Bahrain-based GFH Financial Group has appointed a former French bank executive as its new CEO to lead its operations in the United Kingdom (UK).

The appointment of Tariq Al Samahiji which took effect on September 26 is part of the company’s strategy to expand its presence in international markets, the company told the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on which its shares trade.

“Al Samahiji will be responsible for driving further expansion of GFH’s international presence. He brings to the role more than two decades of experience in the global banking sector across asset management, capital markets, Islamic finance and credit,” the bourse filing said.

Prior to his appointment, Al Samahiji was the CEO of BNP Paribas Najmah, a dedicated Islamic entity of French banking group BNP Paribas. He had also served as global head of BNP Paribas lslamic Finance and Investments.

GFH Financial Group had set up its representative office in the UK in April 2019.

Despite its exit from the European Union (EU), the UK has continued to attract interest from investors in the Gulf region.

Last December, GFH Financial Group acquired a majority stake in UK-based Roebuck Asset Management, which has managed assets with a total investment value exceeding £1.4 billion ($1.9 billion).

The UAE also announced this month it would invest £10 billion over the next few years in priority industries in the UK.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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