x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

The shake-up of senior management, with Colin Macdonald departing as chief executive, comes as the financial services company approaches its first annual profit in half a decade.

Shuaa is approaching its first annual profit in half a decade. Andrew Parsons / Bloomberg News
Shuaa is approaching its first annual profit in half a decade. Andrew Parsons / Bloomberg News

Shuaa Capital announced the departure yesterday of its fourth chief executive in four years.

The shake-up of senior management comes as the financial services company approaches its first annual profit in half a decade.

Colin Macdonald was to leave the Dubai-based company upon the expiry of his contract yesterday, Shuaa said in a statement. It did not name a replacement.

Houssem Ben Haj Amor, currently the company’s chief financial officer, had been appointed as general manager, the statement added.

The company’s stock rose 3.8 per cent yesterday to close at Dh1.03, taking its gain for the year to 87.6 per cent on the Dubai Financial Market.

Mr Macdonald, a former head of Middle East for the Dutch investment bank ABN Amro, was appointed by Shuaa in April 2012 with the task of steering the business back into growth after a period of job cuts and financial losses.

His work seemed to be paying dividends. On December 17, Moody’s Investors Service, the ratings agency, said it expected Shuaa to report an annual profit for 2013 after sustaining losses for five years.

The recovering profitability, it said, was as a “result of its new business strategy where Shuaa has increased its focus on recurring interest income generated by Gulf Finance Corp. [its SME financing subsidiary] and stable fee and commissions income generated through its asset management, capital markets and other advisory business lines.”

Moody’s upgraded its outlook for the company’s B1 long-term ratings from negative to stable. A rating of B1 means that Moody’s considers the company’s bonds to be speculative and high-risk.

Shuaa also said yesterday it had appointed Karim Schoeib as chief executive of investment banking, which includes corporate finance advisory and capital markets.

Since joining Shuaa in 2005, Mr Schoeib has worked on initial public offerings and other private placement transactions in the UAE and cross-border merger and acquisition activity elsewhere in the GCC.

Amer Khan, who joined Shuaa as a senior member of the investment management team in 2008, had been appointed senior executive officer of Shuaa Asset Management, the company said.

Shuaa further said that Jennifer Adams was now director of operations, while Michael Hewitt would become head of the executive office.

“The company is now in the next phase of its strategic development and we are gearing up to capture new revenue opportunities in the GCC,” said Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, the executive chairman of Shuaa Capital.

“These senior appointments will accelerate revenue growth in 2014 and beyond. We believe that the breadth and depth of the senior appointment’s technical expertise, operating experience and origination capabilities will enable us to benefit from growth opportunities emerging across the GCC.”

tarnold@thenational.ae