Atif Bokhari, one of the most senior bankers of Pakistan, is ready to take charge of NIB Bank as CEO and President from the first week of the next year. The official statement of the NIB Bank board of directed has appointed Atif Bokhari as new CEO and President whereas approval from the central bank is being awaited — a mere regulatory formality.
Bokhari had been CEO and President of UBL for past one decade since privatization of the bank. His initiatives at UBL resulted in the bank becoming one of the largest in Pakistan, with more than 1,300 branches. Under his leadership, UBL launched “UBL Omni”, the second branchless banking service in Pakistan which created its own distribution network without any collaboration with a telecom operator.
UBL Omni brought first GSMA Global Mobile Award in Pakistan’s history back in 2012 for “Best Use of Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations”. In addition, UBL established new businesses of insurance, Islamic banking, a Banking subsidiary in Tanzania and also acquired Khushhali Bank. The bank made tremendous strides and became a financial powerhouse as assets grew from Rs.225 billion to Rs.1,084 billion, deposits from Rs.199 billion to Rs.828 billion and the resulting profit before tax from Rs.4.5 billion to Rs.28.9 billion.
He remained the President & CEO UBL till May-end 2014.
Banking at NIB Bank is quite challenging as the company is considered as a mid-tier bank that has been struggling to maintain its annual profits of nearly a billion of rupees. Previously, it was led by Badar Kazmi, another senior banker, who resigned from the bank because of poor health.
However, the bank is technological sound with strong backing of Tamesek Holding who also owned a majority shareholding in Sing Tel, which previously held 30% stake in Pakistan’s Warid Telecom. NIB Bank was first to launch MasterCard Internet Gateway service but its branches network is limited to 171.
What made Bokhari switch banks? The further privatization of UBL? Or a definite incentive in terms of salary package? It will be quite surprising for banking industry.
Bokhari last drew Rs 138.368 million in 2013, with 7-8 million bonus along with shares whereas NIB Bank gave Rs 167.39 million annual salary to Badar Kazmi along with Rs 28 million allowances.
It will be a challenging job to drive NIB on the road to success in the cut throat competition environment of banking industry in Pakistan, but the expertise and experience Bokhari will bring speaks for itself. Let’s see if this is also reflected in the performance of Singaporean based bank in 2015.