Most influential Brit expats in banking and finance
Arabian Business counts down the most powerful Brits currently living and working in the UAE.
Rick Pudner, CEO, Emirates NBD
\nRick Pudner heads Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest lender. Pudner joined Emirates Bank as chief executive in 2006 before it merged with National Bank of Dubai a year later. He led ENBD through Dubai’s boom years before the emirate's property market tanked escalating into a full blown financial crisis that required the restructuring of corporate and government debt. Having successfully managed both the merger and the financial crisis, Pudner is set to step down from his position by the end of this year. Pudner was previously with HSBC for 24 years, including as CEO of the bank’s unit in South Korea and head of corporate banking in the Middle East. He also held the positions of chairman of the Foreign Investors Advisory Council for the Mayor of Seoul, chairman of the European Union Banking Committee in Korea, and vice chairman of Foreign Bankers Group in Korea. Pudner currently holds board positions for Emirates Investment Service, the Economic Development Council, Emirates Fund Managers (Jersey) and Emirates Financial Services.
Michael Tomalin, CEO, National Bank of Abu Dhabi
\nAnother Briton credited with building up a major local bank is long-serving National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) boss Michael Tomalin. Tomalin joined NBAD as chief executive in 1999 — a year in which the bank posted profits of AED311m ($84.67m). Since 1999, the lender’s net profit has grown each year to reach AED4.3bn at the end of 2012, an amazing fourteenfold fold increase in the bottom line. During Tomalin’s tenure, NBAD launched its brokerage arm, Abu Dhabi Financial Services (ADFS), ahead of the stock market boom in UAE. ADFS has become one of the largest brokerage firms in the country. \nTomalin also correctly identified lucrative opportunities in Islamic finance and private banking. Under his direction NBAD began offering Islamic banking products and services in 2007. The bank set up Abu Dhabi National Islamic Finance (ADNIF) as a fully Sharia-compliant unit in 2009. From around 48 branches in 1999, NBAD achieved a milestone of 100 UAE branches by end 2009 (122 branches by the end of 2012). It now operates in nineteen countries on five continents. In 1991, Tomalin was awarded the OBE in recognition of his services to the British community in Japan. He helped launch the first British School in Tokyo, and served as the chairman of its board of governors. In 2012, the School of Finance, the leading provider of professional banking and financial qualifications, awarded Tomalin an Honorary Doctorate of Science in Banking and Finance in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the financial services industry. Tomalin will retire from the bank in June.
\nSimon Cooper, deputy chairman and CEO, HSBC Bank Middle East
\nSimon Cooper is in charge of global bank HSBC’s highly profitable regional operations. He has served as: CEO and president of HSBC Korea of HSBC Holdings plc; head of corporate and investment banking in Singapore at HSBC Bank and deputy CEO in Thailand at HSBC. Cooper has served as head of Middle East Operations at HSBC Holdings since March 2009 and group general manager of the UK market from June 2008 to March 2009. He joined HSBC in 1989. He served as CEO and president for South Korea Operations of HSBC Holdings Plc from April 2006 to March 2009. Cooper has also been a non-executive director of The Saudi British Bank since 2009. He served as a director at British Arab Commercial Bank between 2009 and 2010. In his present role, Cooper has overseen the purchase of Lloyds’ local retail business in the UAE, and the merger between HSBC and Oman International Bank.
Graham Honeybill, CEO, RAKBANK
\nGraham Honeybill has been chief executive of National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK), and will remain as a non-executive director of the Abu Dhabi listed lender after he retires in July and will be replaced by Lloyds banker Ian Larkin. The bank reported a thirteen percent increase in first quarter profit this year which reached AED368m ($100.19m) from the year earlier period. Honeybill joined RAKBANK in 1996, when it was one of the UAE’s smallest banks; in the time since then, he has helped transform RAKBANK into one of the Gulf’s top retail lenders, with increasingly popular credit card, home finance and consumer finance offerings.
Jonathan Morris, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank UAE
\nJonathan Morris has been chief executive of Standard Chartered bank in the UAE since 2011. He steers the overall country strategy and direction of the bank, which employs about 2,500 staff and contributes more than $1.25bn in revenue to the banking group. He previously headed the bank’s franchise in Bahrain and has worked extensively across the Standard Chartered footprint (Asia, Africa and Middle East), including previous experience in the region, where he was responsible for corporate banking clients in the UAE and Oman. Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Morris, a Loughborough University graduate, worked at Paribas and HSBC.
Graham Martins, managing director, PKF
\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.
Steve Williams, Group CEO, Gulf Finance
\nAs the importance of SMEs in the UAE economy continues to grow, Steve Williams is playing a key role in attempting to fund them. Williams has worked in the UAE for the past eight years and joined Gulf Finance at the start of 2008 with a mandate to turn the company into a leading provider of finance to SMEs. Since then, the company has successfully diversified, built one of the country’s largest SME loan portfolios and won a number of highly coveted industry awards. At the start of 2012, Williams was appointed group CEO. In this role, Williams is responsible for the regional deployment of the Gulf Finance model and for attracting capital from international investors who wish to access the MENA SME market. Williams has a rich and varied background in financial services, and immediately prior to joining Gulf Finance was the chief operating officer for Lloyds TSB in Dubai.