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Meet the impactiive® Team: Declan Ball

Senior Banker,

Mr. Ball has been involved in financial and professional services for over 30 years. He trained as a lawyer (solicitor) in England.  After completing his Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) and a postgraduate qualification, he taught in Sudan and Syria before studying Arabic (Damascus and Cairo) and then transitioning to Human Resources (HR). His first HR role was as a member of the Telecom Australia advisory team to Saudi Telecom Company. He joined his first bank, Riyad Bank, in 1991 and became Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and a member of the Executive Team for the first time in 2002 with Banque Saudi Fransi. Since then, Mr. Ball has been CHRO, Deputy CHRO or Chief HR Advisor with several banks: Dubai Bank, EFG-Hermes, Al Khaliji Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Invest AD and FINCA Impact Finance. He has also held senior roles with two “Big 4” professional services firms: Middle East HR Director, EY and Middle East HR Director (Leadership & Succession), PwC.

He joined the then-largest bank in the Middle East, The National Commercial Bank in 1995, when the bank has downsized by more than 50% of its employees in 30 months and dissolved its Human Resources Division. Mr. Ball’s role was to raise the percentage of Saudi nationals in the bank by 5% per annum while maintaining a stable headcount and cost-to-income ratio. He developed an innovative “4 R” model (recruit, retain, replace, and reduce) which raised the “Saudisation” percentage from 48% to 72% in 4 years, for which NCB was awarded a major government award. He has subsequently led a number of projects globally in all categories of diversity.

Mr. Ball afterwards specialised in banks going through transformation: e.g., Dubai Bank (from conventional to Islamic banking), EFG-Hermes (regional expansion), Al Khaliji Bank (merger and acquisition), Invest AD (restructuring) and FINCA Impact Finance (change of business model). His last executive role was as Executive Vice-President, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, before moving into management consultancy.

In addition to his experience in strategic HR, Mr. Ball has in-depth expertise in corporate governance, corporate performance management, risk-based succession planning, human capital operational risk, and “C-suite” (recruitment, development, and variable compensation).

The hallmark of Mr. Ball’s approach is his ability to be respectful of and to adapt to different national and corporate cultures. He does not believe in a “one size fits all approach”. Although his methodologies are rigorous, metrics-based and guided by international best practice, his solutions are tailor-made for our clients based on their needs. He is guided by the words of the French writer, Marcel Proust: “The true journey is to not to go to different countries, but to attempt to see reality in the world through the eyes of others”.

Mr. Ball holds a Law degree from the University of Manchester and postgraduate degrees from the University of Wales and the University of Aston. He studied Arabic at the University of Damascus and French at the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier-3. He is currently applying to complete a research degree (MSt.) at the University of Oxford on “succession planning in family businesses in the Middle East”. He is comfortable working in English, French and Arabic.

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Thank you for taking the time to meet another member of impactiive® talent, Declan Ball, who stands ready to deliver strategic HR management consulting, corporate governance, risk-based succession planning and human capital operational risk assessments for our client engagements.

We hope you continue to find this series of blogs informative and should you have interest to join our team as an Associate, please send a Cover Letter and CV through the Join Us section on our website; and put "Associate Applicant" in the Cover Letter subject line.

We also welcome you to schedule a free consultation with one of our Managing Partners to discuss your business needs.

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