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2. Alex Thursby
\nNational Bank of Abu Dhabi
\nBanking and Finance
\nOur highest new entry this year is the man running the UAE’s biggest bank. Alex Thursby became the group CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) on 1 July 2013. He joined NBAD from ANZ Bank where he was CEO of its International and Institutional Banking arm. During his six-year career at ANZ, he also served as the CEO of Asia Pacific and America, and as the head of Corporate and Institution in Wholesale Banking NE. He was the architect of ANZ’s international expansion. Before ANZ, Thursby served for 21 years at Standard Chartered Bank; working in various functions such as corporate and institutions, wholesale banking, derivatives, and lease finance; and managed Standard Chartered’s business in diverse geographical areas that included Africa, Americas, Asia and Pacific. During his career, he has worked in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, UAE and the UK.
\nRight now, Thursby is concentrating on building up NBAD’s retail and commercial banking operations as the lender pursues an aggressive expansion strategy both in the UAE and abroad.
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\nThe Pearl Initiative
\nBased in Dubai since 2002, Imelda Dunlop has created and managed a number of entrepreneurial ventures. She has also worked as a consultant, project manager and trainer specialising in regional strategy and corporate responsibility. In addition, she has represented the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and led their programmes in the Middle East. She researched and authored the IBLF regional publication Business and Youth in the Arab World — a sourcebook of good practices for business engagement in youth employment, skills development and entrepreneurship.
\nShe is a former director of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, where she worked with business executives to progress issues of social importance and business relevance with government, civil society and academia. During this time she designed, launched and directed successful partnership programmes and built networks in areas of health, trade, consumer issues and corporate responsibility.
\nShe spent a significant portion of her career at Monitor Company, a leading global corporate strategy consulting firm, advising clients mainly in UK, Germany, France and South Africa. She also worked early on in her career at Unilever as an engineer and project manager. During that time, she managed health, safety and environmental control projects for manufacturing sites around the world.
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26. Richard Oliver
\nHSBC Abu Dhabi
\nBanking and Finance
\nRichard Oliver is managing director and head of global for HSBC in Abu Dhabi, and a board member of a number of HSBC subsidiaries and affiliates. He has lived in the UAE since 2002, prior to which he lived in Dubai. Married since 1991, Oliver and his wife Jenny have three children. His main interests outside family and HSBC are history, economics and rugby.
\nOn the board, Oliver holds the post of honourary treasurer, and he is the convener of the finance and premises Committee. He is also head of the British Business Group in Abu Dhabi.
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45. Graham Martins
\nBanking and Finance
\nGraham Martins is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is the managing partner of the UAE practice of PKF, a firm of accountants, auditors and business advisers. PKF is a member firm of the PKF International Ltd network of legally independent firms comprising of over 200 member firms in 120 countries. Now based in Dubai, he has been with the UAE firm since 1992. Prior to that, he was with PKF London, in their corporate finance department, having joined the firm from university in 1981. Martins is directly responsible for the day-to-day operation of the firm, setting direction, policy and strategy in consultation with the other partners. He also acts as international liaison with PKF International. As a partner, Martins has direct responsibility for the management consulting division and corporate finance activities. Engagements undertaken include project feasibility studies, mergers and acquisitions, business valuations, intangible asset identification and valuation, goodwill impairment reviews, due diligence and corporate structuring in a wide range of industries and service sectors.