Mr. Saad Azhari has been the Chairman of BLOM Bank since 2008, after having been the Vice Chairman and General Manager of BLOM Bank between 2001 and 2007. Mr Azhari also assumes several functions on the board of directors of BLOM Bank Group’s entities. He is, in addition, the Vice President of the Association of Banks in Lebanon since 2001. He joined BLOM Bank (Switzerland) in 1991, and was appointed its General Manager in 1997 and its Chairman in 2001. He worked from 1986 to 1991 in PBZ Privatbank, an affiliate of UBS Group in Zurich, where he was promoted to run, from Zurich, the Bank’s operations in the Middle East and in its Hong Kong offices. Mr. Azhari has a Masters degree in Computer Engineering and an MBA, both from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in the USA.

Saad Azhari, Chairman and General Manager, BLOM Bank

The Lebanese Banking System: A Tale of Two Institutions

The presentation will focus on the role of the two major institutions that make up the Lebanese banking system, the commercial banks and BDL, and how they have managed to erect two strong balance sheets. Aided by their strong balance sheets and guided by their prudent policies, cooperation between the two institutions helped ensure monetary and exchange rate stability. But the banking system has been shouldering a lot of responsibility that goes beyond monetary functions to encompass elements of industrial and investment policies, even fiscal policy. With the new President and Government are now firmly in command, the presentation hopes that the conduct of sound economic policies will be more evenly distributed among the appropriate Government ministries and institutions.