European Islamic Investment Bank prepares for 2006 launch

European Islamic Investment Bank (EIIB), planned to be Britain's first halal bank, has named its senior management team as it prepares for launch next year.

Tony Ellingham, formerly chief financial officer of Gulf International Bank, has joined EIIB as finance director. He was previously group head of internal audit at Schroders, and also chief financial officer at Schroder Private Bank.

EIIB also said Grant Lowe will head risk management. He has moved from the South African Reserve Bank, where he worked in risk management. Meanwhile, Adrian Donlan has also joined EIIB as head of IT. He was previously with fund of funds manager Pantheon Ventures Group.

EIIB managing director John Weguelin said: "This means we're on track for Financial Services Authority approval, and for opening for business in the first half of next year. Over the next few months we expect to bring on board several senior trading and banking staff, while building our finance and operations staff."

EIIB was incorporated in January and applied for FSA approval in August. Its backers are European and Gulf-based private and institutional investors, including several Islamic banks.

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