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Banking

Thursby spins NBAD’s world view

Alex Thursby learnt his trade at StanChart and ANZ, but it’s to Asia’s regional champions that he looks for inspiration in his new role as CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Clients come first, but his big plan is a bold one: to put NBAD at the centre of where east meets west.

The last time Euromoney caught up with Alex Thursby, he was spearheading ANZ’s expansion into Asia and was in a strident frame of mind. “We’re noisy people,” he said then. “Certainly a straight-shooting bunch.”

Four years on, we find Thursby in a quite different role and, if somewhat less noisy in a new environment, no less driven in ambition. As chief executive of National Bank of Abu Dhabi, he is in a role with different sensitivities – running a mainly state-owned bank, ultimately held by the Emirate’s royal family, in the politically nuanced world of the Gulf – but equally bold in what it wants to do regionally.

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