Arqaam hires ex C Suisse banker to head equity sales

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Arqaam Capital, a Dubai-based investment bank, has hired ex-Credit Suisse banker Wafic Nsouli to head its institutional equity sales unit, tapping into talent from retrenching global banks for its expansion.

Nsouli is expected to join Arqaam on March 18 and will take charge as executive director and head of institutional equity sales, the investment bank said in a statement to Reuters.

Before joining Arqaam, Nsouli was head of Middle East and North Africa equities at Credit Suisse, responsible for the company's offices in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

A rally in Gulf financial markets is prompting local financial institutions to expand their businesses, targeting new geographies and boosting recruitment from international rivals.

Global banks such as Credit Suisse, Nomura Holdings and Morgan Stanley, are scaling back in the Middle East as the region proves less active than they had hoped while Europe's debt crisis puts them under pressure to cut costs.

The trend has provided opportunities for local banks to hire experienced personnel.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc for instance lost their two top Qatar executives to local firms last year. Morgan Stanley's Qatar head Khalid al-Subeai joined the investment banking division of Barwa Bank, while Goldman's Qatar CEO Tamim al-Kawari joined QInvest, part-owned by Qatar Islamic Bank

Arqaam offers corporate finance, asset management, equity derivatives and brokerage services from its main office in Dubai. The firm bought Egyptian brokerage El Rashad Securities in January, having last year acquired Al Rashad Finance and Management Advisory in Libya.

Credit Suisse, which plans to trim its investment banking team in Dubai and move some of its staff to Qatar, had promoted Ahmed Badr to be head of equities for MENA last year, to be based in Riyadh.

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