ENBD names wholesale banking group head, Dubai Bank CEO

Reuters, Monday 5 Dec 2011

Decision to juggle chief roles internally suggests the bank's two Islamic lenders may be merged

Emirates NBD named a new group head of wholesale banking on Monday as well as a new interim chief executive for Dubai Bank, which it took over in October, in the latest management reshuffle by Dubai's largest lender.

The bank appointed Giel-Jan Van Der Tol as group head of wholesale banking and Douwe Oppedijk -- the former chief executive of the UAE's Commercial Bank International -- to the interim CEO job at Dubai Bank, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Van Der Tol was previously the chief executive of troubled Islamic lender Dubai Bank. Emirates NBD took over the struggling bank at the behest of Dubai's ruler.

Dubai Bank was owned by the private holding company of the ruler of Dubai and taken over by the government in May before being folded into Emirates NBD.

"The decision to move the (former Dubai Bank) CEO internally may reflect that there is some forward movement on their decision making with regards to a possible alignment of Emirates Islamic Bank and Dubai Bank," said Raj Madha, banking analyst at Rasmala Investment Bank.

The bank has given little indication so far on how the two Islamic lenders now within Emirates NBD will be operated, with analysts expecting them to be merged.

Emirates NBD has been actively reorganising its management and businesses in recent months.

The bank consolidated its investment banking and financial advisory businesses under its Emirates NBD Capital unit and appointed Mohammed Wajid Kamran as general manager of the arm, according to an internal bank memo seen last month.

It also appointed a new general manager of its wealth management division in July.

The management reshuffle came just a few months after Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, uncle of Dubai's ruler and a key advisor, was named chairman of the bank, replacing Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer.

Emirates NBD, which is 55.64 per cent owned by Investment Corporation of Dubai, is one of the major creditors to Dubai World, the state-linked conglomerate that completed a $25 billion restructuring in 2010.

The bank is also involved in the restructuring of Dubai Holding, a conglomerate owned by the emirate's ruler.

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