Recent Executive Moves in Banking & Financial Services – MENA

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  • AL RAJHI BANK has appointed Evans Munyuk as a Strategic Projects Advisor on a full-time basis. Evans was previously the CEO of ProblemX a consulting business that he set up. Prior to this he was Head of E20 in Dubai, a digital business bank for SMEs, which he helped build from scratch. Before this he was the Group Chief Digital Officer for Emirates NBD spending over three years there. He had joined from MyBucks in South Africa where he was their Chief Digital & Information Officer. Evans spent six years at ABSA, a subsidiary of Barclays Bank in South Africa across a variety of roles with oversight of 13 countries. He has also authored several books including “Building a Digital Bank”, “Up For Digital Transformation” and “The Digital Transformation of Nations”. 

  • BAHRAIN ISLAMIC BANK (BisB) announced the appointment of Mohamed Kadhem Ebrahim as the Bank’s Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer. Mohamed boasts over 17 years of experience from a number of leading local and global organisations. Prior to joining BisB, he held the position of Head of Enterprise Projects with a responsibility to oversee the implementation of the National Bank of Bahrain Group’s strategies and projects portfolio. He also worked as Managing Consultant of the Partner Group and Senior Consultant of Culture Transformation at Gallup in California. His previous roles also include AVP of Strategy & EPMO at Gulf International Bank and Manager of Advisory Services at KPMG. He holds an MBA at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA as well as a Bachelor’s in Business and Information Systems from University of Bahrain in partnership with the Murray State University, USA.

  • BANK ABC appointed Sael Al Waary as the Group Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Mr. Al Waary has served as the Acting Group CEO since 1 August 2022 and has employed his extensive experience to accelerate the Bank’s performance and continue its strategic digital transformation journey.  Mr. Al Waary served as Deputy Group CEO for almost six years before being appointed as Acting Group CEO. He previously held numerous senior roles at Bank ABC in London and Bahrain during his 40 years there. He is also currently the Chairman of Bank ABC Jordan, the Chairman of the Arab Financial Services Company (AFS), and Deputy Chairman of Bank ABC Egypt.

  • BANK OF SHARJAH recently announced the appointment of Mohamed Khadiri as Chief Executive Officer effective 17th May. Mohamed has over 24 years of corporate and investment banking experience across the US and MENA. Prior to joining, Khadiri worked for prominent financial institutions, including Salomon Smith Barney, Citibank, Barclays, and HSBC, where he held senior leadership positions and spearheaded the development and implementation of successful growth strategies, enhanced customer experiences and digital transformation initiatives. Most recently, Khadiri worked at Kuwait International Bank (KIB) for over six and a half years as General Manager, where he played a pivotal role in developing the bank’s local & international business activities and arranging numerous high-profile deals with public sector entities, large corporate and multinational companies.

  • CITI has appointed Omar Hafeez as Head of North Africa, Levant, and Central Asia, based in Dubai. The appointment follows the reorganization of the broader Middle East & Africa region and the formation of three sub-clusters: Sub Saharan Africa, Middle East & Pakistan, and North Africa, Levant and Central Asia. The North Africa, Levant and Central Asia sub-cluster consists of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Israel. Omar is a seasoned banker with a strong track record of leadership positions at Citi across EMEA, North America and Asia. He started his career in Pakistan in 1994, where he went on to serve as Corporate Bank Head between 2004 and 2007. Following a 13-year stint at Citi Pakistan, he led the bank’s franchises in Tanzania and Nigeria respectively, then Omar transfers from Japan where he was Head of the Corporate Banking business, the third largest for Citi globally.

  • CITI SAUDI ARABIA is hiring Fahad Al-Deweesh to head up investment banking for Saudi Arabia according to Bloomberg with the announcement of Al-Deweesh’s appointment expected in the coming weeks.  A Saudi national, Al-Deweesh was most recently CEO and Head of Investment Banking for JP Morgan’s securities unit in the kingdom where he reported to Bader Alamoudi, Senior Country Officer and General Manager for the US lender’s banking branch in the kingdom. Fahad spent nine and a half years with JP Morgan in KSA having previously held roles at Standard Chartered Bank, Amwal Alkhaleej and HSBC during his 18+ year career.

  • DALMA CAPITAL in the UAE has appointed David Gibson-Moore as the Chairman of its Board of Directors. The strategic move comes as part of the firm’s expansion plans and follows The Global CIO Office joining the Dalma Group of companies. David has over 30 years of experience in corporate finance, investment banking, and asset management. He will act as a spokesperson for the company and play an instrumental role in helping Dalma deepen its relationships with leading institutions and families in the Gulf and beyond.

  • DAMAN INVESTMENTS, UAE-based asset management firm, has hired Mark Friedenthal as Managing Director - Asset and Wealth Management. Friedenthal was previously the Chief Investment Officer at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank for more than 15 years. He was responsible for the wealth and investment management activities of the bank, including in-house managed funds, external portfolio manager selection, trading and execution, advisory and discretionary portfolio management. Prior to joining ADCB, he was the head of funds and quants at Emirates NBD. With a career spanning 25 years in asset and wealth management, Friedenthal has also been associated with firms including RMB and Sentinel Retirement Fund in Luxembourg. 

  • DOHA BANK has appointed Jody Sanderson as Chief Business Officer. Before this Jody had been a member of the Conservative Party of Canada for two and a half years having prior to this been the Co-Founder & CEO of Sanderson Capital Inc. in Canada. Previously Jody spent 18 years with HSBC up until 2019 across Asia, North America and the Middle East. He spent the last ten years based in Qatar where he was latterly Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Banking, covering Corporate and Investment Banking business in GCC countries including Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait and responsible for co-leading 200+ employees. Before this he was Managing Director, Head of Global Banking, GCC (ex-UAE). 

  • ETIHAD CREDIT INSURANCE has appointed Raja Al Mazrouei as Chief Executive Officer. Raja initially joined as a Board Member in January 2022 and subsequently became Managing Director and Acting CEO in November 2022. Al Mazrouei will succeed Massimo Falcioni, who stepped down from his position as CEO. Raja is an accomplished digital transformation expert with over two decades of experience in the financial services and technology sectors. She has a proven track record of successfully turning around and enabling businesses and is also a member of multiple boards in the region. Raja was previously the Executive Vice President of the DIFC FinTech Hive and helped set up and build the ecosystem for Fintech’s for over five years. Before this she held roles with the DIFC, National Bonds Corporation and started her career at Dubai Holding.

  • FIRST ABU DHABI BANK (FAB) has hired Lars Kramer as Group Chief Financial Officer, responsible for overseeing all financial activities, including Group-wide Finance, Treasury, Investor Relations and Strategy effective on 1 May 2023. Lars joins FAB following the decision of the bank’s previous GCFO, James Burdett, to retire and return home to New Zealand. Lars is joining from Netherlands-based ABN AMRO, where he has been CFO since June 2021, and brings with him extensive banking industry experience in senior leadership positions. Previously, he was Group CFO at Hellenic Bank, and for almost 20 years worked with ING, where he was CFO for ING Direct, ING Retail Banking Direct and International, and ING Commercial Bank. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of South Africa and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Cape Town, specializing in finance, markets and strategy.

  • FIRST ABU DHABI BANK (FAB) has also hired Nasser Al-Ali as Head of Commercial Banking for UAE (started in April). Before this, Nasser spent his 23-year career with HSBC in Dubai where he was latterly Managing Director - Deputy Head of Corporate and CMB Banking UAE & Regional Head of Corporate Islamic Banking MENAT. Prior to this he was Deputy Regional Head of Corporate Client Coverage & Regional Head of Sectors – MENAT. He has previously held a variety of roles within corporate and business banking covering various segments of the UAE.

  • GULF BANK has appointed Meshal Al-Wazzan as Head of the Strategic Planning and Follow-Up Unit. Al-Wazzan will be given the responsibility of developing and implementing the Bank's long-term strategy, in addition to working with various sectors to develop their annual plans and handle several strategic projects. Meshal has 17 years of experience in the banking industry and held many leadership and executive positions within the bank and abroad. He began his career at Wafra Financial Consulting Company in New York, and then worked and progressed in several departments in the Corporate Banking Group at Gulf Bank from 2006 to 2017. Al-Wazzan then resumed to work at the Bank from 2019 to 2022, before being assigned as Acting Head of Strategic Planning Unit. Al-Wazzan holds an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, with a specialization in Information Systems and E-Commerce, from the University of Toledo in Ohio. 

  • GULF INTERNATIONAL BANK has appointed Sukhwinder Nijjar as Group Chief Transformation Officer based in Bahrain. He will report to the Group CEO of GIB and be a member of the Group Management Committee and will oversee Transformation and Strategy Management. Prior to this Sukhwinder spent 15 years at JP Morgan Chase latterly as MD and Head of Controls for Asia Pacific for almost six years. Before this he was based in Hong Kong as Head of the Asia Pacific Non-Financial Risk & Controls team and part of the Asia Pacific Operating Committee. Sukhwinder was previously a MD and COO as well as CFO for Middle East, Turkey & Africa based in Dubai for almost six years leading a team of 125 across 11 countries. He had earlier been EMEA Emerging Markets Senior Business Manager based in London. 

  • JP MORGAN SAUDI ARABIA has appointed Omar El Amine Fichtali as Head of Investment Banking in Saudi Arabia. El Amine Fichtali joined JP Morgan’s London office in 2007 with a focus on technology, media and telecommunications investment banking and has worked in various roles with the Middle East and North Africa investment banking team in Dubai and Riyadh. He will work closely with Bader Alamoudi, Senior Country Officer for Saudi Arabia, and Khalid Fayez, Head of Corporate Banking for JP Morgan in the kingdom.

  • MASHREQ announced the appointment of Mohamed Abdel Razek as the Group Head of Technology, Transformation & Information and will drive delivery of all digital services. He will be responsible for adopting new and emerging technologies, ensuring service excellence to customers, and collaborating with external partners. Mohamed is a seasoned technology professional with around 30 years of experience, having led Group and Regional Technology functions in large corporations. Noteworthy is his stint with Standard Chartered Bank, where he was associated since 2015 and last held the role of Chief Technology and Operations Officer for Africa & Middle East. Mohamed was also previously associated with British American Tobacco from 2007 to 2015, where he lastly held the role of Global Head of Technology Services. Mohamed holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Canada. 

  • RAK DIGITAL ASSETS OASIS (RAK DAO), the world’s first free zone dedicated to digital assets, web3, and emerging technologies with plans to open in Q2 2023 has appointed James Bernard as its new Chief Commercial Officer. James will oversee all commercial activities, develop business strategies, and establish partnerships to support entrepreneurs, innovators, and businesses in various sectors, including web3, metaverse, AI, NFT, DApp, blockchain, and tokenization.  He will help transform the free zone into a leading hub for digital assets globally. James brings extensive experience in developing free zone ecosystems and expertise in various tech-related fields. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Global Blockchain Council in Dubai in 2015 and led DMCC’s Crypto strategy, overseeing the development of early Web 3.0-powered ventures like Diamond Track and Trace and property leasing applications. He also launched crypto asset licenses and made significant contributions to the regional regulatory. 

  • RIYAD CAPITAL has appointed Abdullah Alshwer as the new Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining, Alshwer served as the CEO and CIO of Ashmore Investment Saudi Arabia for more than six years where he helped expand its operations, coverage, and assets under management. He also served as the CEO of the Higher Education Fund (HEF), managing its multi-asset, multi-market investment portfolio. He was a Senior Financial Advisor to the Minister of Education and served as Chairman and member of the advisory committee at the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). Additionally, he served as a Board Member of multiple local and international companies across various sectors, including banking, financing, technology, agriculture, hospitality, healthcare, education, and real estate. Alshwer has also been a fund Board Member for investment funds in the US and Saudi Arabia.

  • SNB CAPITAL has hired Maher Roz as Head of Corporate Finance. Maher joins from Standard Chartered Bank where he spent over 16 years latterly in Dubai where he was an Executive Director & Head of Structured Export Finance for MENAP and before this an Executive Director covering Structured Financing Solutions and Corporate Finance for 11 years. Previously he founded Niveleca Inc and before this was a Network Specialist at ONet Networking. Maher holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management.

  • ST JAMES’S PLACE has opened an office in the DIFC. The office will be led by Matthew Deeprose, who has been appointed Senior Executive Officer of Middle East, and will initially have an adviser base of 20, which SJP plans to grow as it establishes a presence in the region. Deeprose has more than 30 years of experience, including 10 with SJP, where he has performed several international roles including CEO of SJP Hong Kong Limited. The Dubai office will form a part of SJP’s Asia and Middle East business alongside existing offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Currently, the FTSE 100 company has £153.62bn (AED 700bn) in funds under management and serves more than 917,000 clients.

  • VISA has appointed Tarek Abdalla as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for CEMEA, effective 2nd May. Tarek will be based in Dubai and report to Frank Cooper III who is Visa’s global Chief Marketing Officer. In his new role, Tarek will help Visa expand and grow its presence across the CEMEA region, driving demand for the payment firm’s products, services, and solutions and delivering value through global sponsorships. Tarek was previously the General Manager for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia at TikTok. He had successfully led teams in nine regional offices, delivering user growth, profitability, and commercialization targets for the platform. Prior to this, Tarek spent a decade with Google, rising to the role of Regional Marketing Director, leading marketing teams across emerging markets in Europe, Middle East, and Africa.




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.
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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