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Last updated: April 10, 2013 4:12 pm
Michael Katounas has been appointed by QInvest, the Qatari government-backed investment bank, from Credit Suisse to head its investment banking team as the bank beefs up on staff to take on international lenders.
Mr Katounas is the latest high-level hire for the local bank that has been getting mandates from Qatar government-linked entities which have been driving much of the regional outbound merger and acquisitions activity.
Qatar’s government has a longstanding relationship with Credit Suisse, in which it holds a 6.2 per cent stake and with which it also runs an asset management joint venture in Doha.
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Mr Katounas worked for more than eight years in the investment banking department of Credit Suisse.
Earlier this year, QInvest hired Tamim Al-Kuwari, formerly head of Goldman Sachs in Qatar, to head the bank.
Sammy Kayello was appointed chief executive and chairman of Morgan Stanley’s Middle East and North Africa business in Dubai, replacing Kamal Jabre who is moving to London for an investment banking role.
Mr Kayello – a Morgan Stanley veteran – has been with the US bank for over two decades and has been based in Dubai since the heady days of 2006. In his previous role, he oversaw trading and sales.
Mr Jabre, who had only been the region’s chief executive since 2011, will become deputy head of the lender’s investment banking business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Morgan Stanley, like other global investment banks, has been shedding staff in its Dubai office as part of worldwide measures to cut costs. While there has been some pick-up in deal flow in the Gulf, the volumes remain well below their pre-crisis levels.
Alex Thursby was appointed group chief executive at National Bank of Abu Dhabi , replacing veteran banker Michael Tomalin, who has announced his retirement.
Mr Tomalin served for 14 years at the government-backed bank – which remains at the heart of the emirate’s economy – and will stay on as non-executive director.
Mr Thursby will join from Australia’s ANZ, where he was chief executive of the international and institutional banking division and oversaw the lender’s push into Asia.
Mr Thursby was viewed as a key player in the bank’s successful regional expansion and as a potential future head of the company.
Christopher R.J. Knable has been appointed chief operating officer of Qatar government-owned Katara Hospitality. He joins from Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Hotel Investments, where he managed a large portfolio of hotels.
Katara oversees 26 operational or under-construction hotels including Raffles Singapore, Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris, Schweizerhof Bern and the Royal Savoy Lausanne.
In 2006, Renaissance Sharm El Sheikh Golden View Beach Resort was its first international venture. The company has said it hopes to own or manage over 30 hotels and resorts by 2016, adding 30 more over the following decade.
Katara is central to the country’s plans to diversify the economy away from oil and has been snapping up flagship properties across Europe and Asia.
Oliver Klaus has been hired as editorial director by Gulf Intelligence, a start-up for conferences and research on the Gulf set up by Sean Evers, former bureau chief of Bloomberg News in the region.
The company has held high-profile events on oil and gas and food security across the Middle East.
Mr Klaus joins from German engineering firm Siemens, where he headed media relations for the Middle East. The move signals a return to writing for Mr Klaus, who used to head the Dow Jones news bureau in Dubai.
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