Standard Chartered Said to Pick U.A.E. CEO, Islamic Head

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Standard Chartered Plc has selected global head of audit Julian Wynter as its chief executive officer for the United Arab Emirates, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

Wynter’s appointment has yet to be announced internally, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Wynter, based in London and previously CEO of the bank’s Malaysian business, will replace Mohsin Nathani, who resigned in April. The U.A.E. is among the lender’s top five markets.

Standard Chartered is experiencing a management exodus after Bill Winters took over as CEO from Peter Sands last month amid falling earnings and a 35 percent drop in its share price in the last two years. Departures include Viswanathan Shankar, the former head of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, Jaspal Bindra, the ex-Asia head, and Africa CEO Diana Layfield. Chairman John Peace is set to leave next year.

The bank has also appointed Sohail Akbar as CEO of its Islamic banking unit, known as Saadiq, three people told Bloomberg. Akbar is currently based in Malaysia as group chief operating officer of consumer banking and group Islamic banking.

A spokesman for Standard Chartered in Dubai declined to comment and calls to Wynter’s phone went to voice mail. Akbar declined to comment.

Cost Cutting

Under Winters, a former co-head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank, Standard Chartered is eliminating some 4,000 jobs to help save about $1.8 billion through 2017. He has also stripped deputy Mike Rees of most of his powers in a push to gain more direct control and speed up cost cuts.

In the Middle East, the bank has lost several top managers and is exiting some business areas. Hassan Jarrar, CEO for Bahrain, has left to head Bahrain Islamic Bank, and Christos Papadopoulos, head for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, will leave the bank. Afaq Khan resigned as head of the bank’s Islamic unit in March.

Standard Chartered said in August 2014 that it was exiting most of its small and medium-sized business in the U.A.E. after the New York Department of Financial Services fined it $300 million on finding its anti-money laundering controls to be inadequate. It is also closing its SME loans business in Bahrain over the next two years, according to people with knowledge of the matter, and scaling back its Qatar consumer banking to focus on wealthy clients.

The Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan accounted for about 10 percent of Standard Chartered’s revenue last year.

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