x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Shuaa Capital to have its fourth chief in three years

Michael Philipp, the chief executive of Shuaa Capital, is stepping down after six months. Colin Macdonald has been named Shuaa's fourth chief executive in less than three years to replace him.

Michael Philipp, the chief executive of the loss-making Dubai investment bank Shuaa Capital, is stepping down after five months in the job.

Colin Macdonald has been named Shuaa's fourth chief executive in less than three years to replace him.

Mr Macdonald was formerly the head of Middle East for ABN Amro, a Dutch investment bank owned by Royal Bank of Scotland.

When Mr Philipp, a former executive at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, was appointed last November, it was made clear by Shuaa his role was an interim appointment and that part of his job would be to find a successor.

Mr Macdonald will report to Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, who becomes executive chairman with immediate effect.

"Thanks to Michael, Shuaa is in a much better position to perform well and inspire confidence among shareholders and clients. We have built a strong management cadre at Shuaa and I am confident that Colin has the right skill set to steer through the next phase of our strategic plan," Sheikh Maktoum said.

Under Mr Philipp and his predecessor, Sameer Al Ansari, Shuaa embarked on a strategy of cost cutting to shore up its balance sheet against a background of difficult trading conditions in Middle East markets.

In particular, it has wound down the brokerage business and focused instead on asset management and investment banking.

Staff numbers have fallen from about 390 when Mr Al Ansari was appointed in late 2009 to about 230 currently, with up to 35 more jobs still to go.

"I believe that we now have the right leadership structure with Sheikh Maktoum and Colin to build the leading regional financial services provider, and I look forward to working with Shuaa in the future," Mr Philipp said. He will retain a role on the Shuaa board.

A colleague said Mr Philipp would "probably be an adviser and introducer on a more international platform".

fkane@thenational.ae