Former National Australia Bank executive Ahmed Fahour is aiming to build the world’s first global Islamic investment bank following his appointment to the Middle Eastern bank Gulf Finance House.

The Lebanese-born Australian will take charge of the Bahrain-based bank next month, looking to offer oil rich Gulf states with investment opportunities ranging from infrastructure and specialist investment products that comply with Islamic rules.

Mr Fahour said the role gave him the chance to link banker skills developed here and in the US with opportunities in the fast-growing economies of the Middle East and Asia.

“I’m someone who has spent all their life in the West. It’s a chance for me to go back to the region where I was born and familiarise myself with the culture of the area,” Mr Fahour said yesterday.

“I’m in a unique position to create some value.”



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