CEO of NBAD steps down
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s Group CEO Alex Thursby has stepped down after three years in the role.
Abhijit Choudhury, NBAD’s Group Chief Risk Officer, has been appointed as Acting CEO with immediate effect.
Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, Chairman of NBAD, commented: “I would like to thank Alex Thursby for his leadership of NBAD. Under his guidance, the bank has transformed into a modern, well regarded, customer-oriented and results-focused financial institution. NBAD approaches the merger with FGB in a strong financial and risk position, recognised as the safest bank in emerging markets and the highest rated bank in the UAE. I am confident Abhijit Choudhury will lead the bank successfully through the integration planning process in the coming months, drawing on his decade of experience at NBAD.”
The completion of the proposed merger with FGB is scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.
Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, who is currently a member of NBAD’s Board of Directors, will take on the newly created position of Managing Director to support the bank through the integration planning process until the merger completes.
Alex Thursby added: “It has been an honour to have been CEO of NBAD as the bank pursued a path of sustainable growth, which has culminated in the proposed merger with FGB to create the largest bank in the Middle East and North Africa region. I leave the bank in a very strong position to make a success of the merger and thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.
“With the planning for NBAD’s integration with FGB now underway, I believe this is the right moment to hand over the reins to Abhijit Choudhury and a senior team that will plan for the merger. I feel strongly that it is important from now, that there is alignment between the decisions being taken during integration planning, and implementation of these decisions after the merger is legally completed. I would like to wish Abhijit, and all the employees of NBAD well for the exciting period ahead, and thank them for their support and dedication to building a highly successful bank.”
Read the August 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.