Egypt banking

24 October 2008

Six key players in the Egyptian banking and finance sector: Farouk el-Okdah, Hisham Ezz al-Arab, Mohamed Kamal al-Din Barakat, Tarek Amer, Mahmoud Abdel Latif and Mohamed Yehia Saim Ozalp.

Farouk el-Okdah

Position: Governor, Central Bank of Egypt

Biography: Appointed governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in December 2003, Farouk el-Okdah is spearheading Egypt’s ambitious banking sector reforms. El-Okdah served as chairman and chief executive officer of the National Bank of Egypt in 2003, and as an adviser to the governor of the CBE from 1998 to 2001. His career highlights from 1983 to 2002 include several positions at the Bank of New York, most notably as vice-president and regional manager for the Middle East. He worked as an instructor in accounting and finance for the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, from 1978 to 1982, when he was nominated by the school to serve as a consultant for the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. El-Okdah holds a Bachelor’s degree in commerce accounting from the University of Cairo, two Masters degrees and a doctorate.

Contact Tel: (+202) 239 24017

Hisham Ezz al-Arab

Position: Chairman and managing director, Commercial International Bank (CIB)

Biography: Since joining CIB in April 1999 as deputy managing director, the vision of Hisham Ezz al-Arab has been key in transforming CIB from a niche corporate bank into Egypt’s largest private sector bank. Since his promotion to chairman and managing director of CIB in September 2002, Al-Arab has accelerated CIB’s strategic progress, winning it the highest credit rating for an Egyptian firm by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. Al-Arab has also helped align the bank’s corporate governance with international standards. Prior to joining CIB, Al-Arab led a distinguished international banking career as managing director at international investment banks Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch based in London, as well as in Bahrain, New York and Cairo. He graduated with a degree in commerce from the University of Cairo.

Contact Tel: (+202) 3747 2373

Mohamed Kamal al-Din Barakat

Position: Chairman, Banque Misr

Biography: Mohamed Kamal al-Din Barakat is chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Banks. In 2002, he joined Banque Misr as chairman. He went on to became chairman of Banque Misr Liban, Bank Misr Europe and vice-chairman of Banque du Caire Amman. Under his leadership, Banque Misr has undergone a restructuring programme to centralise the bank’s operations. Barakat has held several senior managerial positions, most notably as vice-chairman and managing director of Egyptian Gulf Bank. He is a board member of the Central Bank of Egypt, The Egyptian Banking Institute, The Arab Academy for Banking & Financial Sciences and the Union of Arab Banks. He represents Egypt as a board member of Visa International (Central Europe, Middle East and Africa region). Barakat holds a degree in accounting from the University of Alexandria and an MBA from the University of San Francisco.

Contact Tel: (+202) 2397 7888

Tarek Amer

Position: Chairman, National Bank of Egypt

Biography: Tarek Amer was appointed chairman of the National Bank of Egypt in April 2008. In his first term as deputy governor of the Central bank of Egypt, from 2003-07, he engineered the banking sector and monetary policy reform programme. Based on its success, Amer was reappointed in December 2007 to serve a second term. His bold banking reform strategy included privatising the Bank of Alexandria, dealing with non-performing loans, and upgrading and strengthening supervision. His reforms have won the confidence and respect of domestic and international players. This has strengthened the Egyptian markets and helped transform the domestic economy. Amer has 32 years banking experience covering the Middle East and North Africa region, Turkey and Asia. This includes senior executive positions such as leading the Middle East corporate finance and investment banking business for Citibank and Bank of America.

Contact Tel: (+202) 2594 5700

Mahmoud Abdel Latif

Position: Chairman and chief executive officer, Bank of Alexandria

Biography: Mahmoud Abdel Latif is credited with masterminding the turnaround of the Bank of Alexandria from a struggling, state-owned institution to the sixth-largest bank in Egypt by asset size. Latif, whose career before joining Bank of Alexandria in 2002 was spent at US banks Citibank and Chase, oversaw the successful sale in October 2006 of an 80 per cent stake of the bank to Italy’s Sanpaolo IMI. Latif, who was retained by the Italian buyers, rose to the challenge of rebuilding the bank’s market share. Under Latif’s leadership, the bank is now one of the key players in microfinance and lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, where it has grown its portfolio by 300 per cent over the past year. In that same period, its retail business has grown by 210 per cent. The bank now plans to double the number of its branches.

Contact Tel: (+202) 2391 1999

Mohamed Yehia Saim Ozalp

Position: Vice-chairman, Banque Misr and Banque du Caire

Biography: Mohamed Yehia Saim Ozalp is vice-chairman of Banque Misr and has been a board member since 2002. He will also perform the same role at Banque du Caire until its ongoing privatisation is completed. Prior to joining Banque Misr, Ozalp spent 24 years at Misr International Bank, reaching the post of senior general manager and member of the executive committee. Ozalp has held many board memberships and official positions throughout his career, the highlights of which include being a member of the Egypt-US president’s council, a member of the board and treasurer of the Egyptian Banks’ Association, chairman of the board of directors of the Egypt Fund, and executive vice-president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt. Ozalp holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Whittier College, California.

Contact Tel: (+202) 2397 7888

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