Interview : Mr. Jean-Christophe Durand – CEO...

Interview : Mr. Jean-Christophe Durand – CEO of NBB

Building better boards

The National Bank of Bahrain and the GCC BDI have partnered up to build better boards in the Gulf

In July this year, the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) entered a five-year partnership with the GCC BDI to jointly help develop better performance boards in the Gulf.

Headquartered in Bahrain, NBB has been a key driver of economic growth in the country for more than six decades and continues to plays a large role in the economy.

Jean Christophe Durand, CEO of the National Bank of Bahrain, tells our news team why he has entered a partnership with the GCC BDI.

Jean Christophe, why has NBB chosen to become a corporate affiliate of GCC BDI?

NBB is delighted to have signed a five-year partnership agreement with BDI as part of our ongoing focus to ensure we have in place robust corporate governance policies including a high-performance board that is structured and operating according to best international practices.

At the end of the day, it is boards that help to shape and oversee the implementation of our strategy and efforts to create value for all of our stakeholders including shareholders, customers, employees and in our case, as the National Bank of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Bahrain and its economy.

Why is it important for the region’s business leaders to collaborate on issues such as corporate governance?

Effective and rigorous corporate governance is the cornerstone of success for any organisation. It is, therefore, imperative that regional corporates move decisively to ensure that their governance structures, policies and procedures are developed according to best global practices.

This includes enhancing board effectiveness and also ensuring that transparency and accountability are imbedded in their business and operating culture.

The bottom line is that effective corporate governance is absolutely essential to sustainable value creation and growth – both for an organisation itself and also on a larger scale for the development of the region and its economies.

What are the main challenges for the corporate governance landscape in the GCC currently?

While there is certainly growing recognition of the importance and necessity of good corporate governance across the GCC region and steps being taken by regulators to enact more robust codes, wide spread or consistent implementation still remains a challenge.

This can be seen in a lack of standardization of practices from country to country, the absence of well-established or commonly used board evaluation and governance matrices for objectively measuring performance or widely used training frameworks to ensure understanding of effective and global best practices.

While we are seeing more regulated corporate entities, including financial institutions and listed companies, embrace sound governance policies a further challenge remains in this trickling down through to the many small and medium-sized enterprises that exist and whose success and sustainable growth is essential to overall economic development and advancement in the region.

Learn more about us at