Lebanese banker Samir Assaf to challenge technology investments

Lebanese banker Samir Assaf to challenge technology investments
Lebanese banker Samir Assaf to challenge technology investments

In recent months, and starting in the summer of last year in particular, the name of the Lebanese banker Samir Assaf, residing in London, was repeatedly circulated in Lebanon, and there were speculations about the position he would be assigned to in a rescue government that was being worked on. His name was mentioned as Minister of Finance at times and Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon sometimes, in addition to various advisory positions.
The reason for this is that Samir Assaf is at the present time one of the most prominent workers in the banking sector and financial markets at the global level due to the responsibilities he assumed, the leadership positions he received, the experiences he has accumulated, and the wide network he has woven all over the world since joining HSBC Bank. (HSBC) global 27 years ago.
Samir Assaf’s reluctance to take up the positions offered to him in Lebanon, despite their importance, was not an asceticism or a refusal to help Lebanon and the Lebanese out of one of the worst crises the country has ever witnessed. However, the real reason was that he saw that he could better serve Lebanon and its citizens. From outside.
But what was new that came out in the open in the past two days in London and New York was the news that Samir Assaf joined the US technology-specialized private investment company, General Atlantic, as its senior advisor and a member of the advisory board for its climate project, BeyondNetZero.
However, Samir Assaf’s joining General Atlantic does not mean severing his ties with HSBC, the largest bank in Europe. He will continue, according to a statement issued by the aforementioned bank, in his relationship with him as a senior advisor to its president, Mark Tucker, and to its CEO, Noel Quinn. He will remain in parallel as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Division of the bank, which constitutes an important source of its revenue.
Gabriel Caillou, one of the presidents and general manager of General Atlantic and responsible for its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that “Assaf’s tremendous experience, which he gained from heading global companies, and his extensive network of relationships will constitute an added value to our team, especially in terms of consolidating the pillars of the (General Atlantic) network. And deepen our expertise in Europe, the Middle East and others.” For his part, Assaf expressed his enthusiasm to join General Atlantic, considering it an “exciting new phase.”
The narration is lengthy to capture Samir Assaf’s professional biography. In Paris, where he arrived as a student, he began his career in a Lebanese bank, then moved to work in the financial department of the Total Oil Company, where after climbing positions and ranks in it, he moved to the French CCF Bank. as one of his managers. When HSBC bought the aforementioned bank, Samir Assaf was one of the main enthusiasts of the merger and later moved from Paris to London to carry out his new duties and climb the ladder of responsibilities at record speed.
During the 27 years in which he served the bank in all honesty, Assaf was a prominent member of its executive team, managing its investment department for ten years, supervising the aforementioned department during the turbulent times that followed the 2008 financial crisis and witnessed many changes at the level of CEOs and radical transformations. in the sector.
In December 2019, he resigned as Head of Banking and Global Markets after taking over ten years to become Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking – a role that meant relinquishing management responsibilities to focus on its largest clients, in addition to remaining Head of the Middle East Division. .
With his partial move to General Atlantic, Assaf will continue to support the bank and its business through his role as an advisor to the group’s president and CEO and through his role as non-executive chairman of the boards of HSBC Middle East Limited and HSBC Middle East Holding Company.
Samir Assaf, 61, became one of the most famous investment bankers in Europe and Asia for an unusually long ten-year period, during which he ran the bank’s most sensitive department during the turbulent years following the financial crisis. Therefore, he was the most qualified to occupy the highest positions, and practically to succeed the former CEO of the bank, Stuart Gulliver in 2018, but the board of directors had a different opinion, as it chose John Flint, who had only 18 months in office, and was dismissed and replaced by Noel Quinn, one of the bank’s directors. who still holds this position to this day. In the following year (2019), Samir Assaf preferred to give up his position as head of banking services and global markets in order to devote his time to corporate and institutional services.

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