Hisham Ezz Al-Arab

Chairman and Managing Director, Commercial International Bank


Hisham Ezz Al-Arab has been chairman and managing director of CIB since 2002. He leads today a team of more than 6,450 professionals who have transformed the institution from a wholesale lender into Egypt’s largest private-sector bank, leading the sector on key metrics including revenue, profitability, net worth and market share of deposits. CIB serves more than one million customers, from individual customers to small-and medium-sized businesses and leading corporations, among them Egypt’s 500 largest companies.

The bank’s market capitalization has grown from EGP 1 billion at the beginning of Mr. Ezz Al-Arab’s term to EGP 961 billion, making its stock – a blue chip component of the Egyptian Exchange – the global investment community’s preferred proxy for Egypt and a benchmark for the banking industry in emerging markets.

Core to the bank’s success is its unique culture, which balances an entrepreneurial spirit that prizes innovation with a commitment to global best practices in both corporate governance and risk management. That culture, nurtured over more than 15 years, is the bank’s natural competitive advantage and led directly to the establishment of the first of its kind employee stock ownership program (ESOP) in 2006. Thus aligning the interest of employees to that of the shareholders. In 2010, Mr. Ezz Al-Arab brought to life the CIB Foundation, which is a leading Egyptian voice for universal access to quality healthcare extended to underprivileged children.

CIB was named Euromoney’s Best Bank in the Middle East and Best Bank in Global Emerging Markets for 2017 and was named African Banker’s 2016 Socially Responsible Bank of the Year. Mr. Ezz Al-Arab was recognized in 2016 by Euromoney for his “Outstanding Contribution to Financial Services in the Middle East” and was EMEA Finance’s “Best CEO in Egypt and Africa” at the magazine’s 2014 Banking Awards.

Under his leadership, CIB was named the “World’s Best Bank in the Emerging Markets” by Euromoney at the Global Awards for Excellence ceremony held in July 2017, thus becoming the first bank in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East to ever win this award.

Mr. Ezz Al-Arab leads the Federation of Egyptian Banks as chairman, is a member of the Institute of International Finance’s Emerging Markets Advisory Council, and serves as a director of MasterCard Middle East’s Regional Advisory Board. He is also the chairman of Board of Trustees of the CIB Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo, Egypt’s premier private university. He is also a non-executive Director of Ripplewood Advisors MENA Holdings and a non-executive Director of Fairfax Africa Board.

Mr. Ezz Al-Arab joined CIB from Deutsche Bank and previously served with both JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch in postings that took him to Bahrain, New York and Cairo. He holds a bachelor degree in Commerce from Cairo University.