Al Rajhi appoints Arsalaan as new CEO


AL RAJHI Banking and Investment Corp (M) Bhd (Al Rajhi Malaysia) has appointed Arsalaan Ahmed (picture) as its new CEO, succeeding Steve Chen Thien Yin who left the Islamic bank in November last year.

In a statement yesterday, Al Rajhi Malaysia said the appointment of the former HSBC Amanah Bhd CEO took effect immediately, after it received approval by Bank Negara Malaysia.

“Arsalaan—a distinguished and well-known thought leader in the Islamic banking and finance industry — brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in retail, corporate, as well as investment banking and markets from over 15 years of banking career,” the statement read.

It was previously reported that Chen departed the wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia-based Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp SJSC based on a mutual decision before completing his contract in November last year to pursue other interests.

Al Rajhi Malaysia said since then, COO Zarir Mohd Rawi has been the acting CEO to oversee the day- to-day management of the bank.

Prior to joining Al Rajhi Malaysia, Chen held senior positions at Hong Leong Bank Bhd, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland plc and Standard Chartered Bank.

Moving forward, Al Rajhi Malaysia hopes the appointment will help the bank grow further in the Islamic banking market.

Arsalaan was awarded the global industry award for Islamic Banker of the Year in 2018 from The Asset.

Arsalaan joined HSBC Amanah Bhd in October 2016 as its CEO. Prior to that, he held senior positions in banks across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Among others, he helmed the head of capital financing and financial institutions of Qatar’s Barwa Bank where he led the development of the Islamic debt capital market and wholesale banking platform.

“With Arsalaan’s appointment, Al Rajhi Bank hopes to provide renewed leadership to successfully implement its strategy and tap on market opportunities to grow its

Islamic banking business in Malaysia, leveraging its strength as one of the largest banks in the world,” the bank said.

Al Rajhi Malaysia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Al Rajhi Bank — the world’s largest Islamic lender by assets — is one of two stand-alone foreign Islamic banks in the country, the other being Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd.

Last November, the bank called off a planned merger with Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF).

Its parent company said, given that no agreement had been reached, it decided to end the negotiations with MIDF. The two parties had been negotiating a merger since January 2019.