BANC Group of Companies was founded in 1998 by Besim Halef, when he started BANC Metals. Although Besim originally started in the steel fabrication industry and helmed the substantial growth of the company that had up to 600 employees at its peak, Besim gradually moved more and more into land development over time with the addition of subsidiary BANC Properties, and then BANC Developments after that. It wasn’t long before Besim made a name for himself within the Haligonian landscape. Several of the noteworthy land developments that Besim has developed includes The Trinity Harborview Development Project, Mount Royale, Rockingham South, Kelly Crossing, and the ever-expanding Bedford Commons and Bayers Lake business parks are home to thousands of residents and businesses. Today, Besim owns and property manages many notable properties around HRM including a wide range of necessities from restaurants, banks, and barbershops to health clinics, daycares, and dentists.
Besim’s son, Alex Halef’s roots start in the metal fabrication industry running one of the plants as a Project Manager. Later, Alex began a new side of the business focused on purpose built mixed-use concrete high-rise development. Besim’s focus continued to be on land development and commercial endeavors while Alex looked heavily towards residential real estate opportunities in addition to his commercial properties. Alex’s first residential project, a sixteen-story luxury apartment building which also houses BANC Group’s main office, has received several awards from the Canadian Precast Concrete Institute and has become a well-loved home for many esteemed Tenants. Following the construction of The Craigmore, Alex then moved on to developing The Mary Ann, located in the heart of downtown Halifax, then the 18-story staple of the North End, Point North on Robie Street, while having a number of projects either in construction or in planning stages of development. These properties have become pillars of the Haligonian landscape and Alex continues to balance managing his commercial properties with his residential ones in order to maintain the precedent of striving to excel and produce buildings of the highest standard possible.
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Besim Halef, Born in Turkey and immigrated to Canada in 1975, graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Diploma of Engineering and later TUNS (Technical University of Nova Scotia) with a Masters in Metallurgical Engineering and began his career at Stangate in the early 1980's as a design engineer. Besim would eventually hold every major title of the company he began his career with, including owner. In 1998 Besim founded BANC Metal Industries and proceeded to purchase the steel fabrication plants at 61 Estates Road and the Pictou Shipyard from defunct American Eco Corporation, adding them to the offshore plant now known today as Woodside Industries.
Besim enjoyed significant success in the steel fabrication business and in 2002, BANC sold its offshore plant and all its assets to the Irving Group. The plant was renamed Woodside Industries, as noted above. During this transition, Besim joined Irving for a period of 2 years as the CEO of the Halifax Shipyard from 2002 to 2003. BANC currently still owns the steel fabrication shop at 61 Estates Road and the Pictou Shipyard and has leased them both to Aecon Group, the largest construction company in Canada.
In 1999, BANC Properties Ltd. was also formed under the BANC Group umbrella and purchased the Dartmouth Professional Centre, a commercial investment property, also located in Woodside across from the Dartmouth General Hospital. This building was and still is home to the Dartmouth Provincial Law Courts. The successes Besim enjoyed in the steel fabrication industry spring boarded his various real estate pursuits. In 2005, a third subsidiary, BANC Developments Ltd., was formed to segregate the development division of the company from the property ownership and management division. Among the key land developments noted are: The Trinity Harbourview Development Project, Mount Royale, Bedford Commons and Kelly Crossing.
In addition to the above, Besim Halef, through his many conduits under BANC Group has been involved in the financing of various outside projects by builders and developers by providing mezzanine financing, as well as ownership of many commercial investments, some of which are detailed here.
Alex Halef has become a prominent high-rise developer in HRM since entering the market in 2009 with projects both completed and ongoing. The Craigmore project, the first high-rise developed, has received various awards from the Canadian Precast Concrete Institute. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Alex undertook a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and would go on to graduate from Daltech, Dalhousie (Formerly TUNS) in 2001, with a Bachelor in Industrial Engineering. From there he would immediately join the steel fabrication business alongside his father, as a project manager and facility manager.
By 2003, Alex was responsible for overseeing the entire fabrication facility at 61 Estates Road and had completed its final project by early 2004 when BANC leased the 61 Estates Road Plant to Aecon Group. Alex stayed on as a project manager for one year during the transition period of Aecon’s takeover. Heavily involved in the capital markets as well, Alex went back to work with his father in 2004 as they executed their land development projects, but saw a path to New York and was offered a position with First New York Securities, a large buy side firm based in midtown Manhattan.
Deciding against moving his family, Alex stayed and in doing so helped complete St. James Place, a project that had been financed foranother developer. Deciding there was opportunity for improvement in the market he entered the residential and mixed-use market by purchasing various properties across HRM, including Craigmore Drive and various undeveloped lots in the peninsula of Halifax. Under BANC Investments Ltd., a partnership company owned by he and his father, the company is growing quickly and is currently looking at other markets for future growth. From overseeing every aspect of design, financing, contract negotiation and purchasing of new projects,he is very hands-on with his company and his projects.