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Jacques Visser has extensive experience advising on all legal, regulatory, compliance, registration and distribution aspects of setting up funds and investment structures in a variety of onshore and offshore jurisdictions, inclusive of mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and venture capital funds, both on conventional and Shari’a-compliant platforms.

Mr. Visser has deep expertise in asset management, financial services and banking sectors in Africa and the Middle East. Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Visser ran his own Dubai-based funds and investment management consultancy. He was also the general counsel and founding partner of Dubai-based Algebra Capital Limited prior to its acquisition by Franklin Templeton Investments and he served as Managing Director of Franklin Templeton Investments (ME) Limited subsequent thereto.

Mr. Visser is recognized as a leading individual for investment funds in The Legal 500 EMEA, 2015, which describes him as among "the best experts in terms of UAE, DIFC and offshore investment fund structuring." His industry experience includes serving as a consultant to the MENA PE Association on the MENA VC Industry Report (2012), serving on the ESCA UAE Fund Regulations Industry Consultation Panel (2011) and acting as a member of the DIFC Funds Panel (2010). He has also served as a director on the board of Algebra Capital Limited and a number of fund boards managed by Algebra or Franklin Templeton.

Mr. Visser is qualified to practice as an attorney, notary and conveyancer in South Africa.

Significant Representations

  • Leading the establishment of mutual funds in a variety of onshore jurisdictions for an asset management company, inclusive of setting up funds in Bahrain, Canada, Cayman Islands, Japan, Korea and Luxembourg.
  • Establishing offshore funds and related structures for (i) venture capital investment in digital media start-ups in the MENA region, (ii) private equity investment in financial services in frontier markets, (iii) real estate and hospitality sector investment in Dubai and (iv) impact investment into East Africa.
  • Establishing a Luxembourg SIF-SICAV fund for a Dubai-based private equity firm.
  • Establishing an investment structure for a pre-IPO deal (with BVI, Hong Kong, China and German components) for a Chinese clothing and shoe manufacturer to be listed in Frankfurt.
  • Advising a Turkish investment bank on (i) its DFSA regulatory risk assessment; (ii) matters relating to its product distribution; (iii) publication of investment research in the UAE; and (iv) moving its trading operations to Dubai from London.
  • Leading the acquisition of a 35% stake in a Kenyan foods manufacturer by a private equity fund.
  • Advising the shareholders of a Bahraini-based investment bank on the legal and regulatory consequences of acquiring a Saudi-based investment company.
  • Listing a feeder fund on the Cayman Island Stock Exchange.
  • Establishing an asset management firm in the DIFC for a family office with investment structures/funds to be based in Delaware and the Cayman Islands.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.


University of the Witwatersrand, B.A., 1991
University of the Witwatersrand, LL.B., 1993
University of the Witwatersrand, Post-graduate Diploma, Competition Law, 2000
University of Johannesburg, LL.M., Banking and Capital Markets Law, 2001

Bar Admissions/Qualifications

South Africa


International Bar Association