At the Annual General Meeting held today March 24th of Securities & Investment Company (SICO), the Bahrain-based regional investment bank; the board and shareholders approved the appointment of Najla M. Al Shirawi as the Bank’s new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Anthony Mallis, who is retiring at the end of March.
Congratulating Mrs Al Shirawi, SICO’s Chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, highlighted Najla’s successful 16-year career with SICO. An engineer by education, Najla joined the Bank in 1997, and has held various posts including Head of Asset Management and subsequently Investments & Treasury, before being appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2006. In June 2013, she was promoted to Deputy Chief Executive Officer. “The Board has every confidence in Najla’s ability to lead the Bank in implementing the next phase of SICO’s strategic evolution,” Sheikh Abdulla stressed.
Commenting on her appointment, Mrs Al Shirawi stated: “This is a great honour, and highly appreciative of the trust placed in me by the board of directors. As a team, we are committed to build upon the excellent groundwork which has been undertaken over the past years. I see myself and my team further growing and developing SICO’s unique capabilities and leadership in the growing GCC economies, while continuing to enhance our Bank’s value to all our stakeholders. What makes me particularly fortunate is the backing of a very capable and highly experienced management team.”
The Chairman paid tribute to the ”enormous contribution” by the outgoing CEO, Anthony Mallis. “Since joining in December 2000, Tony has spearheaded the transformation of SICO from essentially a brokerage house to a greatly-respected regional investment bank,” Sheikh Abdulla pointed out. “Working closely with the directors and management, he has guided the expansion of the Bank’s business activities and support infrastructure; and reinforced its reputation for the highest standards of governance and professionalism. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”
In his report to the shareholders, Sheikh Abdulla noted the Bank’s very strong financial performance in 2013. “Net profit increased by 76 per cent to BD 5.1 million, the highest since 2007; while assets under management grew by 39 per cent to a record BD 317 million. All business lines recorded robust growth; and it is significant that fee and commission-based income now accounts for 50 per cent of total income.
The AGM was held at the Golden Tulip Hotel with a 98.07% quorum. Shareholders approved the chairman’s report on the Bank’s activities for 2013, as well as the external auditors’ report and audited financial results. Based on SICO’s 2013 financial results, and in accordance with the Bahrain Commercial Companies Law 2001, the amount of BD 542 thousand was transferred to the Bank’s Statutory Reserve. Shareholders in addition approved the board’s recommendations to transfer BD 542 thousand to the General Reserve; payment of a cash dividend of BD 3.2 million to shareholders, which represents 7.5 per cent of paid-up capital; directors’ remuneration of BD 120 thousand subject to approval by the Ministry of Commerce; and BD 30 thousand to be spent on supporting charitable, cultural and educational activities. Total shareholders’ equity after appropriation of the statutory reserve is BD 61.9 million compared with BD 57.3 million in 2012.