Abu Dhabi’s largest bank FAB hires ABN Amro’s Lars Kramer as CFO

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First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC hired Lars Kramer from ABN Amro Bank NV as its chief financial officer, replacing James Burdett who is retiring after eight years with the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender.

Kramer will join FAB — as the bank is known — on May 1 after leaving his role as finance chief with Netherlands-based ABN Amro at the end of April.

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Karim Karoui, group head of mergers and acquisitions, will serve as interim CFO until then, the UAE bank said after reporting a 7 percent jump in full-year profit.

Kramer joined ABN Amro in 2021 and was key to efforts to convince shareholders the bank could return excess capital via dividends and buybacks. He was previously group CFO at Hellenic Bank, and worked at ING for almost 20 years, where he was CFO for ING Direct, ING Retail Banking Direct and International, and ING Commercial Bank.

FAB has embarked on a broad management overhaul since Hana Al Rostamani took over as group chief executive officer in January 2021. It has led to the departures of several executives in the lender’s private and investment banking divisions.

Shares in FAB dropped as much as 3.6 percent to the lowest level since May 2021, valuing the bank at about $45 billion.

FAB has grown into one of the Middle East’s largest bank by assets since it was created through a merger about six years ago. Earlier this month, the bank said it had explored a bid for Standard Chartered Plc, but that it’s no longer considering an offer for the London-based lender.

Its exploration of such a deal showcases Abu Dhabi’s aspirations to play a bigger role on the international stage and would have marked a turning point in Al Rostamani’s two-year reign.

On Thursday, FAB said profit rose after its “core businesses sustained positive momentum,” resulting in double-digit growth in loans and deposits. Income rose 10 percent, boosted by a 23 percent growth in net interest income and gain on the sale of majority stake in payments business Magnati.

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