BRAC Bank has appointed Selim RF Hussain as its new managing director and chief executive, who was for the past six years at the helm of IDLC Finance Ltd, a non-bank financial institution.
The veteran banker is widely recognised and acclaimed across the Bangladesh financial sector for being the architect of IDLC Finance’s meteoric rise during his time.
Dhaka Tribune talked with Hussain about his new assignment and plans, and also about his long-serving career in the country’s financial sector.
“I am very proud of becoming a part of the BRAC Bank,” said Hussain. “BRAC is a well recognised brand both nationally and internationally. This is a unique opportunity for me to take the things forward as I believe in branding. We’ll invest in technology and branding.”
With becoming the top executive official of the bank, Hussain plans to give special focus on taking customer services to a new height, boosting SME (small and medium enterprises) sector and retail banking.
“First and foremost importance would be given to serving customers. The customer service system will be further improved, to make it genuine, personalised and compassionate—or, simply, human,” he said.
Selim RF Hussain began his banking career in 1986 joining ANZ Grindlays Bank. He then worked at the Standard Chartered and later in 2010 moved to the IDLC Group.
New BRAC Bank MD will lead a large branch banking and SME network, and is expected to step up the bank’s business momentum and inclusive banking initiatives. Hussain said he would strive to fulfill the bank’s vision of being a socially responsible and profitable financial institution focused on building a poverty-free Bangladesh.
He said the BRAC Bank has a big network of branches and large involvement with the SME sector across the country.
“This is an another opportunity for me as it could give a greater leverage to enhance SME financing and retail banking.”
He recalled his days with the IDLC Finance, “When I joined IDLC, its loan portfolio was only Tk1,340 crore. It’s now more than four times higher - about Tk5,000-6,000 crore.”
On moving from NBFI sector to banking sector, Hussain said, “The banking sector is not new for me. Rather, I am back to my old sector.”
The new BRAC Bank CEO is also likely to hold the post of directorship at the bank’s various other subsidiaries, including Brac EPL Investments Ltd, Brac EPL Stock Brokerage Ltd, Brac Sajaan Exchange Ltd, Brac Information Technology Services Ltd and also at the latest Brac investment, IPDC of Bangladesh.
According to a BRAC Bank press release, Selim RF Hussain has an Honours degree in Accounting from Dhaka University and an MBA (major in Finance) from the university’s Institute of Business Administration.
He worked in various roles with the two largest multi-national banks in Bangladesh, ANZ Grindlays Bank and Standard Chartered, for 24 years, before moving to the IDLC Group in 2010.