Agha Hasan Abedi
- Agha Hasan Abedi was a banker who flourished in Pakistan. He founded the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in 1972 with the support of the Sheikhs from United Arab Emirate. BCCI had assets of $2.2bn and 400 branches in 72 countries. The bank, with its Head Office nominally in Luxembourg was effectively run from London where it had 45 branches. It was the seventh largest private bank in the world at the time of its glory.
- Abedi entered Habib Bank in late 1940s, and shot through the ranks because of his talent for spotting rich clients. Later on he joined a new bank in Pakistan, the United Bank Limited (UBL) noted for its progressive methods and its drive for constant expansion. With the threat of nationalization hanging over UBL Abedi's nose for wealth took him to the Gulf and in late 1960s he courted Sheikh Zayed, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, and owner of recently discovered oil reserve. Thus with an initial capital of $2m Abedi promoted BCCI to the world at large which soon prospered on the back of oil boom of the early 1970s. He inspired his colleagues with visions of a limitless banking empire. His unerring instinct for wealth took him to Africa, Asia, and Latin and South America and of course Europe.
- Abedi resigned as the President of BCCI in 1990 when a scandal broke out in 1989 and his health started to deteriorate. The BCCI collapsed in July 1991 with liabilities estimated at close to $20bn. The liquidators took 21 years and finally the process of legal formalities closed in May 2012. The liquidators recovered $8.5bn to pay about 70,000 claims from the creditors. The costs of the liquidation including legal and professional fees ($656m) amassed $1.7bn and the creditors told 90 per cent of losses recovered.
Amazing Pakistani Entrepreneurs
- His name is synonymous with BCCI and UBL. He was a true entrepreneur who worked hard and created awe-inspiring successes like BCCI, which rose to become World's 7th largest private banking organization.
- He is still remembered and revered by many for his contribution as a philanthropist for many Pakistani institutions like Foundation for Advancement of Science & Technology (FAST) which is now operating National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences, Pakistan's first multi campus university. Also his contribution in setting up INFAQ foundation which established GIK Institute of Engineering will always be remembered.
- Agha Hassan Abedi was considered a controversial figure by many western governments perhaps because they could not digest the amazing success of a Pakistani! But Agha Hassan Abedi continued working hard and nothing stopped him from envisioning great ventures for Pakistan.
- Today's generation need to see what our amazing entrepreneurs like Agha Hassan Abedi stood for and how strongly they believed in this land and ability of its people.
the man who dared to dream big
- He proved that politics is not the only form of service to the nation. He suffered through various scandals towards the end of his life, but no one can deny his contributions towards building a stronger Pakistan. It is a shame we let our youth forget a man like Agha Hasan Abedi.
- Thousands graduate every year from FAST National University and Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute. Only a handful of those proud degree holders know who laid the foundations of these prestigious institutes. It was one man's vision that delivered tremendously to Pakistanâ€™s development.
Philanthropist"The late Agha Hasan Abedi was a famous banker and he backed many literary and educational institutions in Pakistan and other third world countries."
Awards and mixed legacy
- Agha Hasan Abedi Auditorium at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, was named after him.
- The Gold Medal at the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST), awarded to the highest CGPA Holder of the batch, is known as the Agha Hasan Abedi Gold Medal.
- In the words of former BCCI chief financial officer Masih ur Rahman, who worked alongside Abedi for nearly two decades. He comments that "I remember looking into his eyes and seeing God and the Devil balanced equally in them.
- Agha Hasan Abedi was given the Civilian Award (Hilal-i-Imtiaz) in 2015 for his services to the nation by the President of Pakistan.
- "Known internationally for questionable business practices, in Pakistan he is remembered for supporting leading health and educational institutions like FAST, GIKI and SIUT." SIUT here means Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation in Karachi.
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