Richard Thomas, CEO, Gatehouse Bank to be inducted to the Order of the British
Empire, an honour bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
First royal award for civic excellence in Islamic finance
Jamie Bowden, UK Ambassador to Bahrain; Neil Miller, UAE-based Global
Head of Islamic Finance at KPMG; and Fahed Boodai, Chairman, Gatehouse
Release Date: 15 July 2011
Richard Thomas, chief executive officer at Gatehouse Bank, (Gatehouse) a wholesale
Shariah compliant investment bank in the City of London which is a subsidiary of
Securities House Kuwait; will be inducted into the Most Excellent Order of the British
Empire as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen
Elizabeth the Second, at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The OBE has been handed by Her Majesty on behalf of the UK Government, in
recognition for civic excellence and the contribution that Thomas has made to the UK
Islamic financial services industry.
Jamie Bowden, the UK Ambassador to Bahrain, who has worked with Thomas on many
global Islamic finance promotional initiatives, said:
“I am delighted that Richard Thomas’s work in support of the UK Islamic Financial
Services industry has been recognised.
In the many years that I have worked with him he has tirelessly furthered the UK’s and
the industry’s interests. His efforts have strengthened the links between the British and
Bahraini Islamic financial sectors.
I am certain that he personally deserves much of the credit for the UK building its
position as the leading Western centre of Islamic financial activity,” concluded Bowden.
Congratulating Thomas for this outstanding achievement on behalf of shareholders and
the board of directors of Gatehouse, Fahed Boodai, chairman of the bank said:
“The shareholders and the Board of Directors at Gatehouse Bank warmly congratulate
Richard Thomas, Gatehouse’s CEO, on the well-deserved and important honour of
an OBE conferred on him by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second of the United
This recognition by the UK Government of Richard’s outstanding work in developing
business ties with the GCC countries, and Kuwait in particular is also honouring his
leading contribution to the development of Shariah compliant financing over the past 30
A large part of this work has been in growing Gatehouse Bank to be a major player and
innovative Islamic finance institution in London. His colleagues and the shareholders
wish him the best of success and are delighted with the honour bestowed upon him.”
From the UAE, industry peers echoed the messages of congratulations including Neil
Miller, Global Head of Islamic Finance at KPMG who said, “I was delighted to hear that
Richard’s hard work has been recognised with this honour. I have had the pleasure of
working with Richard Thomas on a variety of Islamic finance transactions for more than
He has been a true champion of the industry and is dedicated to supporting its
integration and expansion in the United Kingdom. In his previous role at Arab Banking
Corporation, he developed the Alburaq suite of market leading Islamic home finance
products and worked closely with the UK Government Treasury to facilitate this activity
in the UK.
As CEO of Gatehouse Bank he is constantly on the road marketing the City of
London and is a great ambassador for the UK Islamic finance industry, promoting its
strengths internationally, from the GCC to SE Asia. "
For Thomas, the award is a pinnacle achievement for the veteran business leader who
operates in the heart of London, but frequents much of his time overseas, to engage in
cross border transaction activity with investor clients.
Richard Thomas, CEO, Gatehouse commented:
“I am most grateful for this honour and thank everyone for their kind words of support.
I am pleased to see the UK emerge as a centre for Islamic finance in the past decade.
Although we have not reached the heights of development in the GCC or Malaysia, the
UK offers a level of expertise and a strong financial infrastructure to complement the
services provided by our regional neighbours.
This award will help motivate the emerging community of UK specialists who are looking
to advance the growth of Islamic finance and see its increasing potential to develop not
only regional but cross-border experience in international transaction activity.”
Career highlights for Thomas include his recent appointment as the Chairman of the
Islamic finance working group at TheCityUK, the official private sector body representing
the UK financial services sector, where he continues to champion the promotion of
Islamic finance for both domestic and overseas’ business development.
He is also the Kuwait Special Representative for UK Trade & Investment, where he has
assisted in the development of UK-Kuwait bilateral trade promotion. His work also
engages the City of London’s Lord Mayor’s office where he has attended high profile
business delegation visits to market and welcomed senior officials on inward visits.
Over the years, Thomas has worked centrally with UK Government’s Treasury, Lord
Mayor Office in the City of London, UK Trade & Investment, and British Embassies
and consulates; particularly in Kuwait, KSA, Bahrain, UAE and Malaysia to promote UK
Islamic finance to worldwide audiences.
Thomas’ relationships with Ministers of State, Governors of Central Banks and financiers
from across the globe have helped foster bilateral business ties between UK-based
Islamic financial institutions and counterpart financial institutions overseas.
In 2011, the global Islamic finance industry has recorded at a rates of growth at a
staggering 10-15% per year and the size of the industry is valued at nearly US$1 trillion
worth of assets under management, according to latest globally reported figures. The
UK is currently the leading Western country and Europe’s premier centre for Islamic
finance with US$19bn of reported assets, largely based on activity by Shariah compliant