Standard Chartered Private Bank has hired Ali Hammad from Coutts to serve as its new market head of private banking for its operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

At Coutts, Hammad latterly served as the head of its Asia, Middle East and Africa business.

His three-decade long private banking career also includes stints at Credit Suisse and UBS.

He held senior positions at the two banks, with emphasis on clients in the Middle East.

In the new role, he will report to regional head of private banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa Stephen Atkinson.

Hammad will operate out of Standard Chartered’s London office.

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In addition to Hammad, Standard Chartered has recruited 14 new employees for its MENA unit this year.

Among the new hires are relationship managers as well as client service managers.

The headcount increase aligns with the bank’s plan to prioritise its private banking and wealth management operations in MENA.

The region is said to be an important growth market for the bank.

Standard Chartered global head of private banking and wealth management Didier von Daeniken said: “As we continue investing in our private banking business, these appointments demonstrate our commitment both to the region and the ultra-high-net-worth business.

“We are excited to add to our bench strength of talented and experienced bankers, and are confident that Ali and the team will drive the acceleration of our business growth in the MENA region.”