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The Website of Elie Elhadj
Elie Elhadj


I am a banker with a thirty-year career in New York, Philadelphia, London, and Riyadh. During most of the 1990s, I was Chief Executive Officer of Arab National Bank, a 110-branch banking institution in Saudi Arabia. My task was to tighten financial and credit controls, re-engineer and automate the bank's operations, and introduce new services. As a result, the number of employees was reduced from 2,600 in early 1991 to 1,400 by 1997. Net profit increased substantially. The culture of the institution was modernized. 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. In its first credit rating in 1995, ANB 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. This was an innovative assignment. It involved creating and managing a new investment advisory company in London for Al Rajhi Bank of Saudi Arabia, a $50 billions financial institution with 500 branches. A non-interest bearing short-term trade-finance instrument was developed and introduced to world markets for the first time. 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 (merged into Atlantic Richfield Oil Company) 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 the next page: Books by Elie Elhadj