Recent Executive Moves in Banking & Financial Services – MENA

Contact RRA consultant | Kanu Rajguru




  • ABU DHABI COMMERCIAL BANK has hired Ehsun Zaidi as Head - Corporate & Institutional Banking, Dubai & Northern Emirates. Eshun previously spent over a decade at Natixis in Dubai where he was Head of Investment Banking & Coverage - Middle East for over 3.5 years. Before this he was at JP Morgan in Dubai as Managing Director – Investment Banking & Senior Country Officer for over 5 years. He has also held roles with Dubai Islamic Bank and Citi in the UAE, Bahrain and Pakistan. ADCB had earlier appointed Sami Tabbarah as Head of Investment Banking back in May. Before joining, Tabbarah spent more than three decades at Citi, latterly in London where he was Managing Director and Head of Private Capital Solutions.

  • AJMAN BANK has announced the appointment of Mustafa Mohammed Saeed Al Khalfawi as the new Chief Executive Officer. He started his new post on 1st September. With over 20 years of strong experience in corporate and consumer banking, Al Khalfawi is a corporate and investment banker with strong industry knowledge, leadership experience, and emphasis on innovation, customer-centricity, and operational excellence. Previously, Mustafa spent 15 years with First Abu Dhabi Bank (and formerly FGB) where he was latterly their Head of Global Banking UAE and Global Head of Government, Sovereigns & Public Sector for the past 2 years having previously been the Head of Institutional Banking Group, Corporate and Emirates NBD and Al-Futtaim.

  • AL RAYAN BANK in Qatar has appointed Cathy Lewis as a Non-Executive Director and will serve as Chair on the Remuneration Committee and Risk Committee effective from September. Cathy brings over three decades of diverse experience at Director level across multiple sectors. Her extensive background includes notable roles such as Group HR Director at RSA plc, Executive Director of HR & Corporate Services at Prudential Assurance, and Chief People Officer at HM Revenue & Customs. Additionally, Cathy serves as an ambassador and advisor at The ISC Group and holds positions as a Non-Executive Director, Remuneration Committee Chair, and Audit and Risk Committee member at The Ardonagh Group. 

  • BANK OF BAHRAIN AND KUWAIT (BBK) has hired Madhav Nair as Country Head & CEO-India. Madhav joins from Mashreqbank in India where he spent 13 years of which the last 10.5 were as Country Head & CEO having initially joined as Head of Transaction Banking for the Country. Prior to this, Madhav was Vice President & Head Cash Management Services at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. He has also held roles with Emirates NBD, Standard Chartered, ANZ Grindlays and HDFC Bank.

  • BANK OF SINGAPORE has appointed Bora Armangil as COO for its Middle East business. Armangil has more than 20 years of experience in the wealth management industry. He began his career with IBM and has held senior roles in Deutsche Bank and Union Bancaire Privee overseeing technology, operations and business management. Before joining the Bank of Singapore, he ran XNext, a wealth management consultancy he founded to provide advisory, change and project management services to private banks. Armangil will report to Ranjit Khanna, Global Market Head of the Middle East and Chief Executive of the DIFC branch. Additionally, Rebecca Genty-Nott has been appointed Head of Human Resources for the bank’s DIFC Branch. She started her career in the UK with Lloyds TSB Private Bank in 2001. Genty-Nott subsequently moved on to C. Hoare & Co in London as a Private Banking Relationship Manager.

  • BREVAN HOWARD has appointed Oualid Lahsini as Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East and Head of Client Partnerships for MENA and Asia. Lahsini will be based in Abu Dhabi and report to Natalie Faye Smith, Head of Strategy and the Client Partnership Group at Brevan Howard. Lahsini joins from Ares Management Corporation where he was a Partner and Head of Middle East and Africa Relationship Management. He brings two decades of investment management industry experience to the firm. In February 2023, Brevan Howard announced its new Middle East regional hub, located at the Al Sarab Tower in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), which will accommodate more than 100 employees across portfolio management, research, trading, risk, operations, client services, business development, compliance, and technology. The Abu Dhabi office complements the firm’s existing hubs in London, New York, and Geneva.

  • CITI KUWAIT has promoted Omar Amireh to Chief Executive Officer and drive Citi’s business in the country, and will report to Ebru Pakcan, Head of Citi’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) cluster. Omar will concurrently continue to serve as Corporate Banking Head, a position he has held since 2018, when he moved to Kuwait. Since starting his career in Jordan in 2005, Omar has held a variety of EMEA-wide roles across Citi’s businesses, having worked in Jordan, Kuwait, and the UK.

  • eCARDS, which operates under the Egyptian government's arm for digital transformation and e-payment technology, has hired Nashwa Kamel as their new Chief Executive Officer. Kamel’s leadership will drive the company’s strategic direction towards pioneering digital payment solutions, fostering financial inclusion, improving customer experience, and shaping the landscape of digital payments. Her role will involve offering comprehensive and integrated digital payment solutions to banks and businesses. Kamel has had an extensive banking career spanning over three decades. Nashwa previously held the position of Head of Banking Operations at Credit Agricole Egypt Bank and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Credit Bureau.

  • EMIRATES NBD has appointed Hitesh Asarpota as Chief Executive Officer of Emirates NBD Capital the investment banking arm, replacing Mohammad Al Bastaki, who will become Head of Private Banking. Both appointments were effective 1st August. Asarpota, who was the Deputy CEO of Emirates NBD Capital, joined in 2008 and has been responsible for the origination and syndication of loans, bonds and equity capital market offerings. Al Bastaki joined Emirates NBD in 2019 as Head of Public Sector Coverage before becoming the head of Emirates NBD Capital in 2021. Before that, he worked at HSBC for 12 years. 

  • GEMCORP CAPITAL, the UK based asset management firm has hired Simon Penney as Head of Middle East as they set up their offices in Dubai. Simon was previously His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for the Middle East and His Majesty’s Consul General Dubai for 5.5 years. Before this he was the CEO and Head of Wholesale and International Banking for First Gulf Bank (Now First Abu Dhabi Bank) for 3 years. Prior to this, Simon was the CEO for Royal Bank of Scotland for the Middle East. He has also held roles with ABN Amro and PwC earlier in his career. 

  • HSBC has promoted Antoine Maurel to Head of Markets & Securities Services Europe & MENAT with effect from 1st September. In his new role, Antoine will relocate to London as a member of the senior leadership team for HSBC’s Markets & Securities Services (MSS) business globally. He will be responsible for executing the business strategy for Europe and have oversight of the MSS business in MENAT. Antoine has been with HSBC for 25 years and has held a number of leadership roles in MSS during this time. Since April 2015, Antoine has successfully led the development of the MSS platform in the bank’s MENAT region.

  • HSBC KUWAIT has named Rayan Kazerooni as their Head of Global Private Banking having launched onshore wealth management advisory services to better serve wealthy individuals, families, and business owners in the country. Rayan will collaborate closely with HSBC’s well-established global private banking centres in the UAE, Switzerland, UK and Singapore. Before joining, Kazerooni was Senior Executive Officer at Bank of London and the Middle East’s Dubai branch. Previously he was the Senior Executive Officer for Global Investment House’s DIFC branch and before this the Regional Director at Qatar First Bank (QFB).

  • KPMG LOWER GULF has hired Damian Grice as Partner and Chief Operating Officer. Damian joins from Greenstone Equity Partners in Dubai where he was also COO for almost 3 years. Prior to this he spent 2 years at First Abu Dhabi Bank where he was the COO for Group Tech and Digital and SVP, Head of TBM. Prior to this Damain held roles with BankCLEARLY in the UAE and Barclays across both the UK and UAE as well as PwC amongst others.

  • KUWAIT INVESTMENT OFFICE (KIO) Kuwait’s SWF’s London branch has appointed Abdulmohsin Al Mukhaizeem as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mukhaizeem is currently the investment chief at Kuwait’s Wafra International Investment, a subsidiary of the country’s public pension fund. Previously he was the Executive Director of NBK Capital Partners, the alternative investments arm of NBK.

  • MASHREQ, has appointed Faisal Mohammed AlShimmari as Head of ESG & Corporate Strategy, aligning business objectives with long-term sustainable growth and best practices across key ESG metrics. further align with the global climate action efforts. A senior Emirati with 29 years of experience, Faisal has held senior positions in the government sector such as the Ministry of Interior, where he led digital transformation and AI efforts, managed governance and risk, and served as Chief Information Security Officer, as well as senior roles at Abu Dhabi Police. He previously served as Senior Vice President - Head of Risk Strategy and Governance at Mashreq. Faisal holds two Master's degrees. 

  • MASHREQ has also appointed Bassam Moussa as the new Group General Counsel. Bassam's experience includes as Chief Legal Officer and Board Secretary at Emirates Development Bank and as the Group Head of Legal – C&IB (Corporate & Investment Banking) at Emirates NBD Group. He also held significant positions at various law firms throughout his career including Head of Banking & Finance at Al-Tamimi & Company Law Firm and Senior Associate at Shalakany Law Office. Moussa holds an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indiana, USA.

  • QATAR INVESTMENT AUTHORITY (QIA) has hired Hussam Qasim as Local Portfolio Management Director - Region. He was previously a Director for Investment Banking and Capital Markets – MENA for Credit Suisse for almost 4 years. Prior to this he spent 1.5 years at USB where he was an Executive Director - MENA Investment Banking in Dubai having joined from Credit Suisse in Dubai. He has also held roles with deNovo Corporate Advisors and Morgan Stanley in Dubai over a 7 period. 

  • SINGAPORE GULF BANK, Whampoa Group’s digital banking arm has hired Ali Moosa as the Executive Vice Chairman. Moosa joins from JPMorgan where he spent 30 years, last as Regional Head and Vice Chairman of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. He also sits on the boards of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Bahrain Association of Banks, Bahrain's Future Generations Whampoa, SGB plans to offer digital banking services to institutions, innovators and investors globally in the areas of asset management, wealth management and international trade by leveraging fintech and distribute ledger technologies. In addition to supporting the crypto industry, it aims to enhance financial connectivity between Asia and the MENA region. SGB will also leverage the benefits of being one of five recipients of the «Golden License» in Bahrain, which allows access to government services and other incentives. 

  • WELLINGTON MANAGEMENT, the Boston-based firm which handles more than $1.1tn of client assets, is opening an office in Dubai. It is set to appoint Waleed Al-Rezooqi from Morgan Stanley in Dubai to lead its operations and help build out its regional presence, according to people familiar with the matter. Al-Rezooqi is an Executive Director within Investment Management at Morgan Stanley and has worked at the firm for almost six years. He was previously with Natixis as Director - Public Sector Coverage in the region and before this worked at HSBC having started his career with National Bank of Kuwait. 



Contact RRA consultant | Kanu Rajguru

Kanu Rajguru
Kanu Rajguru oversees Banking & Financial Services for Middle East & Africa and is a member of the global financial services practice. He has over 26 years executive search and recruitment experience and has completed searches in over 35 countries including for the past 16+ years across the Middle East & Africa.
Mobile: +971 50 845 2830


Burak Gorbon
Based in our Dubai office, Burak Gorbon is a member of the Middle East leadership team and also heads the firm’s Turkey operations. He advises regional and global clients on their leadership teams and boards. Burak’s focus is on recruiting CEOs, other C-level executives and non-executive directors. He is a trusted advisor to a wide range of  Banks, and other  financial institutions.
Mobile: +971 52 646 5256


Nic Cutts
Nic Cutts is a senior member of the firm’s global Leadership & Succession Practice and Head of Financial Services Advisory Services for Russell Reynolds EMEA. He is a (UK) Chartered Psychologist with over 20 years international consulting experience, having assessed and coached many C-level executives. He has led several large scale M&A and transformation initiatives in the financial services sector, where his consulting services have focused on individual, team and organization-wide initiatives.
Mobile: +971 55 560 9820