CFI.co Meets the Chairman of Résidences Dar Saada: Hicham Berrada Sounni

Hicham Berrada Sounni, 44, is a Moroccan business executive. He currently serves as the chairman of Résidences Dar Saada and the first vice-president of B Group (formerly Palmeraie Holding) which comprises various successful ventures operating in manufacturing, distribution, hotels and luxury real estate, and social and economic housing such as Groupe Palmeraie Développement, Résidences Dar Saada, Uni Confort Maroc Dolidol, Layalits, Palmeraie Hotels & Resorts, amongst others.

B Group was founded by Mr Berrada Sounni’s father, Abdelali Berrada Sounni, who launched his first entrepreneurial undertaking as early as 1962, operating in the shoes and leather goods industry. Ten years later, operations grew to span the bedding and polyurethane foam businesses until 1980, when the group reached a clear strategic milestone with the launch of its real estate activities.

Indeed, the B Group pioneered residential complexes in Morocco. Its most famous project is located in Marrakech and delivered in 1988 – Les jardins de la Palmeraie. In the 1990s, the group became one of the established leaders in the tourist real estate market with Palmeraie Hotel which boasts a private golf course – a first in Morocco. In 2001, the family group launched its social and economic housing subsidiary, Résidences Dar Saada which soon became one of the most successful ventures of the group and attracted local and foreign institutional investors. The company went public in 2014.

Mr Berrada Sounni, after attending University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned a bachelors’ degree, started his career in 1991 at Groupe Palmeraie Développement where he contributed to the rise of the manufacturing segment and to the creation of company’s high-end real estate segment. He was also instrumental in the launch of the social and economic housing division. As of today, Palmeraie Développement generates more than MAD 4 billion (approx.. $400 million) in revenue and employs over 2,000 people.

Mr Berrada Sounni has deployed his expertise to draw up a mid- and long-term strategy for the company and contributes actively in screening, finding, and closing land acquisition deals. He also made innovative choices and set high standards of governance by assembling young and highly qualified teams and inviting minority shareholders and independent experts to join the company’s board. i


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