Karim Soueissi : Financial and Economic expert, entrepreneur and academic.

By FNF Lebanon
IAF Alumni Network.

I have acquired a master’s degree in financial economics from Brunel University in London, and a bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance and Economics from the Lebanese American University in Beirut.

I have compiled more than 15 years of professional experience covering different fields including audit, consultancy, credit rating, banking, academia, and entrepreneurship. I have worked at top international and regional firms including Fitch Ratings, Deloitte and Touche and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2015, I left the UAE and joined Cedrus Invest Bank in Beirut, Lebanon as Head of Risk Management. In 2016, I became a Fund Manager at Theemar Tripoli Investment Fund in Tripoli, Lebanon, which was setup as a private equity fund. In 2019, I then became a full-time Senior Lecturer at Azm university teaching finance and economics. I have has recently joined Hoshan Group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a Finance Manager.

Leadership mainly drives me since it requires many skills and qualities. These include knowledge, decision making, team building, positivity, communication, empathy, negotiation, and other skills. Therefore, I am motivated to become a good leader whether at work, at home or in society.

I had the privilege to participate in two FNF programs, the first was a Study Tour for Entrepreneurship Professionals Forum on the World Economic Order that took place in both Washington DC and Seattle in November 2018, and the other was an Alumni Conference for Forum on the World Economic Order Participants that took place in Washington DC in September 2019. I enjoyed both programs very much. I loved interacting with many nationalities and learning about different cultures. It made me feel that I am a citizen of the world again.

Regarding the first program, I was expecting to see a mature and well-defined entrepreneurship ecosystem, but when I got to there, reality was different. I discovered, along with other members of the study group that the US is not all Silicon Valley. The entrepreneurship ecosystem is still developing in other parts of the country. I also learned that there are many cultural differences between Lebanon and the US in approaching entrepreneurship, which are crucial in developing such an ecosystem in my home country.

The other participants and I met many experts in prominent positions in private and public institutions including accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, universities, startups, micro lenders, government lending institutions and others. I noticed five cultural traits that are embedded in the American culture but not in ours.

As for the second program, we tackled important political, economic, and social topics that are currently affecting the world we live in including: shifting dynamics in the international economic community, free trade, the digital economy and future of work, fostering economic and social inclusion, new and emerging global economic actors, among others. These topics were delivered through multiple formats including panel discussions, lectures and team building exercises. This widened my horizon and ability to understand these world changing events. Also, the participants and I were able to share our experience. This has shed the light on some cultural differences and but also on ways to tackle them.