x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

RAKBank goes to CIMB for new chief

RAKBank has appointed a new chief executive, only months after the bank's previous candidate for the role unexpectedly quit.

RAKBank was one of two Middle Eastern banks which fell victim to a US$45 million cyberattack in December last year. Wam
RAKBank was one of two Middle Eastern banks which fell victim to a US$45 million cyberattack in December last year. Wam

RAKBank has appointed a new chief executive, ending months of uncertainty after the bank's previous candidate for the role unexpectedly quit.

The Ras Al Khaimah-based bank said it had hired Peter England, currently the head of retail banking at CIMB Group, Malaysia's second-biggest lender.

The hire would likely help RAKBank, which established a Sharia-compliant banking franchise this year, to further accelerate growth in a segment which has accounted for the entirety of its Dh650 million in new lending this year.

"There are lots of good bankers in those markets, frontier or emerging markets, especially in Malaysia, which will work well in this part of the world," said Richard Foulkes, a partner at the executive search agency Pedersen and Partners and the co-head of the firm's financial services practice.

"If they're looking to do Islamic banking, that's a massive Islamic banking market," he added.

Malaysian press reports indicated that Mr England resigned from CIMB in June, which could reduce the amount of time it takes to join RAKBank and quickly cement stability at the top.

RAKBank's hiring process has been complicated since the bank announced the planned retirement of Graham Honeybill, its current chief executive in January.

Ian Larkin, the bank's designate successor abruptly quit only six weeks after accepting the role.

Mr Larkin, a former managing Mr Larkin, a former managing director at Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, is understood to have quit because of cultural differences over the bank's levels of transparency.

Mr Honeybill postponed his planned retirement to act as a caretaker until a new replacement could be found.

RAKBank was one of two Middle East banks that fell victim to a US$45m cyberattack in December, though the bank failed to disclose its $5m losses from the fraud publicly until May when US authorities announced arrests of the gang accused of perpetrating the alleged fraud.

Separately, National Bank of Abu Dhabi also announced two new appointments yesterday, saying the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, its biggest shareholder, had selected Altaher Musabah Alkendi Al Murar to join its board as a successor to the late Juan Salem Al Dhaheri.

The capital's biggest bank also hired Michael Austin as the bank's new chief information officer from Lloyds Banking Group.

 

ghunter@thenational.ae