Chief Legal Officer, DIFC Authority
Jacques Visser heads the Legal Affairs division of the DIFC Authority. In addition, he holds the position of Secretary to the DIFC Higher Board and the Boards of the DIFC Authority and DIFC Investments LLC. Mr. Visser also currently serves as DIFC’s Security Registrar and Commissioner of Data Protection.
With over 20 years of experience as a financial services lawyer, Mr. Visser’s expertise lie in multi-jurisdictional investment structures, funds, asset management and regulatory matters in emerging markets, as well as investment strategies and related M&A transactions. During his expansive career, he has established a number of landmark funds and investment structures relevant to the MENA region.
In his previous role, Mr. Visser worked as National Partner at Dechert LLP in Dubai. During his tenure at Dechert LLP, The Legal 500, an international guide to top-tier legal firms and practitioners, listed him as one of the top three most notable lawyers in the UAE investment funds industry, while MENA Fund Manager recognised him as one of the 50 most influential individuals in the industry in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Prior to Dechert, Mr. Visser ran his own consultancy firm, where he focused on advising a number of emerging and frontier market investment boutiques. He was also a founding partner and Managing Director of DIFC-based firm Algebra Capital, which was sold to Franklin Templeton Investments in 2011. Following the acquisition, Mr. Visser served as the Executive Managing Director and supervised the merger of the two firms.
He has in the past, and continues to serve outside the UAE, as a board member and advisory board member of funds, financial institutions and a technology startup.
Mr. Visser holds a Master’s degree in Banking and Capital Markets Law (LLM) from the University of Johannesburg, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Competition Law from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from the same university.