Michael H. Tomalin, the NBAD’s Group Chief Executive (middle) receives the Lifetime Achievement Award
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi's (NBAD) Group Chief Executive Michael H. Tomalin has won the Lifetime Achievement Award from ITP, publisher of Arabian Business magazine.
Mr. Tomalin has also been ranked highly in the magazine’s “50 Most Influential Brits in the UAE.”
“I am honoured to be nominated by ITP for this accolade,” Mr. Tomalin said. “Throughout my career I have been ambitious for the companies I work for, and NBAD’s rapid progress over the last 14 years is very satisfying.”
Mr. Tomalin, who retires from NBAD this month after 14 years of leading it, reshaped the Bank significantly during his tenure. Under Mr. Tomalin’s steady and far-sighted leadership, NBAD’s net profit grew by more than 10 fold in his first decade and it has achieved an average annual growth rate of around 23% year-on-year making it one of the fastest growing and highest performing banks in the world.
Moreover, during Mr. Tomalin’s leadership, NBAD accomplished a milestone for the UAE financial services industry when it became the first UAE bank to earn AED1 billion in net profits. NBAD marked another breakthrough in 2010 when it broke the US$1 billion net profit threshold, again the first UAE bank to achieve this landmark.
NBAD’s growth under Mr. Tomalin’s leadership was not from acquisitions but from organic growth and entry into a number of new markets and businesses.
During his tenure, NBAD launched its brokerage arm, National Bank of Abu Dhabi Securities, ahead of the stock market boom in UAE. It has become one of the largest brokerage firms in the country.
Mr. Tomalin also correctly identified lucrative opportunities in Islamic finance and private banking. Under his direction NBAD began offering Islamic banking products and services in 2007. The Bank set up Abu Dhabi National Islamic Finance (ADNIF) as a fully Shariah-compliant unit in 2009.
From around 48 branches in the UAE in 1999, NBAD achieved a milestone of 100 UAE branches by end 2009, and surpasses 120 now.
NBAD is also the UAE’s foremost international flag bearer. The Bank has aggressively expanded the NBAD brand globally since his appointment. In 1999, it operated 13 branches outside the UAE. This network has increased steadily and reached 55 by early 2013. In the last three years, NBAD began operations in Hong Kong, Jordan, China and Malaysia. The Bank’s international network spans 19 countries in five continents from the Far East to North and South America.
Being a private and wholesale banker himself, Mr. Tomalin was closely involved in the details of establishing the NBAD Private Bank (Suisse) SA in Geneva, and the launch of the UAE private banking arm. He serves as the Chairman of NBAD Private Bank (Suisse) SA.
The fabulous growth of NBAD resulted from the ambitious vision Mr. Tomalin outlined for the Bank. Not long after his appointment, Mr. Tomalin established a robust annual strategic planning process at the level of the senior management team.
One of his most important decisions was shifting the Bank’s source of funding to long-term issues. Before his tenure, NBAD, like other UAE banks, largely depended on short-term sources as its major vehicle of funding. Under his direction NBAD began increasingly to tap international markets for long term funding sources. This move goes in tandem with the Bank's strategy to be the financier of mega projects, and a concentration on liquidity and safety. As a result NBAD was one of the first banks in the UAE to be rated by all three global rating agencies. NBAD is now rated the safest bank in the Middle East and amongst the 50 safest banks in the world.
“NBAD has been my home for 14 years and I hold special affection for it because I admire what is the driving force behind NBAD - more than serving as a for-profit institution, NBAD strives to also be an enabler, an engine of Abu Dhabi’s and the UAE’s development and growth,” said Mr. Tomalin. Mr. Michael Tomalin is particularly proud of NBAD’s achievement in Emiratisation: an Academy to train young Emiratis in banking and an increase in the number of Emiratis in the firm from 125 in 1999 to 1314, 14 years later. “As I prepare to hand over the leadership of NBAD, I look at my years at NBAD with both pride and appreciation for the chance I was given.”
Mr. Tomalin was also awarded the Life Time Achievement Award from Banker Middle East in 2010, and won the CEO of the Year Award from Global Investor in 2011.
In 2012, the London based ifs School of Finance, the leading provider of professional banking and financial qualifications, has awarded Michael H. Tomalin, an Honorary Doctorate of Science in Banking and Finance in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the financial services industry.
In 1991, Mr. Tomalin was awarded the honor of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in recognition of his services to the British Community in Japan. Mr. Tomalin helped launch the first British School in Tokyo, and served as the Chairman of its Board of Governors.
Dr. Tomalin will continue to serve NBAD as a Director after his retirement from executive office later this month.