Ahmed Abdelaal is a true believer in the power of the people. Highly regarded as the leader of a revolutionary institution, he believes that the ability to innovate is based on the resilience of his colleagues and their desire to provide amazing experiences for a diverse customer base in such a diverse world. As an award-winning CEO, he truly understands the global economy especially the application of technology in solving financial inclusion issues globally.
Ahmed’s background, like his career, has had an international outlook. He gained his business education in reputable schools across three continents, Cairo University in Egypt, London Business School in England and Harvard University in the United States. He has similarly held management positions in international financial institutions including American Express and HSBC. Ahmed currently serves as the Group CEO of Mashreq, one of the oldest yet innovative banks in the world.
As the Group CEO, Ahmed has led sustainability efforts at Mashreq by reinforcing ESG certifications across business structures and operations. He is a staunch advocate of sustainable finance investments to support green and transition projects by all players in the finance industry. He believes that banks can participate in the Communication on Progress (COP) discussions and has in fact, been leading the way by investing billions of dollars in sustainable finance and environmental projects. He has committed Mashreq to the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals, a testament to his firm belief in sustainability.
With a proper understanding of the business, and by applying extensive knowledge to the world around him, Ahmed has led Mashreq to having a name synonymous with digitisation in the whole of the Middle East. His focus on digitisation, especially during and post-pandemic has made Mashreq “a digital disrupter and challenger bank” in such a way that the institution has been able to thrive regardless of global economic instability.
While developing one of the most innovative financial institutions in the globe, Ahmed Abdelaal is focused on having a well-defined customer experience. In his words, customer centricity has been the top priority for him as the Group CEO and he believes in selling experiences as opposed to products. His vision to deliver the best client experience and create new possibilities for their customer base in the Middle East has led to Mashreq’s status as an award-winning bank and market leader. Ahmed, however, often attributes the success of the organisation to its people. Mashreq’s success to him is “the accumulation of a thousand ideas and passions” and it is for this reason that creating avenues to find the right talent is a keen part of Ahmed’s legacy.
On a personal level, Ahmed likes to remind us that “challenges are just temporary obstacles” and by putting this into practice, Mashreq’s readiness to accept change and face various challenges, especially through innovation and expansion, has continuously ensured that it remains above its contemporaries. Ahmed has been awarded the Best Banking CEO in the Middle East by different organisations, and was listed among the top 50 CEOs in the Middle East by Forbes in 2022.