DFSA signs MoU with Astana Financial Services Authority

Dubai, UAE, 21 June, 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA).

The MoU was signed in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) by Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision of the DFSA, and Mr Stephen Glynn, Chief Executive Officer, AFSA.  The signing was also attended by Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer at the DFSA.

The MoU follows the close collaboration between the DIFC bodies and the Republic of Kazakhstan to establish the Astana International Financial Centre which has been modelled on the DIFC. It sets out a framework for the two authorities to work together for the continued development of their legal and regulatory regimes including through information and personnel exchange and training.

Mr Stirewalt said: “We are pleased to enter into an agreement with the Astana Financial Services Authority setting out a framework of cooperation for the continued development of sound and fair financial regulatory mechanisms and capital markets in both our markets. We firmly believe that cooperation between regulators is paramount to creating a more stable financial system.”

Mr Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer at the DFSA, said: “The DFSA has 104 bi-lateral MoUs with regulators globally, and five multi-lateral MoUs. These agreements demonstrate our commitment to building strong relationships with regional and international regulators and this comes from our focus on cooperation and collaboration in the sustainable development of global financial markets.”

Mr Glynn, Chief Executive Officer at AFSA, said: “The AFSA looks forward to a long and productive relationship with the DFSA. The DFSA lead the development of bespoke international financial centres in the Middle East and has become a model of sound regulatory practice.  Our vision is to create a regulatory ecosystem equal to the DIFC and other advanced international jurisdictions. Part of our success will be dependent on our ability to share information with our peers so that we can deliver an international standard of regulation.” 

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For further information please contact:

Corporate Communications    

Dubai Financial Services Authority

Level 13, The Gate, West Wing

Dubai, UAE

Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613           

Email: [email protected]


Editor’s notes:

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. The DFSA’s regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange. In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director since 2010. Mr Stirewalt’s responsibilities include prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of financial service providers and overseeing the DFSA's role with Registered Auditors, CRAs and DNFBPs. Within his primary areas of responsibilities, he also directs the DFSA’s efforts in fighting methods of illicit finance. He has extensive experience in financial regulation in public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the BCBS's engagement with global supervisors on banking supervisory issues.

Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer joined the DFSA in March 2013. He has over 16 years of international and local experience in leadership and strategy roles in financial services, Islamic banking, real estate, media and telecommunication industries. He is responsible for strategic operational excellence at the DFSA by leading the development and implementation of world-class, innovative solutions and smart initiatives. Mr. Al Awadhi represents the DFSA on strategic initiatives with Government entities and with local and regional regulators and standard-setters. He plays a leading role in building UAE National capabilities both at the DFSA and the broader society. Previously, Mr Al Awadhi led the Marketing and Communication division at the Abu Dhabi Media, Priority Banking at Emirates Islamic Bank, and was Deputy Head of Retail Banking and Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at Dubai Bank, where he led Royal Banking and Wealth Management, Branding, Marketing and Communications. He was also the Global Director of Marketing and Sales at Sama Dubai, a member of Dubai Holding, and was responsible for over 20 international markets. Mr Al Awadhi has a Master of Laws with double major in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution and Financial Crimes & Money Laundering and a Bachelor degree in Applied Business Science. He is a Harvard Alumni and has completed the General Management Program (GMP) at the Harvard Business School. Mr Al Awadhi has published his first book entitled ‘The Sustainability of Family Businesses in the United Arab Emirates – A Legal and Operational Perspective For Best Practice.’ An article based on his book has been published in the International Company and Commercial Law Review.

Press Release: DFSA signs MoU with Astana Financial Services Authority - English


Press Release: DFSA signs MoU with Astana Financial Services Authority - Arabic


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