Morocco banking

30 October 2012

Six individuals leading the country’s major lending institutions: Abdellatif Jouahri, Mohamed el-Kettani, Othman Benjelloun, Mohamed Benchaaboune, Rachid Marrakchi and Albert Le Dirach

Abdellatif Jouahri

Position: Governor, Bank al-Maghrib

Biography: Abdellatif Jouahri brings huge experience to his role as governor of Morocco’s central bank. Born in Fez in 1939, Jouahri held several management posts at Bank al-Maghrib between 1962 and 1978. He later entered government as delegate minister in charge of public enterprise reform, before being promoted in 1981 to finance minister, a post he held for five years. That was followed by almost a decade as chairman and managing director of Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur, one of the kingdom’s largest commercial finance institutions. He is a former president of the banking sector’s trade body, Le Groupement Professionel du Banques du Maroc. After a brief tenure as head of the Caisse Interprofessionnelle Marocaine de Retraite (Morocco Professional Pension Fund), which caters to private sector workers, Jouahri was appointed to take over the top post at the central bank in 2003.

Contact Tel: (+212) 537 818 181

Mohamed el-Kettani

Position: Chairman and managing director, Attijariwafa Bank

Biography: Mohamed el-Kettani is chairman and managing director of Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco’s largest banking group. Educated in France at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Techniques Avancees, he started out as a specialist in funding capital projects at the Banque Commerciale du Maroc (BCM). After almost a decade at the bank, he became deputy director in charge of all lending at BCM. El-Kettani was one of the key architects of the 2004 merger of BCM with Wafabank, to create Attijariwafa Bank. After the merger, he took charge of the divisions handling investment and major corporate business, and international activity. In 2007, he became chairman and managing director. El-Kettani has led Attijariwafa Bank’s impressive expansion into sub-Saharan African markets including Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 224 169

Othman Benjelloun

Position: Chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur

Biography: Chairman and CEO of BMCE, Othman Benjelloun is the second-wealthiest businessman in Morocco. He studied at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Switzerland, before returning home to join his older brother Omar in diversifying the family business. The move into finance came in 1988, with the acquisition of Royale Marocaine d’Assurances, of which his father had been one of 10 co-founders. The family bought BMCE when it was privatised in 1995. Benjelloun established partnerships with international lenders, including Germany’s Commerzbank and Japan’s Nomura Group to extend the bank’s reach. He was also instrumental in BCME buying a 35 per cent stake in Bank of Africa, a leading player in west-central Africa. In 2007, the group set up MediCapital Bank in London (now BMCE Bank International).

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 438 283

Mohamed Benchaaboune

Position: Chairman and managing director, Banques Populaires

Biography: Mohamed Benchaaboune has been chairman and managing director of Banques Populaires since 2008. He brings vast experience to the role from his time at power company CGE Maroc (now Alcatel Alstom CGE). Educated at Ecole Superieure d’Electricite in Paris, he has worked for the Washington-headquartered IMF and Moroccan customs, as well as the Banque Centrale Populaire, the central institution of the group that he now leads. Benchaaboune heads up a lender with the largest client base in Morocco, with 1,000 branches and 3.2 million customers. It is strong in catering to Moroccans living abroad and manages 60 per cent of the total financial asset base of a constituency that plays a vital role in a society with a long tradition of migration. Banques Populaires is also the traditional market leader in catering for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 202 533

Rachid Marrakchi

Position: General manager, Banque Marocaine pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BMCI)

Biography: Rachid Marrakchi is general manager of BMCI. The bank’s biggest shareholder is France’s BNP Paribas, with 66.74 per cent ownership. Like Attijariwafa Bank’s Mohamed el-Kettani, Marrakchi pursued an early career at BCM. Later, he spent four years working at cement firm Ciments du Maroc and its parent Ciments Francais, the international arm of Italy’s Italcementi. There he was charged with drafting the company’s strategic plan. This equipped him well for a return to BMCI in 1997 as director of major corporate and institutional business. His responsibilities later expanded and now he is leading the bank as it enjoys a period of accelerating growth. BMCI hired 500 new staff in 2011 as lending rose by 11 per cent, and a further 1,400 personnel are set to be recruited by the end of 2014. Marrakchi graduated from Ecole Centrale in Paris.

Contact Tel: (+212) 529 044 044

Albert Le Dirach

Position: President, Societe Generale Maroc

Biography: Albert Le Dirach is president of the executive board of Societe Generale Maroc and has worked at the French bank for almost his whole career. Having trained at the Rennes School of Business in France, he initially joined Groupe des Assurances Nationales in 1979, but moved to Societe Generale the following year, joining the internal audit unit. After seven years, he switched to the capital markets division, before serving for a period in human resources. Le Dirach gained experience of wealth management while he was heading up Societe Generale’s private banking subsidiaries in Luxembourg and Belgium. In 2008, he took over as head of Societe Generale Maroc. The bank has been operating in Morocco for about 98 years and now has 340 branches and operations across a wide range of market sectors. Societe Generale Maroc’s lending last year grew by 8.5 per cent.

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 438 888

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