March 9 (Reuters) - Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME) on Wednesday appointed Jabra Ghandour as its new chief executive, as Britain’s largest stand-alone Islamic lender looks to expand its wealth management business.
Dubai-listed BLME, one of Britain’s five fully-fledged Islamic banks, completed a strategic review of its business last year, restructuring its corporate banking offering and aiming to increase its fee-based business.
Real estate financing solutions would remain a core product, while the bank is currently developing several new wealth management products, Ghandour told Reuters after his appointment, which will become effective March 25.
“BLME’s strong UK-Gulf links are a major competitive advantage and I plan to build on this further,” said Ghandour, who previously served as managing director and board member of the International Bank of Qatar.
Ghandour replaces interim CEO Michael Williams who will resume his role as non-executive director of BLME’s board.
BLME, founded in 2006 by Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank, held 1.3 billion pounds ($1.84 billion) worth of assets as of December. It posted an after-tax loss of 6.9 million pounds in 2015.
The bank currently has $152 million in assets under management and manages a range of Islamic funds, including the only sharia-compliant fixed income fund rated A by Moody’s Investors Service. ($1 = 0.7051 pounds) (Reporting by Bernardo Vizcaino; Editing by Stephen Coates)