Mr Issa is a leading Arab banker with more than four decades of banking experience and the Chief Executive of Bank Muscat, the largest commercial bank in Oman, for the last 20 years. He has a successful track record of organisation building and delivering sustained growth and profitability, organically as well as through mergers & acquisitions.
Joining Grindlays Bank in Oman as a Management Trainee in 1969, he worked in operations and credit functions of the bank and subsequently managed key branches of the bank at Muttrah, Muscat and Salalah. He then joined the newly formed Oman Overseas Trust Bank SAOG (later renamed Bank Muscat) in December 1981 as Assistant General Manager – Operations and rose to the position of Chief Executive in 1994. He led the transformation of the bank from being 1 amongst 25 banks in Oman in 1981 with a single branch, 30 employees and USD 5 million in assets to its current position as the largest bank in Oman with a market share of nearly 40%, over 135 branches in Oman, 3000+ employees and assets over USD 22 billion. He also guided the expansion of the bank into regional markets including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, India and Singapore.
During his tenure, Bank Muscat has won various domestic and regional awards including, the best bank in Oman, best place to work, best in corporate governance. Recently the bank was also awarded the Sultan Qaboos Excellence Award for Excellence in e-Government. For his contributions, he has also been personally recognized including Best CEO for 2002 by Business Today, Banking and Finance Personality of the Year in 2006 at the Middle East CEO Awards, Ranked 111th in the Power 500 – The world’s most influential Arabs by Arabian Business.
He has played a leading role in shaping the industry and its interaction with government and other stakeholders. He is the Chairman of the Oman Bankers Association, board member of The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development (Ithraa), a member of the Asian Bankers Association, a member of the Advisory Council of the World Union of Arab Banks. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Capital Market Authority of Oman and a member of the Foundation Board of IMD (Lausanne).
He has a strong commitment to community work, having guided and participated in various industry-leading corporate social responsibility programs of Bank Muscat. Besides, he personally mentors 7 Entrepreneurs/ SME Owners under a program of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
He has a Doctor of Letters (Honorary) from Hindustan University, Chennai, India and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Wales, UK. He has also attended the Management Development Programme conducted by Harvard University.