Morocco entrepreneurs

03 February 2010

Six leading men in Morocco’s economic elite are: Mohamed Horani, Miloud Chaabi, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Younes Benjelloun, Saloua Karkri Belkeziz and Brahim Slaoui

Mohamed Horani

Position: President, General Confederation of Moroccan Business (CGEM)

Biography: Mohamed Horani studied at the National Institute for Statistics & Applied Economics in Rabat, going on to join Morocco’s Planning Ministry in 1974. A move into information technology followed, having trained at the US’ IBM in 1976. In 1977, he became head of Sacotec, a subsidiary of the Moroccan conglomerate Omnium Nord Africain. He then went on to work for French IT company Bull Maroc and then became head of the Societe Maghrebine de Monetique in 1984. In 1995, he and his colleagues founded Hightech Payment Systems, which has developed a range of electronic payment and accounting services for the issuers of credit and debit cards. By 2001, the group had become one of the world’s top 30 vendors of card and account management software. In May 2009, Horani was elected president of CGEM on a three-year mandate.

Contact Tel: (+212) 529 04 50 00Six leading businessmen in Morocco’s economic elite

Miloud Chaabi

Position: Chairman, Ynna Holding

Biography: Miloud Chabbi is chairman of Ynna Holding, the private holding company for the Chaabi Group – one of Morocco’s largest private sector employers with 18,000 staff. Chaabi Group’s main areas of activity include construction, real estate and manufacturing construction materials as well as tourism. All shares in Ynna Holding are owned by members of the Chaabi family. In 1948, Miloud Chaabi started his career in the construction business in the Atlantic port town of Kenitra, and took his first step into industry in 1964 with the launch of a ceramic tiles plant in the town. Within a few years he had branched out into manufacturing paper, electric cables and batteries. The conglomerate later diversified into producing steel, owning hotel chains and a hypermarket business. But the Chaabi family has kept tight control over its business: a first stock market listing for a group business came only in 2007.

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 44 79 00

Moulay Hafid Elalamy

Position: Chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), Saham Group

Biography: Moulay Hafid Elalamy founded the Saham Group in 1995. With interests in telecoms, IT, logistics, insurance, outsourced call-centres, distribution, and real estate, Saham is emblematic of Morocco’s ability to capitalise on its proximity to Europe and well-educated francophone workforce to become a service centre for European markets. Elalamy, whose early career was in higher education and government (in Quebec), comes from the kingdom’s economic elite. His grandfather had an exclusive US car dealership, while his father headed a regional office of the Banque du Maroc. Before Saham, Ealamy worked at the holding company ONA, where he led an insurance unit, oversaw a group-wide restructuring and led the stock market flotation of insurance adviser Agma Lahlou-Tazi. He served as president of CGEM from June 2006 until May 2009.

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 77 84 10

Younes Benjelloun

Position: President and executive administrator, Casablanca Financial Group (CFG)

Biography: Younes Benjelloun is president of CFG, a Moroccan investment bank modelled on banks in the US and Britain. He was previously head of CFG’s capital markets division. He also sits on the advisory board of the Education for Employment Foundation that seeks to reduce youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa. CFG is part of the Benjelloun family business empire, which includes telecoms and insurance companies. CFG has units specialising in mergers and acquisitions, stockbroking, fund-raising through fixed interest products, corporate finance, project finance, private banking and investment management. The group also meets the needs of smaller or privately owned firms, notably through investment in growing small and medium-sized enterprises through taking temporary minority shareholdings.

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 25 22 25

Saloua Karkri Belkeziz

Position: CEO, GFI Maroc

Biography: Saloua Karkri Belkeziz established the data processing house Professional Systems in 1987, after spells at France’s Eurosoft and Bull Maroc. The company was renamed after being acquired by France’s GFI. With 75 staff and a turnover of MDh33m ($4m), this is a small specialist business. Like so many Moroccan entrepreneurs, Belkiziz has also been highly active in public life, as the founder of the association of Morocco’s Association of Women Heads of Companies (AFEM) and a member of World Bank taskforces dealing with women’s issues. In 2006, AFEM launched a programme to help women develop service businesses in Casablanca. GFI Maroc specialises in project software for business management. It has a client base of more than 200 firms, ranging from small and medium-sized firms to major national and international companies and a number of public sector bodies.

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 94 97 79

Brahim Slaoui

Position: Chairman, Mafoder

Biography: Brahim Slaoui is owner and general manager of Moroccan metal foundry Marocaine de Fonderie et des Applications Industrielles (Mafoder). Having graduated in business and finance administration from France’s Paris Dauphine and the US’s Columbia University, Slaoui is heavily involved in Moroccan business circles. The founding member of the Moroccan chapter of the 17,000-member Young Presidents’ Organization, he is also a member of debating network, Les Cercles du Progres. Through this network he has become involved in international bodies dealing with business ethics, young entrepreneurs and development issues. Mafoder was created in 1984 and began exporting a decade later and it now trades beyond the Maghreb, in Europe, the Middle East – notably Iraq, where it has supplied infrastructure for 18 towns and cities – and West Africa. Slaoui joined the company in 1987.

Contact Tel: (+212) 522 89 09 38

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications