Khalid Shoman's passing a loss to the banking world

The Star
5-11 July 2001

AMMAN (Star) - The passing away of Mr. Khalid Shoman at the age of 70 earlier this week represents a great loss to the banking and financial community in Jordan and the Arab world. His body was brought from Vienna and buried, Tuesday, in the City of Petra where he has a farm and a summer house.

Mr. Khalid Shoman was a leader in finance. Up until last month, when he resigned from his position, he was Vice-Chairman of the Arab Bank Group, one of the most reputable institutions in the Kingdom and the Arab world. Mr. Shoman dedicated his life to building the Arab Bank that spread its branches through Jordan, most Arab nations, and around the world.

The son of Abdel Hamid Shoman, the founder of the Arab Bank, the young Khalid was born in Brooklyn, New York on 13 April 1931. He returned with his father to Jerusalem in 1933. In 1939, he attended the local St. Georges School.

During this time, Khalid Shoman traveled extensively with his father in Palestine, visiting such places as Jaffa, Haifa and Gaza. In 1942 he traveled with his father to Beirut and Allepo to open up branches of the Arab Bank.

During the 1948 Catastrophe, Khalid and the rest of his family moved to Egypt where his father was receiving medical treatment. At that time, Khalid registered at the famous Victoria College in Alexandria to continue his education.

Shortly after he moved to Britain where he took a year off to be trained at the Midland Bank before enrolling at Cambridge University to study economics. That was 1952. He received his degree in 1956, and a year later he was awarded an MA from the university.

During this time, he had already been appointed as a trainee in the Arab Bank in Amman. His father Abdel Hamid Shoman insisted that Khalid should be trained in every department of the bank.

He was appointed as Assistant General Manager for Higher Administration. On 22 March 1957 he became a member of the board of the Arab Bank.

Since that time, Khalid Shoman increased his activities in the Arab Bank. This was to be expected as Arab Bank continued to open more branches in the Arab world, Europe and North Africa. He was very interested in the organizational structure of the Arab Bank and sought to set up a modern administration what would be prudent for a financial institution competing on the international stage.

In 1974, Shoman became Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Arab Bank after the death of his father that same year. This is a position he retained until last month.

A modest man, Khalid Shoman was a strong figure in the field of finance. He married Suha Hilmi in 1973 and had two children Omar and Aysha.