Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Financial Group has appointed Ghazi Al Hajeri as its chairman.
Mr Al Hajeri will replace Jassim Al Seddiqi who resigned as chairman of GFH to focus on other business commitments, the group said in a statement on Tuesday to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded. The company’s board also appointed Edris Al Rafi as its new vice chairman.
“I feel very privileged to take on this role as GFH continues to successfully execute its strategy, diversify its business lines and expand its international presence and portfolio of investments,” Mr Al Hajeri said.
“The group has effectively navigated challenging global market conditions and strengthened the foundations upon which it will continue to deliver value for shareholders and investors.”
Listed on the Bahrain Bourse, DFM and Boursa Kuwait, GFH has an investment portfolio that spans the Middle East, the US, UK and Asia in a number of sectors including health care, education and logistics.
Earlier this year, GFH formed a new subsidiary, Infracorp, by spinning off its infrastructure and property assets to focus more on financial assets. Infracorp will manage an asset portfolio worth about $3 billion, which includes land in the Gulf, North Africa and South Asia.
Mr Al Hajeri has more than 21 years of experience in the investment industry and is currently the chief executive of Wafra International Investment Company, a Kuwait-based asset management company with total assets worth $7bn. Before that, he was the deputy chief executive at Touristic Enterprises, an entity owned by the Kuwait Investment Authority.
Mr Al Hajeri has also served on the board of GFH since 2017 and as vice chairman since July 2021.
GFH's 2021 net profit surged 87 per cent to $84.22 million on the back of the strong performance of its business units despite Covid-19 headwinds. Total assets of the group grew 23 per cent to $8.08bn at the end of last year.
This week, GFH said it received approval from its shareholders to cross-list its shares on both the Saudi Stock Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange as the company continues to focus on diversifying its portfolio and capitalising on new opportunities.
In February, it rolled out a $100m sukuk fund as it seeks to tap into the growing appetite for Islamic bond issuances in the region.