands under one single umbrella. Incorporated in the UK, Finablr will provide strategic direction and oversight for the category-leading brands across its network.

The UAE Exchange, Travelex and Xpress Money have been brought under the new holding company. BR Shetty refused to disclose the size of the new holding company but said the holding company’s subsidiaries recorded 150 million transactions worth $100 billion – $30 billion in remittances and $70 billion in forex transactions.

Finablr also seeks to drive financial enablement and empowerment by accelerating customer-focused technology innovation through R&D efforts, industry ecosystem engagements, investments and potential acquisitions. As a diversified network, Finablr will combine the cumulative industry expertise of its trusted network brands including UAE Exchange, Travelex, Xpress Money etc. to deliver innovative-technology-driven and market-leading experiences. As a platform of complementary capabilities, the Finablr network will facilitate seamless and connected experiences for individuals and enterprises.

With over four decades of industry experience, 18,000+ employees, and handling more than 150 million customer transactions annually, the Finablr network brands boast an impressive global footprint. Collectively touching over a billion lives through its retail stores, agents and digital channels, the Finablr network brands have a direct presence in 45 countries and a network reach across 165 countries. Technology innovation and integration into the new economy is key to Finablr’s growth strategy.

Commenting on the announcement, Finablr Founder and Chairman, Dr. B.R. Shetty, said: “Finablr is driven by our desire to lead the evolution of the financial services industry to meet the customer demands of tomorrow. Our strength comes from over four decades of trust that we have built with our customers through a track record of innovation and excellence in service. Through investment in research and technology, we will bring forth game-changing products and services across our portfolio of brands, to ensure we maintain our competitive edge. We are inspired by our customers and Finablr will focus on creating an engaged customer community.”

Binay Shetty, Executive Director at Finablr, explained: “Finablr will bring together the strengths across its network brands and investments in digital technologies to build scalable, cost-efficient customer propositions to enable and empower them. We see Finablr as an innovation platform that converges the strengths and capabilities of our network companies and a range of ecosystem partners. In effect, we are bringing together leading-edge capabilities across people, processes and technology.”

In its efforts to embrace new technologies that transform the way customers and businesses engage, Finablr is setting up Innovation Hubs (i-Hubs) across its global network. i-Hubs will identify disruptive trends in the industry and implement innovations that deliver enhanced business benefits to its network of brands. Through its investment arm, Finablr will seek to acquire capabilities that complement its portfolio through inorganic pursuits. The Finablr investment arm will continue the inorganic pursuits on behalf of its network brands, including strategic investments and acquisitions plans (of USD 250-300 Million) announced by UAE Exchange.

Promoth Manghat, Executive Director at Finablr, added: “As a network of category-leading and trusted brands, Finablr is uniquely positioned to lead the future of financial services for a seamless world. Keeping the innovation agenda squarely in sight, we have started our journey by collaborating with strategic partners and globally-renowned industry accelerator programmes. The formation of i-Hubs builds upon our early investments in technology and accelerates our pace in delivering cutting-edge solutions. Moreover, on the investment front, we are constantly on the lookout for the right opportunities that help further our innovation efforts be it on the industry capability or the technology side.”

Finablr has also announced the intent to rebrand the non-UAE operations of UAE Exchange as “Unimoni. Short for “Universal Money”, Unimoni will offer a broad spectrum of financial services and will build on the brand equity and legacy of UAE Exchange. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com