Emirates Institute for Banking Studies Hosts 40 Emirati Alumni of Leadership Program

Press release
Published February 25th, 2018 - 08:52 GMT
Noura Abbas Ahmed, Director of Training at EIBFS
Noura Abbas Ahmed, Director of Training at EIBFS

The Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), the region's leading institute for education and training in finance, hosted the alumni of its Leadership Development Program (LDP) held annually at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in the United States. Since 2012, 65 UAE nationals have attended the program at Darden.

In early February, the alumni from the ranks of Emirati bankers attended an interactive session titled‘Entrepreneurship: Driving Growth and Innovation through Effectuation’,presented by Saras D. Sarasvathy, globally renowned management expert and Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business.   

Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS, opened the session at the EIBFS’ flagship campus in Dubai. Addressing the bankers, he said: “Our annual Leadership Development Program, organized in association with the Darden School of Business, is one of the most sought-after programs among the UAE’s banks. In line with the mandate of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the scheme provides training and educational opportunities to UAE nationals who will be the banking leaders of tomorrow. Sessions such as the one today – that brought together the bankers with the Darden School Professor and Executive Education Director – offer ideal platforms for the alumni to exchange ideas and network, and for us to obtain feedback on the program.”

Talking about her interactive session with the LDP alumni, Professor Sarasvathy said: “The link between enterprise and banking is very old. That’s the reason why the conversation today with the attending bankers on the topic of entrepreneurship was so robust and energetic. In the larger world, the ideas of risk for an entrepreneur and for a banker are at the two opposite sides of the spectrum. But to be able to build a stable society, we need to be able to handle both kinds of risks. It is necessary to understand the idea of risk, of uncertainty, if you want to become a leader. One reason why today’s session was so exciting was that they had been exposed to the Darden way of teaching – very student-centric instruction. They took ownership of today’s discussion.”

Hind Al Attar, Head of HR at Noor Bank, found the session informative. She said: “Professor Sarasvathy’s talk on entrepreneurship and how it drives innovation made us think about various aspects of our role as bankers. Especially when we have to deal with the entrepreneurs and make a decision, we have to evaluate from various possible angles. It was very engaging, and the discussions with the bankers present made the talk all the more real.”

Naji Mohammed Al-Qahtani, Head of RAK Branches at RAKBANK, who attended the Leadership Development Program in 2017, said the two-week intensive program helped him gain a lot of insights into various aspects of his functions as well as build relationships.

He added: “I learnt how to efficiently run the business, how to manage employees, and how to negotiate with clients. In fact, while attending the program, my bank sent me a few proposals for review and feedback, and to be honest, if it was not for the Darden training, which offered various perspectives to approach a project, I would have given different feedback. The course offers great networking opportunities, and I was able to meet several bankers from the UAE and the GCC region.”

John F. Sullivan, Senior Director for Executive Education at the Darden School of Business, said: “The Darden School knows the most successful executives possess learning agility – they are lifelong learners, and they must be to keep up with the current pace of change in global business. With EIBFS, we hosted Dubai alumni of the Leadership Development Program to expose them to some of the latest thinking on effectuation, a unique approach to leveraging the successful methods of entrepreneurs. Everyone found it extremely valuable.”

Over the past few years, EIBFS has worked relentlessly to establish an extensive network of strategic international partnerships. In addition to the Darden School of Business, the institute has initiated collaborations with educational institutions in the UK, such as Bangor University.

Background Information

Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies

Established in 1983, the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) offers world class education programmes, training sessions and allied services in the area of banking and finance at its three state of the art campuses strategically located in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Committed to the Emiratisation initiative, EIBFS supports UAE nationals by providing top-notch training facilities and encouraging career growth in the banking and financial services sector. 

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