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Sarah Al-Suhaimi, Businesswoman, Women Entrepreneur, Sarah Al-Suhaimi Biography, Sarah Al-Suhaimi life story, Sarah Al-Suhaimi success story,
Business Women Entrepreneur

Trailblazer in Finance: Sarah Al-Suhaimi, First Woman Chair of the Saudi Stock Exchange

Sarah Al-Suhaimi, a pioneering Saudi businesswoman, made history as the first woman to chair the Saudi Arabian stock exchange, the largest in the Middle East. She also held the positions of CEO and board director at NCB Capital, the investment arm of the National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest bank.

Sarah Al-Suhaimi

Early Life and Background
Born in November 1979, Sarah Al-Suhaimi grew up in a family deeply rooted in the banking sector. Her father, Jammaz Al-Suhaimi, was the president of Gulf Bank and later headed Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority. This familial background inspired Sarah to pursue a career in finance.

Al-Suhaimi began her academic journey by studying accounting at King Saud University. Her quest for excellence led her to Harvard Business School, where she completed the general management program with top honors.

Career Beginnings
Sarah Al-Suhaimi’s career began at Samba Financial Group, where she was the only woman in her department. Despite initial skepticism from her colleagues, who assumed she was there due to her father’s connections, she demonstrated her capabilities by joining the bank’s training program and quickly rising to the role of senior portfolio manager, managing investments exceeding $12 billion.

Rise to Prominence
Al-Suhaimi’s significant break came when she became the chief executive of NCB Capital. Under her leadership, NCB Capital merged with Samba Financial Group in April 2021, forming the largest commercial bank in Saudi Arabia.

In February 2017, Al-Suhaimi reached another milestone when the Saudi stock exchange, known as Tadawul, elected her as its first-ever chairwoman. Her leadership saw the exchange flourish, with Bloomberg naming her one of 50 people to watch in 2018. This recognition came ahead of the Saudi Arabian Oil Co’s listing, which saw its value soar to $1.9 trillion, making it the world’s most valuable listed company by December 2019.

Current Roles and Achievements
Today, Sarah Al-Suhaimi holds board positions at several major companies, including Saudi Airlines and Saudi Telecom. Her strategic acumen has been praised by business scholars, particularly her ability to build trust and navigate complex challenges, such as fluctuating oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advocacy and Vision
Sarah Al-Suhaimi is an ardent advocate for diversity and fairness in the financial industry. In a 2023 interview with Womenpreneur, she emphasized the importance of inclusive leadership. “Diversity in leadership is not only a matter of fairness but also a driver of innovation and success,” she asserted.

Sarah Al-Suhaimi’s career is a testament to her determination, expertise, and visionary leadership. Her journey from being the only woman in her department to leading the largest stock exchange in the Middle East serves as an inspiration for future generations of women in finance.


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