World’s Most Powerful Arabs 2019
Sun 30 Jun 2019 09:03 AM
Michel Accad

Company: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK)

Designation: Group CEO

Michel Accad joined ABK as chief executive officer in 2014. A veteran of the global financial services sector, he previously spent 27 years at Citibank. His last post at Citibank was as managing director and CEO for the Middle East and North Africa division and before that he was the head of the bank’s business in Egypt and a regional head for North and West Africa. From the mid-1980s to 2000, he held various CEO and country head positions, including in Nigeria, which was then the largest Citibank operation in Africa.

Between 2006 and 2009, Michel was the assistant CEO for Arab Bank, responsible for all banking businesses globally. In 2008 he was appointed CEO at Gulf Bank, where he was responsible for the turnaround of the bank, saving the well-known banking brand from the brink of collapse after huge derivative and credit losses during the global financial crisis. He remained with Gulf Bank until he joined ABK in 2014.

Upon joining ABK, a bank known to be conservative, with relatively large commercial and corporate business, he was tasked with growing the lender’s business, which meant refocusing on the top line and pushing geographical expansion to help accelerate growth. Within a year of joining ABK, the bank acquired Piraeus Bank in Egypt and in 2018 ABK further expanded in the United Arab Emirates by opening a branch in the Dubai International Financial Centre. The bank now has a total of 42 branches in Egypt, 31 in Kuwait and three in the UAE.

Last year, ABK passed the KD100m ($329.6m) net operating income mark for the first time in the history of the bank and was also listed as one of the ten Safest Banks in the Middle East by Global Finance.