Once the regional hub became operational, staff quickly became aware of the need to offer a wide range of products to clients. When, in 2001, the Bank focused on significant investment in its operations in the Arab peninsula, it opted for a coherent, regionally- based organisation with a single management approach, grouping together all support functions at the hub. Since those early days, employees in the region who hailed from over 20 different countries have been developing a team mentality, with each individual recognising and appreciating the mutual benefit of sharing resources and information. We re investing our joint efforts, we re making optimal use of our resources and we re trying to maximise our profitability, said Jean-Christophe Durand at the project s inception back in 2001. Colleagues in France shared this same sense of team spirit the specialised teams in Paris often needed to respond quickly to push through complex deals.
Regional head office moves to Bahrain Financial Harbour
In November 2008, the regional head office moved to Bahrain Financial Harbour, from United Gulf Bank (UGB) Tower, another milestone for the Bank s Gulf division. Increased business throughout the region required the move and saw the regional headquarters put its roots down in a location which symbolised, both in its name and its vibrant architecture, the ambitions and new ways of working which the BNP Paribas regional strategy has come to represent.
Both the Bank s regional head office and the full commercial branch moved into the building, making BNP Paribas its largest tenant, with the Bank occupying six floors of the West Tower.
The inauguration of this impressive new base of operations was attended by H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain and Jean-Jacques Santini, Global Head of BNP Paribas International Retail Services Emerging Markets, alongside a number of other guests of honour.
On this occasion, Jean-Christophe Durand explained where the region fitted into group strategy. Our growth ambitions in the region started with the creation of the BNP Paribas GCC regional hub in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 2001, he said. Since then, the Bank has registered well-sustained revenue growth and its total number of employees in Bahrain has tripled. This increase is linked to our geographic expansion in the region and the relocation of several business line specialists from Head Office to Bahrain. The successful development highlighted the GCC region on the BNP Paribas worldwide map, showing it among the strategic regions for the Group.
In his speech, the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, underlined this vision. This occasion reflects the importance that BNP Paribas places on the development of its business in the Gulf region and an acknowledgement of
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