Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has hired former Citigroup Inc. and Natixis SA bankers to key positions in recent months, joining peers who’ve added staff amid an uptick in dealmaking activity across the oil-rich Middle East.
Abu Dhabi’s second-largest lender, backed by sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co., appointed Sami Tabbarah as head of investment banking in May. Tabbarah previously spent more than three decades at Citi, according to his LinkedIn profile.
ADCB has also hired Ehsun Zaidi, who spent over a decade at Natixis and five years at JP Morgan Chase & Co. in the UAE, according to people familiar with the matter. And Levente Sidlovits is joining from Dubai rival Emirates NBD Bank PJSC as head of portfolio strategy management, the people said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public.
A representative for ADCB declined to comment.
While global investment banks have been shedding jobs amid a chill in dealmaking activity, the Mideast has been more resilient, prompting regional players to add staff. Shuaa Capital PSC hired former Credit Suisse Managing Director Wafik Ben Mansour in May to lead its investment bank franchise.
ADCB is one of the top bond and loan arrangers in the Gulf, vying with regional and international banks for a bigger share of the market. In Turkey, ADCB and ENBD have been increasing loans to local counterparts, filling a gap left by Western lenders who’ve retreated from the country over regulatory concerns.
ADCB has also advised on a number of recent IPOs including Adnoc Gas, Al Ansari and Adnoc L&S.