Dhabi Group of Companies appoints Tanweer Awan as CEO amid performance woes

The Dhabi Group of Companies, which owns and operates Bank Alfalah, Pakistan’s seventh-largest bank, has appointed transformation and turnaround expert Tanveer Awan, former managing director of Alvarez&Marsal, as its new chief executive officer (CEO) amid financial, commercial and operational woes.

He replaces Dominique L Russo, who had joined the company as CEO in March 2019.

Awan brings a solid 15 years of experience especially focused around reviving and transforming businesses. His most notable employers include Alvarez&Marsal, Bain & Company, and Schlumberger in ECC and Europe.

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Academically, Awan completed a master’s degree in engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, and an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Ex-CEO Dominique L Russo lauded the appointment of Awan, saying, “I welcome Tanweer to the group and am confident that his skill set, as well as leadership experience, will be of tremendous value to Dhabi,”

Russo, who had spent two decades working in investment management, corporate structuring, and nation-level advisory, departed the company due to family health concerns. 

It may may noted that the group’s financial and managerial woes have only increased in the decade or so. From 2011-2016, the group was run by a four-person team of mostly Europeans with some Pakistani input. The group also found it hard to retain its services, as the entire board was fired in one fell swoop in 2016.

Adeel Bajwa, a lawyer turned investment banker, had assumed the role of CEO after the 2016 board debacle, though his tenure was not to last long. In March 2019, he too was given an honourable discharge, and ‘resigned’ as the group’s main man.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. The fact of matter is performance and the title says it right. The new CEO amid performance woes.

    In most of the CEO firing cases, there is this personal reason to leave. A decent and fine goodbye to Russo by Sheikh. She had played enough with Shekihs investment portfolio in the last one year.

    Most of the projects are in problem, either on hold or due returns are not coming, just because of poor decision making. Just a few years ago BAL shares came down to 30s from 60s, a half in loss and same is the case with Wateen Telecom, the company is on a ventilator. Wateen is like a sister left unmarried and its gaining grace with time. A fat big animal that neither lays eggs nor it gives any milk, it only eats to survive and there is no one in the world interested in this kind of venture. A total mess up by Russo. Billions of dollar loss.

    The most successful telecom merger in Pakistan’s history was of Warid/Jazz merger, a win win deal. Jazz didnt pay a single penny to Dhabi Group for the past few months just because of the bad management by Dhabi Group. Then there is a hole in the center of Lahore, a land for Tavuuan Towers, a nightmare project which has no legs and head.

    Its a very good decision because the Sheikh wants performance and lets hope this new gentleman Tanveer Awan could satisfy Sheikh well in managing its extensive investments portfolio.

    • The problem is with sheikh him self… he is in a hurry.. and fails to trust any one after a few years…
      Dhabi was growing under the umbrella of Bashir A Tahir and team.. n one night he threw them out… in 2011 after that ..he has changed the management thrice… consistency is kay to success

  2. i wounder how bad CEOs messup when their decisions cause billions of dollars loss to such big investment group.
    If one hires an inexperienced CEO, its what happens in the end.

    • Who says Dhabi group is a big group. It’s a piddly little group totally built by Pakistanis. They have no assets outside Pakistan. Now their flagship is Bank Alfalah which was built on BCCI Pakistan branch network courtesy Privatisation commission of Pakistan.

  3. Dominique Russo short stint of about an year was nothing but a disaster. She couldn’t manage anything properly. The relationship with Jazz went sour, Bank Alfalah share price crashed to 29 from 60 a year ago, Wateen debt and operating issues became more and more complex and She and the group got sued in USA. Shaikh need competent people who understand the issues and stop making these frequent changes. Russo appointment was a bad decision and Shaikh has paid the price of it.

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