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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - Global Success: The Case of Lebanese Superclans

Special Reports

Global Success: The Case of Lebanese Superclans

Beirut Lebanon

Phoenician Legacy: For the past thirty or so years, headlines concerning Lebanon have more often than not been occupied by the tragic, the unsettling, and what may be euphemistically described as the concerning. More recently, Lebanon’s ongoing economic crisis and political turmoil have put the worse front and center: GDP declined by 21% in 2020 and 10.5% in 2021, while much of the political class has been mired in corruption scandals, so much so that the country has become nearly synonymous with it.

Nevertheless, the actual, Phoeniciantradition of Lebanon as an open, opportunity-seeking seafaring nation has stood the test of time in the form of Lebanon’s great business families – what I personally call Lebanon’s superclans.

These superclans rose from the Lebanese business community, which possesses an extensive global network built on the Lebanese diaspora that spans across continents, including Europe and Africa. This network provides Lebanese businesspeople with unique access to international markets, investment opportunities, and potential partners. Furthermore, many Lebanese individuals are multilingual, speaking Arabic, French, and English fluently. This linguistic advantage enhances their ability to communicate and collaborate with businesses worldwide, facilitating international trade and negotiations.

The Lebanese Superclans

Lebanese business families have not only made an impact within their borders but have also extended their influence on the international business arena. Many of these families have leveraged their entrepreneurial spirit to establish successful ventures abroad, contributing to global trade, investment, and economic growth. As diaspora communities have spread around the world, these families have built transnational networks that connect Lebanon to various corners of the globe.

Most notably but not exclusively, these include:

  • Hariri Family: The Hariri family is among the most well-known in Lebanon, with investments in sectors such as construction, telecommunications, media, and banking. Rafic Hariri, the late Prime Minister of Lebanon, was a prominent figure who founded the Hariri Group and played a pivotal role in the country’s post-civil war reconstruction.
  • Mikati Family: The Mikati family has also been a significant player in Lebanon’s business landscape. The family’s involvement spans telecommunications, real estate, and investments. Nagib Mikati served as Lebanon’s Prime Minister multiple times and has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors.
  • Khoury Family: With interests in finance, industry, and real estate, the Khoury family has left an indelible mark on Lebanon’s business scene. They are known for their contributions to banking and investments, playing a crucial role in shaping the country’s financial sector.
  • Daher Family: A prime example of a successful Lebanese family business on the international stage, the Azadea Group operates a diverse portfolio of retail brands across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. The company’s expansion highlights the entrepreneurial drive and global outlook of Lebanese business families.

The list is not exhaustive. Indeed, my own country, Romania, proudly hosts the Murad family, with extensive interests in the leisure industry, foodstuffs, several chains of restaurants – and not least, a list of philanthropic initiatives. Mexico’s Slim is of Lebanese origin and so is Brazil’s famous Safra family.

Takeaway

The Lebanese diaspora and superclans, in particular, serve as a testament to the resilience, adaptability, and dynamism of a people who have always ventured far from their homeland. Across continents, Lebanese expatriates have become drivers of progress, innovation, and cultural exchange. Their impact extends beyond economic success to encompass diplomacy, philanthropy, and the preservation of a rich cultural heritage.

As the Lebanese diaspora and its superclans continue to evolve and make their mark on the world stage, their legacy remains an inspiring testament to the enduring bonds between people and the profound influence they can have, regardless of the distances that separate them.


Written by Radu Magdin.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - Global Success: The Case of Lebanese Superclans
Radu Magdin, PhD
Radu Magdin, CEO at Smartlink Communications, is a global analyst, consultant, trainer and think tanker. He worked as an honorary advisor to the Romanian Prime Minister (2014-2015) and advised the Moldovan PM (2016-2017) on various strategic issues, from political strategy and communications to reforms implementation and external affairs. Radu is a NATO Emerging Leader with the Atlantic Council of the US (2014), a Forbes Romania Trendsetter (2014), and a Warsaw Security Leader (2015). Magdin, who has a Ph.D. in Resilience to Russian Information Operations, is a widely quoted analyst by global media; he has taught, since 2019, with Romania’s SNSPA, “Global Competition and Strategic Communications” respectively "Global Communication Campaigns", courses with a special focus on great power competition and its impact on global players and communications. Radu is coauthor of the Naumann Foundation's 2021 "Playbook on Liberal Leadership and Strategic Communications in the Covid-19 Era" and will be publishing, in 2024, his first book, "Global Europe and Global Romania as Crisis Solutions".


Radu Magdin is an Executive Council member at the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn.