Twenty-four hours after the murder of Hubert Fattal, CEO of the eponymous distribution group, his relatives and employees were still in shock. A tribute ceremony, initiated by members of the company, was held Monday afternoon at its headquarters located in Sin al-Fil. On social media networks, condolences on his death, accompanied by his photo, quickly circulated.
The Syriac-Catholic Fattal family is no stranger to tragedy. Hubert’s father, the businessman Bernard Fattal, died in a road accident in Egypt in September 2009, while his brother, Jean, was found dead in troubled circumstances in Jordan in 2018.
According to investigators, the Fattal group CEO and heir was stabbed several times in the neck and hip while he at his highly secure home, supporting the thesis that he knew the alleged murderer or murderers. His car, which had disappeared Sunday, was found Monday by the Internal Security Forces, which hastened to issue a statement praising the “record speed” with which they managed to conduct the investigation and arrest the suspects: two Syrians aged 28 and 25 years, who reside in Burj Hammoud.
Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, confirmed early Monday afternoon on Twitter the arrest of the two men suspected involvment in the murder. Ruling out the thesis of a robbery, a senior judicial source told to L’Orient-Le Jour that the murder was a “crime of passion,” without giving further details.
‘Brilliant’ and ‘humanist’
Hubert Fattal, who was a designer, painter, art collector and head of the Hubert Fattal perfume brand, had been a shareholder and manager of the Fattal distribution group since he was elected to the position in 2016.
A graduate of the prestigious Parsons School of Design in Paris and Goldsmith College of Fine Arts in London, he is described by his associates as someone “brilliant” and very “humanistic,” who had taken over the company Khalil Fattal et fils (KFF) created by his great-grandfather in 1897 in Syria, which became Fattal Holding in 1986. The firm represents nearly a hundred local and international suppliers for which it distributes consumer products, including pharmaceutical, household, beauty and office equipment.
“We were all devastated by the news,” one of Hubert Fattal’s entourage said by phone, praising the deceased’s management skills over and over again. “He was a kind of ‘socialist’ boss, who thought of people first. With the economic crisis, the group could have separated from some of the employees, but he did his best not to let that happen,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, continued. “He brought a form of peace to the company, he was a very good moderator and a hard worker,” the source added.
Hubert Fattal had worked on the design of the first Liza restaurant, opened in 2005 by Liza Soughayer and Ziad Asseily in the Bourse district of Paris. "He was an extremely cultured person, that always impressed me," recalled art collector and long-time friend Gaby Daher.
The people around Hubert Fattal describe him as a strong and refined personality with good taste, who was discreet and very generous. “He was a little genius, a jack-of-all-trades, very sociable and appreciated,” said Camil Karam, who met Hubert Fattal for the first time in 2015. “He was rather a homebody, very close to nature, he had made a sublime garden,” Karam added. Hubert Fattal lived in the huge family mansion of Hispano-Moorish style, called the Alhambra.
“Because of the coronavirus and the situation for two years, he did not see many people. Since he took the reins of the group, he was at the top of his game. He was a perfectionist,” Daher said.
This article was originally published in French in L’Orient-Le Jour.
Twenty-four hours after the murder of Hubert Fattal, CEO of the eponymous distribution group, his relatives and employees were still in shock. A tribute ceremony, initiated by members of the company, was held Monday afternoon at its headquarters located in Sin al-Fil. On social media networks, condolences on his death, accompanied by his photo, quickly circulated.The Syriac-Catholic Fattal...