Mufazzal Kajiji, CFA, CAIA, FRM

Mufazzal Kajiji is Head of Retail Banking at Noor Bank. In his role, he is responsible for overseeing the bank’s retail banking franchise. This includes the entire branch network, as well as wealth management and retail products and segments.

He brings to Noor Bank more than 20 years of diverse C-suite experience across the retail banking space, in segments such as Liabilities, Bancassurance, and Financing. Among his previous roles, Mufazzal served as Executive Vice President and Global Head of Wealth Management and Affluent Banking at First Gulf Bank, a position he held for more than 10 years. Most recently, he was the Chief Marketing Officer at First Abu Dhabi Bank. His earlier roles also included positions with multinationals such as Citibank, Standard Chartered and Alliance Capital (Bernstein). A former member of the United Bank’s Federations Committee on Consumer Banking and Wealth Management, Mufazzal is holder of a Bachelor’s of Commerce and an MBA in Finance from the University of Mumbai in India. He also obtained a Chartered Financial Analyst Charter from the American-based CFA Institute, as well as a Financial Risk Manager Certification from the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), United States.

Mr. Muffazal Kajiji's experience in banking spans across multiple niches. He has been in prolific roles that directly drive the banking world. Before becoming the Head of Retailing at Noor Bank, he was the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Management & Mortgages at First Gulf Bank for 10 years. At First Gulf Bank, he was instrumental in facilitating services like premier banking, client advisory, portfolio management, insurance and liabilities products.

Before his valued period of work at First Gulf Bank, Mr. Muffazal Khaiji has had brief stints with top organizations, viz. Cedar Consulting Ltd., Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, Alliance Capital and Birla Global Finance Ltd. He is an expert strategist in both Islamic and Conventional business & banking, among other great competencies like wealth management, branding, sales, policy implementation and so on.

Mufazzal Kajiji and Bader Anwahi, Chief Operating Officer of Global Village signed an agreement outlining the terms of the partnership at a ceremony that was attended by key representatives from both entities.

As part of the synergy, Noor Bank is the exclusive banking partner for Global Village. Noor Bank credit and debit card holders are eligible to receive a complimentary ticket on every entry ticket purchased at Global Village. The five-month promotion runs from 1 November 2017 to 31 March 2018 - almost throughout the duration of the current cycle of Global Village Season 22, operating until the 7 April, 2018.

Speaking about the tie-up, Mufazzal Kajiji, Head of Retail Banking, Noor Bank, said: “The partnership reinforces Noor Bank’s pledge to consistently develop innovative solutions that provide added value and enhance the convenience of our customers. Global Village offers an unparalleled cultural, entertainment and shopping experience to families from across the region. This agreement paves the way in providing our customers with superior value at this renowned attraction.”


New roles of the modern banker

Competition and rapid changes in regulations and technology, banking continues to transform

Banks all over the world are striving to strengthen themselves by making significant investments in technology and creating partnerships with ‘disrupters’. But what about the core component of the bank of the future — that is its people? What are the key skill-sets and growth areas for the bank jobs of tomorrow? Just as in other industries, bankers need to acquire new skills in this time of rapid technological advance.

Historically, banks were institutions that served customers with deposits and had a small team of staff concerned with financing or sales and other products. However, due to market volatility, increasing competition and rapid changes in regulations and technology, traditional banking has and continues to transform.

Efficient and responsible management

Recently, there has been strong demand for Corporate Governance in banking, which needs to be supported by rigorous Risk Management, Compliance and Audit functions. The financial crisis demonstrated that some of the world’s biggest banks did not clearly understand, or control, their level of risk.

The reaction by regulators led to a massive surge in compliance jobs, to the point where in 2014 press headlines such as “The age of the compliance officer arrives” ran in the Financial Times and “The Hottest job in America: Compliance officer” appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

Banks now require solid fraud prevention, anti-money-laundering and Information Technology security practices, as new technology throws up new challenges. Operational risk management similarly needs to be constantly reinvigorated, with a clear understanding of risk implications in new processes; for example in deploying blockchain for processing payments.

Catering the technological shift

In the bank of the future, staff have to be proficient with technology, to ensure they are ready and able to fill specialised roles.

The first of these is analytics. Banks are well-placed to take advantage of the emergence of Big Data. Improvements in data analytic capabilities are crucial to understanding the customers’ requirements, and ensuring that they are aware of relevant products from the Bank. Ultimately, the Bank that correctly identifies the needs of its customers and offers relevant service and solutions at the right time, will retain its customers.

The second new role spurred by technology is software programming. While banks do outsource software projects from time-to-time, having an in-house resource ensures more specialised knowledge, lower costs, better security, and effective project management. It also allows the Bank to cultivate long-term knowledge and build the retention of skills. These programmers can be required to write software to meet business requirements, such as writing software to make trading decisions, generate reports, and create internal applications, to name a few.

A third role in demand is IT staff who have knowledge in developing artificial intelligence systems at some banks. In the US for example, Banks have developed robots that execute trades with ease, increasing the automation of these processes. According to an industry report, one of the major global investment banks in the world also employs more software engineers than a leading social network — also outlining the importance of this new role.

Adapting to disruptions

But just as the rise of financial technology — fintech will create legions of new jobs, will eliminate some traditional jobs, and force banks to alter the size and composition of their workforce. Banks are already facing challenges with traditional financing jobs susceptible to disruption.

Industry reports this year also showed that in China, which has become the world’s fintech leader, financing is an area that attracted the most fintech venture capital in 2016. It was also noted that in US, fintech financing was the leading area for venture capital in 2015 but was surpassed by insurance in 2016. Crowdfunding platforms have emerged and disrupted traditional financing, but Banks are adapting by partnering or acquiring these innovations.

For consumers, it will take time before the benefits of banking’s new jobs shift being to show. As is always the case when innovating, new changes and methods of operations always tend to occur in slightly uncharted waters, but the result will be a bank that is more sustainable, efficient and better positioned to serve its community.