Macron Just Proposed Samir Assaf As Lebanon’s New President, Here’s What We Know About Him

Miguel Hadchiti

With the constitutional period to elect a new president expiring, Lebanon’s friendly countries are not hesitating to propose potential candidates for the presidential race to Baabda.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, had continued to visit Lebanon since the Beirut Blast and work with Lebanese officials to ease the crisis. He has now reportedly proposed the name of Lebanese businessman Samir Assaf as a presidential candidate.

Born in Ashrafieh in 1960, Samir Assaf is a Senior Advisor to HSBC’s Group Chairman, Group CEO, and the Bank’s business, and Non-Executive Chairman of the Boards of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited and HSBC Middle East Holdings.

After leaving academia in 1987, he joined the French oil giant Total the same year, rising to head of treasury by the time he left in 1994.

In 1994, he joined the French commercial bank Crédit Commercial de France to run the global market division.

In 2000, he joined HSBC Group, following the UK bank’s acquisition of French commercial bank Crédit Commercial de France.

At HSBC, he started as head of fixed income trading, Europe, and head of Global Markets HSBC France. In 2006, he was promoted to head of Global Markets for EMEA, and in 2007 became deputy head of Global Markets.

Assaf became head of Global Markets in January 2008 and a group general manager in May 2008.

In December 2010, he was appointed CEO of Global Banking and Markets. He also became a group managing director and joined the group management board with responsibility for Global Banking and Markets.

In December 2019, HSBC announced that two co-heads, Gregory Guyett and Georges Elhedery, would succeed Assaf as head of the global banking and markets division.

In march 2020, Samir Assaf stepped down from his executive role in HSBC to become a Senior advisor to the chairman and the CEO of HSBC and chairman of the board of HSBC in the middle east.

In June 2020, he was appointed Co-Chairman of the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI), which was launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019.

In October 2021, he added to his current activities with HSBC a Senior advisory role to General Atlantic, one of the most successful private growth funds.

According to Al-Jadeed, Assaf had rejected the role of the governor of the Lebanese Central Bank as well as the minister of finance, as he considered helping Lebanon from abroad.

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