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Abdulwahab Iesa Al Rushood Acting Group CEO Kuwait Finance House (KFH)

KUWAIT - Finance

Abdulwahab Iesa Al Rushood

Acting Group CEO, Kuwait Finance House (KFH)

Bio

Abdulwahab Issa Al-Rushood received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Western Oregon State College in the US. He has also completed a specialized training course on strategic leadership at Harvard Business School. He is the Acting Group CEO & Group Chief Treasury and Financial Institutions Officer at Kuwait Finance House. In addition, Al-Rushood is the chairman of KFH Capital Investment Company and a board member of Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain. He has vast banking experience, spanning more than 33 years, having held numerous prominent leadership roles. He has served as board member of numerous leading companies including Kuwait Finance House – Malaysia, Liquidity Management House (KFH Investment Company), and Aviation Lease & Finance Company (ALAFCO), among others.

“KFH enjoys a solid competitive advantage through its highly qualified and experienced staff.”
KFH can attribute its success in Islamic finance to its innovative products as well as use of new technology and automation to best serve customers.
What are the core values of KFH?

KFH’s core values as an Islamic financial institution are based on key pillars that are inherent in the principles of shariah. As Islamic finance is based on ethical Islamic legislation and principles, this has helped KFH to strengthen its leadership in sustainability. Among other core values of KFH is concentration on growing its core banking business within main customer segments such as lending, financing, savings, investment, and daily banking. Innovation is an important part of KFH’s core values. For greater customer centricity as a niche growth business area, KFH launches and engages in several transformation projects and has adopted fintech innovation in products, solutions and customer interaction in ways that build and deepen both understanding and relationships. Also, KFH focuses on increasing operational efficiency in processes and means of working to simplify its customers’ financial lives and realize the value of investments and resources. By using new technology and automation, KFH has been able to profitably serve customers, and continues to meet their expectations and lead the competition.

How does KFH differentiate itself from the competition?

Along with its long experience in the Islamic financial industry, KFH has strengths that distinguish it from other institutions. KFH’s strengths include being the largest Kuwaiti bank and the world’s second largest Islamic bank by assets. We have a leadership position in two home markets of Kuwait and Bahrain. KFH is a consistent reference point for Islamic finance. Furthermore, it maintains a robust financial position, having a significant and growing customer base, experienced staff, solid operations, stable performance, geographic reach, innovative solutions, and diversified modern products. Today, KFH is an undisputed leader in innovation. For example, it released the first fully automated 24hr digital self-service branches in Kuwait under the theme of KFH-Go. Moreover, in the past few years KFH has introduced a wide range of high-end digital banking services. It also teamed up with financial services technology providers who offer unique solutions and expertise, with the aim of enhancing an innovative technology environment that accelerates and automates the banking operations. KFH enjoys a solid competitive advantage through its highly qualified and experienced staff, which is why our highly trained workforce sustains KFH’s advance as a world leading Islamic financial institution.

What significant developments or initiatives did the bank undertake in the past year in the areas of ESG and sustainability?

The crossover between sustainable investing and Islamic finance boosts appetite for shariah-compliant products. Dramatic growth is expected in the number of investment funds combining ESG and shariah compliance in the coming years. In this regard, KFH is moving forward in leading the sustainable Islamic finance industry, contributing to providing greater support for growth and sustainable investing, and considering ESG standards. For example, KFH signed an MoU with UNDP to support the SDGs. KFH has an environment-friendly, auto showroom (KFH Auto) that is fully compatible with the standards of green buildings and global sustainability. KFH is the first bank in Kuwait to receive Global Sustainability Assessment System GSAS certification – gold level for its KFH Auto. KFH is also active on the sustainability front through the issuing of green sukuk.

What are KFH’s expansion and growth plans?

The successful completion of KFH’s acquisition of AUB-Bahrain enhanced KFH’s regional footprint with access to new markets (including the UK and Egypt). KFH has ranked first among the largest listed companies on Boursa Kuwait in terms of a market capitalization, exceeding KWD11 billion. To sustain this growth and expand our customers base, our focus remains on automation and digitalization including use of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and AI in banking operations to enhance performance and efficiency. To achieve this, KFH has signed several strategic partnerships and agreements with various innovative digital solutions providers and fintechs.

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