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Outstanding contribution to financial services in the Middle East: Michel Accad, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

Awards for Excellence 2019

In a career in banking that spans more than four decades, Michel Accad’s talent for making the best of bad situations has earned him the overwhelming respect of his peers.

The chief executive of Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) is perhaps still best known for his stint at Gulf Bank, which was bailed out in 2008 and whose rescue, piloted by Accad as chief executive, cemented his reputation as a master at solving banking crises.

Accad has faced seemingly insurmountable challenges from the earliest stages of his career. His introduction to banking, between 1979 and 1984, was in the corporate finance division of Citibank in Lebanon, a country then torn apart by civil war.

He demonstrated calm in the face of danger, each day crossing the divide between the city’s western and eastern areas on his commute between home and work. He swiftly rose through the ranks, starting as a relationship manager and ending up as a department head.

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