First FAB branch in KSA boosts UAE-KSA trade ties

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak, and other officials.
Updated 06 May 2019
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First FAB branch in KSA boosts UAE-KSA trade ties

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has officially inaugurated its Saudi operations during a ceremony at its new Riyadh branch. The opening is expected to further strengthen commercial ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA); Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of the board executive committee of FAB; Jassim Mohammed Al-Siddiqi, chairman of the board audit committee of FAB; Dr. Fahad Ibrahim Alshatri, deputy governor for censorship at SAMA; and Abdulhamid Saeed, group chief executive officer of FAB; along with other members of the bank’s senior leadership.

The new branch, located in Al-Cayan Tower, Riyadh, joins FAB’s international network that spans five continents.

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, FAB chairman, said: “It gives me great pleasure to open our first Saudi Arabian branch and make a further contribution toward the Kingdom’s growth story by financing businesses, providing financial services to individuals and investing in the digital economy. Our expansion into Saudi Arabia represents an important milestone in our international business strategy as well as a testament to the strong ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. 

The Kingdom is of strategic importance to both FAB and the UAE, and it is for that reason we chose Saudi Arabia as the first destination in our international expansion plans since our merger. We look forward to growing our presence in the Kingdom and thank the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and Capital Market Authority for their invaluable guidance and support throughout this auspicious journey.”

SAMA governor Alkholifey thanked FAB’s board of directors and the senior leadership for their interest in entering the Saudi market, highlighting it as a positive step toward strengthening competitiveness and providing a more diversified range of products and services in the Saudi banking sector.

Alkholifey said that the opening of the FAB branch coincides with an unprecedented period in the Saudi financial sector, underlining the impact of the Financial Sector Development Program and its continued role in developing a thriving ecosystem, in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. 

“The Kingdom’s financial sector is characterized by a high degree of financial solvency, operational efficiency and high liquidity, it nonetheless requires the continued support and growth of varied credit facilities from banks to sustain this momentum, whether for the corporate sector, individuals or mortgage finance,” he added.

Layth Al-Shaiban is the country chief executive officer of FAB’s commercial banking operations in Saudi Arabia while Mona Al-Tawil leads the investment banking business in the Kingdom as chief executive officer of FAB Capital.


360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

Updated 23 May 2019
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360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

The King Khalid Foundation (KKF) and Mowgli Mentoring have collaborated to strengthen the growing social enterprise sector in the Kingdom through the provision of 360-degree mentoring, which will support the personal and professional development of social entrepreneurs. The EMCC-accredited mentoring organization is working to built the capacity of Saudi mentors by instilling best mentoring practices and sharing experiences from its 10-year work around the world.

Globally, the concept of social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining momentum and positive attention as it combines commerce with social good, allowing entrepreneurs to go beyond profit to positively impact communities and societies. Supporting these entrepreneurs, therefore, is in line with the KKF’s vision, which is to have a Saudi society with equal opportunities.

The KKF’s collaboration with Mowgli resulted in the creation of the Athar (Impact) Mentoring Program.

This program aims to build and increase the capacity of Saudi mentors, and equip them with the necessary tools to be able to provide mentorship, support and guidance to social entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Matching mentors with social entrepreneurs and managing their mentorship relationships is a key benefit of the program.

To commence the mentoring program, Mowgli recently delivered a four-day workshop in the KKF premises in Riyadh. Fourteen professionals and business leaders received training to be 360-degree mentors before being matched with 14 social entrepreneurs. Both groups were provided with the guidelines to build solid foundations for their 1-2-1 mentoring relationships. In addition, the matched pairs will be supported over a duration of six months, during which structured on-going support will be provided to ensure that trust-based and impactful mentoring relationships are developed.

Mowgli Mentoring’s CEO Kathleen Bury said: “We see this program supporting the three themes on which the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 was built upon: Developing a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. By supporting social entrepreneurs, we’re working toward achieving the Kingdom’s economic aspirations of increasing SME GDP contribution by 20–30 percent by 2030. We are, therefore, excited to be back in Saudi Arabia and are honored to be working with the King Khalid Foundation in delivering this program, and building Saudi Arabia’s mentoring capacity to sustainably support change-makers and their surrounding ecosystems for years to come.”

The key to developing entrepreneurship and fostering economic development lies in having a well-balanced ecosystem with equal investment in four key pillars: Environment (schooling, parenting), finance (working capital, debt and equity financing), infrastructure (incubators, accelerators, utilities and sound legal frameworks) and human capital development (mentoring, skills and knowledge development). Mowgli supports the latter and has successfully delivered more than 110 mentoring programs across the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.