Islamic finance awards 2014: Boubyan Bank
Best Islamic rising star
Boubyan Bank has tended to be overshadowed by its larger neighbour, KFH, but it is increasingly demanding attention in its own right. Badly hit in the financial crisis, it was restructured in 2009 with NBK as a major shareholder, and since then has gone from strength to strength.
Today, Boubyan is four years into a five-year strategy devised under the new executive management that came in when the bank was restructured. It returned to profitability in 2012 and was able to distribute profits to long-suffering shareholders.
It managed this by returning to what it was good at: core banking. It galvanized retail and corporate services, boosted capital and sought to make itself the bank of choice for affluent Kuwaitis (which is, one would imagine, most of them). Along the way, other areas of the business have gained traction, including asset management and brokerage, structured finance and syndication, and sukuk investments.
Next comes a new five-year plan to take the bank through to 2020, characterized by further growth domestically and expansion overseas too.