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Fahad Al Khalifa

QATAR - Finance

Fahad Al Khalifa

Group CEO, Masraf Al Rayan

Bio

Fahad Al Khalifa is a senior banker with over 20 years of experience. He started his career with Qatar Central Bank (QCB), later moving to Qatar National Bank (QNB) Treasury group, where he consistently moved up the ranks. In 2014, Al Khalifa was appointed Group CEO of Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) QPSC, later becoming the GCEO of Masraf AL Rayan in 2021 upon the merger between Masraf Al Rayan and al khaliji. He holds a BSc in finance from Seattle University in the US.

Masraf Al Rayan has a vision to grow its local and regional market share in the Islamic banking sector and be a catalyst for change.

How would you assess the merger between Masraf Al Rayan and Al Khalij Commercial Bank?

I am excited for the future of the bank following its merger. The transaction represents a milestone for Qatar, as it is the first merger of listed banks locally. The combined entity operates as Masraf Al Rayan under Islamic banking principles. With over QAR174 billion in total assets, Masraf Al Rayan is one of the largest shariah-compliant banks in the region. With a robust capital position and strong liquidity, the bank is in a prime position to accelerate Qatar’s journey toward Vision 2030 by leveraging its increased scale, compelling product offering and excellent talent base. The merger is a turning point in Qatar’s banking sector, enabling growth for corporates facilitating landmark deals, fostering SME development and lending, supporting our private clients to manage and grow their wealth, and helping our retail customers to reach their potential. The group has international operations in France, the UK, and the UAE. Our larger merged bank will become an Islamic financial powerhouse that will support the prosperity of our clients and development of the nation and enhance the bank’s social progress.

How would you classify the country’s current competition landscape in its banking sector?

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we realize long-term relationships are to the benefit of all parties. We have great pride in the thousands of deep relationships we have established across all sectors of society and business in Qatar, and overseas, through the many years we have been in operation. As we look to the future our aim is to be the “bank you want to do business with.” Through our people, branches, and technology we will be “Always Available, Always Connected,” and we will not waver from our commitment to adhering to the principles of honor and integrity in our dealings with our valued clients to ensure their future success. As a leading Islamic financial institution, Masraf Al Rayan enjoys strong relationships with government and government-related entities, for which we are most grateful. Our bank intends to capture and grow market share in the Islamic banking sector in Qatar and regionally. We aim to be a center of innovation and digitalization as well as a catalyst for change, bringing about the next generation of Islamic banking. As a reliable partner in Islamic banking, we will target the private HNW, corporate, and public sectors financing requirements for development initiatives in Qatar and facilitate their overseas investment needs via our international footprint.

What is the key for the bank to maintain a balance between traditional shariah banking values and modern banking being shaped by technology?

Building on the region’s culture and heritage, the Islamic banking sector in Qatar is witnessing strong growth; this is also fueled by rising migration from the conventional banking sector. While our immediate focus is on the operational integration of both banks into one seamless platform, our medium-term plans are ambitious. The transformation journey will focus on enhancing our customer experience through service excellence, speed, and technology. We are determined to increase the pace at which we digitalize Masraf Al Rayan through greater investments in technology. By adopting a “high-tech, high-touch” approach, we will utilize technology to enable speed and growth and become the market leader in this arena; in parallel, we will enrich client services through appropriate segmentation via our dedicated teams of private, premium, and corporate relationship managers. These measures will strengthen the links between our local and international footprint in the UAE, France, and the UK to better serve our clients’ overseas banking requirements. We will drive digitalization to redefine and upgrade the Islamic banking experience. We aim to breathe innovation into the field and introduce state-of-the-art products and services that truly push the envelope, while maintaining adherence to shariah principles and governance.

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