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The Website of Elie Elhadj
Elie Elhadj


A banker with a thirty-year career in New York, Philadelphia, London, and Riyadh. For seven years during the 1990s, I was Chief Executive Officer of Arab National Bank in Saudi Arabia. My task at this 110-branch banking institution was to tighten financial and credit controls, re-engineer and automate the bank's operations, and introduce new services. By the end of 1997, the number of employees was reduced by almost 50%, to 1,500, and net profit and share price increased substantially. The culture of the institution was modernized and the stage was set for future growth. In 1995, ANB was selected by “Computer World” Magazine, as one of the 16 model banks worldwide in the efficient use of modern technology, particularly its pioneering large-scale use of Open System Architecture in distributed data processing. In its first credit rating in 1995, the bank received from Bankwatch Rating Agency in New York the highest rating. 


During most of the 1980s, I was Managing Director of Al Rajhi Investment Corporation in London, an investment advisory company created to develop a non-interest bearing short-term trade-finance instrument for the Al Rajhi Bank of Saudi Arabia. Several billion dollars were lent to many among the largest corporations in Europe, Japan and the Far East. The new financing instrument has become the standard non-interest bearing short-term trade-related financing provided by Islamic banks.


My formative years in banking were between 1974 and 1980 at the Philadelphia National Bank in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in London. The early 1970s were spent in the finance departments of Sinclair Oil Corporation and American Electric Power Company, both in New York City.


Born in Syria, schooling encompassed Damascus University in Damascus, (BA-Accounting), University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (MA-Business and Applied Economics), and New York University in New York City (graduate studies in Economics).  


In 1998, I opted for early retirement from banking in order to seek answers to questions on the culture and religion, politics and reform prospects in Arab countries. I enrolled as a student at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies.
Seven years later, with an M.A. in History and a Ph.D. degree, my dissertation examines water politics in Saudi Arabia and Syria; Experiments in Achieving Water and Food Self-Sufficiency in the Middle East, the Consequences of Contrasting Endowments, Ideologies, and Investment Policies in Saudi Arabia and Syria,

In 2008, I wrote: The Islamic Shield - Arab Resistance to Democratic and Religious Reforms.


In 2018, I wrote: Oil and God - Sustainable Energy will Defeat Wahhabi Terror.


For details on the three books, please see: My Books

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