Saudi Arabia named HSBC Holdings Plc Middle East and North Africa Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Al Tuwaijri deputy minister of economy and planning as part of a government shakeup that also ushered in a new central banker and oil minister.
Al Tuwaijri, regional CEO of the London-based bank since October 2013, takes on the role immediately and reports to economy and planning minister Adel Fakeih. Robin Jones, previously deputy CEO in MENA, will become the interim CEO and a permanent replacement will be announced “in due course,” the HSBC spokesman Paul Harris said via telephone.
While Saudi-national Al Tuwaijri’s appointment forms part of a wider reshuffle in the kingdom, he joins a growing number of bankers taking senior government roles as OPEC’s top producer reboots its economy. Mohammed Al Jadaan, head of the country’s Capital Markets Authority, was a special adviser to Morgan Stanley’s board in Saudi Arabia, while Yasir Al Rumayyan, former chief executive officer at Credit Agricole-backed Saudi Fransi Capital, recently became head of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The country also replaced the central bank governor and long-time oil minister Ali al-Naimi as Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reforms the economy to reduce its dependence on oil.
A former Saudi air force pilot, Al Tuwaijri joined Saudi British Bank, HSBC’s affiliate in Saudi Arabia, in 1995 and served as head of risk management, deputy treasurer and treasurer before leaving to become senior country officer for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Saudi Arabia in 2007, according to HSBC’s website. He rejoined the London-based bank in 2010 as head of global banking and markets for Middle East and Africa. A photograph of him with HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver adorned his office in downtown Dubai.
During his time at the bank, Al Tuwaijri helped cement HSBC’s role as one of the most active international investment banks in Saudi Arabia.
The lender has been the top adviser for IPOs in the country for the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and was the sole international adviser on the $6 billion IPO of National Commercial Bank in 2014, the Middle East’s largest ever listing. HSBC holds a 40 percent stake in Saudi British, known as SABB, and a 49 percent share in HSBC Saudi Arabia.