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Andrew Ball

Andrew Ball

Chief Executive Officer

Profile and experience

Andrew has more than 30 years of global experience in the Financial Services sector, specialising in Private and Retail Banking services. In 2020 Andrew stepped into the role of CEO. Having worked at BLME as Head of Wealth Management and Head of Business since 2015, he is uniquely placed to lead the Bank as it continues to sharpen its focus on wealth management and real estate as its core offerings. Andrew’s motive continues to be creating the best possible outcome for clients. He believes success is achieved through focusing on the Bank’s values, maintaining good governance and continuing to grow positive culture. In doing so, the BLME team remain empowered to provide exceptional expertise and service to our valued clients.

Previous appointments 

Before joining BLME in 2015, Andrew was Head of Strategy and Head of Retail Banking at International Bank of Qatar (IBQ). He began his career with Lloyds Bank in 1989, working onshore in the branch network as well as in the Offshore Banking Group in the Channel Islands before moving to Citibank International PLC where he held several roles including Head of Sales and Distribution. In 2004 Andrew joined National Bank of Kuwait as Head of Affluent Sales, after which he worked at al khaliji where he held several senior positions including Group Head of Consumer Banking and Head of Premium and Business Banking.

Chris Power

Chris Power

Chief Financial Officer

Profile and experience

Chris has more than 35 years of global experience in Banking and Financial Services, specialising in Financial Control, Operations, Internal Audit and Risk. In January 2020 Chris was promoted to Chief Finance Officer and Chief Operating Officer having worked at BLME since September 2015. Chris is also a member of the Board of Directors of Walbrook Asset Finance Limited. Chris was an integral leader in BLME’s strategy refresh in 2016 and driving the related projects to turn the Bank around into a consistently profitable organisation. Chris was also instrumental in the planning and execution of the Group’s share buy-back program in 2018 and the delivery of the acquisition by Boubyan Bank in February 2020. Chris is a graduate of the London School of Economics, qualified as a chartered accountant in 1986, is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and holds an MBA.

Previous appointments

Before joining BLME in 2015, Chris was Group Finance Director of the Board of CLS Group Holdings AG (“CLS”), the world’s foreign exchange settlement utility. He began his career with Deloitte in London before moving to Hong Kong and progressing to Senior Manager and heading up the Hong Kong Banking and Securities Group. Chris joined the ABN AMRO Banking Group in 1994, where he held various senior control, compliance and finance positions whilst working in Hong Kong, Thailand and Brazil. This culminated in Chris heading up the control function for South America and joining ABN AMRO’s Executive Group as a Corporate Executive Vice President, prior to joining CLS in 2008 as Chief Financial Officer and then being promoted to the main Board.

Tracey Carlton

Tracey Carlton

Director, Human Resources and Corporate Communications

Profile and experience

Tracey is a HR specialist with a passion for people and for achieving business results through an engaged workforce. In her role she is responsible for creating and leading on employee engagement and development programs, implementing reward and talent management strategies, and reinforcing a strong company culture. Tracey also leads our corporate communications, ensuring internal and external audiences are kept updated on the Bank’s work.

In addition to her role at BLME, Tracey holds a voluntary position as Chair of the People Platform for the Association of Foreign Banks and is a member of the CIPD. She holds a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts from the Queensland University of Technology, and a Masters in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern Queensland.

Previous appointments

Tracey previously worked in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates where she focused her career on a broad range of human resource functions in the education, hotel, and aviation industries. After 13 years in Dubai with Emirates Airline, Tracey relocated to London in 2012. After taking time off following the birth of her daughter, she moved into the Banking and Financial Services industry and enjoyed HR roles at both Capital Group (Asset Management) and Lazard (M & A Advisory) before joining BLME as the Head of HR.

Mark Lynch

Mark Lynch

Head of Treasury and Change Management

Profile and experience

With more than 30 years’ experience in the banking sector, Mark has a comprehensive understanding of financial markets having spent his career entirely within a Treasury environment, across both conventional and Islamic banking models.

Mark holds two key roles at BLME, serving as Head of Treasury, and Head of Change Management. His Treasury responsibilities include the management of the Bank’s liquidity, formulating key aspects of the Bank’s Policies, and liaising closely with external bodies, banks and regulators in order to keep pace with a rapidly developing regulatory landscape.

Previous appointments

Mark began his career in banking at The Royal Bank of Scotland, working in Treasury Support Services. He joined Banque Internationale A Luxembourg (BIL) in 1989, starting as a trainee dealer, working his way up through the Treasury team. He also played a key role in the transformation of BIL to Dexia Bank London when Dexia acquired BIL in 1999, reaching the position of Assistant Director. He joined BLME in 2007 as an Assistant Director, before being appointed as a Director and Head of Treasury a year later.

Gareth Howells

Gareth Howells

Chief Risk and Compliance Officer

Profile and experience

 Gareth has over 30 years’ experience working in banking and finance, having held senior roles across Risk and Compliance. Extensive time spent in both larger and smaller organisations have provided a valuable insight into the effective management of risk, whilst always remaining focused on fair outcomes for customers through good conduct. Gareth holds a First Class Degree in Banking, is professionally qualified up to Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB) and is approved by the UK Regulators under the Senior Manager Regime. He provides volunteer mentorship through Future Frontiers, helping pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds fulfil their potential at school and in the workplace.

Previous appointments

 Prior to joining BLME in January 2020, Gareth held the Chief Risk Officer role with Qatar Islamic Bank and was Executive Director on the Bank’s Board for just over 4 years. During his 12 years with Royal Bank of Scotland, he held various senior Risk roles, including COO, Head of Risk Transformation, Head of Credit Policy and Senior Credit Management within the Corporate & Institutional Banking, Investment Banking and Distressed Debt Divisions. Gareth began his career gaining a good grounding of Banking with various appointments in Barclays Bank, then Close Brothers Merchant Bank whilst studying for his Banking Degree.

Julie Yim

Julie Yim

Head of Treasury Sales

Profile and experience

Julie has over 30 years of global finance and banking experience having worked variously in London, New York and Singapore. She is a Sales specialist in Financial Markets and previously held senior roles at Credit Suisse, Westdeutsche Landesbank and Standard Chartered Bank. In her role as Head of Treasury Sales, she is responsible for managing wholesale relationships with banks and financial institutions and developing business across Rates and Foreign Exchange products. She has helped to spearhead BLME’s focus in gathering deposits from the retail savings market and significantly develop the Bank’s funding capabilities from this sector whilst providing excellent customer service.

Her expertise has helped to manage the risks within Treasury, whether rates or FX related. Her wealth of knowledge across banking also helps across a spectrum of other disciplines, such as back and middle office as well as compliance.

Julie is committed to the Bank’s PROUD values and creating a strong positive culture. She is an advocate of community giving to bring about sustainable improvement to the lives of others. A member of the BLME team for over ten years, Julie played an active role in helping to develop the Bank’s employee recognition programme. She is a graduate of UMIST - University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Previous appointments

Julie began her career in London at HSBC before moving to New York, where she held posts at HSBC/Midland and (CS) First Boston, covering hedge funds and real money clients. She moved back to London to join Credit Suisse, and spent eight years at Westdeutsche Landesbank in both London and Singapore heading up the local Margin Trading desk. Latterly, she was Executive Director and Head of Financial Institutions Sales at the bank, before moving to Standard Chartered to become Head of Banks Sales and eSales. She joined BLME as Head of Treasury Sales in 2010.

Simon Ratcliff

Simon Ratcliff

Head of Operations

Profile and experience

 Simon has worked in Banking for almost 35 years, with the past 13 years in Islamic Banking. A member of BLME’s leadership team, Simon has overseen the delivery of all the banking products offered by BLME, including our financing transactions for Corporate customers, mortgages, debit cards for Wealth Management clients, and our Savings accounts. He is interested in developing the operational side of new products to provide an enhanced service to our customers.

Simon holds certifications in Banking, Business Calculations and Business Communications from the Chartered Institute of Bankers. A respected leader within the business, Simon champions dedication, delivery, and attention to detail from his team; and most importantly always ‘doing the right thing’ by our customers.

Previous appointments

Prior to joining BLME, Simon held roles at National Westminster Bank PLC and Saudi International Bank. In 1997 Simon joined United Bank of Kuwait PLC (Ahli United Bank (UK) PLC) to lead their Trade Finance Operations team, he then joined Sabanci Bank PLC in 2007 to lead a new team in their Corporate and Institutional and Treasury Support area.

Falguni Raichura

Falguni Raichura

Head of Group Finance

Profile and experience

Falguni has more than 20 years of experience in the Financial Services sector, specialising in Financial Control and Financial Reporting. As our Head of Group Finance, Falguni oversees the delivery of all financial reporting requirements. She has been involved in a number of key strategic outcomes for the Bank such as the project to separate the leasing and asset finance business into Walbrook Asset Finance, and most recently the acquisition of BLME by Boubyan. Passionate about the Bank’s PROUD values, Falguni champions collaboration, mutual support and honest communication.

Falguni qualified as a chartered accountant in 2002 and is a Fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Previous appointments

Before joining BLME in 2008, Falguni was Finance Manager at Heritable Bank, where she was responsible for management accounting, group reporting, external financial reporting, regulatory reporting and assisting with corporation tax computations. She began her accounting career with IKEA in 1992 before moving on to a variety of financial roles prior to specialising in the banking sector including holding senior finance roles at Arab Banking Corporation and Toronto Dominion Bank.

Mona Mohtasseb

Mona Mohtasseb

Head of Wealth Management

Profile and experience

Mona brings over 25 years’ experience in the investment and private banking industry, having held roles across trading and private banking. She has a deep knowledge of the GCC and has worked extensively with UHNW families and Institutional clients in the region. As Head of Wealth Management at BLME, Mona is responsible for investments and sales across the Middle East, establishing the Bank’s investment platform. She is also revamping the Bank’s onboarding process, and heads up recruitment of BLME’s bankers. Born and brought up in Kuwait and fluent in Arabic, English and French, Mona is passionate about building solid relationships and delivering through collaboration and teamwork. She will be at the forefront of positioning BLME as one of the foremost providers of Sharia investment products in the GCC.
Mona holds a Bachelor‘s degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut. She also holds the Private Client Investment Advice and Management (PCIAM)with a Merit, and Series 3 and 7 of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).


Previous appointments

Before joining BLME in 2021, Mona was Executive Director at the Bank of Singapore. She was appointed to set up the Middle Eastern desk in London, serving ultra-high net worth GCC clients. Prior to that, she was a Director and Senior Private Banker, MENA Region, at Barclays Wealth Management for 11 years. She was also Citigroup’s Team Head for Kuwait in London and Senior Vice President, Investments at Prudential Bache Securities in Paris and London.

Andrew Thomson

Andrew Thomson

Head of Real Estate

Profile and Experience

Andy has 25 years of experience in real estate finance having worked in investment banking, corporate banking, real estate advisory and challenger bank businesses.  He has held senior banking roles in origination, credit, restructuring and portfolio management.  Andy leads a highly experienced team of real estate finance bankers and is passionate about building strong client relationships and delivering innovative, ethical and competitive debt solutions to clients from the GCC region and the U.K. who invest in and develop residential and commercial property.

Andy is graduate of the University of Glasgow and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland.

 

Previous Appointments 

Prior to joining BLME in 2021, Andy was Head of Real Estate Finance at Secure Trust Bank plc.  He began his career with Bank of Scotland in 1990, where he worked in roles within Corporate Banking, Treasury and Real Estate Joint Ventures and then worked in RBS focussing on high value complex real estate transactions.  Andy also worked with Pepper Financial Services within Commercial Loan Servicing and headed Avison Young’s Debt Advisory business, which included debt broking and providing real estate advice to public and private sector organisations.

Simon Gibbons

Simon Gibbons

Chief Operating Officer

Simon Gibbons as the new Chief Operating Officer here at BLME. With over three decades of C-level experience in banking and financial services, Simon’s previous positions include Regional Chief Operating Officer (Europe & Americas) at First Abu Dhabi Bank UK and Chief Financial Officer at International Bank of Qatar.

Simon returns to us here at BLME to spearhead our outsourcing & procurement functions, day-to-day operations, IT infrastructure, and facilities management.

Andrew Ball

Andrew Ball

Chief Executive Officer
Chris Power

Chris Power

Chief Financial Officer
Tracey Carlton

Tracey Carlton

Director, Human Resources and Corporate Communications
Mark Lynch

Mark Lynch

Head of Treasury and Change Management
Gareth Howells

Gareth Howells

Chief Risk and Compliance Officer
Julie Yim

Julie Yim

Head of Treasury Sales
Simon Ratcliff

Simon Ratcliff

Head of Operations
Falguni Raichura

Falguni Raichura

Head of Group Finance
Mona Mohtasseb

Mona Mohtasseb

Head of Wealth Management
Andrew Thomson

Andrew Thomson

Head of Real Estate
Simon Gibbons

Simon Gibbons

Chief Operating Officer

Awards

2021

Best Fixed Account Provider by Moneyfacts Awards

2021

Best Savings Bank Provider by Moneyfacts Awards

2021

Best Savings Provider by Savings Champion

2019

Best Islamic Bank in the UK by World Finance

2019

Best Islamic Bank in the UK by Islamic Finance News