Hisham Alrayes is leading the GFH Financial Group forward towards its vision of becoming the region’s most prominent, diversified financial Group, and one that provides a remarkable platform for delivering superior Wealth Management, Real Estate, Commercial Banking and Asset Management services. Hisham brings extensive expertise and an in-depth knowledge of GFH. He was instrumental in driving the development and execution of the Group’s regional and international investment strategy and managed the bank’s liabilities as Chief Investment Officer prior to his appointment as Group CEO in 2012, and since his appointment as CEO, has driven the development and execution of the Group’s regional and international diversification strategy.
Prior to joining the Group in 2007, Hisham was part of the senior management team of the Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait (‘BBK’), a leading commercial bank in the Kingdom of Bahrain where he was responsible for a number of key projects and new venture initiatives. He currently chairs and holds a number of directorships in financial, Industrial and real estate companies including Esterad Investment Company, Khaleeji Commercial Bank and GFH Capital.
Hisham holds a Master’s degree with honors in Business Administration from the University of DePaul, Chicago (USA), and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering with honors from the University of Bahrain. Hisham was awarded ‘Banker of the Year’ in the MEA Finance Awards 2020 in recognition of his role in steering the Group’s diversification strategy which has seen the Group expand its business lines and geographic reach, while remaining resilient in the face of unprecedented market conditions. He was also ranked one of the top CEOs in Financial Services & Investments in 2019, and named ‘Investment Bank CEO of the Year’ at CEO Middle East 2019.
Ali Murad is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Pinnacle W.L.L., Bahrain. He also serves as a board member in several companies including C5 Accelerate W.L.L., EAT App, Wavepoint Publishing W.L.L.
Throughout his career, Murad occupied several positions in the banking sectors before he moved into the private sector. He commenced his banking career at Arab Banking Corporation where he remained for five years. During this time, he held the position of credit analyst of ABC Islamic Bank EC, money market dealer and thereafter, as a deputy manager of the Treasury and Marketable Securities Department. Mr. Murad then joined Unicorn Investment Bank (now, Bank Alkhair) in the Investment Development and Distribution Department and later First Energy Bank as a director in Investment Placement, where he placed numerous financial products and services to high-net-worth individuals, governments and quasi-governmental Organizations, publicly listed and unlisted companies, as well as private banking clients. Murad was part of the investment team, where he also worked on tailoring customized investment products catering to the tough market conditions at the time. In 2010, Murad embarked in a career in the private sector and founded Pinnacle W.L.L. as a holding company for stakes in various sectors including technology, music publishing, real estate to name a few. He continues to explore, review and monitor active and potential investments both regionally and internationally.
Murad holds a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration in Marketing from Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts.
Hammad Younas is the Chief Investment Officer – Private Equity and leads the overall investment business of the Group including Private Equity, Corporate Investment and Asset Management. Hammad has more than 20 years of experience in corporate finance, investment banking, private equity, real estate, and asset management, and throughout his career he has led various regional and cross-border transactions in MENA, US, Europe and South Asia across multiple sectors and asset classes. His transaction experience includes mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, listings, secondary offerings, private placements and debt raising. In addition, he is a growth strategy and business development expert.
Prior to joining GFH in 2016, Hammad was a Partner at Ernst & Young MENA and their Transaction Advisory Leader for Bahrain. He was also the CEO of Ernst & Young Corporate Finance, Bahrain. Hammad spent more than 13 years with Ernst & Young advising a wide range of clients including financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, private equity and real estate investment firms, governments, family businesses and high net worth individuals on their investment, capital raising, performance improvement, restructuring and strategy.
Hammad is a CFA charter holder from the CFA Institute USA, an ACCA from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of the UK, and ACA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.
A key player in the strategic management of the Group’s core operational functions, Salah Sharif, Chief Operating Officer, is also responsible for ensuring the highest standards of operational excellence across the Group’s Special Purpose Vehicles and project companies. He has more than 30 years of regional and international exposure to conventional and Islamic banking and finance with experience across commercial and wholesale banking and in industrial and infrastructure advisory sectors. In addition to his executive role at the Group, Salah also serves on a number of investee company boards. He is the Chairman of Falcon Cement Company, Vice Chairman of GFH Properties and Vice Chairman of Gulf Holding Company, and a Board Member of Khaleeji Commercial Bank.
Prior to his current role in GFH, Salah was seconded as the CEO of Cemena Holding Company (CHC), an industrial subsidiary of the Group, which is one of the largest cement holding companies in the MENA region. Previously, he held a number of senior roles in leading, global financial institutions, including American Express and Standard Chartered Bank where he held key executive positions.
Salah holds an MBA from the University of South Wales, UK.