• March 15, 2022

How Marwan Kheireddine’s Family Has Given a Century of Service to the Lebanese People

Marwan Kheireddine heads up one of the top financial institutions in Lebanon. AM Bank was the first in the country…

 How Marwan Kheireddine’s Family Has Given a Century of Service to the Lebanese People

Marwan Kheireddine heads up one of the top financial institutions in Lebanon. AM Bank was the first in the country to offer credit cards and it was also the first financial center to provide extended hours to its customers. Now the progressive banking business is giving clients the latest cutting-edge options with delivery banking.

 

However, long before Marwan Kheireddine became the chairman of AM Bank, he says his family was protecting precious valuables for Lebanese citizens.

 

“My grandfather was selected by the people of his hometown to be the person of trust, where people would come and deposit valuables with him for safekeeping,” he says. “That was more than a hundred years ago. People who had valuables would basically come to him and place those valuables at his home, and come and collect them whenever they needed to collect those valuables. Valuables included gold coins, money — anything that had value to them.”

 

Growing up on the border of Lebanon and Israel, Marwan Kheireddine recalls a story told to him that happened in 1948 when the State of Israel was being created.

 

“I come from a very small community called the Druze, and we are a very, very small minority, a religious minority and we have our sacred religious books,” Marwan Kheireddine says.

 

When the State of Israel was being created, Marwan Kheireddine says the Druze of Israel deposited their religious books at his grandfather’s home due to concerns that something might happen to the texts. The financial expert says several hundred of the books remained at his grandfather’s house until 1982, when Lebanon was invaded by Israel during the Lebanon War.

 

It was from these protective traditions that Marwan Kheireddine says AM Bank was born. While Marwan Kheireddine’s father officially launched the bank in 1980, the foundation for a bank to serve the people of Lebanon was already in place.

 

“The idea of creating a bank was essentially formalizing a tradition that had been running in our family for generations,” Marwan Kheireddine says.

 

Marwan Kheireddine says his father managed AM Bank up until the time he handed over the reins to his son in 1993.

 

Despite the bank technically being a second-generation business, Marwan Kheireddine sees it more as a fourth-generation entity that began with his grandfather being entrusted with the assets of his fellow villagers.

 

“We’ve been in that business for more than a hundred years,” Marwan Kheireddine says, “albeit in a formal and legalized way since 1980.”

 

How Marwan Kheireddine and AM Bank Continue to Serve the Lebanese People

 

In addition to offering delivery banking services to relieve overcrowded bank branches during the COVID-19 pandemic, he says AM Bank continues to feature digital banking capabilities for its customers, as well as keeping up with trends in cryptocurrency.

 

“The new generation is adapting to technology at a rate never seen before,” he explains. “The advancement in the past 10 years because of the portable electronic devices is advancing [rapidly]. The security available to individuals on their phones and on their computers is also advancing at a rate that we’ve never seen before.”

 

Persevering His Family’s Legacy Is Paramount to Marwan Kheireddine

 

Although Lebanon continues to experience economic challenges, Marwan Kheireddine says he finds it very rewarding to still be tasked with the responsibility of protecting his fellow compatriot’s assets just as his ancestors did.

 

“The reward comes when someone, out of the blue, [someone] walks up to me and says thank-you for something that impacted them in a positive way,” Marwan Kheireddine adds.

 

“It happens every now and then and that gives me so much happiness and so much joy. I’ve had that linked to things that we’ve done at the bank, but more so, in things linked to the community.”

 

In Lebanon, AM Bank has spearheaded a multitude of community initiatives including supporting young Lebanese entrepreneurs through YOUTHinc., and cheering on and aiding Lebanese trapshooter Ray Bassil, who represented Lebanon at the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Olympic Games. AM Bank has also participated in environmental improvement efforts, such as teaming up with the National Institute for Scuba Diving for Coastal Underwater Cleanup Day 2019. The community project involved cleaning waste along Beirut’s coast.

 

Maintaining the natural beauty of his homeland remains a passion for the avid outdoor enthusiast who also taught finance at the American University of Beirut.

 

Marwan Kheireddine says he still holds deep gratitude for the Lebanese youth whose lives he was able to impact in a positive way. Some of his former students have approached him to express their gratitude.

 

“[They’ll say] you changed my life because I asked you what I should do, and you told me I need to do this or that, and I did it, and look where I am now,” he mentions.

 

 

 

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