Honorary professorial fellowship for outstanding alumna
Published 20 May 2011
Watch this video, made when Dr Taher spent a morning with Lancaster MBA students taking the Advanced Leadership elective, as Dr Taher describes her experience of setting up a new investment bank in a male-dominated industry.
Her lecture, “Macroeconomic Problems, Prospects and Policy Priorities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Region”, was warmly received by an audience of academic colleagues, economists, staff and students. In her introduction, Professor Sue Cox, Dean of LUMS, expressed great pride in Dr Taher’s achievements.
Dr Taher was awarded an Honorary Professorial Fellowship of Lancaster University by the Vice Chancellor. The Fellowship marks the outstanding national and global contribution Dr Nahed has made to the highly competitive commercial field of banking and finance.
Lancaster's Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, presents Dr Nahed with her honorary fellowship
Dr Taher, who has a PhD in Economics from Lancaster University Management School, gave an enlightening overview of the Gulf economies. She raised the issue of the pitfalls of the region’s over-reliance on oil and the social consequences. Income from oil exports simply does not filter through to the economy, leaving 30% of Saudis living below the poverty line. Rising oil prices were suppressing productivity as it leads to complacency. Using case studies from Gulf One’s investment portfolio, she illustrated responsible, ethical and sound investment principles which delivered healthy returns. For example, there is a huge global financing gap for infrastructure, yet it is low risk investment and everyone needs it, and this need is growing as the population grows. The private sector was seen as the driving force behind economic growth, with private companies increasingly rewarding their employees with shares.
Dr Nahed Taher delivering her lecture at Lancaster University Management School
Taking questions from the audience, she was asked how the banking system in the Gulf region needed to develop. Citing greed as the root cause of the crisis, she recommended that investment banks and retail banks needed to separate; as retail banks are based purely on consumption and have no asset base. When asked about the political situation, she said that engagement of youth and the private sector was pivotal to the future development of the region.
Dr Taher was ranked 24th in the Financial Times’ Women at the Top Report in November 2010, and was one of just four Arab women to be recognised by Forbes in its list of the 100 most influential women in the world in 2006, after she became the first woman to head a Saudi investment bank.
View Dr Taher's presentation in PDF format: Macroeconomic Problems, Prospects and Policy Priorities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Region