Obituary: H.E. Jammaz bin Abdullah Al-Suhaimi
The former head of Saudi Arabia’s CMA was a far-sighted internationalist whose commitment to transparency, technocratic leadership, governance, empowerment of women and young people foreshadowed the far-reaching reforms now energising the country.
H.E. Jammaz bin Abdullah Al-Suhaimi, the first chairman of the Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and a hugely influential and visionary figure in the development of the Saudi financial markets, died in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Jammaz (as he was universally known) was an early and constant advocate of the need for good governance, institutional reform and the opening of the Kingdom to international capital. His long and distinguished career included senior positions at the Ministry of Finance, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, as deputy governor for banking supervision, Saudi Sanabil and, until his death, at Bahrain’s Gulf International Bank.
As the first chariman of the Saudi CMA it was Jammaz’s job to oversee the first steps the Kingdom took to liberalise its capital markets. Established in 2004 the CMA was tasked with fostering an investment culture amongst ordinary Saudi citizens. Although home to many sophisticated and wealthy investors, the majority of the Kingdom’s citizens had little or no experience of equity investing.
Perhaps his biggest challenge at the CMA was encouraging many of Saudi Arabia’s most successful companies, often closely held family businesses, to list on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and utilise it as a source of growth capital and embrace the governance standards that came with it.