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First Leasing Bank announces new CEO designee

First Leasing Bank, the first bank in the GCC specialising in industrial equipment leasing, held an informal handover ceremony today, at which outgoing CEO James Cracco passed the reigns on to new CEO designee, Gregory T. Brinkerhoff.

Brinkerhoff comes to First Leasing Bank from Oracle Corporation in California, USA, where, he was part of the senior management team which drove Oracle’s vendor financing programme through its first major growth phase, increasing vendor financing to over $1bn annually. As part of the senior management team, Brinkerhoff spent 15 years with Oracle Corporation developing and managing lease financing programmes in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

“The equipment leasing industry in the Gulf is still in its infancy, and, as the pioneer of equipment leasing in the GCC, First Leasing Bank is well positioned to capitalise on its potential for growth. While many challenges still lie ahead for me in my new role, the Bank, under Jim’s guidance, has built a solid foundation for itself from which to further expand its business regionally,”

said Brinkerhoff, whose position is still pending Central Bank of Bahrain approval.

Earlier this year, First Leasing Bank recorded a net profit of $4.5m for the year ended 31 December, 2007. The bank last year completed a successful capital increase, which saw its capital base rise to $100m. Under the Bank’s new Board of Directors headed by Khalid M. Kanoo, First Leasing Bank has mapped out a strategy to expand within the Middle East region, add to its portfolio and diversify its asset base.

The ceremony and reception was held at the Gulf Hotel and attended by FLB Chairman, Khalid M. Kanoo, members of the Board of Directors, Executive Management, staff and business clients from the region.

“Jim has accomplished a lot in the last three years and leaves the Bank a profitable venture and a pioneer in this new market. We wish him success in his future endeavors. I would also like to welcome Greg. We are confident that, with his broad experience, he will be able to take the Bank to new heights,” said Kanoo.

“I am confident that I am leaving the Bank in good hands. Greg’s broad experience, industry knowledge and proven track record will be an important asset to the Bank. I am also grateful to Mr. Khalid Kanoo, former Chairman Khalid Abdulla-Janahi, the Board of Directors and the excellent team we have at the Bank for making my tenure in Bahrain so memorable and exciting,” said Cracco.

Under Cracco’s management the Bank was named Best Leasing Provider at the 2008 Islamic Finance News Awards, which honour outstanding achievements in the Islamic financial industry.

Brinkerhoff, a US national, previously held key positions at USL Capital Corporation in San Francisco, California and Ford Aerospace Corporation. He has a Master in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame Graduate School of Business and a BS in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Montana.