French corporate and investment banking company Natixis has expanded its operations into Saudi Arabia in order to mediate between international investors and regional borrowers who want to focus on more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of doing business.
While the company has had a presence in the Middle East for over 20 years, it was awarded a license to operate in the Kingdom by the Capital Market Authority in May this year.
Barbara Riccardi, the company’s regional head in the Middle East, said it was an obvious move as the Kingdom is “one of the largest contributors” to the region’s economy.
Ammar Bukhamsin, the company’s newly appointed CEO for Saudi Arabia, said its expansion aims “to further grow this franchise and bring our expertise and our market-leading solutions closer to our clients and support the needs of borrowers and Islamic investors.”
Headquartered in Paris, where 196 countries signed a ground-breaking climate change agreement in 2015, Natixis has a strong focus on green, sustainable projects and financing.
Riccardi said: “We’re all in toward supporting the country’s development into a more green, sustainable future, which is particularly key in Saudi’s Vision 2030.”
She added that the Kingdom is already making progress as part of its drive to diversify its economy away from a reliance on hydrocarbons. Bukhamsin said: “We’re very keen to bring our global and market expertise, which I think are directly linked to all these diversification ambitions that the country has.”
He took up his post at Natixis in Saudi Arabia in November, having worked in the finance sector for more than 16 years. His career started in 2004 at Citi, before moving to UBS in London in 2010 and Goldman Sachs in Dubai in 2013.
In 2015 Bukhamsin joined Natixis, and was appointed head of global markets sales for the Middle East in 2019.