Credit Suisse snaps up top Gulf private banker

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Credit Suisse may be losing investment bankers in the Middle East, but it’s succeeded in poaching a senior private banker in Bahrain.

Rabih Demashkieh is set to join Credit Suisse this month, as a director in its Bahraini private bank, having previously worked as a principal in the investment placement team of investment bank, Arcapita. He's held numerous senior Middle Eastern wealth management positions, including heading up both Société Générale’s business in Dubai and Banque Saudi Fransi’s private bank in Saudi Arabia.

Arcapita has been going through some tough times, having become the first Gulf bank to apply for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 rules in the US last year. In March, it was forced to ask legal permission to pay $10.2m to IPO professionals for the planned offering of its warehouse assets, Eurolog.

Recruitment sources suggest that Demashkieh had some other investment placement job offers on the table in Dubai, but accepted the Credit Suisse offer due to a desire to return to private banking and because his family is settled in Bahrain. The kingdom has struggled to attract and retain expat financial services professionals due to continued violent protests over the last two years.

Credit Suisse didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Demashkieh could not be reached for comment.

In recent months Credit Suisse has been more associated with losing key executives in the Middle East than hiring. This week, Michael Katounas, a director in its investment bank, joined QInvest to head up its investment banking function. Rami Touma, Credit Suisse’s head of Qatar investment banking, and Mumtaz Kazmi, head of its M&A business for the Middle East, have also resigned this year.

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