Meet the Bahraini Business Women Who Made It to Forbes List

Published August 29th, 2019 - 10:19 GMT
Najla Al Shirawi, the chief executive of Bahrain-based Sico.
Najla Al Shirawi, the chief executive of Bahrain-based Sico.

Najla Al Shirawi, the chief executive of Bahrain-based Sico, is the only Bahraini woman in the 2019 Forbes list of ‘Women Leading Top Companies In The Middle East’.

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Ms Al Shirawi is ranked 14 in the list of 20 women who are CEOs of major companies in the region, topped by Saudi-based Sarah Al Suhaimi, chairwoman of Tadawul and chief executive of NCB Capital.

According to the website of Sico, a regional asset manager, broker and investment bank, Ms Al Shirawi has more than 21 years of investment banking experience.

Having been part of the firm since 1997, she was appointed chief executive in 2014.

She is a board member at the Economic Development Board (EDB) and chairwoman of two Sico subsidiaries: Sico Funds Services Company (SFS) in Bahrain and Sico Financial Brokerage in Abu Dhabi.

Ms Al Shirawi is also an independent board member of Eskan Bank Bahrain and a board member of the Deposit Protection Scheme, Bahrain, the Bahrain Associations of Banks, and the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance.

She holds an MBA from the American College in London and a BA in civil engineering from University of Bahrain.

Under the leadership of Ms Al Shirawi, the firm has increased assets under management (AUM) in equity and fixed income while its equity and fixed income funds have all outperformed their respective indices.

Sico currently has $2.1 billion in AUM.

Forbes has also released another list, ‘Women Heading Family Businesses In The Middle East’ which features women who play prominent roles in their family businesses, leading them to further growth.

YK Almoayyed and Sons managing director Mona Almoayyed is the only Bahraini in this list.

Ms Almoayyed has been ranked in fourth place in the list of 20 women, topped by Saudi-based Olayan Financing Company chairwoman Lubna Al Olayan.

A philanthropist, environmentalist and women’s rights campaigner, Ms Almoayyed is also a member of Bahrain’s Shura Council and the chairwoman of Ebdaa Bank for Microfinance.

A diversified business group based in Bahrain, YK Almoayyed and Sons operates in key industry sectors and market segments, from cars and building materials to electronics and luxury goods, according to the company website.

It has more than 5,000 staff and represents over 300 international brands.

In creating the two lists, Forbes says it looked at: Revenues, years of experience and other positions held either in government or social organisations.

Copyright 2021 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group

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