Barclays Management Team


John Vitalo 

Chief Executive Officer,
Middle East & North Africa for Barclays PLC

John Vitalo is the Chief Executive Officer of Barclays in the Middle East and North Africa. Based in Dubai, he is responsible for all of the firm’s business in the region.

Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer of Absa Capital, Barclays affiliate in South Africa, from 2005 to 2009. In 2008 he took on additional responsibility for Absa Wealth. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer for Barclays Investment Banking and Investment Management division in the Middle East in May 2009.

Prior to moving to Absa Capital, in 2005, Vitalo was based in London as a Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Barclays Rates businesses, covering Fixed Income Derivatives and Government Bond Trading, Foreign Exchange, Commodities, Money Markets, Equity-linked Products, Emerging Markets and Collateralised Finance. Before that he was Chief Operating Officer of Emerging Markets.

Vitalo joined Barclays in 2002 from Credit Suisse First Boston in New York, where he held a number of senior positions including Director of e-Commerce for Emerging Markets, Proprietary Trader for the Emerging Markets Group, Global Head of the Emerging Markets Structured Financing & Repo Desk and Head of the Emerging Markets Fixed Income Arbitrage Desk. He began his tenure at CSFB in Debt Capital Markets.

Prior to CSFB he worked in Mergers & Acquisitions at Gleacher & Co. and in private equity at Morgan Stanley, both in New York. His career as an investment banker started when he was selected to participate in the Morgan Stanley graduate training programme.

Vitalo has a Bachelor of Sciences degree summa cum laude in Business Administration from Georgetown University in Washington DC. He graduated in 1990

Venkatesh Srikantan

Head of Personal Banking, Barclays UAE

Venky joined Barclays in August 2010 and has overall responsibility for the Personal Banking  strategy in the UAE.

Venky joined Barclays from HSBC where he held the position of Head of Retail from 2007 to 2010 across eight countries in the Middle East. Prior to HSBC Venky was with Citibank for 13 years where he held a number of roles across India, Indonesia, Poland and the Middle East. Venky has extensive experience of building franchises with assignments ranging from building a wealth business in India, an insurance business in Poland, to launching consumer banking in Algeria and Kuwait.

Venky is a qualified electronics engineer. He graduated in Engineering and received his MBA from a leading business school in India.


Rezwan Mirza

Managing Director
Head of Corporate Banking, Barclays – UAE & GCC

Rezwan Mirza is Head of the Corporate Banking division at Barclays in the UAE and GCC.

Rezwan is responsible for driving the corporate banking business in the Gulf region and providing the best solutions to our clients by leveraging the overall global capabilities of the Barclays organisation to serve the corporate client base. Rezwan previously held various senior positions including Head of Corporate Coverage and Head of Debt Finance for Barclays in the GCC.

Prior to this Rezwan was a Director at the Investment Bank of Barclays. Rezwan’s responsibilities included client coverage and business origination across the GCC region. His client base included a number of the Sovereign Wealth Funds as well as other government related entities responsible for developing various sectors of the economy in these markets. During this time, Rezwan worked closely with Barclays team of corporate bankers to ensure that their clients were provided investment banking coverage.

Before joining Barclays, Rezwan was an Executive Director in the Investment Banking Division at UBS in New York. Rezwan’s transaction and advisory experience includes a variety of public and private equity financings, bank and bond debt origination, corporate restructurings, M&A and risk management.

Rezwan started his career with Ernst & Young in Houston and is a Certified Public Accountant. Rezwan has a B.A. in Economics and a Masters in Accounting from Rice University, Houston and a MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Cedric Lizin’s

Cedric Lizin

Managing Director,
Head of Barclays Wealth and Investment
Management for MENA and Japan

Lizin is Head of Wealth Management for the Middle East and North Africa, responsible for developing the business and managing the Middle East and European-based private banking teams covering these regions in order to deliver growth strategies.

He is also Head of Business, Japan, where he oversees on behalf of Barclays the private banking joint venture with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. for high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals in Japan.

Based in Dubai, Lizin joined Barclays in June 2007 as Chief Operating Officer for Asia. He was responsible for building up the platform for the Asia business, and establishing robust risk and control frameworks to enable the growth of the business. Prior to Barclays, he was with Credit Suisse in Singapore. He also spent over 10 years working in Europe. He was with Fortis Private Bank as Head of Strategy and Operations, and later as Deputy Chief Performance Manager for the Fortis Group. He also worked as an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company, after starting his career as a Risk Analyst for Credit Communal.

Lizin is an Electro-Mechanical Engineer from Université de Liège (Belgium) and holds a Post-Graduate Degree in Management from Solvay Business School (Belgium), both earned valedictorian, with the highest distinction and congratulations of the Jury.

Makram Azar

Vice Chairman, Investment Banking

Makram Azar is Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, responsible for EMEA activities.

In addition, he is a Managing Director and Senior Relationship Banker Europe, Middle East and North Africa and Head of Investment Banking, Middle East and North Africa. 

Azar joined Barclays Capital in September 2010 from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co ('KKR') where he was Managing Director and Head of Middle East and North Africa.

Prior to joining KKR, Azar had spent 18 years at Lehman Brothers, latterly as Managing Director, Global Head of Sovereign Wealth Funds and Chairman of Media Investment Banking for Europe & the Middle-East.  Previously he led the Media, Consumer & Retail Investment Banking businesses of Lehman Brothers in Europe & Middle-East, based in London.

Azar holds a Master's Degree in Management and Finance from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris and a BA in Applied Economics from the University Paris-IX Dauphine.