Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

In the fog

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

A fund manager’s dream

The MIC in MIC Ventures is not short for Mission Impossible, Cruise. But it could be. Khaled Zeidan, the managing director of MIC Ventures, could easily have a second career modeling cool shades, and the chosen mission of MIC Ventures, should it succeed, will bring life to a sector whose true potential in Lebanon has

Moving into a new world of parliamentary participation

At the end of February 2018, German women did it again. Chancellor Angela Merkel—supposedly the most powerful woman in the world, if one believes Forbes—won her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party’s election overwhelmingly to form a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which had been hotly debated at the party and national level

Lebanon hops on the crypto train

Antoine Yazbek and Zaki Soubra are budding Lebanese cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, and they radiate seriousness in their endeavor. As a journalist, one is inclined to consider an entrepreneur serious if they answer a series of probing interview questions without losing their temper at the intrepid—or sometimes just intractable—media type across the table. A more general measure

Seeking crypto transparency

The concepts and realities of digital currencies are, at best, confusing. To understand more about the Lebanese cryptocurrency community, and the opportunities that the cryptocurrency economy opens for Lebanese business and banks—including the idea of a sovereign digital currency issued by Banque du Liban, Lebanon’s central bank—Executive sat down with Stéphane Abichaker. A locally well

Disruptive technology

In the long run, which will be the bigger B? Will the banking industry do to blockchain, and thus to the soul of Bitcoin, what in recent years it started doing to feeble fintech operators: acquire challengers and digest unwanted competitors before they can threaten legacy players? Or will the blockchain bacterium lead to a

The crypto challenge

For years, the world has been engulfed in accelerating debates full of fear and fascination about Bitcoin, altcoins, and blockchain economies. Just look at January 2018, which brought threats and announcements of state regulation over cryptocurrency in some jurisdictions, bans of exchanges, rumors of impending restrictions alongside news pointing to the opposite, reporting on both

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