Within each of us, dreams take root like delicate seeds waiting to sprout. But it takes an extraordinary kind of courage to water those dreams, nurture them, and watch them grow. Life can be a formidable journey, and for some, it begins with a solid foundation. A head starts the race. Yet, for others, the path is laden with obstacles, making every step an uphill climb. It’s in these disparities, in the grit and resilience, that we discover the true essence of the human spirit, forever chasing its dreams, regardless of the hurdles in its way.
Besnik Salihu’s life in the world of finance is an emotional testament to the extraordinary journey of a dreamer and a determined achiever.
Besnik is the eldest in a sibling group of 4 brothers and sisters. He was born in 1987, in Kosovo and moved to Geneva (Switzerland) 2 years after, where his parents decided to establish. Despite the difficulties, Besnik had a happy childhood within a modest and close-knit family, where he was instilled with values and respect. His life story is a touching tale of unwavering determination and ambition.
Embarking on a new chapter in a foreign land becomes quite challenging when faced with the unfamiliarity of its language. However, this did not deter Besnik’s father from establishing his own painting company. Entrepreneurship runs in the Salihu family. At only 17, Besnik was managing the accounting of his dad’s company. His former classmates used to laugh at him when he said that “he would retire by the age of 35”. From a very young age, he harbored a dream that soared far beyond his humble beginnings.
Besnik graduated with a bachelor degree in finance at HEG – Geneva, school of Business Administration, a pivotal step that would lay the foundation for his future endeavors. His thirst for knowledge led him to distant lands, where he mastered multiple languages — French, Albanian, and English— during his experiences in San Diego and Oxford.
His professional journey began with an internship in a small Geneva based accounting firm. There, his exemplary work ethic earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues. His journey continued as a junior accountant at Merck Serono International SA, where he skillfully managed a diverse range of financial responsibilities.
However, the turning point in his career came when he joined the prestigious JP Morgan (Suisse) SA in 2015, where he worked for more than 7 years. It was here that Besnik’s ascent through the ranks was nothing short of meteoric. He ascended from a position of Junior Analyst to Credit Specialist Associate for the Private Bank in a remarkably brief timeframe. During his time at JP Morgan (Suisse) SA, Besnik was involved in very complex and sophisticated deals like aircraft and art financing for ultra high net worth clients. On top of that, he played a pivotal role in the bank’s journey into automation and artificial intelligence. Besnik’s innovative contributions enhanced operational efficiency and mitigated risks, exemplifying his visionary approach to problem-solving. His dedication and meticulous attention to detail set him apart as a luminary in the financial world.
Besnik’s entrepreneurial journey started when he left JP Morgan (Suisse) SA in 2017, to settle Sogefi Sàrl, an accounting and business management company. He laid the foundations for the company and played a pivotal role in constructing the company from the ground up, launching marketing channels, and expanding its portfolio, using his wide local network.
2018 will be a memorable year for Besnik as he made his inaugural real estate investment, notably in Dubai. Until that, he had consistently refrained from resorting to mortgage loans, aligning with his religious convictions. He found in Dubai an opportunity to invest in real estate, according to his values. Venturing into investment opened his eyes to the vast opportunities in real estate, particularly in bridging the gap between Europe and UAE. Besnik, as a self taught entrepreneur, managed to transform what was initially perceived as a personal investment into a business opportunity. He then organized one the first ever conference promoting Dubai real estate market in Geneva, with the involvement of the prestigious Dubai based developer EMAAR.
Numerous of Besnik’s close friends, business partners and contacts trusted him and successfully invested in Dubai. His dream of owning a piece of land in UAE led him to what will become his main activity and source of income.
Hence, Besnik established Sogefi Properties, a Dubai based company specialized in real estate that also functions as a family office. Besnik has always made a priority for his personal values, namely honesty, diligence and excellence, to be reflected in his businesses. Sogefi Properties has been performing extremely well since its settlement and provides services for customers from all over the world.
Being himself a private investor, Besnik’s ventures into the dynamic realms of real estate, stock market and cryptocurrency investments showcased his remarkable ability to seize opportunities and astutely manage risks. Yet his contributions extended beyond finance. He revealed a flair for shaping and cultivating businesses, excelling in marketing, nurturing customer relationships, and crafting innovative credit policies that set new industry standards.
Besnik’s life narrative is a testament to the boundless power of perseverance and self-belief. His remarkable transition from humble beginnings to becoming a recognized actor in the financial world is a stirring embodiment of the human spirit’s capacity for accomplishment. Today, in Dubai, with his wife and three children, Besnik remains steadfast in his commitment to a “win-win” strategy, a philosophy rooted in creating mutual opportunities for clients and partners.
As we celebrate Besnik Salihu’s journey, we are reminded that dreams, fueled by unwavering dedication and determination, have the ability to overcome any obstacle. His story is an emotional reaffirmation that success knows no boundaries and that the pursuit of dreams can be a deeply moving and transformative journey.