“I had a vision to help society by launching an investment bank. Because that’s what we lack – investment. In fact, infrastructure banks are actually quite rare across the world as a whole.” ~ Nahed Taher, CEO of Gulf One Investment Bank

Summary: Nahed Taher is the founder and CEO, in addition to an executive director of the Gulf One Investment Bank. In this position, she is the first female CEO of a Gulf investment bank. Prior to that Dr Nahed was a managing partner of Compass Consulting, a financial advisory company in Saudi and was the first woman to get such a license in Saudi. Before that she was a Chief Economist and Chairman of the Risk and Portfolio Management Committee at the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Jeddah, where she was the first female to be hired in a senior management position among 4,000 men in the bank. Dr Taher has represented the Saudi Government, the private sector, and Chamber of Commerce in many high level international business and banking events. Dr Nahed was ranked by Forbes Magazine 72nd of the 100 most powerful women in the world. She also received recently the award of “Businesswoman of the Year 2006” by HH Prince Hamid Al-Nihayyan. In addition, she received the award of “Saudi Businesswoman of the Year 2007” by HRH Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. Dr Nahed M. Taher holds dual Masters Degrees in Financial Economics and a PhD in Monetary Economics from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. Dr Taher served as a professor and head of the Economics Department at King Abdul Aziz University (KAAU). She was also a co-owner and a financial advisor to various private companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Nationality: Saudi Arabian

Company: Gulf One Investment Bank

Q: How about as a woman, do you think that it’s a bit strange that you can’t drive on the streets but you can sign multi-million or billion dollar deals? on cnn.com

A: I will leave this to my dearest King Abdullah, to decide. I know he’s supportive and he will have it very soon, in the right time. I cannot go against the wind, but driving for women is definitely a necessity now, it’s becoming an economic need.