Reyda Farid Benbouzid

Alone, Reyda Farid Benbouzid realised the Arab Maghreb ideal about which so many generations have dreamt. Hailing from a deeply-rooted Algerian family in the Aures, he was born in Fez, Morocco and accomplished part of his career in Tunisia.
Birth in Fez (Morocco)Joins CAAR (Algeria)SAA's chairman (Algeria)1st chairman of IFID's board of directors (Tunisia)Founded Best Re in Tunis

But the high-profile man is of a stature that goes well beyond these borders. Owing to his character and to his accomplishments, he remains one of those unique beings whom one meets but never forgets.

Farid Benbouzid is first an impressive appearance, but most importantly liveliness in constant boiling, a culture, a verbal command which gives him strength and an irresistible charisma. Furthermore, the gentleman is endowed with a sharp sense of humour and a provocative nature which he exercises with the jubilation of someone who does not want to be taken seriously.

An enthusiast for all subjects, profoundly concerned about the future of the world, reading addict, he is part of those ideas agitators who excel at practising the art of the controversial debate in intellectual contests.

He went to high school in Constantine, Algeria, where he obtained his Baccalaureate degree, then pursued his graduate education in France. While studying at Paris' Institute of Political Sciences from which he graduated in 1965, he joined Paris' National School of Insurance and specialised in marine insurance and reinsurance. He enlarged his scope of knowledge by registering for a post-graduate degree at the Institute of Economic and Social Development.

Upon his return to Algeria, he joined CAAR, the first public-run insurance company where he devoted the pioneer energy and passion to the service of a sector where everything had to be built up. Very quickly he unveiled his outstanding professional abilities and an innate sense of leadership. Starting out in the company as Head of department, he was appointed one year later as Deputy Manager, then Secretary General. Six years later, he was nominated General Manager of the company.

Being recognized as a distinguished figure of the profession, he was entrusted with the management of SAA in 1972. During the ten years spent at the company as Chairman, Farid Benbouzid proved to be an educationist of outstanding talent, a team moderator who knows when to venture for projects, how to lead men and make things happen. There is unanimous agreement about acknowledging and granting the man credit for having trained a whole generation of insurance professionals, the one due to take over the market, later on.

Advisor to the Minister of Finance in 1982, he was appointed Deputy-Governor of Algeria's Central Bank between 1983 and 1984.

At a central stage of his career, Farid Benbouzid, who has developed a global economic perspective, was not sure which pole of the two financial activities to turn to, banking or insurance. It was the latter which had the upper hand.

He came to that decision when the Saudi developer, Cheikh Salah kamel, proposed to him to set up and manage Best Re, the first Islamic reinsurance company which he established in Tunis in 1985.

Tunis, where Farid Benbouzid had already had professional relays. He actively took part in the creation of the Institut de Financement du développement du Maghreb Arabe (IFID) in 1983, the establishment in charge of providing training for the benefit of regional banking and insurance executives, and whose board of directors he was the first to chair and where he was the first teacher of the insurance branch for a 15-year period.

As Head of Best Re, Farid Benbouzid makes use of his managerial skills at the international level. Multiplying trips and contacts, he managed to weave partnerships and to expand the company's scope of operations. Subsidiaries as well as representations were created in Senegal, Algeria, Turkey, Lebanon and Malaysia.

Carried by a success streak, Best Re is confirmed in a few years as one of the main reinsurance actors in Africa and the Middle East. It stands among the first “so called” regional reinsurers to benefit from a BBB+ rating by Standard & Poor's and A- by AM Best. Since the retirement of its first leader, Best Re has been on cruising speed.

But Farid Benbouzid is not the kind of man to remain idle. Apart from his duties as Best Re's Vice Chairman and Director, he remains Director of the Holding Salama in Dubai and Chairman of the insurance companies Salama Algeria and Salama Senegal. In addition, he is running IM Bank, a Maghreb business bank based in Tunis of which he is a shareholder and one of the developers.

Your rating: None
Advertising Program          Terms of Service          Copyright          Useful links          Social networks          Credits