x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Tamweel's Wasim Saifi resigns

Shareholders of the Islamic home finance company vote to install a new board of directors.

The chief executive of Tamweel resigned yesterday as shareholders of the Islamic home finance company voted to install a new board of directors dominated by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) executives.

The departure of Wasim Saifi, who was appointed to the post in February 2008, comes just weeks after DIB took a 57.3 per cent stake in the company it helped to found in 2003. Tamweel recently began lending again after a two-year freeze because of the financial crisis and a failed merger with Amlak Finance, the UAE's other major Islamic mortgage provider.

Mr Saifi, a veteran of DIB and Standard Chartered, did not respond to a request for comment on his departure last night.

Varun Sood, the head of home finance at Tamweel, has been named acting group chief executive until a permanent replacement is found.

The move comes after Tamweel replaced its entire board of directors yesterday at its first annual shareholders meeting since 2008, when the publicly listed company's shares were suspended and merger talks with Amlak began. The new board consists of Abdulla al Hamli, the chief executive of DIB; Adnan Chilwan, the chief of retail and business banking at DIB; Mohamed al Sharif, DIB's chief financial officer; and Mohammed al Nahdi, the head of operations at DIB, along with three other members.

The board is expected to meet soon and appoint a chairman.

Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the former Tamweel chairman, told The National this week he was leaving to make way for DIB executives as the Islamic lender gradually incorporated Tamweel's business into its own.

DIB plans to use Tamweel as its home financing arm but will not necessarily shift any of its existing mortgages on to Tamweel's books.

"It's not necessarily a shifting of the balance sheet but I think management of the mortgage business itself for DIB plus all the future origination for DIB will all happen through Tamweel for freehold mortgages," said Mr Saifi.