Hussain al-Qemzi, Noor Islamic Bank chief executive, tells Reuters Islamic Finance summit that Islamic banks are now part and parcel of the global banking industry. Qemzi is seeking to expand his United Arab Emirates-based bank to become the world’s largest Islamic bank in five years.
Asif Mumtaz, regional head of HSBC’s Islamic finance arm HSBC Amanah, called for more innovation to move Islamic banking further towards the industry’s mainstream. Mumtaz told a Reuters Islamic Finance summit in Dubai that there remained plenty to do in the areas of regulation and human development.
Sudden cancellations of speaking engagements by CEOs can often raise red or other kinds of flags for investors. In the good times it may mean there is a big deal in the offing, perhaps even a takeover of the company. In the bad times, it may mean that the executive is about to be canned. Last week’s decision by Chuck Prince to cancel a speech he was due to give to the U.S.-Japan Business Conference on Sunday was seen by many as additional confirmation that he was on the way out as Citigroup’s CEO.
Tanya Azarchs, managing director at Standard & Poor’s Financial Services Group, is mostly sanguine on U.S. banks and brokers from a credit standpoint. She told the Reuters Finance Summit that their ratings are expected to hold at current levels through the worsening downturn in the credit cycle.
Sovereign Bancorp CEO Joseph Campanelli says he’s in no hurry to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Jay Sidhu, who transformed what was once a $400 million Pennsylvania thrift into a regional bank with $82 billion in assets and branches stretching from Maryland to Boston. Sidhu’s acquisition binge did little for the bank’s share price and he was forced to resign in October 2006.
Jeffrey Werbalowsky, co-CEO of middle market investment bank Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, admits to indulging in a touch of schadenfreude at the recent woes of his much larger rivals who coined money during the M&A boom. But the gains from the credit crunch for Houlihan are more than psychological.
Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert Kelly is guardedly optimistic about the credit crunch which big banks like Citigroup and Merrill Lynch have been struggling with in recent weeks. But he admits that the markets are going through a tense moment.
Todd Thomson, the former CFO and head of wealth management at Citigroup, said his relationship with the Money Honey?, CNBCs news anchor Maria Bartiromo, was not only entirely appropriate but had been a terrific asset? to his business at Citi.
When Todd Thomson, Citigroup‘s former head of wealth management, lost his job earlier this year, there were reports that he was being punished for lavish spending. Offered as evidence by his detractors was an office — which some wags dubbed the Todd Mahal — reportedly featuring a wood-burning fireplace and a fishtank.