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UAE banks NBAD, FGB finalise executive team for merged lender

UAE banks NBAD, FGB finalise executive team for merged lender

The merger is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2017

National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank said on Thursday they had finished picking the senior management team to run the combined bank.

The Abu Dhabi-based duo announced in July they would merge to form one of the largest banks in the Middle East and Africa, with assets of around $175bn, at a time when the emirate is seeking to revamp its economy to meet the challenges of lower oil prices.

First Gulf Bank (FGB) board member and managing director Abdulhamid M. Saeed had already been tapped to lead the new bank, with National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) chief financial officer James Burdett assuming the same role at the merged entity.

The remaining appointments will be formally announced ahead of the completion of the merger, expected during the first quarter of 2017, a statement from FGB sent to Reuters on Thursday said without providing details.

NBAD declined to comment.

Two sources close to the matter told Reuters senior executives from both banks had been picked to be part of the new management team.

Andre Sayegh, the CEO of FGB, will be deputy chief executive and will also head the corporate and investment banking business of the new bank, which will retain the NBAD brand.

NBAD’s CEO at the time of the merger deal, Alex Thursby, left his role in August. The acting CEO of NBAD, Abhijit Choudhury, will become chief risk officer once the merger has completed, the sources said.

Karim Karoui, CFO of FGB, has been appointed head of strategy and subsidiaries, while Khalaf al-Dhaheri, the group chief operating officer at NBAD, has been selected as chief operating officer of the merged bank.

Arif Shaikh, chief risk and credit officer of FGB, will head the international business of the new bank, while Hana Rostamani, head of consumer banking at FGB, will be head of personal banking.

Shirish Bhide, head of wholesale and international banking at FGB, will act as chief credit officer after the merger.

The annual general meetings of both NBAD and FGB will take place in the first quarter of 2017, after which a new board will be picked for the merged bank, one of the sources said.

FGB chairman Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan was named as chairman designate in July.


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