The Arab Bankers Association (ABA) announced that it had appointed a new CEO, to lead its UK operation.
Georges Kanaan, an experienced banker, takes on the role during an unprecedented period of change for the association; with the financial services industry facing both political and regulatory challenges, the ABA has never been more relevant to its membership.
Kanaan stated “The ABA was established to develop ties between Arab professionals working in the financial sector and to encourage the exchange of views, information and expertise between those professionals in the Arab World, the UK and other countries. However I believe we have an even bigger role to play in today’s markets and the ABA fully intends to become a driving force in new idea generation and thought leadership”
Kanaan went on to explain “Our membership includes some of the business leaders in the field of banking and financial services; collectively they have a very powerful voice and its important that as an association we make sure that our voice is heard. There is a huge knowledge gap that has developed between banking in the MENA region and the rest of the world and it is one of my goals to bridge that gap; how many people really understand what is happening to the banking systems in say Libya or Syria? There is an absolute transformation happening in these countries, but only a small number of people who really understand or can explain the challenges and opportunities that exist there. I see it as a fundamental part of my role to ensure that the knowledge we have in these markets is shared with our counterparts”
Established in London in 1980 the ABA has a proud history but Kanaan feels there is a lot more to do “I am immensely proud of our heritage but in today’s Global markets we need to be forward thinking and relevant to our members; we seek to build strong ties with our MENA colleagues and we have demonstrated this already by having prestigious speakers at our events such as the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, HE Farhat Omar Bengdara, who addressed our members on the challenges of privatising the banking sector in Libya. We have some ambitious plans over the coming 12 months and I am very excited that my appointment is just the first of a number of changes that we will be announcing over the coming weeks.
The Arab Bankers Association ('ABA') was founded in London in 1980 as a non profit-making organisation. Its aims are to promote the professional interests of Arab bankers in Europe and the Middle East, provide services to the Arab banking and financial community, and enhance their awareness of recent financial developments in the region.
Global Arab Network