Mohamed Damak

Senior Director and Global Head of Islamic Finance

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.

Sridhar Iyer

Head of Mashreq Neo and Head of Mashreq Bank Marketing

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.

Motasim Hasan Iqbal

Managing Director & Regional Head Transaction Banking

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.

Sonny Zulu

Managing Director, Retail Banking, UAE, Standard Chartered Bank

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.

Craig Ramsey

VP, Head of Real-Time Payments, ACI Worldwide

Craig Ramsey, VP, Head of Real-Time Payments, ACI Worldwide

Craig has over 25 years' experience working with banks throughout EMEA with their corporate payments and banking needs. He has been with ACI for over 12 of those years, providing specialist consulting to wholesale banking customers. Through the initiatives of the Euro, SWIFTNet, CLS, TARGET, TARGET2, SEPA, and UK Faster Payments (amongst others), Craig has helped customers leverage the power of the ACI solutions to ensure that the business needs are met.

Craig is currently VP, Head of Real-Time Payments. Working with customers, prospects and industry players alike, he helps to ensure that ACI's products are industry-leading and provide pre-packaged flexible solutions that enable institutions to quicken time to market, reduce risk and lower the cost of real-time operations.

ACI has been partnered with SWIFT for over 30 years and was the first SWIFT gpi certified solution on the market. ACI won ‘Best use of emerging or innovative technology’ at the MEFTECH awards for its SWIFT gpi launch of National Bank of Kuwait.

George Stoyanov


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.

Veenu Mittal

Partner at Grant Thornton

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.

Sam Quawasmi

Co-CEO and Co-founder of Eureeca

Sam Quawasmi is the Co-CEO and Co-founder of Eureeca. Along with his co-founder Chris Thomas, Sam launched Eureeca in Dubai in 2013, and it has since grown into a cross-continent platform globally, having received regulatory approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (with a Branch Office in the Netherlands authorized by the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets and a Representative Office in Dubai authorized by the Dubai Financial Services Authority) and the Malaysian Securities Commission.

From its offices in Dubai, London, Kuala Lumpur, and Holland, Eureeca offers high-yield potential investment opportunities from the Middle East, Europe, and Southeast Asia to its investor network who range from casual and angel investors to institutional firms. Businesses raising funds can leverage this network for capital, strategic connections, and expansion into new markets.

Eureeca was recently ranked #18 in the Forbes “Top 100 Startups in the Arab World 2017” and won “Innovator of the Year” by Forbes in 2017. Other accolades include “Innovator of the Year” at the 2014 Gulf Business Awards and “Most Innovative Online Platform” by Frost and Sullivan in 2015.

Sam has 14 years experience working for international investment banks in London and MENA-region investment banks in Dubai. Prior to founding Eureeca, he served as Director for MENA Equities at Arqaam Capital, and Vice President of Equity Capital Markets at SHUAA Capital. Sam received an MSc in International Capital Markets from the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom in 2001.

Abdulla Almoayed

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.

Mark Chahwan

Co-founder and CEO of 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.