Karim Awad is an accomplished executive serving as the Group CEO and chairman of the Executive Committee of EFG Holding S.A.E. With over 25 years of experience, Awad began his career at EFG Hermes in 1998, where he quickly rose through the ranks. Notably, he headed the Investment Banking Department in 2007, leading numerous high-profile local and regional transactions. Awad was ranked on the Forbes Middle East Top 100 CEOs in the Middle East in 2022.
Throughout his tenure, Awad spearheaded a transformative restructuring of the firm, focusing on cost streamlining and divestment of non-core assets. This included a majority stake sale in the Lebanese bank Credit Libanais. Collaborating with the senior management team at EFG Holding, Awad shifted the firm’s strategy towards becoming a leading financial solutions provider in frontier and emerging markets, moving away from its MENA-based investment banking roots. This vision encompasses six key pillars: talent acquisition, market positioning, geographic expansion, product enhancement, improved profitability, and a steadfast commitment to public responsibility.
Under Awad’s leadership, EFG Hermes has made significant strides in its core sell-side operations of investment banking, brokerage, and research in key markets such as the UAE, KSA, and Egypt. Additionally, the firm has expanded its presence to seven new markets in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Notably, the buy-side business was completely revitalized through the consolidation of its regional asset management business with UAE-based affiliate Frontier Investment Management (FIM) in 2017. It has also re-established an active Private Equity division that plays a pivotal role in renewable energy, education, and healthcare sectors.
To further enrich the client offering, EFG Holding has built a comprehensive non-bank financial institutions (NBFI) platform, encompassing leasing, factoring, microfinance, buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), mortgages, payments, and insurance. The firm has also strengthened its fixed income and structured product platforms. In November 2021, EFG Holding concluded the acquisition of a commercial bank in Egypt, solidifying its transition into a universal banking platform and expanding its product range.
Awad’s strategic initiatives have driven remarkable growth in revenues, which reached EGP 11 billion, and profits, standing at EGP 1.8 billion in 2022. Notably, the firm maintains a robust commitment to corporate social responsibility, actively embracing progressive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards and contributing to the communities in which it operates.
Karim Awad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (BBA) from the American University in Cairo.