His family holding group Soffia took over French shipbuilder CMN in 1992. After some rough patches, its fortunes turned this year with the award of a US$206m contract from the UAE to build six fast attack naval vessels.
The company is now aiming to build up its super yachts business - not a bad move given that there are 17 million leisure yachts in the US.
The 53-year-old boss was born in Beirut, went to university in the US, business school in France and made most of his substantial fortune in the Middle and Far East. At the age of 22, as war raged in Lebanon, he left the country to become a civil engineer in the US before going on to take an MBA in France.
He then carved out a career as a middleman in the complex world of international trade.
He became a specialist in arranging trade deals for Western groups, fixing up civil engineering contracts in the Middle East and getting his hands in several bus and truck orders for the Far East.
He is a colourful character who once threw the discus for Lebanon, and was shot twice in the stomach during the Lebanese war.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.