53 years later, Palestinian banking legend Ibrahim Dabdoub to retire from CEO post at National Bank of Kuwait
Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al-Bahar, NBK Group’s Chairman, has announced that the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Dabdoub, has decided to retire, stepping down from his post as the Group CEO following the next General Assembly Meeting. Dabdoub’s career at NBK extends for over 53 years during which he has successfully led the bank to become one of the leading financial institutions in the Middle East with operations in 16 countries. Dabdoub will continue to serve the bank as an advisor to the Board of Directors.
Al-Bahar highlighted that as much as he and the Board regret Dabdoub’s decision, they wish him the best of luck in his retirement move. Al-Bahar extended his and the Board’s appreciation for Dabdoub’s contribution to NBK’s success during his 30 years term as the Group CEO transforming the bank into a well-established regional institution. “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Mr. Ibrahim Dabdoub for the passion, dedication and dynamism he brought to NBK since his appointment as CEO and even earlier in his different roles since joining the bank in 1961,” Al-Bahar commented.
Dabdoub has over the years served NBK unconditionally, devoting his life to build a well-recognized organization, both domestically and internationally, with total assets exceeding $60 billion. During his years at NBK, Dabdoub has led the Group through good and bad times generating strong growth and returns for the shareholders. This has earned the bank its ranking among the world’s safest banks for several consecutive years and became top-rated among emerging markets banks. “NBK’s profits grew from KWD 20 million in 1983, when Dabdoub was appointed as CEO to more than KWD 305 million in 2012. Over that tenor, the bank has distributed cash dividends exceeding KWD 2 billion in addition to worth more than KWD 320 million of shares”, Al-Bahar highlighted.
Al-Bahar particularly emphasized on Dabdoub’s role in leading NBK in two major crises that faced the bank during his career; the stock market crash in 1982 and the Iraqi occupation in 1990. NBK was the only Kuwaiti bank that survived the 1982 stock market crash while remaining intact. During the 1990 Iraqi occupation, NBK continued to fully operate out of its London branch, a precedent in the financial industry throughout history.
Dabdoub, on the other hand, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Mr. Muhammad Abdul Rahman Al-Bahar, NBK Group chairman, as well as to all the members of the Board of Directors for their trust and support over the years for him and for all the executive management team. Dabdoub confirmed that NBK’s attributes and achievements over the years are mainly a result of the Group’s clear strategic direction, its institutional framework and conservative approach to management. Dabdoub primarily applauded the dedication and commitment of all his colleagues and staff members in their contribution to the Group’s success and in supporting him to accomplish all these achievements.