Recent Executive Moves in Banking & Financial Services – MENA

Contact RRA consultant | Kanu Rajguru




  • ABU DHABI ISLAMIC BANK has appointed Amit Malhotra as Global Head of Retail Banking (he joined in May). Amit joins from UNO Digital Bank in the Philippines where he was Chief Business Officer and Strategic Advisor. Before this he spent over 5 years at Commercial Bank of Dubai as General Manager, Retail and SME Banking having previously been Senior Managing Director, Group Head of Personal Banking at Al Hilal Bank. Amit has also held several senior and global roles at Standard Chartered Bank and Citi over a 17-year period having been based in Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.

  • BANK ABC has promoted Ehab AlMaskati to Group Head of Human Resources, taking over from Elaine Wood who has headed the Group’s HR function for the past 7 years. Mr. AlMaskati has worked for Bank ABC for over 18 years, during which time he has held several key HR positions, including most recently, Group Head of HR Operations & Reward. He holds a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from Manchester University, UK.

  • BANK ABC also promoted Jim Murphy as its new European Head of Global Transaction Banking. Murphy joined Bank ABC five years ago and has managed the divisions of global trade debt and distribution and European financial institutions and non-bank financial institutions coverage for more than two years. The role, based in London, will see Murphy report to Charlotte Wiltshire, European Head of Wholesale Banking, and functionally report to Karim Labadi, Bank ABC’s group Head of Transaction Banking. Murphy has over 25 years of market experience in transaction banking and financial institutions and previously held senior roles at HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Barclays, where his roles included Director of Financial Institutions Trade.

  • BANK NIZWA announced Mr. Azzan Al Saleh as Assistant General Manager - Transaction Banking for SMEs. Al Saleh has more than 20 years of experience and joins from Ahlibank where he was latterly Assistant GM Corporate Banking - SME & Mid-Market Segment having joined in 2014. He has also previously held roles at Bank Dhofar, HSBC Oman and National Bank of Oman within corporate and investment banking.

  • BANK SYZ, a family owned and run Swiss private bank, has hired Gabriel Aractingi as Managing Partner and Head of Middle East, as it eyes expansion in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and UAE. The appointment follows a series of key strategic hires as Bank Syz broadens its global footprint and enhances its diverse private wealth management offering. Gabriel joins as an equity partner, further aligning the business model with the family's, senior management’s and client's interests. In his previous role was Managing Director and Head of Middle East PWM at Goldman Sachs, Aractingi drove the firm's wealth management ambitions in the Middle East. Previously, he was Managing Director and Head of Global Family Office for the Middle East & Africa at UBS. Before this Aractingi held roles at Investcorp and Morgan Stanley in the region. 

  • FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL has promoted Rabia Mourad to Head of Middle East & Africa. Mourad fills the role vacated by Lawrence Hanson, who was appointed head of Fidelity’s Australia business late last year. Mourad has been with the firm since 2017, working previously as Sales Director in the Middle East. He will continue to be based in Dubai, and will report to Rajeev Mittal, Managing Director for Asia Pacific ex-Japan. He will drive the development of competitive, market-leading and innovative solutions for wholesale and institutional clients in the region, working in close collaboration with Fidelity’s global investment teams. Mourad previously held roles at Elyseum Capital Partners, Emirates NBD Private Bank, Standard Chartered and Ernst & Young. He holds a Master’s in banking and international finance from the Cass Business School, and a degree in finance from the American University of Beirut.

  • FIRST ABU DHABI BANK has appointed Eric Shehadeh as Group Head of Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Development and will succeed Karim Karoui, who is retiring and will support FAB’s regional and international expansion strategy. Shehadeh joins from My Money Group in France and previously worked at GE Capital in Paris as their CEO, Martin Tricaud, FAB’s Head of Investment Banking, will continue to oversee the growth and expansion of that business globally.

  • FIRST ABU DHABI BANK has appointed Sameh Al Qubaisi as Group Head of Global Markets. He will be responsible for expanding the business regionally and internationally. Al Qubaisi is joining from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development where he was the Director General for Economic Affairs and led a US$1.36bn IPO fund to spur share sales in Abu Dhabi. This isn’t Al Qubaisi’s first stint at the bank. He was CEO of the Hong Kong Branch and Managing Director Wholesale Banking - Northeast Asia between 2015 – 2017 and spent 9+ years at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi before the merger with FGB that resulted in the creation of FAB. 

  • FIRST ABU DHABI BANK has also hired Oliver Kettlewell as Executive Director, Fixed Income Fund Management (joined in May). He was previously the Head of Fixed Income and Global Portfolios at Mashreq Capital having spent 7 years with the firm. With more than 15 years of fund management experience in Dubai and London, Kettlewell has worked in well-known organisations such as Morningstar, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, and BNY Mellon. 

  • IFC has named Abdullah Jefri as Senior Manager for the GCC - excluding Saudi Arabia where he will work with public and private partners to promote investment in developing countries, help diversify GCC economies, and advance projects that tackle climate change. Abdullah, based in Dubai, is expected to focus on three key pillars: enabling high-impact investments from the GCC to emerging markets; reducing hydrocarbon dependence within the GCC; and helping to develop and scale green technologies. Abdullah brings over 20 years of global experience in finance across various sectors. He was previously IFC’s Regional Manager for Levant and before this based in IFC’s Washington, D.C. office for 12+ years focused on investment opportunities, executing equity and debt transactions and managing a portfolio of investments in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Prior to IFC, Abdullah was a Manager in the corporate finance and investment banking unit at Samba Financial Group. He holds an MBA and an MSc in Finance from Boston College, USA.

  • J.P. MORGAN CHASE has promoted Abdulla Aljanahi to General Manager and Head of Bahrain (in April). Abdulla was previously an Executive Director - MENA Sales & Client Relationship and managed key client accounts across MENA based out of Dubai for 3.5 years for the bank. Before this he spent over 12 years at Citi where he held various roles and was latterly the Head of Securities Services Sales for MENA in Dubai and prior to this was also the Head Direct Custody Business (Securities Country Manager) based in Bahrain. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Finance from The University of Texas, US and an MBA from The University of the Incarnate Word in Texas, US. 

  • NOMURA has hired Anuj Puri as Market Head - Middle East & Africa. Anuj was previously with Indosuez Wealth Management in Dubai as Head of NRI - Middle East & Africa for almost 2 years. Before this he was a Senior Director at Credit Suisse heading a team of Senior Private Bankers covering NRI/UAE/NRP/Africa markets for UHNI clients as well as working with single/multi family offices, corporates and financial institutions based in this region for over 2 years. Prior to this Anuj was an Executive Director at Bank of Singapore, Asia's Global Private Bank (and Barclays Wealth which BoS bought) for over 6 years where he managed a UHNW/Institutional book close to US$1bn. 



  • ARAB BANK FOR INVESTMENT AND FOREIGN TRADE (AL MASRAF) announced that Mr. Graham FitzGerald had resigned from his position as Chief Executive Officer for personal reasons. The Board of Directors has subsequently appointed Mr. Charles Doghlass, the current Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Business, as Acting Chief Executive Officer. Charles is a seasoned banker with an extensive background in corporate banking. He previously led the bank as Acting Chief Executive Officer in 2021. Under his leadership, the bank successfully transitioned from a challenging 2020 to a significant return to profitability in 2021.

  • BLACKROCK has named Amin Nasser, the CEO of Saudi Aramco as an Independent Director. Nasser joined Aramco as a Petroleum Engineer in 1982, and decades later in 2019 led Aramco's IPO. His expertise in the Middle East will fill the gap left by Bader Alsaad, Chairman of the board of the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development, who is not standing for reelection on BlackRock's board in 2024.

  • BAHRAIN ISLAMIC BANK (BISB) announced the appointment of Ajay Jha as its Chief Risk Officer. Jha has over 25 years of experience in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and India. Prior to joining BisB, he held various roles including Senior Director and Head of Risk & Compliance at Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) and Head of Risk Management at Al Rajhi Capital, as well as Head of Risk at Amlak International Finance. Jha also held several managerial positions in leading organisations in India, as Lead Credit and Risk Practice at Accenture Consulting, Regional Head of Mortgages and Branch Head for Citibank – India, Regional Business Head-Mortgages at ICICI Bank – India, and Branch Manager of GE Capital. 

  • CITI SAUDI ARABIA announced the appointment of Fahad Aldeweesh as Chief Executive Officer. Fahad will oversee all businesses and operations, governance and coordinating the overall delivery of Citi’s strategy. He will report to Carmen Haddad, Vice Chairwoman-Citi Middle East and Country Officer-Citi Saudi Arabia. Fahad has close to 20 years of investment banking and private equity experience covering ECM, DCM & M&A. Fahad joins Citi from J.P. Morgan Saudi Arabia, where he spent nine years most recently as the CEO and Head of Investment Banking. He also served as a board member on some of the Kingdom’s leading institutions and foundations. Prior to that, Fahad held leading roles with Standard Chartered, Amwal Alkhaleej and HSBC.

  • EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD ASSET MANAGEMENT has hired Fatima Asad-Bakhtiari as Managing Director - Asset Management - Head of Middle East. Fatima was previously with Wells Fargo between 2014 to 2021 in Dubai where she was an Institutional Sales Director for Middle East, Africa & CIS and in 2021 became the Founder of  Niyana Wellness, a turnkey holistic health platform for mental health needs. She has in the past worked at Franklin Templeton Investments as an Institutional Sales Manager for 3 years. Previously Fatima has held roles with Algebra Capital, EFG Bank, Shuaa Capital in the UAE and Berkshire Securities in Canada.

  • HSBC QATAR has reportedly been in advance talks with Credit Suisse Qatar Chief Executive Aladdin Hangari and up to five members of his team and close to agreeing terms with HSBC. Hangari is a key relationship manager for Credit Suisse in Qatar and one of top private bankers in the Middle East known for his role in handling the relationship between the Swiss bank and the Qatari royal family and the Qatar Investment Authority, one of its biggest and longest-serving shareholders. Also HSBC has been in talks with Patrick D’Amico, a Zürich based Credit Suisse Managing Director and Strategic Client Partner, as well as several other senior team members. D’Amico and his colleagues are a leading Middle East banking team advising on and arranging large and complex investment and financing transactions for UHNWI and institutional clients.  Hangari and D’Amico have been working closely together for 20 years and have built an extensive network of key client relationships including UHNWIs, royal family members, government agencies and financial institutions across the region. 

  • LESHA BANK, the first independent Shariah-compliant bank authorised by the QFC Regulatory Authority and a listed entity on the Qatar Stock Exchange has appointed Mohammed Al Emadi as its Chief Executive Officer. Al Emadi has more than 16 years of experience across banking sectors including corporate, retail, private, international and investment.  Prior to joining Lesha Bank, he held the position of Chief Business Officer at Masraf Al Rayan. He is also the current Chairman of Oryx Corniche Developments. 

  • MUFG has announced the appointment of Yohsuke Takahashi as Regional Head for Middle East and responsible for all operations from the DIFC branch in Dubai and will report into Hidefumi Yamamura, Deputy Regional Executive, MUFG EMEA. Yohsuke joined MUFG in 1996 and has worked in various roles in Japan and throughout MUFG’s global footprint. Starting out in New York as part of the Investment Banking Division, he has progressed to cover securitised products and corporate planning. Most recently, Yohsuke held the role of Head of Investor Relations Office in Japan where he has led on strategic planning and investor engagement. Yohsuke replaces Masashi Sakai, who successfully led the operations within the Middle East region since August 2020.



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