1 The Roots
The MKS PAMP GROUP is today the embodiment of a successful and respected Swiss company, however its origins were much more modest. One of the earliest memories of Mahmoud Kassem Shakarchi was of his mother finding gold coins in the earth while his parents were digging foundations for a building. He was struck by the excitement but little did he know then, as a young boy in Northern Iraq, how this glinting metal would shape his family’s future.
Mahmoud struck out to Istanbul at the age of 23 to work in sheep trading, where his outstanding mathematical, business and memory skills were noticed. He then moved to Beirut in 1948 where he established a foreign exchange and gold-trading business at the centre of what was then a major trading hub of the Middle East. It was not long before his influence on the region’s financial scene became preeminent. In 1975 the Lebanese civil war erupted, making the country increasingly dangerous and Mahmoud decided to move to Switzerland the following year.