CFI.co Meets the Chairman of Kuwait International Bank: Sheikh Mohammed Jarrah Al-Sabah

Chairman: Sheikh Mohammed Jarrah Al-Sabah

A seasoned veteran of the Banking industry, Sheikh Mohammed Jarrah Al-Sabah has served as Chairman of Kuwait International Bank (KIB) since 2010. Al-Jarrah joined the Bank’s Board of Directors in 2007, bringing extensive professional experience accumulated in the banking and financial sectors in Kuwait. His strong leadership and focused vision have proven to be a vital element driving the Bank’s continuous growth and success over the years, helping to position KIB at the forefront of the Islamic Banking sector not only in Kuwait, but across the region as well.

Al-Jarrah came on board at KIB during a pivotal moment in the Bank’s history, as it was making the transition from a conventional specialised real estate Bank, known then as Kuwait Real Estate Bank, to a full-service Bank operating in accordance with the principles of Islamic Sharia. Under his leadership, the newly invigorated KIB succeeded in achieving exponential growth across all areas, and in just a few short years, managed to cement its position as a key player in the Islamic Banking sector of Kuwait. In fact, it was only six years later that the Bank garnered its first award for Best Islamic Bank from World Finance – and that was only the first in a string of prestigious accolades for KIB and Al-Jarrah.

A Prominent Figure in the Arab Banking Industry

Over the years, Al-Jarrah has established himself as a key influential figure in the Arab Banking industry, earning a reputation for being a world-class leader and savvy financial strategist. In addition to his role at KIB, Al-Jarrah also serves as Chairman of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) and Board Member of the Kuwait Banking Association (KBA). Al-Jarrah is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences, and serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Warba Insurance Company.

In his role as Chairman of UAB, Al-Jarrah has focused his efforts on shedding light on the significant role that Arab Banks play in the international economic landscape, especially as global paradigms and balances of power continue to shift. Moreover, he has been an instrumental force in furthering UAB’s efforts to enhance the reputation of Arab Banks around the world, showcasing the industry’s strength and continued growth despite political and economic challenges facing the region.

As a keen advocate of joint Arab-International Banking cooperation, Al-Jarrah has always sought to promote greater collaboration and unity amongst financial institutions across the Middle East and the GCC in an effort to harness their combined resources and capabilities to drive sustainable social and economic development in the region. The UAB Chairman has frequently reiterated his belief that Arab Banks should unite and align their efforts to encourage more domestic investment within the Arab region. Intra-Arab trade, he believes, promotes greater collaboration to achieve development, stimulate more investment, and even attract foreign investment to the region. Al-Jarrah also supports public-private economic partnerships for accelerating national economic growth and ultimately achieving sustainable development in the country.

A Decorated and Distinguished Career

Sheikh Al-Jarrah has enjoyed a prolific professional career marked by numerous achievements and awards, during which he has held several key leadership positions with major market players in Kuwait, including: Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium, Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait Re-Insurance Company, Salhiya Real Estate Company, and Arab Insurance Group (ARIG).

Al-Jarrah’s efforts have won him many awards and recognitions from key regional and international bodies throughout his long and distinguished career, serving as testaments to his achievements and exceptional leadership. In 2013, Al-Jarrah received the Golden Medal Award of Merit from the Tatweej Academy for Excellence and Quality in the Arab Region. He was further recognised as GCC Chairman of the Year by World Finance, the premier London-based global Banking and finance journal, in 2015, and was also named Islamic Banking Chairman of the Year this year for the second time.


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