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SA22_FI_State Street_Abdullah Bakhrebah


Abdullah Bakhrebah

Managing Director & CEO, State Street Saudi Arabia


Abdullah Bakhrebah is the Managing Director & CEO for State Street Saudi Arabia Financial Solutions. He joined State Street in 2020 with over 13 years of banking and financial services experience. Most recently, he was head of product and business development for Ashmore Saudi Arabia. Prior to that, Bakhrebah worked for GIB (UK)/GIB Capital as the head of KSA business development/head of institutional sales. He started his career at the Saudi British Bank (SABB) Treasury Department where he held various roles. Bakhrebah holds an MBA from London Business School and a bachelor of science degree in management information systems from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

"State Street had a relationship with Saudi Arabia for over two decades."
State Street inaugurated its office in Riyadh as part of the company’s strategy to better serve clients in Saudi and the Middle East.
What factors contributed to this decision?

State Street had a relationship with Saudi Arabia for over two decades. However, our strategic decision to open an office in Saudi Arabia is a testament to our commitment to KSA and a stepping stone to our growth and exploration in the market. Saudi Arabia is embarking on tremendous growth, and we want to be in the center of that and Vision 2030, given that the financial sector development is a major contributor to the vision’s aspirations. One way we will accomplish this is by staying close to our clients. In addition to understanding them well, this is a part of our special offering. We develop bespoke tailored solutions for our clients in a partnership model. We understand their needs, and we prepare an advanced interoperable model that we put directly in their hands. This puts us ahead of our competitors. We are market leaders in asset servicing, and we stay ahead of the development curve for our clients. We aim to grow our relationship with our current clients while expanding our base in Saudi Arabia. We want to tap into strategic partnership with institutions that sit at the core of Vision 2030 framed around knowledge transfer.

What is your assessment of the current ESG-focused landscape and the potential appetite for them by local investors?

The pandemic has accelerated engagement with ESG issuers in the Middle East; two out of three issuers place greater emphasis on employees’ social well-being. Over 50% of investors see great value in organizations that take care of employee health. In addition, companies are facing increasing pressure to make more-detailed ESG-related disclosures. To unlock the full potential of sustainable finance in the region, more efforts are needed from investors and, most importantly, regulators to include more disclosures on ESG. Since the pandemic, we have seen an increased number of global businesses setting up policies and making responsible investing. Generally, Saudi Arabia seeks to attract global capital, and ESG is one way to do that. In the Middle East, there are issuers that care about environmental and social issues. Awareness of the subject is growing; however, there are areas where it could improve. For example, there is a lack of compatibility in ESG data and access to local expertise or stronger regulatory influence. Therefore, while this is picking up momentum, there is still more to do in the area.

How is State Street addressing the industry’s evolving shift to digital finance?

Focusing on finance, we have been actively developing our digital asset functionality for a number of years now. Digital assets and digital infrastructure will be significant forces affecting our industry in the next five years. As a result, we have established in State Street a new division addressing the industry’s evolving shift to decentralize finance and a digital economy. This new division is called State Street Digital. We focus on digital assets and technologies and set up a new integrated business and operating model to support our clients’ entire digital investment cycles, from pre-trade to post-trade and including initiatives designed to enhance the client’s experience. Our focus will be on cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currency, blockchain, and tokenization. As a company in the financial industry, the entire industry is transforming to a digital economy with this de-centralized finance. We really do need to provide clients with a full solution to have both traditional banking and increased digital needs. Our goal is to create a digital financial services company of the future. State Street Digital is an investment in the future. It is a part of our international and local structure as well as a solution that we are providing to our clients.



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