Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Malaysia is a hotbed for Islamic banking headhunters

By Habhajan Singh
A leading Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bank is looking for a senior banker to head its Islamic financial services team based in London, according to an advertisement updated on July 16 on a job portal. The advertisement added that the team will be responsible for structuring and selling a range of Shariah-compliant investment and retail banking products to other financial institutions. There are other such interesting and tempting job offers at this very moment.
"I'm getting at least two calls a month from headhunters," Asian Finance Bank Bhd chief operating officer Daud Vicary Abdullah told The Malaysian Reserve recently.
Malaysia is a hotbed for headhunters looking for candidates for existing and new Islamic banks, both locally and abroad. Local Islamic bankers say that it is not easy to get good talent, more so as many are leaving for the Middle East, partly attracted by lucrative pacgkages.
"Talent development is a crucial issue and the industry must focus on it," said HSBC Amanah managing director Yakub Bobat in an interview a few months ago. Back to London. A "leading global investment bank" is actively seeking a senior Islamic banking candidate to add to its Shariah product development and distribution team, says another advertisement. It is not looking for just any candidate.
The advertisement, updated on July 4, said that it is looking for the "strongest candidates in the market" to join its already established Islamic banking team.
The ideal candidate must have a good "track record in the GCC markets" as he or she will mostly be tailoring products for large Gulf corporate and institutional investors throughout the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. As expected, a keen search is also taking place in the Middle East. Standard Chartered Bank UAE, based in Abu Dhabi, is in the market for an Islamic banking associate director, promising a "highly competitive salary".
Another Kuwaiti-based "exciting new start-up bank" is looking for a head of private banking to expand that portion of its business. The unnamed bank said it aims to develop the best Islamic bank in Kuwait/GCC. So, who fits the bill? See if you can rise to this calling, as mentioned in the advertisement:
"The successful candidate will have the gravitas to lead and develop the Islamic financial services business.
"They would be representing the bank by taking a leading role in generating new business streams and marketing new and existing products and services, in conjunction with working at the highest levels on strategy and policy as part of the senior management."
(The Malaysian Reserve, July 21, 2008, p32)

No comments: