Dubai: Bank of America hired Abdulaziz Behery to lead its investment bank in Saudi Arabia and bolstered its Middle East equities business amid a continuing surge in regional deal activity.
Behery is joining from HSBC Holdings and will also be a managing director at BofA, while former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Bahaa Al Bustami has been named a vice president in equities sales, according to people familiar with the matter.
Both started in their roles this month, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private. Behery worked at Saudi Arabia’s SNB Capital before moving to HSBC at the end of 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile. He will report to Andree Chakhtoura, head of MENA investment banking. Al Bustami was at JPMorgan for over seven years.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among a handful of countries where investment banking activity has picked up pace. BofA is involved in transactions including on an Omani firm’s gas pipeline IPO and on Dubai transport authority’s plans to list its taxi business.
BofA earlier this year named Rehaan Khan head of equities for the Middle East and North Africa and moved him to Dubai from London, the people said. The bank’s regional head of fixed income, Mohamed Farsi, is also based in the financial hub.
The bulk of BofA’s emerging markets research team - headed by Cesar Tiron - is now also located in Dubai, the Middle East’s biggest financial hub, the people said. The recent hires and moves are part of a broader strategic push by Arshad Ghafur, the bank’s Middle East and North Africa president, to expand its regional franchise.
A spokesman for the bank declined to comment.
In 2022, BofA hired a new chief for its Saudi franchise from Standard Chartered, underlining the competition for banking talent in the kingdom.