Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Better direction for Lebanese banks

Finding yourself immersed among a gaggle of high-profile Lebanese bankers at a conference or social get-together can be a mildly frightening experience. When almost everyone in your vision is a banker or economist, what do you say to soften this phalanx of professionals? Which is the best buzzword to break the ice? The answer, personally

Look to the numbers

In June 2017, there will be unprecedented room for emotion in banking. Lebanese financial markets could express a wide array of feelings — a mix of relief (at the stability of personnel), exasperation (at the inertia of political processes), doubt (in the ability of the body politic to ever deliver needed laws) and fear (over

Banking on training and education

Besides having to dispatch their staff to rigorous regular training programs required under central bank stipulations, banks provide employees with a variety of opportunities to participate in continuous education. Training extends from honing soft skills to mandated skill checks, acquisition of professional certifications and pursuit of academic degrees. Executive spoke to five banks about how

On the job

Banking is such a constant in Lebanese existence that you can pretty much set your watch by its heartbeat. Of course this only looks effortless. In reality, there are a series of arduous and vital balancing acts in progress, primarily at the central bank and then one tier lower at the commercial banks. After all,

Visions of community

E   You say that the ABC Mall in Verdun is seeking to be a community mall, starting with the priority hiring of local staff who can walk to work. You are well aware of the challenges that exist in the neighborhood relating to traffic congestion and parking. What is your recipe for organizing parking

Visions of community

It’s hurray time for Lebanon’s consumer society. Shopaholics, retail marketers, mall strategists and their assorted public relations minions are gearing up for the launch of the third ABC Mall in Lebanon. The new retail temple is slated to open its doors this summer in Beirut’s Verdun quarter. It will accommodate over 200 stores, including its

Going further

Allianz SNA is one of the most active insurance companies in Lebanon and the Middle East. Executive sat down with its Chairman and Regional Chief Executive Officer, Antoine Issa, to talk about the state of the insurance industry and the interconnections between consolidation, governance and institutional investments. E   How do you view Lebanon from

Taking the long view

The task of improving the Lebanese insurance sector through regulatory instruments, financial supervision and increasing governance has been pursued by the Insurance Control Commission (ICC) at the Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET) for the past 15 years, with growing vigor and ever-increasing activity. To obtain an update on the ICC’s views and projects, Executive

More acquisition than merger

The sale of Al Ittihad al-Watani Insurance evolved over several years and was rumored in the Lebanese market to involve a number of valuation issues before culminating in an acquisition by NASCO Insurance Group. NASCO, whose founding purpose was brokerage activity and whose main focus is insurance broking, pursued the deal on the grounds that

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