Najla Al Shirawi: Forbes’ Only Woman In The Middle East’s 2021 List of Biggest Asset Managers

Najla Al Shirawi has been making waves of headlines as an outstanding woman. She served as the CEO of a large company, and a board member at the Bahrain Economic Development Board and the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance. She’s been on the Forbes list multiple times. In 2017, she was on the Forbes list for the 100 most powerful Arab businesswomen. Moreover, in 2018, she was on the Forbes list of the Middle East’s most influential women. Recently in 2021, she was named one of the top 50 businesswomen making an impact in the Middle East. And on top of that, she was just added to the Middle East’s list of 30 biggest asset managers of 2021, making her the only female on the whole list!

The Middle East’s 30 biggest asset managers 2021

Bahrain enters the list with three entries, Najla Al Shirawi being one of them, and Egypt has three entries as well. The dominating country is Saudi Arabia, with 16 slots. In second place is the UAE, with five slots. Najla Al Shirawi and her company, SICO, rank 23rd on the list. The companies are ranked based on their financial value as of December 2020, and all the companies on the list come from the Middle East.

Najla on Sico

“The strategy for us moving forward is this focus on organic growth,” Najla told The CEO Magazine. “We’re not trying to create a mini SICO in every country, but we want to expand strategically. This means looking at the opportunities that are available to us, deciding where the highest margins are for the business (which will be dependent on the country), doing our feasibility studies, and then making our plans.”

Najla has been working in SICO BSC since 1997, and she became the CEO of the company in 2014, with impressive feats as a result. SICO was established in 1995, and is a leading regional asset manager, broker, and investment bank. The company operates under a banking license from the Central Bank of Bahrain and owns two subsidiaries. The company was able to transform itself from a local company into a regional one due to its success. The assets under management are worth $2.3 billion and in April 2021, SICO recorded more than $4 billion in assets. Since SICO has already been under the spotlight, Najla just ensured they stay there!

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