Recent Executive Moves in Banking & Financial Services – MENA

Contact RRA consultant | Kanu Rajguru

February 2023

  • ABU DHABI ISLAMIC BANK has appointed Ahmed Kamel as Head of Investment Products and Advisory Division. Kamel brings with him more than 22 years of experience in investments, in particular asset management. Kamel joined from Al Hilal Bank, where he spent 14 years and their Head of Investments after having held regional roles at EFG-Hermes, Citibank, CIB-Egypt and Union National Bank. 

  • ABU DHABI COMMERCIAL BANK’S Mark Friedenthal, Chief Investment Officer is departing the bank after more than 15 years. Friedenthal is responsible for the wealth and investment management activities of the bank, including in-house managed funds, external fund manager selection, trading and execution, advisory and discretionary portfolio management. He is also responsible for fulfilling the regulated role of SEO/CEO of ADCB Asset Management in the Abu Dhabi Global Market.

  • ABU DHABI GLOBAL MARKET has hired Olivier Honsberger as Head of Banking and Finance - Cluster Development.  Prior to this he was a Member of the Advisory Board at Global Millennial Capital, a venture capital investor based in San Francisco for over 2 years.  Previously he was with the Mirabaud Group for almost 23 years where he was latterly a Member of the Board of Directors at Mirabaud Abu Dhabi for 3 years having been the CEO of Mirabaud Middle East Limited for over 8 years. Before this he relocated to Dubai in 2010 from their Geneva office where he spent over a decade.

  • AXA EGYPT has expanded the role of Sameh Anas to include as Managing Director of AXA General Insurance. His career spans over two decades in the insurance sector, across operations, underwriting, customer services, claims management, production and collection, insurance networks, and medical approvals. Since joining the company in April 2017 as its Chief Operating Officer, Anas has built his track record of experience and ability to achieve remarkable progress by setting comprehensive goals for growth and designing effective strategies, plans and procedures to ensure the achievement of the company's goals with world-class standards across all its business lines.

  • BANK ABC has appointed Mohamed Rasheed Almaraj as Group Head of Retail Banking. He joined Bank ABC in 2015 as a Vice President in the Group Strategy team and then became COO of their Digital Retail Bank “ila” in 2018 before being appointed as ila’s Chief Executive Officer in 2020. He has previously held roles with The Family Office Company in Bahrain having started his career at Perella Weinberg Partners in New York for 5 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics, Finance & Accounting from The Wharton School, Philadelphia, USA.

  • BANK DHOFAR, Oman’s second-largest bank by market value, has appointed Amit Kapoor as the Head of Private Banking. Kapoor will be responsible for building the bank’s private banking business, with a focus on providing a tailored, service-centric approach that adds value for its clientele. Before joining Bank Dhofar, Kapoor was the Director of Sales at Frankfurt-headquartered ACATIS Investment KVG, where he focused on providing financial solutions for Scandinavian and Middle Eastern clients.

  • EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD (MIDDLE EAST) has opened its advisory office in the DIFC. Ali Raza Syed, Senior Executive Officer, will be leading the office. He reports to Saman Habibian, Chairman and Market Leader Middle East & Africa based in Zurich. With a Category 4 advisory licence regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. Edmond de Rothschild will be able to locally advise clients and ensure access to the entire group’s offerings. Historically, Edmond de Rothschild has established strong relationships throughout the Middle East, serving its clientele from its main hubs in Switzerland and Europe.

  • EMIRATES NBD EGYPT has appointed Amr El Shafei as Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director. Amr was previously a Member of the Board of Directors at Arab Developers Holding,  Sarwa Sukuk and The International Company for Medical Industries. Prior to this he was the Executive Vice Chairman at Banque du Caire for over 3 years having been at the National Bank of Egypt as Group Head of Corporate Banking, Debt & Structured Finance. Before this Amr spent 4 years at Barclays latterly as Regional Head of Corporate Banking for Egypt, Kenya & Tanzania. He has also worked for Citi, Mashreq Bank and Egyptian British Bank (Now HSBC).

  • FIRST ABU DHABI BANK has hired Michel Longhini as Group Head of Global Private Banking and will focus on growing FAB’s wealth management division across its international footprint and will join the bank’s executive committee. Prior to joining FAB, Longhini was the CEO of Private Banking at Edmond de Rothschild in Geneva. Before that, he was the CEO of Private Banking at Union Bancaire Privée in Geneva, where he contributed to the bank’s growth in Asian markets, Switzerland and the UAE. He also held senior leadership roles at BNP Paribas Wealth Management including CEO WM International and CEO Private Bank Asia.

  • GENERAL ATLANTIC, a global equity firm with over $72.6 billion in AUM has appointed Samir Assaf into the newly created role of Chairman to lead its push into the MENA region. Assaf will work to identify investment opportunities and build relationships in the MENA region as the firm seeks to expand its global footprint. General Atlantic has been investing in the Middle East since 2015, deploying more than $400 million to date across its investments, including Property Finder and Network International. Samir spent 27 years at HSBC in a number of key leadership roles. Most recently, he was the Chairman of Corporate and Institutional Banking. Prior to this role, Samir led HSBC’s Global Banking and Markets division as Chief Executive for a decade.

  • INVESTCORP announced the opening of its office in Tokyo. The firm has appointed Professor Heizo Takenaka as Chairman of Investcorp Japan. Professor Takenaka served as Japan’s Minister of Economic/Fiscal Policy in 2001, before adding Financial Services to his mandate in 2002 and Privatisation of The Postal Services in 2004, and finally becoming Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications from 2005-2006. He is currently a Professor Emeritus at Keio University and Professor at Toyo University, while also sitting on the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and on Investcorp’s International Advisory Board since July 2020. This will allow the firm to provide global alternative investment solutions in Japan, in addition to setting the grounds for its direct private equity and real estate investing in the Japanese market. The Tokyo team will join the company’s wider Asia team that includes 40 professionals operating across Asia.

  • MASHREQ PRIVATE BANKING has hired Vipul Malhan as Senior Vice President & Team Head, reporting to Vipul Kapur, Head of Private Banking. Malhan will lead a team of private bankers to support existing business and acquire new clients, Vipul has held various roles within the banking industry, including a 15-year stint at Emirates Bank. He was a Senior Director leading a team of bankers managing UHNW individuals, investment holding entities, and external asset managers based out of the UAE, Singapore and Switzerland. He has more than 25 years of experience, spanning organisations including Citibank, GE Money and Xerox, working across the USA, Asia and the Middle East.

  • REMITLY GLOBAL announced it has expanded into the Middle East and opened an office in the DIFC. It has appointed Mohamed Mansour as Head of Region - MENA based in Dubai. Before this he was Founder & Senior Advisor at Fractionvest in Canada which allows users to buy and trade in real estate through fractional, tokenized ownership. Previously Mohamed spent 13 years at HSBC where he was latterly Regional Head of Global Payments Solutions (Int'l Corporates) & Tech Sector Lead – MENA for 1.5 years having previously been the Country Head of Trade Finance & Sustainable Finance in Oman for over 3 years. He has also held posts in New York, San Francisco, Athens, Istanbul and Dubai in various roles.

  • SALAMA, the Dubai-listed Islamic insurer said that its Chief Executive Officer, Fahim Al Sehhi, has resigned, citing personal reasons having joined in January 2021. He will be replaced on a temporary basis by Board Member Ajit Vijay Joshi, who will oversee company business until a new CEO is appointed. Last October, the company announced a merger with fellow Islamic insurer Takaful Emarat as well as the acquisition of another, AMAN. 
    Joshi previously served on the board of merger target Takaful Emarat but resigned in August 2022 citing personal reasons.

  • SAUDI ARABIA'S King Salman has appointed Ayman Alsayari as the kingdom's new Central Bank Governor and takes over the role from Fahad Almubarak. Mr Alsayari was Vice Governor for Investment and Research at SAMA and is a member of the Board of Directors of Saudi Arabia's National Debt Management Centre. Mr Almubarak, a former Morgan Stanley banker, now takes on the role of Adviser at the Royal Court. He was appointed to the top role at SAMA in January 2021 for a second time. He was previously the bank's Governor from 2011 to 2016.

  • STANDARD CHARTERED BANK announced the appointment of Muhannad Mukahall as the new Chief Executive Officer of Qatar. Muhannad joined Standard Chartered in 2013 and has since held senior assignments including CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Jordan, Head of Global Banking in Jordan, and Head of Local Corporates in Abu Dhabi.  Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Muhannad held multiple leadership roles at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Arab Bank, HSBC Dubai and Jordan Kuwait Bank. Muhannad brings with him a wealth of regional experience that spans over 20 years.




      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