Sunday, July 27, 2008

Unicorn Msia seeks CEO

By Habhajan Singh & Ishun P Ahmad
Unicorn International Islamic Bank Malaysia Bhd (Unicorn Malaysia) is in the market in search of a chief executive officer (CEO).
The wholly-owned subsidiary of Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank also has a number of other openings at its management level.
"We are in the process of hiring staff. Its not easy to get right level of calibre. Many Malaysians are going overseas," Unicorn Malaysia chairman Datuk Vaseehar Hassan told The Malaysian Reserve in a recent interview.
On the search for a CEO, he said: "Its not an easy position to fill."
The Islamic bank is on the lookout for a head of investment banking and chief financial officer. Since getting its license about six months ago, Unicorn Malaysia staff strength is now 12 people strong, and they expect to bump up the number to 20 by September.
"We are putting our system in place. This include the the operating manual and treasury. Once we have completed them, which I except in month or so, we will be ready to move," he said. Unicorn Malaysia is currently helmed by acting CEO Thameem Ghouse who has been seconded from Bahrain.
Other key members of its management team are head of treasury Francis Ng, strategic mergers and acquisitions (M&A) Lim Sumay, head of placement Samera Poweel.
Recently, The Malaysian Reserve reported that Unicorn Malaysia is set to begin operations in a month's time and expects to rake in profits by year-end and that the bank is already eyeing a number of deals.
Vasheehar said that the bank had several deals in the pipeline, including a couple of mandates already signed, which its teams are working on.
"We will be able to close this year with some maiden profit," he said.
He said Unicorn Malaysia will utilise US$20 million (RM64.55 million) of its initial investment for its business in the country, which includes investment banking, corporate finance and treasury.
Its parent, Unicorn Investment Bank, was founded in 2004 as an Islamic investment bank and has a presence in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Pakistan.
Unicorn Malaysia's management team is currently headed by its acting CEO Thameem Ghouse who hails from Bahrain.
Vaseehar, who was named Unicorn Malaysia's chairman on Jan 1, this year, was previously the CEO and director of the Dallah Al Baraka Group in Malaysia for 16 years. He is responsible for building up Al Baraka’s Islamic banking activities in the country. He was also the former chairman of RHB Islamic Bank Bhd.
(The Malaysian Reserve, p32, July 28, 2008)

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