New CEO for Gulf Finance House

Published: July 20, 2009

Gulf Finance House (GFH), a leading Middle Eastern Islamic investment bank, has appointed Ahmed Fahour as its new CEO based in Bahrain. Fahour is the former executive director and CEO for the Australian operations at National Australia Bank.

Fahour joined National Australia Bank (NAB) in 2004 to run its Australian and Asian business. At the beginning of 2009, he left NAB to establish the Australian Business Investment Partnership (ABIP), a joint venture institution between the Commonwealth Government and Australia’s four largest banks. ABIP’s principal goal is the provision of liquidity support of up to A$30bn to the commercial real estate market hit by the financial crisis.

Before joining NAB, Fahour was CEO of Citigroup for Australia and New Zealand after serving in their New York office as vice-chairman of Citigroup Investments and CEO of alternative investments. Fahour’s appointment as CEO has been approved by the bank’s board and by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Gulf Finance House chairman, Esam Janahi, comments: “Fahour is a seasoned banker of rare ability and a professional who can draw on years of broad experience in the highest reaches of the global financial community.”

Janahi also says that Fahour “will apply the most exacting standards of institutional governance, process and oversight throughout the organisation and play an important role in the evolution of Islamic banking practices. Furthermore, his arrival will significantly enhance the bank’s exposure to those international markets critical to ensuring GFH takes the next important step towards its primary goal, to become a truly global Islamic financial institution.”

Commenting on his appointment, Fahour says: “I am honoured and excited to accept the role of CEO at Gulf Finance House. GFH has a reputation for breaking the mould in originating excellent high value investment opportunities. As a business, it is visionary, ambitious, and unafraid – all characteristics that I deeply admire – all characteristics that have consistently rewarded emerging economies and investors alike for the past ten years.”

Fahour continues: “The team at GFH believe, as I do, that by instilling a culture of excellence, there is no limit to the success we can achieve together.  It is for this reason that I am delighted to assume the role of CEO at GFH, and in so doing, play a leading role in the continued growth, diversification and prosperity of the Bank.”