Tunisia banking

20 November 2013

Six individuals leading the development of the country’s banking industry: Chedly Ayari; Elyes Fakhfakh; Noureddine Zekri; Mohamed Kaaniche; Khalil Ammar; and Jaafar Khatteche

Chedly Ayari

Position Governor and president of the board, Central Bank of Tunisia

Biography Chedly Ayari is governor and president of the board of the Central Bank of Tunisia, whose mission it is to oversee monetary policy. Prior to joining the central bank in July 2012, Ayari held several ministerial positions in departments including education, economy and planning. Previously, he was chief executive officer (CEO) of the Arab Bank for African Economic Development. Before this, he was executive director at the World Bank and a founding employee of the Societe Tunisienne de Banque. Ayari has also worked as an economic adviser to the Tunisian delegation to the UN, as ambassador to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg, and as vice-president of the Tunisian Advisory Council for Scientific Research and Technology. He has degrees in economics and private law, and has an honorary doctorate from Aix-Marseille University in France.

Contact Tel: (+216) 7 112 2000

Elyes Fakhfakh 

Position Finance minister

Biography Elyes Fakhfakh was appointed Tunisia’s finance minister in December 2012, having been tourism minister since December 2011. Prior to beginning his career in government, Fakhfakh worked for Cortrel, a Tunisian company specialising in the manufacturing of leaf springs, from 2004. He went on to become deputy director-general, overseeing Cortrel’s international expansion. Fakhfakh started his career in 1999 at France’s Total, where he spent several years travelling to more than 50 industrial sites to solve complex technical and organisational issues. His time at Total culminated in his last position, from 2004-06, as operational director of a fast-growing site in Poland. Born in Tunis, Fakhfakh has a double degree in engineering and human and organisational management from the Institut National des Sciences Appliques de Lyon in France.

Contact Tel: (+216) 7 157 3527

Noureddine Zekri

Position Director-general, Foreign Investment Promotion Agency

Biography Noureddine Zekri is director-general of Tunisia’s Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA-Tunisia), a public institution set up within the Development & International Cooperation Ministry in 1995. Previously, he was director-general of foreign investment within the same ministry, a role he was appointed to in 2005. Zekri has also worked as director of promotion in the European countries division at FIPA and as division director of advanced technology sectors. He started his career in 1978 as a manager for Tunisia’s Industrial Promotion Agency, and has held a variety of administrative positions, including manager of the Tunisian National Board of Tourism, head of services, deputy director in charge of fiscal incentives and head of the department of promotion and partnership. Zekri has a degree in management from Tunis University.

Contact Tel: (+216) 7 175 2540

Mohamed Kaaniche

Position President and CEO, Banque Tunisienne de Solidarite (BTS)

Biography Mohamed Kaaniche was appointed president and CEO of BTS in September 2012. BTS began operations in March 1998, offering financing and revenue creation projects to individuals who lack the means or the guarantees needed to set up a business. It provides an alternative to the banking system and has helped finance half a million micro projects and micro companies since its creation. Of its capital, 62 per cent is held by private firms and shareholders, although the bank is overseen by both the Finance Ministry and the Tunisian central bank. Prior to joining BTS, Kaaniche held various roles at BTK, the Tunisian-Kuwaiti Bank belonging to the Banques Populaires Caisse d’Epargne Group, and before that as head of network operations and development at UBCI, a generalist Tunisian lender owned by France’s BNP Paribas.

Contact Tel: (+216) 7 184 4040

Khalil Ammar

Position President and CEO, Banque de Financement des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (BFPME)

Biography Khalil Ammar was appointed president and CEO of BFPME in 2008, after holding the position of deputy CEO for three years. BFPME was created in March 2005 in order to assist entrepreneurs throughout the lifecycle of their companies and to facilitate access to financing for the creation and development of small-to-medium-sized businesses. Its capital was doubled in 2009 to TD100m ($60m) to help its 21 regional offices develop the financing operations of the bank, improve service levels and increase the amount of support given to university graduates and high-value-added industry projects. Prior to joining BFPME, Ammar was employed by the Tunisian central bank. Before this, he worked in the banking industry in France.

Contact Tel: (+216) 7 010 2200

Jaafar Khatteche

Position President and CEO, Banque Nationale Agricole (BNA)

Biography Jaafar Khatteche was appointed president and CEO of BNA in 2011. The state-owned lender was founded in 1959. With 162 branches, 22 subsidiaries and ties at all levels of the Tunisian economy, it is one of the largest generalist banks in the country. Khatteche started his career at Arab Tunisian Bank (ATB) in 1986 and worked his way up the hierarchy, successively holding two directorial positions from 2000, as head of local and international operations and then head of treasury and international relations. He was appointed central treasury director in 2009 and represented ATB on the boards of the Inter-Bank Services Company and the Inter-Bank Telecompensation Society, and as secretary-general of the Tunisian Forex Club. Khatteche has a master’s degree and a higher degree in economics from Sorbonne University in France.

Contact Tel: (+216) 7 183 1000

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