Meet The Forbes Top 100 CEO and Pioneer Making Waves in the Finance and Banking Sector, Through Digital Transformation

Ahmed Abdelaal

In an ever-changing world of finance, with its many complexities and challenges, comes the need for global financial analysts who can make sense of the plethora of financial information and convert such key information to innovative solutions. Since 2019, Ahmed Abdelaal has been the Group Chief Executive Officer at Mashreq with its headquarters in the UAE. With over 25 years experience in the banking sector, Abdelaal is a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

In June 2022, as a keynote speaker at Mashreq's summit on the topic, "Importance of Green Finance, the Energy Industry, and Generation Green", Abdelaal gave a comprehensive presentation on the core issues affecting the Banking industry and the Energy industry. "Partnerships with policymakers have also become important, not only regionally but at a global level. This year's COP28 in the UAE will provide a new opportunity for governments as well as the public and private sectors to collaborate to streamline details on national and regional finance frameworks and work together to accelerate adoption of sustainable finance. This will help boost clarity, which is integral to strengthening investors' appetites and confidence."

In 2023, at Mashreq MEED Business Leaders forum on Economic Social and Governance's (ESG) Impact on Modern Supply Chains, he stated, "ESG risks and opportunities are fundamental to business success, and they play a crucial role in shaping businesses' commitment in protecting the planet and its people alongside their investors' interest."

He also firmly believes there's a paradigm shift in the way digitalisation and transformation are viewed, and that it's no longer about digitalisation strategy but having a strategy in the digital world. With his expertise in the banking profession, he recognises and employs strategic tools to invest in technology, transformation, and digitalisation. Abdelaal emphasises that digitalisation is a necessity; a hygiene factor which has shifted from being a luxury to an existential factor.

From 2016 to 2017, he was the regional Head of Corporate Clients Coverage MENAT, and the Head of Commercial Banking, UAE. He has been a major contributor to the growth and development in the banking industry in the United Arab Emirates and has witnessed many crucial events and innovations in the industry such as its ranking as number 1 in terms of best clients' experience in the UAE, delivery of best-in-class initiatives such as its global transaction platforms (Corporate level), Mashreq's Neo growth, NEOPAY which is a smart payment solution, among others, to promote growth and development in the banking industry and the economy at large. Under Ahmed Abdelaal's leadership in 2022, Mashreq has also been ranked as the fastest growing financial services brand in the Middle East by Brand Finance.

It was also the only bank in the region to sponsor Egypt's COP27 and aided more than $15.5 billion towards sustainable finance. For Ahmed Abdelaal, it's not just about selling products and services in the banking industry, but also about creating experiences that shape the way we think and guide us into a future of innovation.