Hisham Al Rayes is the Chief Executive Officer as well as the member of the Board of Directors of GFH Financial Group, one of the regional leading financial groups with USD 6.2 billion assets and fund under management and shares listed in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait.
In 2012, Mr. Al Rayes assumed leadership of the firm with an objective to establish a diverse and well-recognized regional financial group offering a remarkable platform for Wealth Management, Real Estate, Commercial Banking and Asset Management.
Prior to his role as the Group’s CEO, Mr. Al Rayes was GFH’s Chief Investment Officer during which he was responsible for driving the development and execution of its regional and international investment strategy along with management of the bank’s liabilities.
Before joining the group in 2007, Mr. Al Rayes was part of the senior management team of the Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait (‘BBK’), a leading commercial bank in the Kingdom of Bahrain. During his tenure at BBK, Mr. Al Rayes was responsible for a number of key projects and new venture initiatives. These included establishing one of the bank’s key subsidiaries, as well as developing BBK’s E-Banking platform.
Al Rayes is the chairman of Balexco, Gulf Holding Company and hold directorship in GFH financial Group, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, Falcon Cement Company, GFH Capital and Shuaa Capital.
Mr. Al Rayes holds a Masters degree with Honors in Business Administration from the University of DePaul, Chicago (USA), and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering with Honors from the University of Bahrain.
As Head of Sharia and Corporate Secretary at GFH, Dr. Mohamed Abdulsalam supervises all the transaction at the Group to ensure that these are conducted in compliant and in accordance with the teachings of Islamic Sharia. Furthermore, Dr. Mohammed assumes the fiduciary duty of ensuring that the records, meetings and minutes of GFH Board and its committees are proper and according to policy. This is in addition to handling the project company’s boards, effectively moderating all its meetings, writing and keeping record of all the minutes.
Prior to joining GFH in 2006, Dr. Abdulsalam worked with some of the most prestigious Islamic financial institutions in Bahrain. He was a Sharia Auditor at Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and an Internal Auditor at Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB).
Dr. Abdulsalam obtained his Islamic Accounting Bachelorette in 2003 from Al-Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud University one of the oldest and most renowned institutes of higher education in Saudi Arabia. He is also a holder of an Accounting and Financial Control MBA and a Ph.D in Accounting from United State, California. He also pursued additional qualifications including a Masters of Sharia and Accounting Standards for AAOIFI and the Sharia Control Fatwa of Islamic banks.
To further enhance his knowledge in arbitration as a more viable option in dispute resolution, Dr. Mohammed has successfully completed the third module of the International Arbitration Certificate from Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA) in 2014.
Passionate about his field, Dr. Abdulsalam regularly attends specialized courses covering topics such as: Sharia Auditing, Sharia Standards, Sharia Products and many others in order to expand his knowledge of Islamic finance on an ongoing basis.
Baha Al-Marzooq, Chief Corporate Control, supports the Group’s strategic success by ensuring a systematic and disciplined approach to internal control, risk management and governance processes. A member of GFH’s Management Committee, he also leads several departments, either directly or administratively, including Corporate Control, IT, Litigations, Legal and Compliance.
Baha has two decades of experience in auditing and banking in the Islamic and Investment banking sectors, and for the last few years has supported the Group’s recovery efforts that were remarkably concluded with total revenues above US$500 million.
Prior to joining the Group, Baha worked with Ernst & Young (EY) – Bahrain, one of the ‘Big Four’ global auditing firms, as Manager in the Assurance Services of Islamic Banking Group during which he also served in other regional offices of EY such as Kuwait, Qatar and Houston Texas – USA.
He holds a B.Sc. in Accounting from Bahrain University and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) California, USA in 2001. He holds an Executive MBA from the University of Bahrain in addition to a number of specialized professional qualifications including, Certified Internal Auditor, Chartered Global Management Accountant and has a Certification in Risk Management Assurance. He has also participated in several technical, business and leadership programs.
Hammad Younas is the Head of Investment Management and leads the overall investment business of the Group including Private Equity, Corporate Investment and Asset Management.
Hammad has more than 18 years of experience in corporate finance, investment banking, private equity, real estate, and asset management. During his career, he has led various regional and cross-border transactions in MENA, US, Europe and South Asia across multiple sectors and asset classes. His transaction experience includes mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, listings, secondary offerings, private placements and debt raising. In addition, he is a growth strategy and business development expert.
Prior to joining GFH, Hammad was a Partner at Ernst & Young MENA and their Transaction Advisory Leader for Bahrain. He was also the CEO of Ernst &Young Corporate Finance, Bahrain. Hammad spent more than 13 years with Ernst & Young advising a wide range of clients including financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, private equity and real estate investment firms, governments, family businesses and high net worth individuals on their investment, capital raising, performance improvement, restructuring and strategy.
Hammad is a CFA charterholder from the CFA Institute USA, an ACCA from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of the UK, and ACA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.
Elias Karaan joined GFH in November 2012 as a Senior Executive Director of Infrastructure Development. In his position, Mr. Karaan is responsible for creating a real estate entity to manage and develop GFH’s existing real estate portfolio, to create value in the existing infrastructure projects, and to pursue other new real estate opportunities.
Mr. Karaan has more than 37 years of accumulated experience in construction, project management, and development of small to large real estate projects in the United States, Middle East, and Bahrain. Mr. Karaan past experience includes working with large corporations such as FLUOR and ABB and prior to joining GFH he held the position of Managing Director at LTC, the company which created Reef Island in Bahrain. In that capacity, Mr. Karaan created one of the best integrated residential and leisure developments in the GCC.
Mr. Karaan earned a M.Sc. degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toledo, in Ohio in 1985 and completed his undergraduate studies from Clemson University in South Carolina in 1980 where he received a B.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Mr. Salah Sharif is a Senior Executive Director at GFH and Head of Administration and Operations at the Group. In this capacity, Mr. Sharif is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of all core operations of the Group and its operating companies.
Mr. Sharif brings to his role at GFH more than three decades of international exposure and experience in the best industry practices in all aspects of commercial, wholesale banking, and industrial/infrastructure advisory sector, having worked with both conventional and Islamic financial institutions.
He has worked within the Group since 2007. Most recently between 2012 to 2016, he served as the CEO of Cemena Holding Company (CHC), an industrial subsidiary of the Group, which is one of the largest cement holding companies in the MENA region. There he oversaw all operating activities of the projects/companies under CHC, managing and monitoring their overall performance. He currently also serves as a Board member in several project/operating companies under the Group.
Prior to that he held a number of senior roles at leading global financial institutions. This included serving as Operations and Facilities Manager, Middle East & North Africa at American Express in Bahrain where he was responsible for extending services for the entire MENA and provision of wide reaching centralized support services to country offices across the region. Previously, he spent nearly 20 years at Standard Chartered Bank in Bahrain in various managerial and executive positions including Head of Operations.
Mr. Sharif holds a Master of Business Administration with a Distinction from University of South Wales, U.K.
As the Head of Investors & Corporate Communications, Mr. Hazim Abdulkarim oversees all aspects of client servicing process including administration of client funds, managing funds’ share registers and prompt client reporting process and communication. He is responsible for sustaining and improving the relationships with the investors and shareholders.
Hazim supervises the Corporate Communications Department for creating and implementing a world class internal and external communications strategy across the Group’s regional and global businesses, whilst promoting and enhancing the brand messages to the market through a wide range of channels.
Since his appointment in 2000, Hazim has held several positions within the Group over the last 18 years in Operations and Fund Administration Departments including directorships in many project companies and Special Purpose Vehicles. Prior to joining the Group, he was working in the corporate banking division of Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait.
Hazim holds an MBA from University of Glamorgan UK, and an Advanced Diploma in Islamic Banking. He has also passed Investment Representative Certification Series 7.
Mr. Nabeel Mirza is associated with GFH since April 2012 and holds the position of Compliance Director & MLRO at GFH. He is responsible for ensuring and maintaining the establishment of a robust and effective compliance framework according to the regulatory requirements and industry legislations. He is also responsible to ensure the compliance of the bank’s activities with the rules and regulations of the Central Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Bourse, Dubai Financial Markets, Securities & Commodities Authority (UAE), Kuwait Stock Exchange, and Capital Markets Authority-Kuwait.
Mr. Mirza has vast exposure and knowledge in Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering, Governance Frameworks, methodologies and emerging practices in the GCC financial markets and is well versed with regional and international regulations. He works closely with the CEO and other members of the executive management and reports independently to the Board of Directors of GFH.
He has worked with known International financial institutions, such as Mashreq Bank (Dubai & Bahrain) and Citi Bank (Bahrain & Pakistan).
Mr. Mirza holds Master’s in Public Administration from University of Karachi and has completed many professional courses in compliance and risk management.
Mr. Janahi is the Head of the Information Technology Department overseeing the Application, Development, and infrastructure teams. In 2000, he established the IT department in GFH along with other members and mostly held a project manager role of almost all the IT projects – or sometime a project member – that made GFH IT what it is today.
He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Bahrain along with other IT technical and non-IT professional certification like CISA, ITIL, Oracle, and others. He has some specific banking business and accounting knowledge which he gained through his work in Al Baraka Bank and Arthur Anderson.
Ms. Muneera Mohammed Isa is the head of Human Resources (HR) Management & Development at GFH. She was appointed to the role in November 2015. Ms. Isa is responsible for managing employee strategies, recruitment, development and retention in addition to career progression and performance management. She is also in charge of compliance, policy making and the overall implementation of HR regulations.
Prior to leading the human resource department, Ms. Isa joined GFH in September 2014 acting as the HR Senior Manager. She brings to her role more than a decade of HR experience working with regional and international financial institutions in the Kingdom of Bahrain such as Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, Capivest and BNP Paribas.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Bahrain and attained a level 5 Chartered Institute of Personal Development Certificate (CIPD) in 2014. She also holds various English certificates from the British Council in addition to a Diploma in Modern Office & Secretarial System.
Mohammed Abdulmalik is the Acting Chief Placement Officer at GFH and is also responsible of the Qatar market. In this capacity, he develops appropriate business models to capitalize on current market dynamics and potential. In addition to his current role, Mr. Abdulmalik is also a Board Member of Capital Real Estate Projects and Gulf Holding Company. Having joined GFH in 2002, his previous role at the Group as an Executive Director included marketing the group’s products and services to markets in Qatar, UAE, Oman and KSA, where he has a diverse client base of high net worth individuals, financial institutions and sovereign wealth funds. Through his activities he contributed to the growth of liquidity and the group’s investment placement business.
Prior to his tenure at GFH, Mr. Abdulmalik held a number of roles in financial control and auditing, including three years with Arthur Anderson and Ernst & Young as an Auditor as well as one year in HSBC’s Financial Control Department.
Mr. Abdulmalik holds a B.Sc. in Accounting from the University of Bahrain (1998).
Mr. Khonji is an Executive Director in the Placement & Relationship Management heading the UAE, Oman & Yemen markets. He is a holder of an MBA (Master in Business Administration) from University of Hull in UK. A Certified Islamic Financial Analyst (CIFA), Securities Market Regulation certificate (Series 79) and an Associated Member of Chartered Wealth Management (CWM) at the International Academy of Finance Management (UAE). With more than 19 years of experience in the fields of Investment, Relationship Management, Wealth Management, Business Development and Corporate Communications gained during his working period.
Formerly worked in International Investment Bank, First Energy Bank & Qatar First Bank before joining GFH Financial Group.
Razi Al Murbati is an Executive Director in the Investment and Placement Management at GFH Financial Group. Mr. Al Murbati brings to his role more than 15 years of experience in the banking and finance sector including a significant track record in Islamic investments and advisory. His areas of expertise include private banking and wealth management as well as private equity
Prior to joining GFH, he most recently served as Head of Investment Development & Distribution for the GCC region at The First Investor in Qatar, a subsidiary of Barwa Bank. Prior to that, he was Regional Director of the Investment Advisory Group of Abu Dhabi Investment House. Mr. Al Murbati began his career with Deutsche Bank Bahrain.
Mr. Al Murbati is currently on the Board of Directors of Falcon Cement Company and a member of the Board’s Audit Committee.
Ebrahim is one of the senior members of the investment placement team, responsible for the Bahrain & Eastern Province market. Prior to that, Mr. Alshaibeh was the Chief Business Development Officer in the Group’s subsidiary, GFH Properties.
Mr. Alshaibeh also served 5 years in Omniyat, a Dubai based Real Estate Development Company which developed high end offices, residences and hotels in Dubai. In addition, he spent most of his professional career as an Investment Banker with approximately 12 years of experience.