Fares to head Merrill Lynch Middle East - Emirates24|7

Fares to head Merrill Lynch Middle East

Merrill Lynch named Bear Stearns' former vice-chairman Fares Noujaim as head of its Middle East and North African (Mena) operations and the global head of its sovereign wealth funds.

"The Middle East is one of the world's most vibrant growth markets and sovereign wealth funds are rapidly gaining significance globally," Chief Executive Officer John Thain said in a statement.

The new position reflects the move by investment banks to develop a new class of senior bankers who can combine a cultural understanding of the area's mores and practices with an ability to tap its vast wealth.

Noujaim, 45, joined Bear Stearns in 1987 and quickly rose to become one of its top-earning bankers, with clients including General Motors and Ford Motor.

He will split his time between New York and Dubai. (Agencies)