BEIRUT – Intermarkets Lebanon is undergoing a major reorganization that will give the Intermarkets Group unprecedented strength in Lebanon. Joining Intermarkets Lebanon in key executive roles are Ramsay Najjar, Elie Khoury with The Agency Group and Sonia Chaanine and her team. Erwin Guerrovich, President of the Intermarkets Group, described the move as “another landmark.”
The Agency, a young and creative company headed by Elie Khoury which quickly made its mark in Lebanese advertising, is merging with Intermarkets. Top executives of The Agency are coming on board. They include Adel Kanaan, Marketing Director, Hannibal Raide, Associate Creative Director/Producer, and Abdo Saleh, Chief Art Director.
Sonia Chaanine, who recently set out on her own outside the Advise Group, and Ramsay Najjar, currently Associate Director of Trust Advertising, are also joining Intermarkets.
The reorganization creates a new executive board for Intermarkets Lebanon together with members of the existing management. Ramsay Najjar becomes Chief Executive Officer, Elie Khoury is Chief Operating Officer, Jack H. Makhoulian becomes Vice President for Client Servicing and Sonia Chaanine is Vice President for Sales Promotions and Public Relations. The new executive board is to report to Intermarkets Group general management.
Erwin Guerrovich explained the rationale behind the reorganization: “We have always believed in mergers and acquisitions as a source of strength in manpower and development. It is part of our company philosophy. And in the history of our company we have accomplished mergers that proved highly successful in increasing both our professional strength and the scope for our activities. This new merger is another landmark which reflects our constant concern for progressive management for the benefit of our clients, staff and company.
Foremost among our objectives is to provide our clients with the full scope of still better services in all areas. The strong team that is being created covers account planning, marketing, strategic thinking, creativity and promotional/below-the-line specialization. It is a team that will complement our manpower throughout the area and contribute to our regional activities.”
Commenting on the merger, Ramsay Najjar described Intermarkets as a “finishing school” that creates top advertising executives and which he is now rejoining after an absence of some years. “I am proud that in this way I am achieving my original and professional destiny and moving towards self-fulfillment. The professional interaction and the outstanding performance of the corporate team will always be the most motivating environment for an ‘old timer’ like me as I rejoin my advertising alma mater.”
Elie Khoury said that “The approach of Intermarkets was no surprise to us. The company has a long history of successful mergers. During the negotiations it was clear that the chemistry was there. So was the unity of our goals.
“I am certain the merger will be most rewarding, not only to the company but mainly to our clients,”
Elie Khoury said. “It is certainly a great boost to our professional ambitions and a promising shift towards broader horizons.”
J.H. Makhoulian added that the merger “is undoubtedly a landmark for our clients and for our Lebanese agency. It will have far-reaching effects on the overall strength of our entire regional group.” Makhoulian’s experience covers Intermarkets operations in Kuwait, Dubai and Bahrain. “I am particularly proud to have been a part of the planning of that master structure over many months,” he said.
Sonia Chaanine noted that “a great deal of my professional reputation has stemmed from my interest and achievements in merchandizing and sales promotions. The limited attention that has been given to that element in the marketing package has always been a frustration. I welcomed the approach of Intermarkets because it will allow me to build a specialized unit inside the agency that will add further scope to our services.”
Originally published in ArabAd, November 1988