We owned banks in the Middle East and in Africa: Bank Al Mashrek, Credit Libanais (which we developed to total assets of $10 billion), Capital Trust Bank, First Phoenician Bank, B.A.C.D, Banque de Placements du Zaïre.
We created and led Intra Investment Company, one of the major sovereign wealth investment companies in the Middle East. The major shareholders of the company are the governments of Kuwait and Qatar.
We also owned banks in Europe and the United States: Banque de Participations et de Placements, Banque Stern and Bank of the Commonwealth.
We acquired Bank of the Commonwealth, Detroit, Michigan, a bank with $1.25 billion in assets, 1,200 employees and 50 branches throughout Michigan, the weakest of that state’s major banks. As such, it was a problem for all of the major United States regulatory agencies, which included the Federal Reserve System (FED), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the State of Michigan banking regulators. We held the position of majority shareholder, worked closely with all three regulators over a number of years to solve the bank’s problems, and it was eventually given a 100% clean bill of health. At that point, with the regulators’ agreement and encouragement, we merged Bank of the Commonwealth into Detroit Bank and Trust to form Comerica Corporation, a large nationwide bank holding company, number 36 in size nationally, with $71.7 billion in assets and a net worth of $7.7 billion. We became Comerica’s largest single individual shareholder following this transaction.
We were also former partners of Société Générale in Frab Bank and of Bank of America in Egypt.