QInvest hires Credit Suisse banker to run unit

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

QInvest, a Doha-based investment bank, has appointed Michael Katounas, previously with Swiss lender Credit Suisse, to run its investment banking division, QInvest has said in a statement.

Katounas, most recently a Dubai-based director at Credit Suisse, worked in the investment banking division of the Swiss lender for more than eight years and has been involved in some of the largest transactions in the Middle East and North Africa, the statement said.

Credit Suisse, in which Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is the second-largest shareholder, has seen several of its investment bankers in the Middle East leave in recent months as the bank relies more on private banking to drive business growth.

The Zurich-based bank planned to trim its investment banking team in Dubai and move some of its staff to Qatar, as part of efforts to cut costs and focus on niche markets, sources told Reuters last September.

Bankers who have departed include Rami Touma, head of Qatar investment banking, and Mumtaz Kazmi, a director and head of the bank's mergers and acquisitions business for the Middle East.

Senior banker Bassam Yammine resigned last October.

QInvest and Egyptian bank EFG Hermes agreed on a joint venture deal 10 months ago but the deal has not yet received regulatory approval from the Egyptian authorities.

QInvest is headed by Tamim Hamad Al-Kawari, previously the head of Goldman Sachs in Qatar.

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