Saudi Arabia's Largest Bank Said to Hire Investment Banking Head

  • Sameer Nawaz joins Al Rajhi Capital from Saudi Fransi Capital
  • Banks boost hiring in kingdom amid privatization drive

Sameer Nawaz has been appointed head of investment banking at Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Capital as the Islamic bank looks to build its advisory business, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nawaz will be responsible for building an investment banking team at the securities division of Al Rajhi Bank as the kingdom’s biggest lender by market value seeks to capitalize on an expected surge in deals, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Previously, Nawaz was co-head of investment banking at Saudi Fransi Capital.

Nawaz had been at the securities arm of Banque Saudi Fransi since 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile. Saudi Fransi Capital has worked on more initial public offerings in the kingdom over the past five years than any other bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Banks are hiring in Riyadh in anticipation of a boom in fees as the government ramps up efforts to wean the economy off oil.

Elyas Algaseer, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. co-head in the Middle East and North Africa, told Bloomberg that the bank was looking to hire in Saudi Arabia in expectation that privatizations in the country could exceed $350 billion in about five years.

Usman Sikander, who was co-head of investment banking at Saudi Fransi Capital with Nawaz, will become head of investment banking, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Spokesmen for Saudi Fransi Capital and Al Rajhi Capital didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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