Executive Vice President | FinTech Hive at DIFC
As Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC, Raja Al Mazrouei oversees the region’s first FinTech accelerator, which brings together Financial Institutions, Government entities, technology partners and entrepreneurs to develop technologies that benefit the financial industry. Ms. Al Mazrouei plays an integral role in building awareness, increasing outreach and facilitating partnerships in emerging FinTech markets, such as the UK, the US, Europe, India, Asia and Africa, with the aim of positioning DIFC as the region’s leading innovation destination for FinTech.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Al Mazrouei was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communication at DIFC, where she oversaw the public relations, institutional partnerships, branding and digital marketing functions for the Centre on a regional, and global scale. Previously, she held the position of Commissioner of Data Protection at DIFC, in addition to key roles as Head of Operations and Head of Information Technology at DIFC Authority. Earlier in her career, she served as Head of Information Technology at National Bonds Corporation, Director of IT Relationship Management at Dubai Holding and Systems Development Manager at Higher Colleges of Technology
Ms. Al Mazrouei is an executive graduate from Harvard Business School; she holds an MBA in Global Leadership and Management from the United Arab Emirates University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Technology from the Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE. She is also a member of the Harvard Business School MENA and Central Asia Advisory Board based in Boston and is the Vice President of Harvard Business School Club for the GCC.
Chief Operating Officer | Arab Bank
Eric Modave is chief operating officer at Arab Bank, a position he has held since July 2014. Mr Modave has 24 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before joining Arab Bank, Mr Modave was chief operating officer of Barclays Africa, where he was based in Kenya and Johannesburg, covering 12 African countries. From 2006 until 2009, he was head of global payment operations at Barclays, in London. Before this, Mr Modave held various positions at Citibank, including head of consumer bank operations at Citibank EMEA from 2003 until 2006 and head of operations and technology at Citibank International Personal Banking, Europe between 2001 and 2003. He was chief financial officer of Citibank International Personal Banking from 1999 until 2001. Mr Modave graduated as a commercial engineer from HEC University of Liège in 1989 and became a certified chartered accountant in 1996. He also completed the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, in 2014
SVP & Head of Payments | First Abu Dhabi Bank
Ramana Kumar is currently the SVP & Head of Payments for First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) responsible for building lifecycle solutions for corporates encompassing Merchant acquiring, Government solutions, Prepaid solutions, Remittances and UAE’s first fully featured digital wallet -Payit.
Previously, he was Head of Global Transaction Banking (GTB) and was instrumental in building Middle East regional proposition for the Bank including products and channels across cash, trade and cards.
Ramana has special interests around innovation/ fintech/ financial inclusion /blockchain and the impact on the payments space. He was instrumental in first live implementation of Blockchain with Ripple for cross border payments. He has participated in many forums focusing on future of payments, financial inclusion, digital wallets, KYC and Identity, fintech / blockchain.
Managing Director, Retail Banking, UAE | Standard Chartered
Sonny Zulu, Managing Director, Retail Banking, UAE, Standard Chartered Bank
Sonny Zulu is the Head and Managing Director of Retail Banking business at Standard Chartered Bank, UAE. He is responsible for driving Wealth Management, Retail Products, Distribution/Branch Banking across Priority, Premium, Personal and Islamic segments.
Prior to this role he was the Regional Head of Strategic Transformation, Alliance and Performance Management for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank. Before relocating to Dubai, Sonny was the Head of Retail Banking for Standard Chartered Bank Zambia and Southern Africa. He took up senior leadership responsibilities at a very young age and he has held a number of senior executive roles in the Bank which include; Head of Retail Clients, General Manager for Distribution for Zambia and Southern Africa and Head of Corporate Affairs.
As an entrepreneur, Sonny is a joint owner of Air Mafuta Aviation services. He founded this company in 2009 together with two other Directors. The company supplies aviation fuel to both local and international clients.
Director, Strategic Solutions Consulting | ACI Worldwide
David has 20 years’ experience in the payments and financial message industry, working with financial institutions around the world to implement solutions such as payment hubs to modernize and automate their payment operations and support new payment initiatives. He was worked for ACI since 2014, with a focus on real-time payments, including the UK where ACI is one of the leading supplier of solutions for the UK’s Faster Payments scheme. David has worked with many of the largest banks in the UK to help them leverage the power of ACI solutions and ensure they can meet the challenge of supporting real-time payments. Currently David is focussing on the MEA region, working with customers and prospects to help them realise the value of real-time payments and how ACI can ensure they take advantage of opportunities as real-time payments become a reality in the region.
Founding Board Member | MENA FinTech Association
Based in Dubai, Nihal Abughattas is a Founding Board Member of the MENA Fintech Association; an inclusive, not-for-profit body that fosters an open, cross border dialogue for the region's Fintech community.
Nihal held a number of roles over the span of six years in Temenos; the top banking technology vendor serving 41 out of the top 50 banks globally. She was the Marketplace Community Director for Middle East, Africa and AsiaPacific. In her role, Nihal drove collaboration between Fintechs and financial institutions and forged strategic partnerships that enable ecosystem players to foster innovation in the financial technology space. Nihal assumed other responsibilities such as the Head of Marketing for MEA and Head of Global Campaigns during her tenor at Temenos.
She also has startup growth experience, having been the Marketing Manager of Fawry; a fintech company that Mashable named among the top 15 startups to watch in Africa. In 2015, Fawry became one of the top five international acquisitions in the MENA Fintech industry.
With 16 years of experience in various leadership roles, Nihal participated in advisory and and mentorship programs to early stage fintech startups in the MENA region.
Connect with her on www.linkedin.com/in/nihalabughattas
GTS Trade Head | Noor Bank
Rahul Jayakar, Global Transaction Services Trade Head, Noor Bank
Rahul Jayakar is Global Transaction Services Trade Head at Noor Bank. In this role, Rahul is responsible for developing the bank's Trade business.
Prior to joining Noor Bank, Rahul worked as Head of Global Transaction services, Products & Trade at Mashreq Bank PSC. Earlier, Rahul completed a successful tenure at Standard Chartered Bank, holding a number of roles including that of Executive Director – Transaction Banking for Strategic Clients Coverage Group, and Director and Head of Transaction Banking for South India.
Rahul has worked in wholesale banking for the majority of his career in the client coverage, sales and products domain, as well as in distribution at leading Financial Institutions.
Rahul was featured in Global Finance’s Who’s Who in Treasury & Cash Management list. He is also Vice Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) UAE chapter, and continues to be associated with its steering committee.
Rahul holds an MBA from Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education, Mumbai, India, and a B Sc in Physics & Electronics from R. D. National College, Mumbai.
CFO & COO | Beehive UAE
Peter is part of the founding strategic management team at Beehive where he is the Group COO and CFO. Beehive is the GCC’s first digital marketplace for SMEs that connects creditworthy businesses with smart investors. It is the only regulated P2P platform in MENA (regulated by the DFSA and now the CBB). Beehive has written $100m of financing across the platform and has 10,000 registered investors since it launched in November 2014. Peter is now focused on opening the business in Saudi and Bahrain in 2019 and strategic partnerships across the region.
Prior to Beehive, Peter was Managing Director at BDO Corporate Finance in the DIFC which he co-established in 2009. He advised SMEs and business owners across the GCC and led a broad range of Middle East and International transactions. Prior to that, Peter was in London where he focused on cross-border M&A and International IPOs.
Peter is a recognised speaker on fintech and regulatory frameworks and is a mentor to a number of tech start-ups in the UAE.
Peter is a fellow of the Chartered Accountants of England & Wales.
Head of Transaction Banking | SABB
Arup Roy, Head of Integration & Transformation, Saudi British Bank, Corporate & Institutional Banking
Arup Roy is responsible for doing over all transformation for wholesale banking of Saudi British bank. Prior to this role he was responsible for the Transaction Banking business for The Saudi British Bank (SABB). Which covered management, product, development, sales and support of payments and cash management services, guarantees, trade and supply chain and e-business solutions. He took up this role during the end of 2009 and has since taken SABB to become one of the key players within the KSA Transaction Banking space. He has more than 20 years of experience in banking and has worked in a number of corporate banking roles for HSBC across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Prior to moving to Riyadh, Arup was the Regional Head of HSBC's Transaction Banking business responsible for nine countries spread across Sub-Saharan, Africa. Based out of Johannesburg, he also functioned as the Head of Corporate & Institutional Banking and was responsible for the entire Operations for HSBC Africa between 2004-2008.
Arup was the Head of Cash Management Operations for India based out of Mumbai and was responsible for PAN India Cash Management Operations & Client Management of HSBC India. Arup is a graduate and holds a Banking and Management degree.
Partner | A.T. Kearney
Max Di Gregorio, Partner, A.T. Kearney
Max is a Partner in the Digital Transformation practice at A.T. Kearney Middle East. He has 20+ years of experience in management and technology consulting as trusted advisor to CxOs, executive teams and public sectors officials. Max has deep expertise in market and segment entry strategy, digital business models, front-office transformation, operations automation, payments, blockchain, emerging technologies and large scale system integration fully acquired in international projects across +15 countries including emerging markets (UAE, KSA, Egypt, Russia, Eastern Europe and Turkey).
Max collaborates with major regional and international business magazines (Forbes, Arabian Business, Middle East Insurance Review) and is a guest speaker at primary conferences on topics related to digital innovation and financial services transformation.
Prior to joining A.T. Kearney Max was a Partner, Digital and Technology Consulting FS MENA leader, at PwC and a Managing Director at Accenture Strategy.
Global Head of Islamic Finance | S&P Global Ratings
is a Senior Director within the Financial Services at S&P Global Ratings. He covers financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa region. Mohamed is also the Global Head of Islamic Finance within S&P Global Ratings, leading a global team of Islamic Finance analysts. Before re-joining S&P Global Ratings, Mohamed worked as a Principal Credit Risk Officer for the African Development Bank in Tunis. From 2006 to 2010, Mohamed worked for S&P Global Ratings covering conventional and Islamic financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa region. Mohamed holds a PhD in Finance and Master in “Money, Banking and Finance” from University of Paris 2, Pantheon Assas and a Master degree in Financial Institutions Management from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Tunis.
Head of Marketing and Head of Mashreq NEO | Mashreq Bank
Sridhar Iyer, Head of Mashreq Neo and Head of Mashreq Bank Marketing
Sridhar Iyer was appointed Head of Mashreq Neo and Head of Marketing for Mashreq Bank in February 2018.
Sridhar held a number of senior positions with Citibank and Lloyds Bank in India and the UK. He first joined Citibank in 1996, where he was responsible for setting up their e-commerce business before becoming the Digital Banking Head for Citibank India in 2003. He has also worked for Citibank in London, where he undertook a variety of senior roles for EMEA before joining the Lloyds Banking Group UK. Subsequently, he re-joined Citibank India as head for Digital Banking and Innovation Council.
Sridhar is senior banker with over 25 years of experience particularly in the areas of Digital Banking, Innovation and Online Sales & Marketing.
Sridhar has been a consistent champion of digitalization in the banking industry and drove growth in online customer acquisitions in his previous roles. He has extensive experience across the suite of retail banking products and customer-focused innovations in the digital and mobile space.
Head, Transaction Banking, UAE | Standard Chartered
Motasim Hasan Iqbal, Managing Director & Regional Head Transaction Banking – Middle East & North Africa, Standard Chartered
Motasim Iqbal is the Regional Head and Managing Director, Transaction Banking for Standard Chartered Bank MENA as of December 2015. In this role he is responsible for the Bank’s Cash Management, Trade Finance and Securities Services Business for the MENA region.
Prior to this, Motasim was the Head of Transaction Banking for Standard Chartered Bank Singapore since January 2013. He was previously the Regional Head for Transaction Banking for the banks segment in the Middle East North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) region.
Motasim joined the Wholesale Banking business at Standard Chartered in 1997 and was appointed the Head of Transaction Banking for Pakistan in 2003. In 2006, he moved to Dubai to head the Financial Institutions segment within Transaction Banking across MENAP. Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Motasim began his career as an Assistant Manager in the Treasury Division of Shell Pakistan Limited.
Partner, Transformation Advisory | Grant Thornton UAE
George is a Partner for Operational Advisory at Grant Thornton UAE. He has over 18 years of professional experience within advisory gained across projects in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. He has worked previously for Ernst & Young, PwC, Arthur Andersen and Kraft. He has extensive experience in Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Internal Audit. He has serviced the financial services industry, including banks, regulators, private equity and insurance companies, in addition to clients in the real estate, telecom and oil & gas sectors.
George led the risk transformation governance of a major Islamic bank with over 40 projects and managed several Internal Controls Review engagements for major financial institutions including insurance companies. He has also managed the implementation set-up and training for corporate governance at major banking clients and investment company association, in addition to internal audit management systems implementation and trainings across various industries and clients. Moreover, he has performed the review and update of insurance company organizational structure. Given his extensive experience in the financial services industry, he can bring value to the company by improving performance, enhancing efficiency, helping in growth and expansion, and maximizing profits.
Throughout his career, George has helped clients develop their policies, procedures, delegation-of-authority matrices and organizational structures, including operating models and governance frameworks. In addition, he has performed finance benchmarking and improvement solutions, feasibility studies, stakeholder management, corporate governance, and risk management across industries and clients.
Partner | Grant Thornton UAE
Veenu Mittal is an Audit Partner at Grant Thornton UAE. She has over 19 years of experience in providing Audit and non-Audit services, of which 14 years is at servicing a wide variety of Banking and Capital Market institutions in London and 5 years is in Dubai and India servicing both Financial Services and non Financial Services clients.
Prior to joining Grant Thornton UAE, Veenu headed the Financial Benchmarks and Indices Assurance Practice at EY London. She specialises in regulatory compliance. Her portfolio of clients included major UK and global SIFIs who are benchmark and indices contributors, administrators and users, including indices publishers and exchange group. Veenu sat on the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ (ICAEW) Benchmarks working group and on the Bank of England Risk Free Rate – Communications & Outreach work group.
Veenu was on a long term secondment at t e UK Regulator (FSA and then the PRA) from October 2011 to July 2013 in their Policy Division, where she was the Policy Lead on internal audit, external audit and IFRS 9 accounting work streams. She represented the UK regulator at external forums including international bodies, and supported the UK regulator’s Leadership as subject matter expert.
CEO | Neo Technologies
Fahad Albader has worked in roles across capital markets, corporate finance, and asset management in the Middle East and North Africa region over the past 15 years.
At Neo Technologies, Fahad is leading the development and execution of innovative investment solutions built as a plug-&-play technology platform for the Financial Services Industry. Today, Neo Technologies is active in the Gulf region enabling leading financial institution with digital investment services to its end clients.
CEO | Almoayed Technologies
Abdulla Almoayed is the founder and CEO of Almoayed Technologies, a privately owned investment and digital infrastructure provider, serving governments and banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain and across the MENA region.
Abdulla’s career started as an investment banker with a focus on asset management across different asset classes particularly real estate, private equity and most recently venture capital.
Being a technologist at heart, Abdulla returned to Bahrain in 2016 to establish Almoayed Technologies - with a clear vision to drive and accelerate the region’s digital transformation into a world leading digital economy.
By combining 15 years of investment management experience with a host of global partnerships with technology innovators, Abdulla is cultivating an unparalleled digital infrastructure in the region, in an effort to support and attract the world’s most advanced skills to enable positive social and economic change in the MENA region.
Almoayed Technologies invests in transformative companies, which address important issues in different sectors, including Fintech, Healthcare, Education, Logistics, and Cybersecurity.
Abdulla holds an MBA from the London Business School and a BABM with Honours from the University of Westminster, London.
Co-founder & CEO | Sarwa
Mark Chahwan co-founded Sarwa after years of consulting for Canada’s largest financial institutions, as part of Accenture Strategy’s Financial Services practice. Prior to Accenture, Mark worked in asset management at Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ), one of Canada’s largest pension funds with $270B+ in AUM. Mark earned his BComm. from McGill University where he studied finance and entrepreneurship. He was recognized as a Forbes Middle-East 30 under 30 Entrepreneur in 2018.
Head of Trade Finance, Transaction Banking | Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, UAE
Krishnakumar known as “KK” in the Trade Finance fraternity has been with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) since mid-June 2012. KK is the Head of Trade Finance managing both Sales and Product functions within Transaction Banking in ADCB. Prior to this, KK was Head Corporate Product Management, UAE at Standard Chartered. KK has been a trade finance professional since 1995, having started his career at HSBC and has helped clients in structuring trade solutions which optimize working capital requirements, providing risk mitigation structures for Open Account trade and efficient working capital solutions for Supply Chain financing.
DCEO | Boubyan Bank
Mr. Al-Tuwaijri joined Boubyan Bank in December 2011 and has more than 29 years of banking experience, including 23 years at NBK. During his time with NBK, he held different leadership roles in retail banking in Kuwait and London. Mr. Al-Tuwaijri got his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Kuwait University, and attended several executive development programs at Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and other reputable institutions.
Deputy CEO & Group Head of Operations & IT | NBK
Dimitris Kokosioulis brings more than 20 years of international experience in emerging and developed markets in three continents. He has worked in setting up greenfield operations as well as M&A projects. Prior employers include global powerhouses, such as, Citibank, HSBC and Arthur Andersen as well as regional players including Eurobank EFG and Marfin Popular Bank. He is currently the Deputy CEO, Group Head of Operations & IT at National Bank of Kuwait and a member of the bank’s Executive Committee, Managing all Operations, Information Technology, PMO and Information Security matters in the Head office and at the bank’s 13 international locations. In his current role Dimitris is spearheading the bank’s transformation agenda focusing on digitalization and innovation projects. Robotics Process Automation (RPA), blockchain, data analytics and mobile banking revamp are some key topics he is currently working on at NBK
CEO | Oracle Financial Services Software
Chet Kamat is CEO and managing director of Oracle Financial Services Software, a majority-owned subsidiary of Oracle Corporation and an integral part of Oracle's Financial Services Global Business Unit. Chet has more than 30 years of financial services, consulting, and business transformation experience. His expertise in banking transformation has driven strong top-line impact for both the products and services businesses at OFSS.
Prior to joining Oracle, Chet was managing director at STG, a leading private equity firm focused on investing in software and enterprise services companies, where he was responsible for the transformation and operations of its portfolio companies with a specific focus on their use of global operating models. Earlier, Chet worked for Accenture in India, the US, Sweden, Hungary, and the Philippines in a range of business consulting and large-scale systems integration engagements. In his last role at Accenture, Chet was managing partner of Accenture's India Delivery Centre Network, which he was responsible for establishing from scratch and growing to a 13,000-strong unit serving more than 200 global clients.