John Iossifidis is the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) at Al Ghurair Investment, responsible for leading what is one of UAE’s largest diversified family businesses, comprising six distinct industry sectors and more than 28,000 people. Committed to driving transformational business change, John is mandated to deliver the next phase of the company’s growth journey, whilst preserving the core heritage values of the prestigious Al Ghurair family name.
Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, John served as Chief Executive Officer at Noor Bank from 2017-2020 and through instilling a culture of transparency and innovation, he successfully doubled shareholder value over a period of two years. Before this, John spent over eight years at Mashreq Bank, in a range of positions including Group Head & EVP Corporate and Investment Banking. Prior to moving to the UAE in the year 2000, John held a number of senior executive roles within international banks in Singapore, Sri Lanka and his native Australia. Throughout his career, John has built over thirty-five years of banking industry expertise, and has continuously been recognised for his purpose-led approach to doing business.
John holds an Executive MBA from Australia’s prestigious Monash University.
“My personal Purpose is to strive, every day, to have a positive impact on those around me – and to leave a meaningful legacy behind. As a leader, I am passionate about encouraging and inspiring others to innovate, embrace change and aspire for excellence.”
Arturo Lujan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ventures arm of Al Ghurair Investment. He is responsible for driving the transformation of the multi-diversified group of businesses, ranging from Automotive, Printing & Publishing, Exchange, Retail, Education, Shipping, Logistics, Travel, amongst others, while seeking to enhance stakeholder value, improve the engagement of our employees, uplift the community and create a positive social and environmental impact. Arturo also serves as Governor for Al Ghurair University and Dar Al Marefa International Baccalaureate School, both in Dubai.
With over 25 years of experience leading global companies, Arturo’s purpose-driven, and transformational leadership approach has enabled organisations to achieve exceptional financial results; while many becoming simultaneously ranked as Great Places to Work (GPTW). Prior to moving to the Middle East, Arturo held global leadership positions in Global Fortune 100 Companies and Private Equity Firms across Europe, USA and Latin America.
Arturo holds an MBA, with Honours, from the prestigious Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a BSE (Economics, Finance and Management), with Honours, from the Wharton School of Business, in addition to Advanced Management Programs from Harvard Business School.
Arturo is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt (MBB-CEO) and is recognised as the first CEO in Spain with the prestigious Marshal Goldsmith SLC for Leadership Development.
“My personal Purpose is to Enhance Life for our employees, customers and the communities that we serve, whilst building sustainable businesses to leave a better legacy for future generations. In this way, we achieve the dual impact of leading the business towards profitability, whilst actively serving as a force for good for our stakeholders.”
Badr Al Ghurair is the Chief Executive Officer of Al Ghurair CarsTaxi, one of the largest taxi fleets in the UAE. Through his visionary leadership, Badr is responsible for driving the strategic transformation of the business in line with evolving market trends and consumer demand. In his role, Badr oversees the ongoing operations of all divisions and drives the company toward its primary goals and objectives in contributing towards the future of mobility. In line with UAE Vision 2030 ‘green’ initiatives, CarsTaxi was the first taxi company in the UAE to incorporate hybrid taxis into their fleet.
Prior to his appointment of CEO, CarsTaxi, Badr held the position of CEO at Al Ghurair Construction. In this role he demonstrated sound leadership of managing the existing business portfolio, as well as growing the business’ presence across Saudi Arabia, India and Qatar. Before joining Al Ghurair in 2006, Badr held senior roles at Dubai Holding.
Badr holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Boston University, USA.
Debra Teles is the Group Vice President of People and Culture at Al Ghurair Investment where she is responsible for leading the Group’s transformational people agenda and programmes, through delivering an employer of choice experience to attract, develop and retain talent, thus enabling Al Ghurair Investment’s strategic objectives.
Described as a thought leader; Debra has a vast career spanning over 30 years in the Human Resources sector, globally. With a people-orientated approach to business, Debra has successfully led transformative human resource projects that have delivered enhanced business performance and contributed to organisational success across various industries including Real Estate, FMCG, Retail, Financial Services, Hospitality, Construction, Supply Chain and F&B in multiple geographies.
Debra is a Leadership graduate from the University of South Africa. Focused on enabling success today whilst building capabilities for tomorrow, Debra aims to deliver strategic value through enabling an agile and adaptive workforce which actively contributes to the success of Al Ghurair Investment.
“My personal purpose is, to make a significant difference in the lives of our people, our customers, shareholders and communities, enabling our people to be the best versions of themselves, every day.”
Divya Bathija is the Group Head of Enterprise Excellence at Al Ghurair Investment where she is responsible for delivering compelling customer experience and delivering next-generation operating models across our businesses. Thereby ensuring that AGI can sustain new levels of customer centricity, agility, efficiency, and capabilities, that continuously builds value.
A strategic and creative change leader, Divya has over 18 years of global experience in leading organisations in the financial services sector. With an approach that balances customer experience and the commercial agenda, she has been successful in transforming businesses during periods of growth, consolidation, and transformation.
As a highly specialised Transformation professional, Divya is known for leading and running cross-functional programs focused at improving business performance. Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, she held the position of Chief Client Officer at CyborgIntell, an Enterprise AI software company, where she was part of the founding team driving the vision and strategy of the organization, responsible for overall customer relationships and strategic technology partnerships.
Earlier roles included Director of Projects at RAKBank, where she spearheaded digital transformation initiatives which delivered best in class customer journeys, reduced operational cost, and increased revenue, while enabling digital ecosystems and modernising the enterprise architecture; and Vice President, Transformation Office at Mashreq Bank where Divya delivered end to end transformation across several corporate functions delivering customer centric growth and business impact.
Divya holds a post-graduate diploma in Business Administration, Banking and Marketing from Mount Carmel Institute of Management.
“My personal Purpose is to continuously strive to be the best version of myself in everything I do, and to encourage, engage and enable others to believe in a better tomorrow.”
Djamal is the Chief Executive Officer for Al Ghurair Resources Oils and Proteins (AGROP) and Al Ghurair Foods (AGF). Through his leadership, the businesses have transformed from small regional players, to become major supply chain solution providers of soft commodities such as flour, wheat, maize, barley and oil seeds, across markets in the GCC, South East Asia, and Africa. In 2020, AGROP marked a milestone year in its history, crushing more than 1 million tons of canola seeds in a single year.
During his time in this role, Djamal has been an active part of the US Wheat Association, International Association of Operative Miller, Global Grains Association, Grain and Feed Trade Association and US Soybean Export Council, committed to enhancing a food security and safety in the global food market.
Prior to becoming CEO, Djamal was Vice President of the company heading trading and procurement of Grains and Oilseed. In 2004, the Oil business was added, with the company then re-branding to become AGROP, as it is known today. Before joining Al Ghurair, Djamal held roles in commodity and currency trading and exchange across diverse industry sectors.
Djamal graduated from the School of Economics in Algeria with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Major in Management, and completed his Master’s Degree in Business Administration at San Diego State University, USA.
Emad Azizi is the General Manager at Al Ghurair Construction Readymix. As a key leader in Al Ghurair’s construction cluster, he is responsible for leading strategic operations of the Readymix business, ensuring rigorous quality control of all incoming raw materials, fresh concrete, and finished products.
Emad joined Al Ghurair Investment in 1996 as Production and Technical Manager for both Al Ghurair Construction Readymix and Al Ghurair Construction Masonry. Over the following decade, Emad progressed to hold the position of General Manager for both businesses in the UAE, with his remit expanded to include Qatar and Saudi Arabia in 2011. During his time at Al Ghurair Construction Readymix, Emad has led several flagship projects such as the supply of concrete to Jebel Ali Grains Silos and the Dubai Metro Rail Projects.
With more than two decades spent in the construction sector, Emad has built a wealth of experience across the GCC region, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Through his commitment to excellence and a dedication to professionalism, Emad has fostered industry partnerships based on integrity and reliability. Moreover, he is well known for his quality leadership and transformational approach to business strategy. Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, Emad was the Technical Sales Manager at Fosroc and Area Technical Manager at Saudi Readymix Concrete Company.
Emad holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Yarmouk University, Jordan.
“My personal Purpose is to stand up for what I believe in and to contribute positively to my community. I want to leave the world knowing that I made it a better place. Also, my purpose is to raise members of the family to be caring, passionate and independent members of society who will find success in their own way and with integrity”
Jacob John is the Chief Executive Officer of AG Engineering, AG Power, AG PCS Switchgear, AG Aluminium, AG Elevators & Metal Technology, a cluster of companies ranging from Construction to Manufacturing to Trading. In this role, Jacob is responsible for leading the different businesses and overseeing the complete operation in accordance with Al Ghurair Investments’ strategic plans. Jacob also serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of a JV between Al Ghurair and Hitachi, called HI-STAR Water Solutions that specialises in Water & Wastewater management services.
In pursuit of excellence, Jacob’s mission is to strategically build companies that offer reliable, sustainable, innovative engineering solutions to the infrastructure industry; maintaining the highest standards in Quality, Health, Safety, Wellbeing and Environment, whilst preserving the core values of the founding family.
With over thirty-five years of industry experience, Jacob was appointed at Al Ghurair Investment in early 2017, with a responsibility to develop the various business from the very grassroots. Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, Jacob worked for over 26 years with one of the largest construction conglomerates in the region called ETA. He held a range of senior positions including General Manager by 2004, Director by 2014 and eventually the Chief Operating Officer for its operations across MENA region. Before moving to the UAE in the year 1990, Jacob spent over five years working with several large corporations in India, undertaking large turnkey Industrial (Cement, Yarn & Steel) & High Voltage Power Station Construction projects.
Jacob graduated as an Electrical and Electronics Engineer from India and completed his “General Management Programme” at the prestigious Business School of “National University of Singapore”. He is also an “Accredited Tier Specialist” from the Uptime Institute, USA.
“My personal purpose is to encourage others to recognise their capability, transfigure their purpose into reality and to develop leadership skills at all levels.”
Lisa Nichols is the Chief Executive Officer at Al Ghurair Energy. Prior to this role, she was the Vice President of Finance for Al Ghurair Foods and Resources for four years, during which time, Lisa significantly contributed to the growth of the Foods and Resources business. Under her financial counsel, and with the transformative drive of the business’ leadership, the company became a leading player in soft commodities industries, such as flour, wheat, maize, barley and oil seeds, across markets in the GCC, South East Asia, and Africa.
Lisa has over 30 years of experience in senior roles in Finance and Strategy across the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Europe, the USA and Africa. During her career, she has built substantial capabilities in leading finance, strategy, audit and shared services teams. Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, Lisa held leadership roles in multinational food and drinks companies, the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry, and in a successful drone start-up business.
Lisa graduated from Oxford University with a BA in Mathematics and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Passionate about wellness, she is also a qualified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner.
“My personal purpose is to love life, so I aim to be kind to everyone and create an environment where people feel free to give their best, and enjoy the journey!”
Marinda Sheahan is the Group Vice President IT at Al Ghurair Investment. She is responsible for overseeing and developing the Group’s IT and digital strategy, modernising the technology stack and ensure the smooth operations of our IT ecosystem. In her role, Marinda brings her drive for transformation and innovation, along with her innate ability to build high performance teams, to enable the Group’s transformational journey.
With over 20 years of experience, Marinda is a seasoned IT professional with a wealth of experience in leading enterprise transformations and creating customer-led solutions; this includes experience in leading global companies and financial services organisations. She is passionate about transformation and leveraging innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Advanced analytics, IoT, Microservices, Cloud-native solutions, building modernised architectures, to enable companies to digitize services quickly to meet rising customer demands in an agile manner.
Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, Marinda led major IT transformation programs at Al Futtaim Group in Dubai to drive efficiencies and fuel business growth; before moving to Dubai she held executive roles in leading financial institutions in her native South Africa, including Deloitte Consulting, Standard Bank Group and Nedbank.
Marinda holds a degree in International Executive development, a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Business Leadership.
“My personal Purpose is to make a difference every day, and to help people realise their potential and believe in themselves.”
Michael Montgomery is the Group Chief Audit Executive, Group Chief Risk Officer, Group Chief Compliance Officer at Al Ghurair Investment. He is responsible for leading the organisation’s governance, risk and internal audit functions. In his role, Michael provides insight and strategic counsel into business risk, the regulatory landscape and opportunities to augment internal controls, to support the business’ overall objectives and performance.
Michael has over 30 years of internal audit, risk assurance and finance experience across both private and public sectors, as well as a broad range of international clients across Europe, USA, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Prior to leaving practice, Michael's professional career had been exclusively developed within three of the 'top five' global firms, following his qualification as a Chartered Accountant (ACA) during his time at PwC in the UK.
Michael has a proven track record of building teams that provide a tailored service to organisational stakeholders, driving business improvements through insightful governance, risk management and agile delivery. His approach and methodology comply with leading international standards of corporate governance, risk management and internal controls. Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, Michael was the Global Group Chief Audit Executive at Al Muhaidib Group in Saudi Arabia.
Michael holds a Bsc. Econ (Hons) Business Administration from the University of Wales. He also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy with Commendation from the University of Ulster. Michael is also a UK Chartered Accountant.
“My personal Purpose is to bring a professional focus on practical and proportionate Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Internal Control frameworks; good governance is good for business.”
Nabeel Waheed is Group Financial Officer at Al Ghurair Investment. As part of the executive management team, Nabeel is responsible for driving and advising long-term business strategy and financial planning for the Group. He is also responsible for leading the company’s financial functions including accounting, treasury and corporate finance. In his role, Nabeel has primary responsibility for all finance activities, as well as the Group’s banking relationships. He provides leadership and direction to finance teams throughout the Group, and provides strategic business and financial recommendations to the CEO and members of the executive management team.
Nabeel’s career spans more than 40 years, with extensive experience in financial management and business leadership across the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, he was the Head of Treasury and Capital Markets at Mashreq. Before that, he was with Bank of America where he assumed various roles in Relationship Management, Investment Banking, Capital Markets, and Treasury.
Nabeel is an established leader in the region and is well known for his transformational and innovative approach.
Nabeel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Syracuse University, New York.
“My personal Purpose is to continuously add value in all that I do, as well as to enable, empower and assist my colleagues in achieving their own personal Purpose.”
Samer Amro is Group Vice President - Legal at Al Ghurair Investment. He is responsible for overseeing the organisation’s legal and governance affairs. In his role, Samer provides advice and senior counsel across AGI’s diversified divisional structure on a variety of business aspects, including policy and contract, corporate finance, commercial transactions, organisational restructures, dispute resolution, and mergers and acquisitions.
With over 15 years of experience, Samer is a highly influential corporate lawyer with a proven track-record of advising regional investment banks, major groups and companies across the Middle East. Samer has significant corporate finance transaction expertise, with a specialised focus on private equity, mergers and acquisitions, funds and private placements, collective investment schemes, structured finance, and Islamic finance.
Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, Samer served as Group Chief Legal Officer with ETA, where he was responsible for establishing the company’s legal department. Before that, he was a National Partner AT Dechert LLP.
Samer holds a PhD in private law, specialising in civil and consumer law in France, from the University of Toulouse. He also holds a Master’s degree with Honours in Private Law from the University of Toulouse, and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Jordan.
“My personal Purpose is to motivate and empower my team to do their best every day: we succeed together.”
Stephen Rea is responsible for all procurement activities across the business, from demand management, supplier identification, contract negotiation to ongoing vendor management and evaluation. In his role, Stephen provides leadership, management and professional expertise to enable a Group Procurement function that ensures quality and cost-effective services are provided across AGI, delivering in accordance with the specific needs of each business.
With over 12 years of experience, Stephen began his career on a Graduate Leadership programme at Royal Bank of Scotland Group, previously one of the most reputed financial institutions in the UK, now part of NatWest Group. In his early career, he specialised in driving continuous improvement and Lean efficiency through high-profile change programmes, such as NatWest becoming the first UK lender to offer a fully paperless mortgage. Since joining AGI in 2015, Stephen has been instrumental in establishing the company’s first Group Lean function, driving business transformation and change. In 2019, he was appointed to his current role, bringing his vast experience of building agile, structured and optimised functions into Group Procurement.
A passionate and versatile change management professional with a proven track record of delivering outstanding results, Stephen leads his team with a transformational approach – and a passion for driving operational excellence.
Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and is working towards his Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply qualifications.
“My personal Purpose is to never stop aspiring for excellence, to help others do the same, and to continuously look for ways to elevate standards through innovative thinking. With this mindset, you are never without a Purpose, and that is what drives me, both professionally and personally, every day.”
Sultan Al Ghurair is the Chief Executive Officer at Al Ghurair Properties, a company respected for its position at the forefront of the UAE’s real estate industry for more than three decades. He is responsible for leading the development and diversification of the property business, across residential, commercial and retail sectors.
With a purpose-driven and people-centric approach to leadership, Sultan has a proven track record of corporate success, actively leading a number of business units since he formally joined Al Ghurair Investment in 2004. Joining the family business as a fresh graduate, his first assignment was in the Special Projects Division, where he learned the business from the ground up.
Sultan holds a degree in Finance from Suffolk University in Massachusetts, USA.