Islamic Finance

HSBC’s Saudi unit hires Aldossary as women make inroads in Gulf

Published 29 Mar,2021 via Bloomberg Markets - HSBC Holdings Plc’s Saudi Arabia unit has hired Muneera Aldossary as chief investment officer, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest sign that more women are rising to senior roles in the kingdom’s financial industry.

Aldossary previously worked as chief executive officer of Mulkia Investment Co., a local asset manager, and prior to that was head of equity investments for Saudi Fransi Capital. HSBC Saudi Arabia declined to comment.

Aldossary is among a growing number of women taking on leadership roles in finance across the Gulf region.

Loosening restrictions on women is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to get more Saudis working in the private sector. Over the past few years, authorities have lifted a ban on women driving and allowed them to travel without the permission of a male guardian.

The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund named Rania Nashar -- who was the first woman CEO of a Saudi bank -- a senior adviser to the governor in December as part of a reshuffle, while State Street Corp. picked Haifa Al Khaifi as chairwoman for its Saudi unit in September.

Other women in leadership positions in the kingdom include Sarah Al Suhaimi, chairwoman of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, and Carmen Haddad, vice chairperson of Citigroup Inc.’s operations in the Middle East and chief country officer for Saudi Arabia.

In the neighboring United Arab Emirates, Hana Al Rostamani was appointed group chief executive officer of the country’s biggest bank. Citigroup also named Elissar Farah Antonios to run its Middle East & North Africa operations.

Still, a report by JPMorgan Chase & Co. last year found that Saudi Arabia was among countries in the Gulf region where women’s employment wasn’t taking off despite efforts by some governments to encourage it, with representation in corporate suites very low.

HSBC’s Saudi unit is one of the largest international banks operating in the kingdom. Earlier this month it said it completed the first securities lending transaction in the country.

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Matthew Martin