Al Rayan Bank appoints new Chief Operations Officer

19 December 2016

Al Rayan Bank (UK) has announced that Venkat Chandrasekar (VC) has joined the Bank as its new Chief Operations Officer (COO) to oversee the Bank’s frontline functions. An operations and technology leader with 17 years’ managerial experience in retail banking, he joins the Bank from Citibank where he held a number of senior positions over his 13-year tenure, most recently leading the European Operations for International Personal Banking and Wealth Management Business in London.

VC is based in Al Rayan Bank’s Operational Headquarters in Birmingham, and reports to Sultan Choudhury, CEO, Al Rayan Bank. He has a clear set of priorities as he takes up his role at Al Rayan Bank, and will immediately focus on control and governance; operational excellence; speed to market for new products and services; and continuing to train and develop employees.

VC spent his early career gaining experience in telecommunications, internet and mobile communications companies before joining Citibank in 2004. There he undertook a number of leadership roles across the business, including banking, cards, internet operations, payment services, operational risk and wealth management. Throughout his career he has provided business solutions to complex challenges, while gaining expertise in risk, audit, compliance, operations, system migration, regulatory guidelines and policies.

Sultan Choudhury, CEO, Al Rayan Bank said of VC’s appointment: “We are delighted to welcome VC, with his track record of operations and business transformation experience, to the team. It is a critical time for the Bank as it continues to transition to an established European banking brand. VC’s appointment will act as a catalyst for the changes we have made so far, and help to move us forward in that journey.”

Commenting upon his appointment, VC said, “I am delighted to take up the position of COO of Al Rayan Bank, a role that aligns perfectly with my skill set, personality, and my desire to be deeply involved in business transformation. It’s an exciting time of evolution, both for the bank and the industry in general.

“Every bank wants to embrace the new digital age of banking, but I believe Al Rayan Bank is uniquely positioned to do so. It is not hampered by unwieldy processes and systems, it is a rapidly growing but agile organisation that can make decisions swiftly, it is investing in both the technology and experienced personnel, and, most importantly, it puts the customer at the heart of everything it does. It is only by truly understanding customers that banks can address their needs with the right products and services.”

The parent company of Al Rayan Bank is Masraf Al Rayan QSC (MAR), a Qatar-based Islamic bank providing banking, financial, investment and brokerage services through a network of branches across Qatar. It is one of the largest banks in Qatar by market value and is listed on the Qatar Exchange. Its top 20 shareholders are blue chips in the Qatar investment, corporate and high net worth community.

As an independent UK bank, Al Rayan Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is a member of Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

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