September 26, 2013 / 7:27 AM / in 4 years

UAE lender NBAD makes top-level changes under new CEO

* Bank names Yasser Geissah as equities head

* Private banking head resigns; deputy to replace

* New CEO Alex Thursby formulating five-year plan for bank

By Stanley Carvalho

ABU DHABI, Sept 26 (Reuters) - National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the UAE’s top lender by market value, has hired a new head for its equities business, while its private banking head has resigned, as its recently-appointed CEO works on a new plan for the business.

NBAD appointed Alex Thursby, previously chief executive for international and institutional banking at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, as its CEO in April, seeking to expand abroad from its saturated local market.

In July, Thursby said his first few weeks at the bank had been spent formulating a five-year plan, with details to be communicated to shareholders in the coming months.

Yasser Geissah, who was formerly head of Abu Dhabi-based Manazel Real Estate and the chief executive of CAPM Investments, has been appointed as head of equity capital markets, a spokesman at the bank said on Thursday.

“It is a newly created position to oversee the bank’s operations relating to initial public offerings (IPOS) and private placements as we foresee a flurry of IPOs in the near future,” the spokesman said.

Equity capital markets activity in the Gulf Arab region is showing signs of recovery as financial markets and valuations pick up after years of sluggish activity. Bankers in the region say more companies have been making initial enquiries about IPOs and secondary share offerings.

Middle Eastern companies raised $3.2 billion from 12 capital market operations during the first half of 2013, a 15 percent decline from the same period in 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Meanwhile, the bank’s head of private banking based in Geneva, Khaled Suleiman, resigned last week and has been replaced by Michael Wrede who was his deputy, the spokesman said without elaborating.

NBAD’s private banking arm offers wealth management to high net-worth individuals and trade and commodity finance services to corporate clients.

State-owned NBAD is likely to see a few changes as part of the bank’s restructuring under Thursby, according to banking sources familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

NBAD shares were trading down 1.6 percent on the Abu Dhabi bourse at 0700 GMT. They have risen 36 percent year-to-date. (Editing by Dinesh Nair and Mark Potter)

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