Former Deutsche Bank regional head Jamal Kishi joins GIB as chief executive

The Bahrain-based lender is pursuing growth to become a pan-GCC financial institution

Jamal Al Kishi, Chief Executive Officer, Middle East and Africa; Chief Country Officer, United Arab Emirates, Deutsche Bank, United Arab Emirates during the Session "Staying Competitive in the Middle East" at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre during the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, Jordan 2019. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Faruk Pinjo
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Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank (GIB) has appointed Jamal Al Kishi as its new chief executive as the lender bids to become a top pan-GCC financial institution.

Mr Al Kishi, who will also assume the role of GIB’s deputy group chief executive, joins from Deutsche Bank where he spent 13 years and was most recently head of the German lender’s Middle East and Africa operations, according to a GIB statement on Sunday.

Prior to that, he held a number of corporate finance, capital markets and structured and project finance positions with Arab National Bank.

Mr Al Kishi will help the lender to develop the right business structure and source talent across the group to “effectively execute our strategy for robust sustainable growth”, Abdullah Alabdulgader, group chairman of GIB, said. “GIB’s ability to attract such high calibre individuals reflects our unique standing and growth ambitions.”

The lender last year completed the conversion of its existing branch network in Saudi Arabia into a locally incorporated bank with a paid-up capital of 7.5 billion Saudi riyals (Dh7.35bn).

Gulf International Bank Saudi Arabia, as the lender is now known, is equally owned by parent GIB and Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, the Saudi Public Investment Fund, GIB said at the time.

GIB, which has been operating in the kingdom for almost two decades, was the first financial institution to be allowed to convert into a local bank. The lender, which has branches in Riyadh and Jeddah, is looking to further strengthen and build its presence in the kingdom, the biggest Arab economy, it said. The bank reported net income of $62 million (Dh227.7m) on total income of $384.7m in 2019, and finished the year with total assets of $30.24bn.

Regional and international banks have been keen on establishing local presences in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the world’s biggest oil exporting country, to capitalise on growth potential as it embarks on an economic overhaul.

The lender, with headquarters in Manama and branches in London and New York, specialises in corporate and investment banking. It is looking to aggressively increase its retail footprint in the domestic and regional markets.