Mr Brian Firth

Executive Director

After graduating from Birmingham University, Brian Firth began his career in Finance in the late 1980’s with professional services firm Touche Ross & Co. in Cambridge. In 1992 he took up a Financial Accountant position with Pearl Assurance plc in Peterborough, one of the largest providers of life and general insurance and pension services in the UK at the time, until 1999 by which point he was Operations Financial Controller.

Mr Firth joined UBL UK in London directly thereafter, where he has remained.  During his time with the Bank, he was appointed Project & Planning Manager in 2003, Financial Controller in 2005, CFO and Company Secretary in 2008, COO in 2017, Interim CEO in January 2018 and CEO and Director of the UBL UK Board of Directors in July 2018.

 

Mr Masarrat Husain

Independent Non-Executive Director

Masarrat Husain is a risk and business professional.  His banking career spans 40+ years in seven countries and across three continents.  His initial 28 years were spent with Citibank, the next five years with Citibank’s affiliate, Samba, followed by nine years with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. 

Mr Husain's experience covers analysing and approving risk for financing in various marketplaces and for products, as well as for clients in the Private, Commercial, Wholesale, Retail, Islamic Banking and Investment Banking business sectors including remedial portfolios.

He holds an MBA from Tulane University, New Orleans and a Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Mr Husain currently serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of UBL UK.

 

Mr Ashraf Wathra

Non-Executive Director

Ashraf Wathra was appointed as Chairman of the National Bank of Pakistan Board of Directors in January 2023. 

He served as Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) from April 2014 until 2017 and on the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Clearing Union (ACU) and ECO Trade and Development Bank.

He was also a council member of The Islamic Financial Stability Board and from July 2015 he became co-chair of the Financial Stability Board - Regional Consultative Group for Asia (FSB-RCG Asia), Basel, based in Switzerland.

Mr Wathra held important positions within Pakistan including the member of Monetary and Fiscal Policies Coordination Board, National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) Council, National Executive Committee on Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Chair of the Board of Institute of Bankers in Pakistan (IBP), NFIS Steering Committee, and Agricultural Credit Advisory Committee (ACAC).

Prior to joining SBP, he was associated with various international and national banks and worked in various regulatory regimes in leadership positions; including Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc. He also served as a member of Board of Directors of Habib Finance International Hong Kong, Habib Finance Australia and as First Vice Chairman of Himalayan Bank Nepal for several years.

He started his career with Grindlays Bank Plc in 1978 after completing his Masters in Business Administration.

Mr Wathra is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Board of UBL UK.

 

Mr Nasim Ahmad

Non-Executive Director

Nasim Ahmad has vast experience in Asset Management, Commercial Lending and Investment Banking at senior management level internationally. 

He initiated the issuance of sovereign bonds for Pakistan whilst at Deutsche Bank, where he coordinated with its Debt Syndication team in making presentations to the Pakistan Ministry of Finance in 2014-2015. 

Mr Ahmad participated in annual reviews of asset management in various countries including Switzerland, UAE, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao and South Africa, for companies such as Citibank, Swiss Bank Corporation, UBS and Deutsche Bank.

Mr Ahmad holds a degree in Development Financing from McGill University in Canada, a Degree in Law from Law College, Lahore and is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in London.

 

Mr Naser Khan

Non-Executive Director

Naser Khan became Chief Operating Officer of Bestway Wholesale Limited in 2017.  Prior to that, he began his career with Bestway Cash & Carry Limited in January 2002, becoming Financial Controller in 2006, followed by Financial Director of Bestway Cash & Carry Limited in 2012.

He started his career with MCT Partnership where he trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant, and moved to Baker Tilly LLP thereafter.

Mr Khan’s areas of expertise include capital management, strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, IT and infrastructure, talent development and risk management. 

He graduated from the University of Guildhall, London with a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Mr Khan is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Board of UBL UK.

 

Mr Zia Ijaz

Non-Executive Director

Zia Ijaz has over 30 years of diversified banking experience. He is Deputy CEO of UBL Limited and Head of Branch Banking and International Business Groups, at UBL. The Branch Banking Group comprises of Branch Distribution, Consumer, SME, Rural Banking and Wealth & Marketing functions. International Group includes UAE, Qatar & Bahrain Branch Operations, Home Remittances and International Governance.

Prior to joining UBL, Mr Ijaz served Allied Bank (ABL) for over 12 years in various leading roles (CFO, Group Chief, Commercial & Retail Banking & Group Chief, Operations). He has also served as Financial Controller at Riyadh Bank in Saudi Arabia, and as CFO at Askari Bank.

Prior to his banking career, Mr Ijaz was associated with Ford Rhodes Sidat Hyder & Co. (a member of Ernst & Young).

He is a Chartered Accountant, a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and a CPA from AICPA, USA.

Mr Ijaz is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Board of UBL UK.