Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

IT in banking

IT in banking

Some business success stories surprise like new gourmet recipes. It occasionally happens that culinary innovations start with ingredients which by and in themselves do not appeal to everyone as superb delights for the senses—for example liverwurst and artichokes, or Brussels sprouts and tofu—but make a winning dish when combined. Likewise, hardcore banking and software development

Strongest linkage or missing links?

The list of infrastructure needs is long, yet the wish list of these projects for Lebanon is still very rough, and as Executive noted last month, looks methodologically as messy as a disorganized teenager’s room waiting for an encounter with neatness. As the projects in the vast national infrastructure file may contain some old and

News on the house of Saradar

Over the past three to four years, Saradar Bank was being developed as a universal bank with a full range of services in corporate, private, and retail banking. The process was aimed at engineering one differentiated banking entity out of two smaller banks, Near East Commercial Bank and Banque de l’Industrie et du Travail. Although,

Buoyed by banks

The relationship between the Lebanese economy and its banks is not quite as simple as the numbers suggest. Banking aggregates are improving every year. But the economy in Lebanon cannot be assumed to be sturdy just because the banking sector is jogging on and on. There are far too many risks and alarm signals on

Troubled and troublesome

Every stroll in the Eastern Mediterranean lands means walking in the presence of some historic reference. Transformed into politics and national ideologies, history has long been a tool of identity building. When looking at identity politics, these days may we squirm over the rise of new, presumably white identity politics in the United States or

The art of insurance

Brokers play an important role in highly functional insurance markets, providing clients with advice on risk and policy choices. They often help clients obtain covers, assist them with claims, and act as intermediaries between clients and insurers. But Lebanon’s insurance brokers have faced several difficult years in a row. To gauge the views of licensed

Taking risks

Adding to the misty picture of insurance industry prospects in Lebanon are uncertainties over the sector’s ability to exploit three major opportunities which are slowly taking shape inside and outside of Lebanon: energy, infrastructure, and reconstruction. The book of doubts on the purported three new miracles includes some question marks if the industry will be

In the fog

Assessing the insurance industry of Lebanon at the current junction of global insurance challenges, regional vagaries, domestic economic hurdles, and the country’s ongoing political issues is not without difficulty. Just as with the national economy, there are hopes and interesting prospects, but they are mainly just over the horizon—whether in the reconstruction of war-torn Syria

Valued opinions

After over a decade of dormancy, Lebanon’s Economic and Social Council (ESC) was reactivated last November. The ESC is an advisory body to the government, and its opinons are non-binding. Executive met with the economist Mazen Soueid, one of 71 individuals named to serve on committees of the ESC, to understand how the institution can

Creating synergies

MIC Ventures is a new fund in the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem. Seeking to boost the value of startups and young companies that specialize in areas of interest from a mobile telecommunications perspective as well as establishing partnerships between sector companies and the two Lebanese mobile networks, MIC Ventures is itself a startup backed by governmental

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