Recent Executive Moves in Banking & Financial Services – MENA

Contact RRA consultant | Kanu Rajguru


January 2024

  • 180 CAPITAL announced the appointment of Samer Abuzahra as its Chief Commercial Officer. Abuzahra will spearhead 180 Capital's business development, focusing on delivering innovative trading and investing solutions. 180 Capital has a diverse range of investment options, including MENA and international equities (with an emphasis on the US markets), as well as options, fixed income, funds, commodity futures, currencies, and cryptocurrencies. Designed to disrupt the sector, particularly for GCC financial services firms, it will provide global access to over 200 exchanges and counterparties. Samer brings almost three decades of industry experience. Prior to joining 180 Capital, he served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTN Middle East and held several leadership positions at Thomson Reuters and HSBC. 

  • AMUNDI has hired Michelle Bekhazi as Senior Vice President, Institutional Sales to oversee its institutional relationships across the Middle East. Bekhazi joins Amundi Asset Management in Dubai and has previously held institutional sales and investor relations roles for companies including Principal Asset Management, Introspect Capital and State Street Global Advisors. 

  • AZURA, the wealth manager has hired a former Barclays executive Hazem Shish as Partner to build up its deal-making operations in Dubai as it ramps up its expansion in the emirate. Shish recently started as a Partner in the firm’s strategic opportunities team in Dubai. He began his own advisory firm as well as an asset-management business focusing on blockchain prior to joining Azura. He previously worked for more than a decade at Barclays, where he helped lead its financial institutions banking for the MENAT which included transactions involving SWF’s Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala Investment Co. up to 2021. Azura was started by former Julius Baer banker Ali Jamal in 2019, has almost 50 employees globally and c. $4 billion in AUM’s.

  • BANK ABC has appointed Simon Atkins as European Head of Treasury and Financial Markets for ABC International Bank, the lender’s wholly owned UK subsidiary. Previously, Atkins was Head of Financial Markets, Traded products and sales at Lloyds Bank Commercial Markets, based in Singapore. He has also worked at HSH Nordbank, CIBC, Barclays de Zoete Wedd and Banque Paribas, and has more than 25 years’ experience in treasury and financial markets.

    The role with Bank ABC will include responsibility for leading and executing international commodity trades and deals as well as implementing trading strategy. Atkins replaces Martin Westacott in the role, who remains at the bank.

    Atkins reports to Rajeev Adrian, Managing Director and Chief Executive of ABCIB, with a functional reporting line to Christopher Wilmot, Group Head of Treasury and Financial markets.

  • EMIRATES DEVELOPMENT BANK has hired Rahul Oberoi as Executive Vice President – Corporate Banking. Rahul was previously an Advisory Board Member of Newbridge Fintech. Before this he spent over 10 years at RAKBANK of which the last 7 were as Managing Director and Head of Wholesale Banking having originally joined as their Head of Commercial Banking. Prior to this, Rahul was Head of Business Banking for the UAE at Barclays for 2.5 years and has also held roles at Citibank and ABN Amro in the UAE over an 11 year span. 

  • FAB MISR in Egypt, the subsidiary of First Abu Dhabi Bank announced the induction of six new members to its Board of Directors. The new board composition includes His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber as Non-Executive Chairman, H.E. Mohamed Hasan Alsuwaidi, Eng. Yasser Al Kady, Syed Basar Shueb, Dr. Ibrahim Sarhan and Ms. Hana Al Rostamani as Vice Chair, alongside the continuous service of Ms. Futoon AlMazrouei and Mr. Suleiman Al Armouti

  • GOLDMAN SACHS has appointed Lucy da Gama Campos to MENA Head of Private Wealth Management, Capital Markets, Apex Family Office and Client Strategy. Campos is currently the Executive Director in Goldman Sachs Apex, the integrated family office team that partners across all regions and divisions of the firm to deliver the full breadth of Goldman Sachs. In addition to her current responsibilities on Apex, she will lead the broader PWM capital markets efforts for the Middle East, where she will focus on family offices and transactional business. Campos will also drive strategic initiatives to grow the overall PWM business with the bank’s clients and prospects across the region. In conjunction with her expanded role, she will relocate from London to Dubai and will report into Rob Mullane and Darren Allaway. Campos joined the firm in 2019. Prior to this, she worked at Deutsche Bank in their corporate finance partnership group.

  • HSBC QATAR has appointed Mohammed Jassim Al Sultan to the role of Head of Human Resources (started in December 2023). Mohammed has over 18 years’ experience in Human Resources in the media and Retail and Consumer Goods industries. He was previously Human Resources Manager for HR Development, Global Talent acquisition, Employee relations at Almeera Consumer Goods Company for 5 years. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Aberdeen, UK and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management & Human Resources Management from the University of Derby, UK.

  • HUB71 announced new appointments within its leadership team to continue scaling Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem. Ahmad Ali Alwan has transitioned from Deputy Chief Executive Officer to Chief Executive Officer of Hub71 as of January 2024. Alwan joined Hub71 as a founding member in 2019 and was appointed Deputy CEO Chief in October 2022. Since then, Alwan has helped Hub71’s strategic development of the hub supporting more than 260 startups that have raised over AED 5 billion in capital. Before becoming Deputy CEO Alwan was a part of the UAE Clusters Asset Management team at Mubadala’s UAE Investment Platform where he managed a portfolio of UAE-based aerospace and technology assets. Prior to that, Alwan played a key role in launching Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners in 2019. In addition, Ahmad was previously part of Mubadala’s Portfolio Strategy team. Other appointments include Basma Ahmed AlBadi AlDhaheri as Head of Value Creation, Hashem Al Kaabi as Head of Operations and Corporate Services, Mohammed Alkhoori as Head of Marketing and Communications, and Peter Abou Hachem as Head of Growth and Strategy

  • MASHREQ BANK has named Yusuf Ali Khan as Global Trade Sales Head, effective immediately. In the newly created role, Khan is responsible for developing and executing the bank’s global trade sales strategy and origination efforts across documentary services, trade finance, supplier finance and structured trade finance. He reports to Mashreq’s Co-head of Global Transaction Banking, Victor Penna. Khan makes the switch from Citi in Dubai, where he worked for over 20 years and held a variety of trade, structured trade and export finance roles. Most recently, he served as Head of Trade for MENAP. 

  • NATIXIS INVESTMENT MANAGERS has appointed Wassim Nasrallah as the Head of the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. Based in Dubai he will report to Andrew Benton, Executive Managing Director and Head of Northern Europe & MEACA. Nasrallah will be responsible for driving the growth of Natixis IM and its affiliate-led model, in key markets across the region. Nasrallah joins Natixis IM with 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 2011, he joined Principal Asset Management to establish the company’s presence in the region in his role as MD, Head of Middle East & Africa. He began his career at Lehman Brothers in 1994, spending 14 years there where he ran generalist sales in the Middle East, before moving on to Gottex Fund Management.

  • NETWORK INTERNATIONAL has promoted Jamal Al Nassai to Group Managing Director for Merchant Services – MENA. He will be responsible for strategic planning and execution, business development and value propositions for Merchant and Government Partners across the groups MENA markets. Jamal has spent 18 years at Network in various leadership roles spanning the entire payments value chain and customer journey and has a diverse expertise across business, technology, governance, regulatory compliance and operations.

  • SICO BANK in Bahrain has appointed Bassam Abdulaziz Noor as Chief Executive Officer of SICO Capital in Saudi Arabia, effective 1st January 2024. Noor brings more than 20 years of experience in investment and management regionally and globally. Before joining SICO Capital, he was the CIO for alternative investments at Derayah Financial and contributed to increasing the AUM for alternative investments. He also held prominent roles in local and regional firms such as Alrajhi United, Arcapita Bank and Gulf International Bank. Bassam holds a double Bachelor’s degree with honors in Finance and Management Information System from University of South Florida, US and is a CFA charterholder.

  • STANDARD CHARTERED’S SC VENTURES the innovation and ventures arm, plans to open an office in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to tap into the UAE’s technology ecosystem. With 30 years in banking technology, Gautam Jain will lead the Abu Dhabi office. His background includes chairing two SC Ventures portfolio companies and various board memberships. He joined SC Ventures in 2018 after roles at Standard Chartered, Barclays, HSBC, and Citigroup in Singapore, London, and India. This move coincides with SC Ventures partnering with SBI Holdings to initiate a digital asset venture in the UAE. SC Ventures sees opportunities in the UAE’s thriving tech ecosystem and ADGM’s growth as a financial hub. The office will engage with the local fintech and startup ecosystem, identify venture-building partnerships, invest in promising ventures, collaborate with universities, and explore new technologies. 

  • UNION BANCAIRE PRIVÉE (UBP) has appointed Mohamed Shoukry as the Chief Executive Officer – Middle East. Before joining UBP, Shoukry held senior positions at Citi, Mashreq Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (Now FAB) and most recently served as Head of Multinational Coverage for CEEMEA at J.P. Morgan. Mohamed replaces Mohamed Hamed Abdellatif, who has served as the CEO of UBP Middle East since 2015 and now taken on the position of Co-Head of Middle East and Africa, sharing responsibilities with Walid Shash who has been driving UBP’s MEA strategy since 2005.  

  • WHAMPOA GROUP has appointed Edmund Lee as Chairman of Singapore Gulf Bank the Bahrain-based digital bank. He will be responsible for guiding the SGB executive leadership team, led by former J.P. Morgan Head Ali Moosa. Lee was most recently working at J.P. Morgan as Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific and Senior Country Officer for Singapore. Prior to that, he was Chairman and CEO of DBS Vickers. Currently, he is also the founding Chair of Asia Gulf Holdings (AGH), the holding company for Whampoa’s strategic investments in Asia and MENA, including SGB. SGB recently received final approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain and is preparing to launch digital banking services in early 2024. SGB’s offering will include round-the-clock settlement, custody of and connectivity to digital assets.

  • UBS has named Hazem Shawki as Head of Investment Banking, Global Banking and Markets for MENA. Shawki was prior to this Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking – MENA at Credit Suisse before UBS’ acquisition last June. He previously was Head of Investment Banking in MENA for Goldman Sachs for 8 years. Tara Luthra, who was Head of MENA – Private and Growth Markets at Credit Suisse, will become Head Global Banking, Corporate Advisory and Capital Market Transactions – Middle East. Before joining Credit Suisse Luthra worked at Morgan Stanley. Bassel Zaouk is also reportedly expected to join the company in a senior role in the Wealth Management division. With 17 years of experience under his belt at Deutsche Bank, he was most recently MD and Chief Country Officer in Saudi Arabia.




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 27 years executive search and recruitment experience and has completed searches in over 35 countries including for the past 17+ years across the Middle East & Africa, based in Dubai.
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