NBK's Isam al-Sager honoured at ABA Gala Dinner

  • 27th, October, 2019
NBK's Isam al-Sager honoured at ABA Gala Dinner

Nearly 300 guests attended our annual Gala Dinner, which was held at the JW Marriott in Park Lane on 23 October. 

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of our Annual Award for Distinguished Service to Arab Banking to Isam al-Sager, the Group Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Kuwait. 

The evening began with an introduction from the Arab Bankers Association's Chief Executive Officer, George Kanaan, who reflected on his ten years at the helm of the Association. George was followed by Lord Oareford, the former European Commissioner for Financial Affairs, who described, in very positive terms, the role that Britain will be able to play in the Middle East and beyond, after its departure from the European Union. 

Lord Mountevans, a former Lord Mayor of the City of London, introduced Isam al-Sager, referring not only to NBK's long association with London, but also to the very long-standing relationship between the UK and Kuwait. Lord Mountevans noted that Britain and Kuwait had signed a Treaty of Friendship 120 years ago, in 1899. 

In his acceptance speech, Isam al-Sager reflected on 40 years in Kuwaiti banking, including how he and his colleagues had worked to keep the bank operating during the Iraqi occupation of 1990-91 and the efforts that the bank is currently making to deliver digital services to its customers. 

Three opera singers – 'Sirens Encore' – entertained the guests during the evening with sparkling performances of traditional songs and recent West End hits. Magicians Spencer Wood and Stephen James caused amazement both before and during the dinner with their close-up tricks, often involving disappearing £20 pound notes...which subsequently reappeared inside lemons!

Click here to see a video of the speeches and the entertainment at the Gala - the password is ab2019. (The Toastmaster starts speaking about 15 seconds after you click the arrow and George's speech, which is when the pictures begin, starts 50 seconds into the video.) 

Photographs from the dinner can be seen on the Gallery Tab of this website.