Qatar banking

26 September 2013

Six key figures shaping the country’s financial sector: Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani, Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari, Steve Troop, Aladdin Hangari, Michael Ryan and Charles Carlson

Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani

Position: Governor, Qatar Central Bank (QCB)

Biography: Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani has been governor of QCB since 2006. In March 2012, he was also appointed chairman of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA), and in January 2013 he was appointed chairman of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority. Those appointments were made as part of the country’s attempts to create a new financial sector regulator, which will sit above the other regulatory entities and ensure that the oversight bodies act in harmony. Sheikh Abdullah started his career at QCB in 1982 and became deputy governor in 1990, before leaving in 2001 to become chairman of the State Audit Bureau. He rejoined QCB in 2006. Sheikh Abdullah is  a member of the board of sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration.

Contact Tel: (+974) 4 495 6888

Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari

Position: Acting CEO, Qatar National Bank (QNB)

Biography: Following the abdication of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani as emir of Qatar in favour of his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, there has been a wave of personnel changes in government ministries and the major arms of state in the private sector. The removal of finance minister Yousef Kamal, who was also chairman of QNB, resulted in the bank’s CEO, Ali al-Emadi, taking on Kamal’s major roles. Following Al-Emadi’s promotion to finance minister and chairman of QNB, Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari was appointed acting CEO. Al-Kuwari has more than 25 years of experience in the banking sector, covering sales and marketing, finance, operations, credit, systems analysis and design, and business and product development. Within QNB, he has held several executive positions including executive general manager and chief business officer.

Contact Tel: (+974) 4 440 7777

Steve Troop

Position: CEO, Barwa Bank

Biography: After amassing three decades of experience in the banking industry, including working in the GCC, Asia-Pacific, South America and Europe, Steve Troop joined Barwa Bank as CEO in September 2010. Prior to that, he was CEO at Saudi Hollandi Bank. Troop started his career at the UK’s HSBC and has spent time in senior roles in retail banking, branch management, corporate banking, relationship management, investment banking, insurance, operations and support services. Barwa Bank is a subsidiary of Qatar’s Barwa Real Estate and is an Islamic finance institution. It is one of the newest banks in the country and has been growing rapidly since its inception in 2009, aided in part by QCB’s decision in early 2011 to force conventional lenders to close down their Islamic banking operations. Troop graduated from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+974) 4 410 0888

Aladdin Hangari

Position: Managing director and CEO, Credit Suisse Qatar

Biography: Aladdin Hangari is managing director and CEO of Credit Suisse in Qatar. He also runs a new asset management joint venture between the Swiss bank and Qatar Holding – the investment unit of the Qatar Investment Authority – called Aventicum Capital Management. The fund is a key part of Qatar’s strategy to develop its financial sector as an asset management hub. The new firm will operate out of two hubs, with the Doha office focusing on investment in the Middle East, Turkey and other emerging markets. As a result of the tie-up, Credit Suisse has been moving staff from Dubai to Doha. Qatar Holding bought a 6.17 per cent stake in the Swiss lender in 2008, as it raised capital during the financial crisis. Hangari joined Credit Suisse in 2004 and is responsible for all of its banking activities in Qatar. He has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of London.

Contact Tel: (+974) 4 497 4000

Michael Ryan

Position: CEO, QFCRA

Biography: Michael Ryan joined the QFCRA in 2009 from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Initially, he was deputy CEO and managing director for legal and policy affairs, before being appointed CEO in March 2012. Ryan also sits on the Financial Stability and Risk Committee, the new regulatory body in charge of the oversight of all aspects of Qatar’s financial sector. As such, he will play a part in shaping the future direction and strategy of regulations regarding the country’s economy. Ryan is a member of Qatar’s National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee, and sits on the board of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority. Before joining the QFCRA, he held senior positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London and Dublin. During his time in Ireland, Ryan was a member of the Irish prime minister’s advisory committee on financial services.

Contact Tel: (+974) 4 495 6888

Charles Carlson

Position: Chief executive officer (CEO), Standard Chartered Qatar

Biography: Charles Carlson has more than 33 years of experience in international banking and has been with the UK’s Standard Chartered for the past 14 years. He has worked in major financial centres including New York, London and Singapore. Carlson has spent the majority of his career specialising in infrastructure and project finance. Prior to becoming country head for Standard Chartered in Qatar, he was the managing director and global head of structured finance at the bank, and also sat on the management committee for its global project and export finance business. In his current role as CEO, Carlson is responsible for the management and strategic direction of the bank and its activities in Qatar. He has a master’s degree in finance from City University Business School and a degree from Aston University, both in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+974) 4 424 8100

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