Hiring A Chief Information Security Officer for a Regional Bank, Qatar

Role: Chief Information Security Officer
Company: Regional Bank, Qatar


An innovative regional commercial bank with a strong digital orientation was investing heavily in technology. It had an established information security function, but this was considered to be too reactive to deliver the forward-looking security strategy the bank needed. The bank wished to hire a CISO who would develop a comprehensive and strategic approach to cyber and information security and pro-actively assist the business rather than being predominantly focussed on preventative measures.

Barclay Simpson Middle East was engaged to undertake an exclusive contingent search for a technically excellent CISO with a strong awareness of current and emerging security threats, who was also a strong leader, manager and communicator who could mediate the business’ internal goals with the requirements of the regulator. All while delivering a forward-looking security strategy.


Following a detailed brief from HR and senior business leadership to understand the technical, commercial and regulatory needs, we undertook a comprehensive search of our extensive in-house international cyber and information security database. From this search, we were able to select and approach senior security candidates to assess their technical skills and soft competencies against the needs of the role and present this leadership opportunity in Qatar.

As Qatar is relatively unknown as an ex-pat option, it was essential to not only sell the role and bank but also the location and lifestyle.


A suitable Short List of candidates from international banks with sophisticated information security functions and infrastructures from the UK, Europe, Middle East and Australasia was presented.

Several rounds of remote interviews were managed, leading to the final shortlist which was interviewed in Qatar leading to an offer which was accepted. The successful candidate had not previously considered Qatar as a location, but we provided them with support so that they could effectively research the lifestyle and, following a visit, they were able to commit to the location.