Andrew Stevens, Group Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Bank of Qatar (Commercial Bank or the Bank), recently hosted the inaugural monthly meeting of the Chief Executives of Commercial Bank’s Alliance banks, designed to identify and discuss the best way to deliver benefits to customers and shareholders from the emerging network.
Stevens was joined at the meeting in Istanbul by Salaam Al Shaksy, CEO of the National Bank of Oman and Paul Trowbridge, CEO of United Arab Bank. The three current Alliance members were also joined by soon to be member and special guest Hamit Aydogan, CEO of the Alternatifbank of Turkey. In March 2013 Commercial Bank announced its intention to acquire a 70.84% stake in Alternatifbank. The acquisition remains subject to regulatory approval, and upon completion, will broaden the Alliance to four banks with a geographic reach from Istanbul to Oman.
The meeting, which was also attended by key managers from the retail, wholesale and treasury teams of each bank, addressed increasing trade and investment links between the regions, and looked at how the alliance of banks could benefit their customers and facilitate trade and investment developments, together with areas for cost synergies and increased shareholder value.
Andrew Stevens said: “We are delighted to host this inaugural meeting in Istanbul and to discuss mutual opportunities that will benefit the customers and shareholders of our three Banks. Our Alliance will deliver value to its customers across our markets by operating in stable economies with good growth prospects.
“Subject to regulatory approval, we are looking forward to the opportunity to include Turkey as part of this Alliance: Turkey is a country that is both strategically aligned and culturally relevant to the MENA region and Commercial Bank’s expansion further emphasises the growing links and business ties between Turkey and the GCC region. Turkish customers will have the chance to look towards the GCC for investment opportunities and this strategic expansion will also be a conduit for GCC investments and trade flows into Turkey.”