Finance & Banking

CAMBRIDGE-IFLP ALUMNI MOHAMMED HAMED NASSER AL HASHIMI HEAD OF COMPLIANCE, BANK NIZWA

Mohammed Al Hashimi is currently heading the Compliance Department of Bank Nizwa SAOG in Oman. Mohammed’s professional career spans over 10 years, including six years as a bank examiner at the Central Bank of Oman. His examination portfolio as an external examiner includes conventional and Islamic banks as well as leasing companies, with expertise in areas including Financial & Regulatory Reporting, Risk Management, Investment Banking, Treasury, Corporate Governance, Anti-Money Laundering, Financings and Deposits. Mohammed holds a Bachelor’s degree
in Accounting from Sultan Qaboos University, and professional certifications, including from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the US on Banks Examination and Financial Analysis, and in Islamic banking by Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). He is the recipient of the Cambridge Islamic Finance Leadership Award in recognition for his outstanding performance during the Cambridge Islamic Finance Leadership Programme, held at Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK.

WHAT DRIVES YOU IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE?
My consistent desire to achieve more is the key factor that
drives me professionally. Though I celebrate what I achieve,
I don’t forget to evaluate where I fell short and why that
happened. If I don’t achieve my goal, I learn from my mistakes
and don’t repeat them.

Another factor that has contributed to my professional
development is that I idolize successful people and try to
follow in their footsteps. The CEO of Unilever, Keith Weed,
is one such inspiring personality that I have been reading
about these days. His concepts about sustainability and risk
obsolescence in marketing has taught me the importance of
ethics in marketing and why fraudulent channels should be
avoided even if they are profitable to the organisation, and
that is what compliance is all about.

WHAT SERVES AS A GUIDING PRINCIPLE IN YOUR LIFE?
I always tell my staff and colleagues that hard work never goes
wasted and they should be smart while doing it. Combining
hard work and at the same time working smart would always
lead you to achieve your goals and deliver the desired results.

IN ONE WORD, DESCRIBE YOURSELF.
Passionate

HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
For me, success is the recognition of my work. When my
work is recognised, and praised, and when my opinions are
implemented, it gives me a sense of achievement. It shows
that I am successful in what I am doing and how I am doing it.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH PRESSURE OR STRESSFUL SITUATIONS?
Most of my work is demanding and requires extensive
reading, research, analysis and includes deadlines. It also
involves making decisions under the law, which may not
always be appreciated by the Management. Therefore, my
formula to handle such situations is to calm myself with a
cup of coffee and stay focused on my objectives, rather than
the negativity around me. My love for football has helped me
to develop a sportsman spirit, to keep trying until I score a
goal, to keep thinking while playing or working and not get
distracted by my opponents, but to learn from them.

WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT, CREATIVITY OR EFFICIENCY?
Creativity is more important to me. However, efficiency is
equally important as it is the way of channeling creativity into
reality in the best possible manner. Creativity reduces time
and efforts to reach to the same conclusion or even a better
one as compared to the traditional approach.

WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
My current role as Head of Compliance is rewarding but
also challenging at the same time. It gives me a broader snapshot of the performance of the entity, financially and
non-financially. It also engages me with recent updates
in both local and international markets vide regulators
correspondences. The nature of my job allows me to function
independently and report to the Board of Directors, which
gives me great exposure in dealing with the top hierarchy,
both the Board and the CEO. It also gives me an opportunity
to deal with senior officials at the Central Bank of Oman, the
Capital Market Authority and the Financial Intelligence Unit
at Royal Oman Police. It is noteworthy to mention here that
as the Head of Compliance I have the opportunity to gain
access to all bank’s files and records, thus providing me with
good exposure of business insights in all dimensions.

YOU ARE AN ALUMNUS OF THE CAMBRIDGE ISLAMIC FINANCE LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME. HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF ATTENDING THE PROGRAMME?
Attending the Cambridge Islamic Finance Leadership
Programme in the UK was one of the most enriching
experiences I have had of learning abroad. Leaders from
different fields and countries were invited to speak about their
success stories, such as chairmen, CEOs, and entrepreneurs
of banks and high-tech enterprises.#

They discussed market behaviour, how to be resilient to
failures, how to balance professional and social life, and other
important keys to success. One of the best memories of the
programme was when my team won the treasure hunting
enigma after exerting great efforts to pass through all levels
with the required speed. At the end of the programme, I was
one of the five participants who was awarded the Cambridge
Islamic Finance Leadership Award for being one of the top
best performers. That was a really proud moment for me.

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