Vitas Group 2017 Annual Report Available

2017 vitas annual reportMessage from Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, CEO of Vitas Group

The year 2017 marked several exciting developments for Vitas Group. We signed shareholders agreements and closed investments with new commercial partners in Lebanon and Egypt. Saradar Bank purchased a 49 percent stake in Vitas Lebanon and committed $20 million in new debt financing to expand our footprint across the country. Saradar Bank is a premier financial institution in Lebanon and has been at the center of Lebanese banking for over 60 years. Egyptian private equity firm BPE Partners, through its new subsidiary “Ebtikar,” entered a 50/50 joint venture to launch Vitas Egypt. Vitas Egypt will be the first microfinance company in the country targeting the small enterprise customer segment with a digital-intensive footprint. The interest and commitment of these two strategic investors yields proof of the strong track record of solid management and profitability that Vitas subsidiaries have successfully built over the years.

Vitas remains focused on the Middle East for a reason. It is a region of the world that holds the highest number of youth and the largest percentage of unemployment. The numbers are staggering: 57 percent of the population in the Middle East and North Africa is under the age of 30. It has the world’s highest rate of youth unemployment, at 28 percent. In Egypt, youth unemployment is 35 percent. An estimated 23 million youth are unemployed in the region. It is vital to recognize youth as an opportunity rather than a problem. Young people are critical to our success and to advancing sustainable economic growth in their communities. It is imperative that we reach this generation and build inclusive financial systems. I am very proud to report that nearly 30 percent of Vitas’ current clients are under the age of 30.

Looking ahead, digitalization is a theme that will continue across our companies as we build more responsive websites, interact with customers through digital and social channels, improve gender diversity, and implement data-driven models and policies that will enhance better decision-making. Despite the challenges of today, we stand ready to embrace the future and are proud of our growing footprint; we are now 1,300 plus Vitas professionals and 100,000 plus customers strong.

Read the 2017 Vitas Annual Report here.