NBAD Group Chief Executive named CEO of the year in Middle East

Press release
Published December 8th, 2011 - 08:03 GMT

Global Investor Magazine, published by Euromoney, the prestigious international magazine covering banking and capital markets, has named Michael H. Tomalin, the Group Chief Executive of the National Bank Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the CEO of the Year in the Middle East. 

Mr. Tomalin has more than 30 years of experience in international wholesale and private banking spanning Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East, Australia, and the Middle East. 

He joined NBAD as Chief Executive in 1999. During his first ten years, NBAD’s earnings grew 10 fold. Under his leadership, NBAD achieved a milestone for UAE financial services industry when it became the first UAE bank to earn more than AED 1 billion in net profits in 2004 and the first UAE bank to earn net profits of more than US$1billion (AED 3.8 billion) in 2010. 

NBAD has consistently been the most profitable bank in the UAE and has also been ranked one of the World’s top 50 Safest Bank in 2009, 2010, and 2011. In the latest ranking, NBAD was rated the Safest Bank in the Middle East. Euromoney named NBAD the Best Bank in the UAE in 2011 for the third consecutive year and for the fifth time in a decade. 

“I am delighted and thankful to the people who nominated me and to Global Investor/isf and Euromoney for awarding me this accolade,” Mr. Tomalin said. “I couldn’t have won this award if NBAD did not benefit from a dedication to excellence and a team that aims to build the World’s Best Arab Bank. 

NBAD’s growth under Mr. Tomalin’s leadership was not from acquisitions but organic and the entry into a number of new markets and businesses. 

From 48 branches in 1999, NBAD has grown its UAE branch network to nearly 116 branches and 380 ATMs by end of Q3- 2011. 

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 almost 50 by 2011. In the last two years, NBAD began operations in Libya, Hong Kong, and Jordan with a network expanding 12 countries on four continents stretching from Hong Kong in the Far East to Washington, D.C. in North America, and from London in Europe to Khartoum in Africa. 

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 NBAD had experienced resulted from the ambitious vision Mr. Tomalin outlined for the Bank. At the first strategy day in 1999, the Bank's executive team set a target of achieving a net profit of AED1 billion by 2005, an objective that many doubted could be achieved especially in such a short timeframe. Strong leadership saw the Bank achieve this milestone by 2004, one year earlier, as the first bank in the UAE to achieve such feat and catapulted NBAD from fourth in 1999 to first in the bank profits league table. 

On Mr. Tomalin’s watch NBAD launched several ground-breaking products that include the GCC’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF), first Islamic repo in the region, and the first UAE bank to gain a custody license. The NBAD Group has set up leasing and real estate, brokerage, private and Islamic banking subsidiaries; established debt capital market, SME and asset management businesses during Mr. Tomalin’s term in office. 

NBAD's Emiratisation ratio increased from 14% in 1999 to 39% by end of 2010. Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) awarded Mr. Tomalin its 2009 Best Emiratisation CEO Award in Banking Sector. 

In 2010, Mr. Tomalin won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Bankers Middle East. 

“NBAD continues its successful growth strategy without foregoing necessary prudence and quality risk management,” Mr. Tomalin commented at the Awards Ceremony.