Abu Dhabi’s NBAD, FGB Said to Pick Senior Team for Merged Bank

  • FGB CEO Andre Sayegh said to be group deputy CEO of new bank
  • Hana Al Rostamani of FGB said to be head of personal banking

National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and First Gulf Bank PJSC selected the next round of senior managers to lead the combined bank as they work towards a $175 billion merger, according to two people with knowledge of the announcement.

Andre Sayegh, chief executive officer of First Gulf Bank, will be group deputy CEO and the acting head of corporate and investment banking after the merger, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public yet. Hana Al Rostamani, who oversees personal banking at FGB, will take on the same role at the combined bank, they said.

The two lenders said in July that Abdulhamid Saeed, a managing director at First Gulf Bank and a former Citigroup Inc. employee, is chief executive officer designate and James Burdett, chief financial officer of NBAD, will have the same position at the combined bank. NBAD CEO Alex Thursby has already left the company.

Abu Dhabi is combining its largest banks to better compete with regional rivals such as Qatar National Bank SAQ and bolster its ability to lend and secure funding as it grapples with a more than 50 percent drop in oil prices over the past two years. The emirate holds about six percent of the world’s oil reserves. The merger may presage further consolidation in the United Arab Emirates’ financial services industry where about 50 lenders compete in a market of about 9 million people.

Abhijit Choudhury, the acting group CEO of NBAD, has been picked to be the chief risk officer at the combined bank, Malcolm Walker will be chief audit officer and Khalaf Al Dhaheri chief operating officer, the people said. Both Walker and Al Dhaheri head these functions at NBAD now.

Spokesmen for NBAD and FGB confirmed that a senior management team had been selected to lead the combined bank, with details to be announced ahead of the completion of the merger, expected in the first quarter of 2017. They declined to give names. Until then, NBAD and FGB will continue to operate independently under their current leadership teams.

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