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Saudi Arabia: Global investment banks bolster Saudi operations

Senior Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan hires; Barclays launches Saudi arm

Foreign investment banks are still building operations in Saudi Arabia, despite painful demonstrations of the market’s risks and pessimism on the local stock exchange.

Banks lost billions of dollars on last year’s defaults at the Saad and Al Gosaibi groups, two of the Kingdom’s biggest family offices. One response can be seen in October’s appointment of Ziyad Al Ashaikh, Deutsche Bank’s head of Saudi private institutional clients – a new position.

Based in Riyadh, Al Ashaikh will act as a bridge in Deutsche’s coverage of Saudi family offices, between the wealth management and corporate banking business units.

"In family offices, the financial and economic health of the client on the private banking side is not divorced from the client’s health on the corporate side," says Jamal Alkishi, chief executive of Deutsche Securities Saudi Arabia. "Establishing insight into both is beneficial not just in terms of cross-selling products, but also in identifying where risks lie, where pressures may arise, and in terms of enabling the bank to provide sensible advice that is in line with the clients’ interests and objectives."

Al Ashaikh was previously head of wealth management at local investment firm Jadwa, having also occupied senior positions at NCB, the country’s biggest bank.

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