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ABC Re-aligns its Group Management Structure to Accelerate Growth and Appoints Two New Executive Vice Presidents


Mr. Sael Al Waary

Mr. Ray Ferguson

Following on from the October 2013 appointment of Dr. Khaled Kawan as Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), the Board of Directors of Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), at its meeting on 17 February 2014, approved a significant re-alignment of Group-level senior management responsibilities, which will accelerate the Group’s transformation towards realising its ambition of becoming the leading universal bank in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Group today announced the appointment of two new Executive Vice Presidents:

Mr. Ray Ferguson will join the ABC Group from Standard Chartered Bank and will be appointed to the new position of Executive Vice President and Group Chief Banking Officer (GCBO), based in Bahrain. In his new role, Mr. Ferguson will oversee ABC’s global banking business, which is represented by ABC’s five global businesses: Group Corporate and Structured Finance, Group Trade Finance, Group Treasury, Group Islamic Banking and Group Retail. He will join ABC during Quarter 2, 2014, following completion of his notice period with his current employer.

Mr. Sael Al Waary, currently Senior Vice President and Group Chief Operating Officer of ABC, will be elevated to Executive Vice President, with an expanded role as Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO).  His appointment is with immediate effect. Besides his current responsibilities for Group-wide operations, Mr. Al Waary will take on additional responsibilities for overseeing all Group Human Resources, Regulatory, Compliance, Legal Affairs, Expenses Management, and Operational and Administrative functions in all geographical locations where the ABC Group is present.

Both Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Al Waary will report to the GCEO. Also, the functions of Group Finance, Group Credit & Risk Management and Group Internal Audit will continue to report to the GCEO. 

Under the new organisational structure, the Chief Executive Officers of the subsidiaries will have dual reporting lines to the GCOO and the GCBO. 

Mr. Ferguson has had a 28 year career with Standard Chartered and is currently Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited and has led Standard Chartered Bank’s overall franchise in Singapore since 2009. He brings significant general management experience, having held senior business leadership and regional/country Chief Executive Officer roles. Amongst such roles, Mr. Ferguson had been Regional Chief Executive, South East Asia (2008-2012); Regional Chief Executive Officer, Americas (2006-2007), Chief Executive Officer, United Arab Emirates and Oman (2002-2006), Chief Executive Officer and Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking, Indonesia (2000-2002) and Chief Executive Officer and Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking, Taiwan (1998-2000).

At ABC, Mr. Ferguson will be responsible for providing overall leadership and delivering planned growth across all of ABC’s banking businesses in its existing Group geographies. In addition, he will work with the Senior Management Team within ABC on executing ABC’s geographic expansion plans within MENA and across key MENA trade and investment corridors in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Mr. Al Waary, who joined the ABC Group in 1981, brings with him more than 33 years of banking, leadership and management experience. He has held many senior positions in both London and Bahrain and was appointed as GCOO in 2006. He is also the Deputy Chairman of Arab Banking Corporation (Jordan) and Arab Financial Services Company and has previously served on the Boards of Banco ABC Brasil and Arab Banking Corporation- Egypt (S.A.E.).

Commenting on the recent re-alignment, Dr. Khaled Kawan, GCEO of ABC, said: “I am delighted that we have attracted someone of Ray’s calibre and experience to be part of our team at ABC. ABC has a clear and focused strategy in place. These changes to our organisational structure, with the addition of Ray, and the increased responsibility for Sael, will add momentum to our transformation journey and help us to improve performance and provide a superior client experience across our network.”

Commenting on his decision to join ABC, Ray Ferguson said: “I am delighted to be appointed as GCBO at ABC at this exciting time in the Bank’s history. ABC is a fantastic brand. The Board has agreed an ambitious transformation plan that builds on the excellent reputation ABC enjoys for its MENA capabilities and knowledge and the significant supporting global network presence across four continents, all of which is backed by the strong capital position the Group has today.”

On his part, Sael Al Waary commented: “I am very pleased to take on further responsibilities at ABC, which is implementing an exciting transformation programme that will bring the Bank to new levels of success and growth. I am looking forward to work with Dr. Kawan and Ray Ferguson and the rest of the ABC senior team with a view to continuing playing my part in leading ABC in this new phase of its transformation journey.”

Bahrain headquartered and listed Arab Banking Corporation is a leading player in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s banking industry and for more than three decades, has been supporting the flow of trade and investment between MENA and the rest of the world leveraging its network of subsidiaries and offices across the world in Algeria, Bahrain, Brazil, France, Germany, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Libya, United Kingdom, Russia and the United States.


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