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Gulf International Bank appoints new CEO

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gulf International Bank B.S.C. (GIB), H.E. Jammaz Bin Abdullah Al-Suhaimi is pleased to announce that the Board has appointed Mr. Abdulaziz A. Al-Helaissi as its Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Al-Helaissi will succeed GIB’s current CEO, Dr. Yahya A. Alyahya, as of February 1, 2016. 

 

Mr. Al-Helaissi brings decades of banking experience that is uniquely relevant to leading GIB in the next phase of its strategy.  Most recently, Mr. Al-Helaissi was the Deputy Governor (Supervision) of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).  In that position, he was responsible for overseeing SAMA’s regulations and supervision of the country’s entire banking, insurance and financing sectors.  He was also responsible for leading industry-wide strategic initiatives as well as actively contributing to important international banking bodies such as the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB).

 

Prior to SAMA, Mr. Al-Helaissi held senior leadership positions over the course of 23 years with various banking institutions in Saudi Arabia including JP Morgan Chase, the Saudi British Bank, Arab National Bank, and Saudi Hollandi Bank.  Mr. Al-Helaissi has also sat on a number of major corporate boards in Saudi Arabia including that of the Tadawul Stock Exchange.  Mr. Al-Helaissi earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Texas, Austin.

 

While Mr. Al-Helaissi’s appointment is a major step in execution of GIB’s transformation into a pan-GCC universal bank, this would not have been possible without the dedication and efforts of Dr. Alyahya who has stabilized GIB’s position and formulated its future strategy.

 

When he agreed to assume executive leadership of GIB in January 2009, Dr. Alyahya did so at a moment when GIB, like other financial institutions, was in the midst of experiencing the aftershocks of the worst global financial crisis since the 1930s.  He immediately set-out to successfully execute a strategy for weathering the storm by deleveraging and de-risking GIB’s balance sheet, strengthening its funding position, and aligning its organization and infrastructure to ensure an efficient cost-to-income ratio.  Within two years of reporting a material net loss in 2008, GIB returned to profitability by 2010. GIB’s current positive ratings, underpinned by healthy financial metrics including robust liquidity and capital adequacy levels, are further testament to the results of those efforts.

 

Starting in 2010, Dr. Alyahya also led the launch of GIB’s new strategy for becoming a pan-GCC universal bank.  Based on restructuring wholesale activities, launching retail operations, and expanding regional asset management capabilities, that focus has already begun to bear significant fruit.  Milestones include record fee and cross-sell income levels, successful soft launch of GIB’s unique “meem” branded retail offering in Saudi Arabia, and opening of a wholesale branch in Abu Dhabi.

 

“The immense energy, focus and commitment of Dr. Alyahya to GIB over the past seven years are deeply valued by the Board.” said H.E. Al-Suhaimi.  He added “the Board also appreciates Dr. Alyahya’s willingness to continue contributing to GIB by serving as a member of the Board”.

 

On behalf of the Board and all GIB staff, the Chairman extends a warm welcome to Mr. Al-Helaissi and looks forward to working with him on continuing GIB’s successes.