Building Young Societies’ Financial Abilities
Being familiar with the importance of higher education in a very competitive market and conscious that a much-needed knowledgeable Lebanese youth is key to our country’s economic thrive, Fransabank Chairman, Mr. Adnan Kassar, proceeded in his giving endeavors and went a step further by donating USD 10 million into a leading educational institutions in Lebanon, the Lebanese American University (LAU), one of the highest donations in the university’s history.
donation, into an endowment fund, is a dedicated and permanent source of
funding that provides scholarships and financial aid to needy and deserving
students and support to LAU’s Business faculty’s academic programs and
development. As a long-term perpetual asset, the endowment will deliver
financial support to the benefit of both the current generation and future
generations of LAU students within Chairman’s Kassar strong belief that
education empower individuals and build stronger societies.
This step in advancing education in Lebanon is of major importance especially with the struggling economic situation, the rising climate of intolerance in the region on one side, and the parent urge to elevate their children and secure for them a grade A education level.
Rewarding Young Potentials The Adnan Kassar Annual Scholarship Grant at the Lebanese American University (LAU)
In line with its continuous support to education in Lebanon, within its main CSR initiatives, Fransabank signed with LAU a cooperation agreement whereby Fransabank consequently donates an annual scholarship of USD 60,000 to support the tuition fees of ten good academic standing and preferably needy students enrolled in the School of Business. Every year, fourteen Lebanese students enrolled at LAU received the Adnan Kassar Annual Scholarships.
WeDesign Competition - A Youth Touch
Being the oldest Bank in Lebanon, Fransabank’s actual Headquarters were designed and built in the 1970s by Alvar Aalto and Alfred Roth, leaders of modernism and famous architects of the 20th century.
After four decades, we decided to launch an initiative that exemplifies our commitment to the next generation; reaching, this time, Lebanese architecture students at different universities in Lebanon. Through the #WeDesign competition we tried to offer them a thrilling opportunity to work on and propose a “facelift” to the building, one of the great legacies of the modern architectural movement in Lebanon. In this context, the initiative aimed at preserving the rich genre of architecture, while still invest in promising talents among youth and challenge them to express and capture their view of the existing building façade and the surrounding plaza that represents Fransabank’s positive image and dynamic corporate culture, while remaining loyal to the original architects’ spirit.
The competition focused on artistic and technical merits; around 131 applications from major local universities as for the American University of Beirut, Lebanese American University (LAU) Alba, USEK, Lebanese University and Beirut Arab University were received. A Jury panel consisting of architects, engineers reviewed the submitted projects and selected the top ten designs who were then requested to submit a 3D model of their proposal.
As an encouragement, Fransabank rewarded the creativity of the top three finalists who were chosen based on different criteria as for the new design is to be aligned with Fransabank’s corporate image and well appreciated if encompassed green and environmental measures. A ceremony was held in the Headquarters of the Bank during which the 10 finalists exhibited their work in 3D model and the top 3 finalists received cash prizes. First place received $10,000, second place was granted $2,000, and the third place $1,000. An additional, lucky winner whose project caught the attention of the Bank’s Charimen and senior management was also rewarded with a $1,000 cash prize.
Making Education Accessible to All
At Fransabank, we believe in making education accessible to all and in helping those with financial constraints to still achieve their dream of one day attaining a university degree. With this in mind Fransabank’s university loan was launched in 2009, offering all qualified students the opportunity to pursue their university education either in Lebanon or abroad. This product takes into consideration the particular needs of students, offering loan facilities ranging from LBP 6 million to LBP 375 million, a low interest rate, a grace period that includes all years of study plus an additional year after graduation, and a repayment period that can be up to 10 years. The response to Fransabank’s university loan has been phenomenal with applications received from a diverse range of students from across the country. The strong demand is of little surprise considering the value placed by Lebanese on education. Today, Fransabank is proud to play a major role in maintaining this strong bond between people and their future.
Sharing Strategies and Experiences
Fransabank Group held in 2012 its "Knowledge®" Conference, an economic and finance conference, entitled: “Global Business Leaders Talk: Performing in a Challenging World”, with renowned Lebanese and international speakers from the business and financial sectors: H.E. Mr. Riad Salame - Governor of The Central Bank of Lebanon, Mr. Helmut Maucher - Honorary Chairman of Nestlé S.A., Germany, Mr. Jean-René Fourtou - Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vivendi, France - Mr. Philippe de Fontaine Vive - Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Luxembourg. Speakers shared their experiences, insights, and strategies as well as emerging topics with around 500 of the community’s key public and private sectors decision makers, top finance and business leaders, senior executives and leading academicians.
“Corporate Social Responsibility in Times of Uncertainty”
Fransabank strategically partnered with CSR Lebanon for its Third CSR Lebanon Forum under the theme: “Corporate Social Responsibility in Times of Uncertainty”, held under the patronage of former President of the Republic H.E. Mr. Michel Sleiman. the event was also attended by Central Bank Vice-Governor Dr. Saad Andary, the former Executive director of the UN Global Compact Mr. Georg Kell, as well as a wide range of regional and international companies, banks and financial institutions, and key officials.
H.E. Mr. Adnan Kassar received an award from the former Executive Director for the UN Global Compact, Mr. Georg Kell who commended the important role of Fransabank Group Chairman, Mr. Adnan Kassar when as President of the International Chamber of Commerce, in 1999 he accepted, on behalf of the world business community, the challenge of then UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan and founded together the UN Global Compact.
Moreover, Fransabank addressed the attendees on how the Bank puts its corporate principles into practice while considering the impacts of its activities on the Bank and the society.
Form, Inform and Transform!
For the sixth consecutive year, Fransabank partnered with the prestigious French School of Administration, the Ecole Nationale des Affaires (ENA) and the Basil Fuleihan Institute of Finance which is an autonomous public institution operating under the tutelage of the Lebanese Minister of Finance, for a joint education program, under this year's theme of, "Rencontres des Cadres Dirigeants de la Fonction Publique Libanaise."
The program consists of sequences of Meetings of Senior Officials of the Lebanese Civil Service on the various challenges and managerial topics that are of both individual and national benefit. Each year, over 20 leaders from the public sector, judges and directors general of various public institutions and ministries, participate in this program in which high-caliber professors and experts from ENA share their knowledge in building the capacity of civil servants and developing their skills and performance.
Fransabank strongly advocate that the Basil Fuleihan Institute of Finance tackles profoundly topics that serve the monetary and administrative reforms which are essential to align and meet the public finance policies and objectives.
Winning is Just the Beginning
Injaz, a local non-governmental, non-profit organization, has been working hand in hand with the private sector to help bridge the gap for students between the world of academia and that of the workplace. It is a cause to which Fransabank is deeply committed and in which it has actively participated over the years. In 2008, this participation took on a new flavor when Fransabank took part in the piloting of Injaz Lebanon’s Company Program. This gave the opportunity to 25 students between the ages of 16 and 18 to attend weekly meetings at the Fransabank headquarters and to form their own company with the mentoring and support of a group of Fransabank employees. Fransabank staff helped them nurture their project from company formation all the way through to liquidation. Over a three month period, they guided the students as they chose their board of directors, divided their new company into departments, assigned the management, decided on their product, marketed it, sold it and finally liquidated the company.
In addition to the Company Program, Fransabank’s collaboration with Injaz has also included the hosting of high school students at the Bank’s headquarters for job shadow days to give them a first-hand experience of the world of work.
Fransabank’s financial donations target all levels of academia, from sponsoring year-end celebrations at Lebanese schools and offering awards to their top performing students to providing significant endowments to Lebanese universities for student scholarships. Beyond this, we have been only too glad to act as sponsors for congresses and meetings held by various academic institutions as well as lectures and invitations to international speakers that give university students access to the most up-to-date information in their relevant fields. In this context, Fransabank sponsored educational programs for the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the American University of Beirut that focused on the latest achievements in the fields of engineering, architecture and graphic design. Fransabank brought international professors and experts from the U.S. and Europe to provide advanced theoretical and practical aspects in these fields to the university students. Five educational programs were provided: the science of signs with Professor Paul Mijksenaar, architecture with Professor Enric Miralles, the design of line and Photolithography with Professor Wolfgang Weingart, architecture with Professor Jorge Silvetti, and the graphic design for books’, magazines and the media with Professors Daniella Haufe and Detlef Fiedler.
First Library in the Faculty of Law
We pride ourselves on funding of the construction and replenishment of the first library at the Lebanese University. This library was named after, and filled with the books of, the late Mr. Wafic Kassar, the father of Fransabank's Chairman, Mr. Adnan Kassar, and Deputy Chairman, Mr. Adel Kassar, a prominent, well-known judge and the first to chair the law school. It now constitutes a reference to all students, faculty members and researches interested in the legal issues and topics.
Financing Educational Institutions
Fransabank Group contributed to the expansion of the educational center at Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour. This school is a private French-language, Jesuit catholic educational institution set in Jamhour - Eastern Suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. It enjoys a high standing among the Lebanese schools. Among its Notable alumni, we list: Former Presidents of the Lebanese Republic, Former Lebanese ministers and deputies, Central Bank Governor, Chairmen of Lebanese Banks, main business, economic, educational and artistic personalities among others.
Vigorous Presence at Universities Job Fairs
Fransabank’s strategy in building prosperous tomorrows and assisting the young generation in achieving their ambitions is among the Group’s main priorities. That’s why Fransabank presence at American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanese American University (LAU), Université Saint Joseph (USJ), and École Supérieure des Affaires (ESA) job fairs, was part of the Bank’s CSR strategy towards to youth. Groups of ambitious students, seeking suitable employment or looking forward to adding a twist to their existing careers, visited Fransabank booth to inquire more about the Bank’s potential job opportunities and internship programs. Students also had the chance to inquire about Fransabank’s educational plans, the various youth-related services such as the University Loan that offers financial facilities to students, at competitive terms.
At Fransabank, we consider that internships are a win-win practice. They open doors for students, who would gain in return an insider's view to the professional world, while still assisting our employees and providing them with innovative ideas. Fransabank welcomes annually an average of 200 students from various universities, offering them customized training at the Bank’s different departments and branches as part of the Bank’s Summer Internship Program.
Youth Financial Inclusion
At Fransabank we believe that a participatory approach that engages young people within communities, academic institutions, organizations, peer groups and families in a manner that is productive and constructive is of necessity for a sound economic development and a healthy society.
Fransabank’s youth engagement program focuses on education and enabling talent. It supports young people through education-led projects that help to raise aspirations and confidence, develop core academic and life skills, and improve access to opportunities towards further education and employment.
In 2016, Fransabank helped educate Lebanese youth to ultimately include the young generation in the banking system and activities; by creating awareness among the future clients and/or future employees of the banking sector. Accordingly:
o A volunteering initiative from executives of the Bank was initiated at selected schools and universities across Lebanon. It included more than twenty executives from Fransabank’s different departments, covering a range of expertise and sharing their knowledge about financial literacy, business and work environment, internal and external rules and regulations, and the requirements and possibilities for youth integration in the labor market
o Participated in the Children Youth Finance International “Global Money Week”, inviting students from different schools and universities to attend two corporate days at Fransabank. Students were given a global overview of the banking sector, the different products and services that a bank offers and their specificities as well as several tips on how to apprehend the job market, its conditions and its rules. Departments visited were organized along with a very real-world simulation in which students played took in the role of a teller, customer relationship officer, customers…
o Underwent a pedagogical competition in cooperation with the General Secretariat of Catholic Schools and an educational consultants company, with the participation of 120 students from 40 schools covering all the Lebanese regions. Prizes were distributed among the winners according to four academic subjects: dictation in Arabic, spelling in English, mathematics, and biology. 120 students participated and cash awards of USD 22,500 were distributed to the 15 top contestants
o Support the initiatives of the Higher Council for Childhood in Lebanon and launched joint actions for children’s financial inclusion as well as awareness on banking and finance.
Fransabank also partners with youth associations and organizations as well as schools and universities for the development of several initiatives among which the launching of specific products and the arrangement of educational tours. Among our partners we list the Children Youth Finance International (CYFI), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Higher Council for Childhood under the Ministry of Social Affairs, other regional and local organizations and of course major schools and universities in Lebanon.
Education & Knowledge
Following the WeDesign competition held in 2015, Fransabank launched its “UDesign” competition in 2016, targeting this time, exclusively, Lebanese American University (LAU) students in Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design, and Fashion Design fields. This second edition aimed at providing LAU students with the opportunity to embody unique ideas, create and prototype product designs catering for Fransabank clientele as proposals for end of year gifts.
Students were challenged to design a creative, functional, and small to medium sized products suitable for corporate gifts and to present their creative ideas to a jury that was composed of well-known designers and entrepreneurs: Mr. Karim Chaya, Ms. Nada Debs, Mr. Cyril Najjar, Ms. Silia Abou Arbid, Mr. Nabil Kassar, and Mrs. Dania Kassar.
Three winner projects were selected out of the 11 exposed projects; whereby the total prize was USD 7,000.
These initiatives were part of Fransabank’s pledge to invest in promising talents among youth, encouraging their potentials and, most importantly, rewarding their creativity.