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M1 Group

History

Having built firm foundations in the construction industry, Taha and Najib Mikati ventured into the telecom market. Their vision was to develop and produce innovative mobile and satellite communication solutions. To that effect, they founded Investcom, which gradually expanded into West Africa and other Middle Eastern countries. By 2005, with operations in 10 countries and over five million registered subscribers, Investcom was listed on London and Dubai’s Stock exchanges.

The following year saw the telecommunication’s group making yet another landmark deal through a merger with the MTN Group to create the world’s largest emerging market telecommunications company. In 2007, the Group diversified its offerings by entering into new sectors and territories, gradually expanding its vast asset portfolio. Its core philosophy of pursuing long-term stable growth allowed further rapid expansion into a globally-recognized investment company.

People

TAHA A. MIKATI


CHAIRMAN, M1 GROUP

Taha A. Mikati, is the Co-Founder and Chairman of M1 Group who comes from modest beginnings dating back to the late 1960s. He worked in construction and engineering prior to developing his business into a dynamic, diversified and international organization covering diverse sectors and geographies. Taha, a native of Tripoli in North Lebanon was born in 1944, attended the International College then enrolled in the American University of Beirut’s Engineering Program. A pioneer and entrepreneur by nature, he founded his own company, Arabian Construction Company (ACC) shortly after graduation. The ACC successfully undertook contracting and engineering projects in the UAE and grew to become one of the largest construction entities in the Middle East.

In 1978, he returned to Lebanon with his family thereby shifting his operational base there. Civil strife in Lebanon destroyed much of its infrastructure debilitating international communications. To overcome this central debacle, Taha was inspired to install a satellite dish on the roof of his office building similar to those used by ships at sea. As soon as word got out, he, alongside his brother Najib who had recently graduated, saw the opportunity and co-founded a small company, Investcom, to address the matter.

A philanthropist and humanitarian by nature, Taha has always been committed to supporting various local and international organizations. As chairman of the Azm and Saade Association, he is devoted to nurturing individual welfare by promoting far-reaching health, social, educational and sports programs. He also supports Dar Al-Aytam, an initiative providing care for Lebanese orphans; chairs, through the Mikati Foundation, AUB’s Columbia University’s Biomedical Engineering program; offers students enrolled at the Harri School University of Chicago fellowship opportunities; as well as resides over the Cleveland Clinic Liver Diseases department in addition to other notable initiatives.

NAJIB A. MIKATI


Co-founder, M1 GROUP

Mohamad Najib A. Mikati is Co-Founder of M1 Group and former Prime Minister of Lebanon. Born in 1955, he graduated from the American University of Beirut with a BA and an MBA. He also went on to complete executive programs at INSEAD and Harvard University. After a successful start in the construction industry, Mohamad Najib, along with his older brother Taha ventured into the telecommunications market and founded Investcom. Their vision was to develop and produce innovative solutions in mobile and satellite communication.

Mohamad Najib began his political career in 1998 as the Minister of Public Works and Transport until 2004 serving under three consecutive cabinets. In 2000, he was elected as a Member of Parliament representing Tripoli. In 2005, he became Lebanon’s Prime Minister. During his tenure, he successfully steered the country towards crucial democratic elections. In 2009, he was re-elected as a Member of Parliament representing Tripoli for a four-year term. In January 2011, Mohamad Najib was nominated to form a government and remained in office as Prime Minister until March 2014.

He is recognized as one of the foremost promoters of centrism in Lebanon. Mohamad Najib is an active member of various influential think tanks and international organizations. He also is a Senior Member of the Dean’s International Council at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago, as well as a Member of the International Advisory Council of the International Crisis Group. He is a former Member of the Board of Trustees at the American University of Beirut, and the Founder of Middle East Prospects Forum and Al Wassatia Forum, two think tanks promoting centrism in Lebanon and the Middle East. Mohamad Najib is a philanthropist engaged with a number of initiatives, both locally and internationally. He also is a patron of medical, academic and charitable associations and organizations, which he founded alongside his family.

AZMI T. MIKATI


CEO, M1 Group

Azmi Mikati earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Columbia University in 1994. As an undergraduate, Azmi founded T-One, a telecom company providing long-distance services between the United States and international destinations. The company proved so successful that it was sold in 1997 to a publicly-traded long-distance company based in the United States.

Prior to joining M1 Group, Azmi was CEO of Investcom, a leading emerging market mobile phone company. In 2005, Investcom listed its share on the London Stock Exchange, as well as the Dubai International Financial Exchange in what was the largest international listing of a Middle Eastern company at that time.

Azmi became one of the youngest CEOs of a Middle Eastern publicly-traded company. He serves as a non-Executive Director of MTN South Africa. He also is a Member of the Board of Trustees at Lebanon’s St. Jude Children Cancer Center and Global Council Board Member at Columbia University.

MAHER N. MIKATI


DEPUTY CEO, M1 GROUP CEO, M1 FASHION CEO, AREEBA

Maher Mikati holds a BS in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut as well as an MBA from INSEAD in France. A former Executive Director at Investcom Holding, Maher managed and oversaw all new business ventures throughout the EMEA region. As the Managing Director of Areeba Cyprus Ltd. (Investcom’s telecom operator in Cyprus), he actively led the complete rollout of the first private mobile operator in the country.

Maher currently is a Member of M1 Group’s investment committee and is a Board Member of Growthgate Capital and Pepe Jeans Group. He also is a Director of the Mikati Foundation, a Member of AUB’s Board of Trustees since 2014 and is currently the Deputy CEO of M1 Group and CEO of areeba.

NIAM KAWAS


DEPUTY CEO, M1 GROUP CEO, M1 CAPITAL

After graduating with a BS in Business Economics from the American University of Beirut, Niam completed an Executive Programs Degree from Stanford University and INSEAD. Her career began with Investcom as part of the executive team when she implemented strategies for innovative international mobile telecom services in Africa and fixed telephony services in the United Kingdom and Monaco.

Niam assisted in listing Investcom shares on the London and Dubai Stock Exchanges. She has been an instrumental leader within the Group for over two decades. Niam is a member of the investment, budget and remuneration committees at M1 Group and Board Member in the majority of the Group’s companies. She is currently the Deputy CEO of M1 Group and the CEO of M1 Capital, the asset management company of M1 Group and a Board Member at LibanPost.

JOE ISSA-EL-KHOURY


MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, M1 GROUP CEO, M1 INVESTMENTS

For many years, Joe served as General Manager and Chairman of Saradar Investment House, the investment banking arm of Saradar Group. Joe’s multi-disciplined assignments covered areas in portfolio and wealth management, project finance, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets as well as real estate investment. He led several firsts such as the first Euro deposit program issued by a Lebanese bank, the first convertible bond issued by a Lebanese industrial group and the first REIT-like structure issued by a real estate company.
Within M1 Group, he is a member of the investment committee and an active leader in business development. He is currently the CEO of M1 Investments holding Board representations at Saradar Bank, Liban Post, ITCC, Façonnable and Pepe Jeans Group.

JAMAL RAMADAN


MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, M1 GROUP CEO, M1 ENTERPRISES

Jamal is a seasoned leading executive with a successful track record in telecommunications and information technology businesses. He holds an MS in Information Systems from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI), France. He has demonstrated leadership and added value to shareholders building a track record within operational start-ups, mergers and acquisitions and mature company turnarounds in the MENA region.

In 1985, Jamal joined Bull, the French-owned computer company, as Chief Engineer to eventually become the head of its business unit. In 1995, he joined France Telecom Mobile Lebanon as Chief Information Officer. In 1996, Jamal moved to become COO at Investcom Group. He was crucial in pursuing strategic business development opportunities and operational performance in the mobile telecommunications business. In 2006, Jamal joined MTN Group as Vice President, overseeing MTN’s MENA operations. He played a valuable role in integrating Investcom into the MTN fold and positioning the company as a formidable operator and recognized brand throughout the Middle East. In 2012, Jamal re-joined M1 Group and is currently the CEO of M1 Enterprises and Executive Director of M1 Group.

MOUSTAPHA EL-SOLH


MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, M1 GROUP CEO, M1 REAL ESTATE

Moustapha earned a BA from Boston University in Massachusetts, with a double major in Finance and Operations. He then received his post-graduate Executive Management degree from Harvard University where he specialized in developing future leaders. His career path started in 1993 in Kuwait at the Canadian company Bechtel followed by an extensive stint at the Westinghouse Electric Company. In 1994, Moustapha moved to Moscow to join the mobile network operator Investcom. Since 1995, he has been living in the Principality of Monaco, where he headed the management of the European operations of Investcom and then presided over the real estate division of the M1 Group. He is currently the CEO of M1 Real Estate as well as the Honorary Consulate of Lebanon in Monaco.

As a Member of the Diplomatic Community in the Principality of Monaco, in 2009 and again in 2014, he was elected President of The Association of Honorary Consuls of Monaco. His business contributions to the Principality of Monaco were recognized by H.S.H. Prince Albert II, who bestowed upon him the honor of the Knight of the Order of St. Charles. In 2016, by presidential decree, Moustapha received the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

RANA SHATILA


CFO, M1 GROUP

With a BS in Business Administration and an MBA from the Lebanese American University, Rana completed a certificate in International Financial Reporting from ACCA. Her career began in 1990 with the Méditerranée Group Services as Chief Accountant. In 1996, she moved to Investcom and served as Corporate Accounting Director for several years before becoming Finance Director of M1 Group. Rana is currently the CFO of M1 Group.

SAMIR MIRZA


Chief HR & Organizational Development Officer, M1 Group

After graduating from INSA Toulouse with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1990, Samir Mirza completed several Executive Programs at Harvard University and London Business School.

Samir started his career in France working as a Project Manager at Air France, France Telecom and Bouygues. Samir later moved to Beirut to become the Organizational Development (OD) and Revenue Assurance Director at Cellis, a Lebanese Telecommunication Operator from 1997 to 2004, where he was responsible for the development and the implementation of a Total Quality Management system (TQM) based on the EFQM model (European Excellence Model).

Samir joined M1 Group in 2004 and is currently the Chief Human Resources & Organizational Development Officer.

Vision and Mission

Mission

M1 Group is a holding company that owns, manages and oversees investments engaged in diversified businesses.

Vision

M1 Group strives to develop successful sustainable businesses while creating stakeholders value.