Dr Bernd van Linder has been the CEO of Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) since January 2017. During his time with CBD, Dr van Linder has focused on increasing the profitability and market share of the bank, and putting it on a trajectory towards becoming a fully digital bank. Before joining CBD, Dr van Linder was CEO of Saudi Hollandi Bank (subsequently Al Awwal) for more than 7 years. Whilst at Saudi Hollandi Bank, Dr van Linder oversaw the bank doubling both in size and in profitability.
Dr van Linder holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Utrecht University, an MSc in Computer Science from Nijmegen University and an MBA in Finance from Bradford University.
Elissar Farah Antonios is Citi’s Cluster Head for Middle East and North Africa and a member of Citi EMEA’s Operating Committee. In addition to her regional role, Elissar serves as Chief Executive Officer for Citi UAE and will remain the Senior Executive Officer for Citi DIFC and Citi ADGM. A seasoned international banker, with extensive experience in the financial industry and the region, Elissar manages overall responsibility for driving the franchise businesses in the MENA region.
Elissar joined Citi in 2005 as Head of Private Banking in Abu Dhabi and later served as CEO for Citi Lebanon . In December 2015 she was appointed as CEO of Citibank UAE, and her responsibilities expanded in 2019 as the Cluster Head for UAE, Levant & Iraq and in December 2020 she became the CEO for the MENA Region.
Her banking career started in 1990 in the London office of Republic National Bank of New York as a Management Associate covering the Wealth Management Middle East Desk. She then spent several years with Credit Agricole Indosuez (CALYON) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and with ABN AMRO Private Bank covering both Abu Dhabi and Egypt.
In her 30+ years focusing on this region, Elissar has developed close relationships with a wide range of Public Sector, high net worth clients and family offices- advising, recommending, managing portfolios and providing solutions. She combines strategic thinking and market understanding with an in-depth appreciation of clients’ needs.
Currently, Elissar represents Citi on major trade and business associations including UAE Banks Federation, US UAE Business Council, Amcham Dubai and Amcham Abu Dhabi , and previously served as Board Member of Amcham Abu Dhabi. In July 2021 she was elected as Member of the Board of Directors of Dubai International Chamber . She is also the senior sponsor of Citi’s Women Network in the UAE.
Elissar is an active member in several community service and business development organizations. She is currently serving as Chairperson of Injaz-Al Arab/Junior Achievement UAE. She is an Advisory Board Member of the Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut. Elissar is also a founding member of the Middle East Inclusion & Diversity Council which aims to promote Inclusion and Diversity within the workplace.
Elissar is ranked by Forbes Middle East among the top 100 most powerful and influential Arab businesswomen and she was recognized among Top 20 Women Leading Top Companies in the Middle East. Furthermore, Financial News named Elissar on it’s list of the top 50 Most Influential Women in Finance in the Middle East.
Her MBA is from Imperial College in London where her thesis dealt with predicting turning points in foreign exchange. She has a Bachelor degree in Mathematics from the American University of Beirut and is fluent in Arabic, English and French. Elissar is a mother of two Layal and Rayan and married to Assaad Antonios.
Tuncay is the Head and Executive Director of Group Online & Mobile Banking and Country Head of Digital Banking of UAE Standard Chartered Bank. He is responsible for driving Online and Mobile Banking Initiatives and Platform Management across the Group and Managing and driving Digital Banking Platforms and capabilities for UAE under Retail Banking. As a Turkish National, he started his career in e-commerce start-ups and be a part of the team to develop World’s first Price Comparison e-commerce platform, which enabled online checkout from multiple e-commerce websites with single sign-on. After the E-commerce experience, he worked in TEB BNP Paribas Technology Department as Project Manager, Yapi Kredi Bank Alternative Delivery Channels Department as Cross Channel Coordination and Planning Specialist and worked at Akbank as Head of Mobile Banking in Turkey. Prior to his role at Standard Chartered, he was the Head of Mobile Financial Services, and Head of Agile transformation for Retail Banking at Emirates NBD for 5 years in UAE. Tuncay has a degree in Management Engineering from Istanbul Technical University of Turkey.
Sanjay Khanna joined RAKBANK in September 2011 as Chief Information Officer where he is responsible for developing a vision for the Information Technology (IT) department, ensuring high quality of overall services to the Bank from the technology department, and establishing and maintaining an appropriate technological infrastructure with the Bank’s business partners. Prior to joining RAKBANK, Sanjay served as Deputy General Manager at ICICI Bank Ltd for six and a half years where during his tenure he headed various technology groups including International Banking Technology Group and the Shared Services Technology Group. He also spent seven years at the National Bank of Oman and six years with Deutsche Software (India) and his last designations, respectively, were Senior Managers of Systems and Senior Consultant.
He is an entrepreneurial visionary with a thorough understanding of the application of information technology and concepts to business. Simplicity, focus on delivery, cost effectiveness and never losing the sight of the fact that IT is there to enable and serve business.
His educational background features a Master’s Degree in computer sciences from Arkansas State University, USA. He has been involved in computing on a full-time basis since 1984, more than 25 years of which in banking and capital sectors. In that time, he has developed substantial hands-on, consulting, technological, business and management skills.
Jameel is a seasoned banking professional with a career spanning 10 countries over the last 15 years. Transformation focused, he’s helping Mashreq Bank shape its innovation agenda as Head of Strategy for the Technology organization.
As the bank has just turned 50, his key focus is to support its significant drive to Digital through engagement with emerging FinTechs, and adoption of Mobility, Advanced Analytics, Intelligent Process Automation and Blockchain technologies, as it readies itself for success in the next 50 years.
Jameel has been based in the Middle East for the last five years and closely follows developments in banking and digital technologies across the GCC and beyond.
Jameel graduated in Engineering and Management from Imperial College, London, and following a postgraduate degree in Computer Science, built his career helping banks solve complex challenges as a management consultant with Accenture & KPMG in the UK, Mainland Europe and the Middle East.
Sultan leads and oversees all activities aimed at developing Cybersecurity measures in The Saudi Investment Bank, providing business stakeholders with information assurance services, including defining business and security requirements, integrating Cybersecurity solutions, aligning security plans with digital transformation strategies, and implementing risk management. He plans and supervises all Cybersecurity initiatives and projects towards increasing the resilience level for the bank and its subsidiaries. Sultan has extensive IT and Information Security professional experience locally and internationally. Sultan has worked in the past for Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Florida Tech (USA), Boeing (USA), and Capital Market Authority (CMA). He has recently won the Middle East Security Award. He holds a set of distinguished technical and leadership certifications from Harvard, INSEAD, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), London Business School, and others. Sultan has earned his undergraduate degree from King Saud University, and his graduate degree from Florida Institute of Technology.
Maisa has substantial experience in Digital Transformation and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). She champions change and transformation across the Group, driving strategic business transformation initiatives aimed at streamlining Group’s functions to achieve optimal performance.
She is responsible for the coordination of multiple automation projects and initiatives for improving customers & users experience by having more efficient and straight through processing. She has the bird’s eye-view of all automation initiatives within the Group to ensure collaboration among the business units and effective usage of the Banks’ resources.
Maisa is a notable speaker and active participant on topics such as FinTech and Digital Transformation. She participated in many conferences within the Middle East & Europe. Furthermore, she is a member in many national committees in the fields of Fintech and Innovation. Additionally, Maisa serves on the Advisory Board of Bahrain FinTechBay and she represents the Group in Central Bank Digital Lab Finx22.
Prior to holding her current position in BisB, Maisa worked in the National Bank of Abu Dhabi as Transformation Manager, headed the BPR Department in the Electronic Government Authority of Bahrain and she served as the Manager of Performance and Productivity Improvements for Electronic Data Systems - Bahrain. Prior to moving to the Middle East, Maisa worked in Shell Oil and Gas and for the City of Houston in the State of Texas, USA. Maisa holds a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration majoring in Computer Information Systems from the University of Houston (Texas, USA), and a master’s degree in business communication and Leadership from Jones International University (Colorado, USA). Furthermore, Maisa has acquired a Certificate from Oxford University on Fintech, a Diploma in Islamic Finance Studies from CIMA, UK, a Certificate in Business Excellence from Columbia Business School in Fintech, Digital and Analytics and a Post Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking and Strategy Innovation from MIT.
Vikram is a Digital Banking professional with experience across multiple geographies including Canada, US, Singapore and the UAE. Vikram specializes in Digital Transformation, Intelligent Automation, Operational Excellence, Process Improvement and Data driven customer journey design with a core focus on Customer Experience.
He is currently a Vice President in the Digital office with UAE’s leading bank Emirates NBD, leading their Digital Reengineering and Automation practices. Prior to that he held multiple senior positions with CIBC (top 5 Canadian bank) where he led CoE’s & Practices for Digital Process Engineering, Intelligent Robotic Automation, Operational Excellence and Agile Lean Management.
Przemyslaw (Prem) Drzymala is passionate about new technologies and a manager with 20 years of experience in the digital transformation of the Financial Services industry. He is a Master of Science in Economics (Specialization in International Management) and has been working at Comarch since 2001. He has been associated with Financial Services Division since the very beginning starting his career as a Consultant in the R&D business unit. In 2002 he joined a team responsible for launching the first Loan Origination system for Citi Group starting as an analyst and then becoming a project manager. Delivering a successful project after 2 years he became a Head of Delivery for Loan Origination. Having gained substantial IT project management and banking experience after 2 years he joined Sales Division where he became a Sales Manager and then Sales Director responsible for business development and strategic accounts management with Financial Institutions in Europe. Since 2018 he has acted as an EVP of Global Sales managing the EMEA region.
Dave is the TTS Head for Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan and is based in Dubai, UAE He assumed this position in June 2020 Prior to this role, since 2014 Dave was the regional TTS Sales Head for MENAPT, also based in Dubai
In total, Dave has over 30 years of banking experience Prior to moving to Dubai in the Summer of 2014 Dave was the EMEA TTS Sales Head for the Industrial, Energy, Power, Chemicals, Metals and Mining sectors and was based in London He also had responsibility for the development of the TTS sales strategy for Global Infrastructure Projects Whilst in Dubai Dave also spent 12 months leading the Cash Management Product Team as part of a career job “
Dave started his career in 1987 with The Royal Bank of Scotland During his time at RBS he progressed through the ranks with roles in Securities Services operations and 8 years with Corporate Banking In 1998 he joined Deutsche Bank to lead their UK team focused on building a sales organisation for Transaction Banking Joining JPMorgan in 2004 and promoted Managing Director in 2007 Dave was Regional Sales Executive for EMEA in their Treasury Services business Dave joined Citi in February 2010
Dave is an Associate Member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, UK, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities Investment, UK and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, UK
Dave holds an MBA from Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK, a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Research Methods from Edinburgh Business School, UK and is a Doctorate of Business Management candidate at Heriot Watt University, UK
Prasad Mopidevi is the CTO of Commercial bank of Dubai. He is a Financial Services Technology Executive with over 25 years of experience in digital transformation of Payments, Banking and Financial services. He has worked in various capacities across a range of Technology & consulting firms including HP, IBM & PwC among others and has been involved in various transformation initiatives with banks and financial institutions in Open Banking, Core Banking transformations & Digital Banking initiatives across Asia, Middle East & Europe.
Mohamed Al Tajer is a Banking Professional who works at the intersection of Business, Technology & Marketing to help organizations transform & grow in an ever-changing world. He worked and lived in Europe, the Middle East & led teams in over 40 countries across Europe, The Middle East, Asia, and Africa including Fortune 500 companies. These include Citigroup, Commercial Bank International (a Subsidiary of QNB) and The National Bank of Kuwait among others. His experience spans other sectors including FMCGs, Airlines and Retail. Mohamed is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the United Kingdom one of 3000 fellows globally and is the first GCC national to receive such recognition.
He enjoys advising in the areas of Strategy, Marketing, Disruption, Digital Transformation, Growth Hacking, Turnaround, Customer Experience, and the use of Big Data. He is also passionate about advising & mentoring businesses including Startups and associated with leading accelerators such as Brinc IoT and the DIFC’s Fintech Hive. A regular speaker and business consultant, Mohamad deals with a wide range of topics.
Stefan Kimmel is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of CBD. Stefan is driving CBD’s service excellence program, where he leverages digital technologies to relentlessly enhance customer experience while increasing process efficiency. Under his leadership, CBD is augmenting its digital channels, has pioneered the move into the cloud, is implementing next generation IT infrastructure and driving an end-to-end customer journey enhancement initiative. Since he joined, CBD has gone live with several FinTech partnership supplementing CBD’s product offering.
In 2020, Stefan has been named a member of the Banking Powerlist for revolutionizing banking with technology, and CBD has received several accolades such as Best Mobile Banking App UAE, Best Digital Transformation, Best Product Launch for the Digi Account, Most Innovative Project Award for Fintech Partnerships and Payments Excellence Award. Prior to joining CBD, Stefan has gathered over 20 years of experience in digital transformation, technology management and service excellence in executive roles with a range of globally leading organizations including BCG, Oliver Wyman, IBM and PwC.
Partha has profound experience in Banking and IT/Information Security. He is responsible for aligning information security to banks core business functions of the bank. With 30 years of work experience in financial industries including banks, of which 20 years of work experience in information security and security systems auditing.
Noman Rasheed is a senior banker with over 22 years of experience in transforming organizations through the means of Digital and Innovation. He specializes in design and execution of result-oriented strategies and delivery of high performance organization cultures.
For over last 21 years, he has been part of banking industry in the Middle East. Prior to taking up the role of Head of Information Technology at Dubai Islamic Bank, Noman was CIOO at Noor Bank, Dubai, managing its Operations and Technology Divisions and before that he was Director, Information Technology and Operations at Barclays Bank, for its MENA region.
Manal is a Retail Banking expert having led over the past 14 years, various Retail Banking roles starting with retail business analysis and planning, product development, quality assurance, loyalty and value proposition. She currently is heading marketing at Ahli United Bank. Manal is a Certified Management Accountant from the IMA institute, and a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt from ASQ.
Ayman AlQudsi is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at United Arab Bank. He joined the Bank in May 2018, bringing more than 22 years’ experience in leveraging technology to drive organizational growth, performance, profitability and leading IT initiatives in support of business strategies and objectives. His prime responsibilities are to drive the Bank into Digital Transformation journey, revamping Technology, automating bank-end processes, improving our customer experience, and building the Data strategy of the future to enable AI and ML enrich our customer experience throughout our journey.
Ayman has a significant experience in managing IT change and realizing efficiency through Cloud based solutions and IT Infrastructure System virtualization, consolidation, centralization and automation. Expert with hands-on experience in IT group merges and consolidation. Comprehensive background experience in managing and driving digital transformation initiatives, multiple complex projects, and leveraging technology to meet both tactical and strategic business Digital initiatives and needs.
Before joining United Arab Bank, Ayman worked for FAB and NBAD for 10 years managing IT and prior to that he was working in the US at the Higher Education sector and Fortune 500 companies.
Kartik has led large and complex businesses in the payments and lending space. He currently leads the payments business at Mashreq bank – where he and his team are at the heart of a digital transformation in this business. His previous assignment was to lead the global product function for credit cards and personal loans at Standard Chartered. In this role, he drove strategy and multi-market product engineering and business initiatives across 24 Asian and African markets.
Prior to this, Kartik led the regional cards and loans business at Standard Chartered for the ASEAN region and has held GM roles in multiple Asian markets.
Kartik credits his success to his exposure to multiple verticals besides P&L Management- such as Analytics, Risk Management, Marketing and Sales. He is passionate about combining data, technology and customer insight to experimentation leading to creative and profitable new products and services.
Kartik holds an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies at the University of Delhi, A Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Delhi Technological University. He also has completed management programs from Harvard and Oxford. Kartik believes in pursuing truth, beauty and adventure.
Celal Kavuklu is leading the pre-sales activities of SAS solutions across Middle East and Africa region. He helps organizations in several industries (Financial Services, Telecommunications, Travel, Retail) on their road to become more customer centric, agile and analytically driven.
His profession lies in Analytics, Analytically Driven Decisioning, Omni-channel Customer Engagement, Customer Analytics and Digital Marketing. He has been directly involved in more than 10 implementations with several roles in operational and analytical CRM projects in one of the biggest banks in Turkey.
Celal holds both a master of science and bachelor of science degree in computer engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara (Turkey).
Ali is an information security professional with 10+ years of experience in information and cyber security, risk management. He is an expert at developing business enabling security capabilities.
Ali plays a fundamental role in building and maintaining the security controls by implement compliance procedure across the business.
Petr Klimes is the group marketing director and co-head of Digital of ADIB. He joined the bank in 2008 with over 20 years of experience in the banking industry.
Petr Klimes is responsible for building ADIB’s unique brand platform showing that the benefits of ethical finance are for everyone. Through brand development and research, and inclusive marketing strategies, Petr has successfully made ADIB the first to position Islamic banking as an inclusive offering based on the ethics of Islam.
In 2008, he led ADIB’s rebranding exercise, which started with the forward-positioning brand study and culminated with the introduction of the bank’s new positioning and brand identity in 2010.
Additionally, Petr co-leads the execution of ADIB’s digital strategy to ensure that the bank uses the latest technologies to deliver the best customer experience. By emphasising that the true purpose of digital advancement is to enhance the value of human interactions, Petr has developed the bank’s digital strategy and capabilities and spearheaded the development of ADIB’s digital-enabled branch - ADIB Express.
He joined ADIB from Samba Financial Group, where he was the Marketing Director for the corporate bank. The majority of his 20 years of work experience was spent at Citibank. Before becoming the Country Head of Marketing for Citibank in Prague, he held various positions in product development, quality and process management, marketing and sales management in the corporate, SME and retail businesses.
Klimes holds a graduate degree from the Prague School of Economics and part of his study was carried out at the University of Wisconsin. His passion is to build purpose-driven brands.
Vijay Jaswal is Software AG’s CTO for the Middle East and Turkey region. His main objective in this role is to support organizations in deriving value and increasing competitiveness, by driving their Digital Transformation Journey & streamlining their mission critical processes. He has worked in the field of Digital Transformation & Business Process Excellence for over 20 years. Prior to joining the Middle East and Turkey leadership team, He served as Software AG’s Pre-Sales director for EMEA. He also worked for Staffware (Tibco) in the Netherlands for 9 Years.
Sumanta Roy is a Vice President and the Regional Head of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. in Middle East, Africa, and Mediterranean region. Based out of Dubai, he has a total of 28 years of work experience across several geographies and industries of TCS, making him one of the top leadership personalities within the organization.
As a leader with vision, Sumanta was identified by TCS for spearheading numerous critical projects of great value to the company. These roles include Head of Sales for Indian region, Head of BPS for North America, Regional Manager for Midwest US (based out of Cincinnati), and Head of Products for India Sub continent. During his time as the Head of Resource Acquisition Group, he drove the TCS IPO process in its entirety, making it the largest IPO process in India.
Started his career as a developer, Sumanta always had passion and skills for connecting with people which led him to specialize in Marketing while doing MBA. His capability for identifying the positivity in any situation and finding the right solution has given him appreciation within the organization and by all the top clients of TCS. An outstanding orator and a die hard fan of Sci Fi books & movies, he is known as the quantum of energy within his social circle.
Olivier Crespin is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zand. Since taking on this role in 2018 he has focused on leveraging hybrid digital banking strategies to establish Zand as the first fully digital bank in the region to combine both retail and corporate banking. Crespin brings over 20 years of extensive expertise and leadership roles in digital banking and FinTech across Latin America, the USA and Asia. He recognises the need for a customer-centric approach to humanise the banking industry. Prior to Zand, Crespin has been an award-winning leader at CIMB Bank, DBS and Citigroup. Across those roles he’s led flagship programs into new markets including India and Indonesia and spearheaded the implementation of innovative technologies.
Carlos Teixeira is a Global Industry Principal at Finastra, with a prime focus on corporate banking.
Carlos brings more than 25 years of experience in transaction banking to his role, including 11 years spent with major European banks in their transaction banking divisions.
Since joining Misys (now Finastra) in 2005, he has held roles with responsibility for driving successful trade services implementations across India, the Middle-East and Africa as well as providing technology and business insights on sales engagements.
He now provides executive advisory regarding market trends and technology transformation across all areas of corporate banking on a global basis.
Jonathan is the MEA Regional Director for NetGuardians, a Swiss fintech providing advanced AI solutions that help protect over 60 banks around the world from financial frauds.
With over 25 years’ experience in the MEA region, Jonathan is recognized in the industry for promoting innovation and helping banks benefit from new technologies.
He advises banks on how artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data solutions can be combined to prevent cybercrime without increasing customer friction.
Arvind Kalla heads business for ValueFirst Middle East. Arvind has over two decades of experience across the globe in the technology industry working on roles in business planning, sales, customer relationship management, and partnerships.
Tharish Thahar is working at Comarch Middle East FZ LLC a Global FinTech provider, who is responsible for driving and exploring the business opportunities for Comarch in GCC region for their FBU products specifically. He has been qualified with an MBA in Finance & Marketing with solid 8 years’ experience in UAE and other GCC region.
Prior to Comarch, Tharish was working as a Team Lead in a Russian based company 2GIS. He is always been a technology enthusiast and worked with Enterprise level customers including banks in UAE and GCC region.
Mufazzal Kajiji is the Head of Mashreq Gold and Executive Vice President of Mashreq, the UAE’s leading financial institution.
Mufazzal is responsible for driving Mashreq Gold’s value proposition, overall financial performance and further enhancing customer experience and service quality. He also oversees Mashreq Gold’s investment mortgage and insurance product segments as well as its team of investment advisors.
Prior to Mashreq, Mufazzal was the Head of Retail Banking Group at Noor Bank, where he was responsible for overseeing the bank’s retail banking franchise across personal, business banking and wealth management segments, branch and digital channels as well as the group’s marketing function.
Earlier, he was the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Wealth Management and Affluent Banking at First Gulf Bank, a position he held for more than 10 years. In addition, he has served in numerous senior roles across multinational institutions including Citibank, Standard Chartered and Alliance Capital (Bernstein).
Mufazzal is a senior consumer banking professional with over 20 years of experience.
Andrew Foulds is Director of Global Clearing Solutions and Product Management at Fiserv. He is responsible for maintaining relationships and compliance with global market infrastructures. He has been in the payments industry for over 20 years and has held various roles across the globe combining his data expertise and commercial experience. Prior to joining Enterprise Payments Solutions at Fiserv, Andrew was with SWIFT and part of the management team that delivered the SWIFTRef data business and built it into the success it is today.
He has extensive experience in developing and managing relationships and joint initiatives with payments industry bodies, managing key projects with a number of payment authorities including European Payments Council, Euro Banking Association, Pay UK and Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.
Gavin has over 20 years experience, building and leading teams to solve critical problems through technology and design. An accomplished entrepreneur and former “Irish Young Entrepreneur of the Year”. Today Gavin heads up FABRIC (First Abu Dhabi Banks - Research & Innovation Centre). With a key focus on driving FinTech success and Open Banking Adoption.
William brings 15 years of experience building CX and NPS measurement programs that meet client requirements in both the customer and employee experience domains. He has a strong track record in helping financial services organizations implement, adopt and scale transformational CX programs that drive bottom-line impact.
His unique background in conflict resolution and organizational change management has aided 50+ organizations to navigate the complex cultural challenges of aligning strategic vision to widespread technology adoption and day-to-day execution.
Jake has spent the last 8 years working with some of the largest financial services institutions across EMEA with a focus on transformation through technology. Since moving to the Middle East, Jake has been leading the BFSI vertical for ServiceNow across the GCC; supporting customers to accelerate their Digital Transformation strategies and deliver tangible business outcomes through leveraging the power of the ServiceNow platform.
Bivin Babu is the Senior Sales Engineer for Imperva, responsible for consulting and articulating Imperva’s technical vision and strategy while maintaining a deep knowledge of the Application and Data Security.
In his 15 years of technical experience in this region, especially in Data security, Bivin has consulted 100+ customers, mostly Financial Services, on industry best practices, threat landscape, application and data security implementation and industry regulations on various platforms.
Bivin is passionate about Kung Fu Panda and doesn’t mind the occasional resemblance.
Business Consultant at Comarch, handling Wealth Management and Lending Origination platforms. His professional career involves around 10+ years of consulting experience for leading banks in the Middle East region. Before joining Comarch, he previously worked as a consultant with Commercial Bank of Dubai in driving their digital transformation initiatives. He has also worked as consultant for other financial institutions in the region. His areas of expertise includes business process definition, digital advisory, product management and digital business strategy.
Ernesto Schmitz is Banking Transformation Lead at SAP in EMEA South, which comprises Middle East, Africa, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. He has close to 20 years’ experience in the design and execution of customer-centric strategies and solutions for financial services. Inspired by good designs, great people, science and nature, his mission is to help financial institutions run at their best by delivering best Digital Experiences.
Benedikt is a Partner and Global Head of Institutional Sales at Pactum AG, a FINMA regulated alternative investment fund specialized in private debt, receivables finance and working capital investment solutions. Prior to that, he was a Managing Partner at Strategic Swiss Partners AG, a leading financial advisory firm, specialized in private equity and M&A transactions. A high profile network and relations to private and institutional investors across different sectors, have made him a sought-after partner for a broad field of cooperation. To date, the list includes institutional sales, private and investment banking, private equity, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, sponsoring, project leadership and business development.
Prashant is a goal-driven professional with 23 years of continuous success in achieving breakthrough business growth and enhancing the entire value chain of business in MENA region
Displayed competency in managing business with focus on top-line & bottom-line performance and expertise in planning of business strategies, identifying growth markets, new business verticals & setting target benchmarks.
Highly successful in driving revenue & profit gains and improving organizational performance leading to enhanced shareholder value; proficient in analyzing financial results & profitability implications, identifying business risks & implementing effective mechanisms to mitigate the same.
Enterprising leader with a solid record of contributions that streamlined operations, invigorated businesses, heightened profitability and enhanced internal controls.
Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta is responsible for market development, new product & eco-system development, developing go-to-market strategies, managing new initiatives and delivering a significant increase in the number of firms listed in ADGM and AUM. Sectors include Exchanges and Market Infrastructure, Virtual/Digital Assets, Digital Banking, Broker / Dealers, Venture Capital, FinTech, Sustainable Finance, Transaction Banking, Commodities. He is also responsible for South Asia, GSIB's, Sales & Business Development Transformation Initiatives.
Prior to joining ADGM in 2019, Dr Dasgupta was the Chief Operating Officer of UK Export Finance at the Department of International Trade in the UK Government. His 25 year career included senior level leadership, business development and transformation roles in investment banking, transaction banking, technology and consulting in firms such as HSBC, ABN AMRO, Citigroup and PwC.
Dr Dasgupta holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Bhopal, an MBA in Finance from Indore University, a PhD in Financial Modelling & AI from the University of Manchester, and a PhD in Politics from Kings College London. He is currently completing his third PhD in Food History from Brunel University, UK.
Abboud brings over a decade of experience in helping organisations across EMEA deliver business value from data - working with multi-sector companies on their data and analytics strategies and implementation. Abboud leads Incorta's EMEA business and he holds a MBA from UK's Cranfield School of Management.
Regional Information and Cyber Security risk Officer (CISRO)- Africa and Middle East and Pakistan , Hussein has more than 25 years of experience in Banking and information security, graduated from Solvay Brussels School in Belgium, managed Information security in multiple financial organizations where he has assisted to develop Information security improvement programs and implement security standards such as PCI-DSS, ISO27001, NIST, NESA, COBIT and SWIFT Customer security programme. Hussein is a member of various information security forums and regulatory bodies , Hussein believes in fighting cyber crime through transparency and collaboration within the financial sector and Globally.
Aditya has over 15+ years’ experience leading complex transformation programs across top Banking and Financial Services organizations in multiple geographies. End 2 end Process and Digital Transformation of key Customer Journeys using Lean Six Sigma, Agile and Change Management.
Along with CXO level interactions - specializes in Transformation set-up, Agile Delivery, projects prioritization, enhancing customer experience measures & stakeholder consensus building to impact banking process improvements, platform upgrades and onshore project delivery across North & Latin America, UK, Middle East, India and Australia.
Have worked with multiple clients including Westpac, NAB & St George Bank in Australia; Toronto Dominion in Canada; Google, GE Fleet, Green Dot and Capital One in USA; GE Money, Santander UK; Bank FAB, Emirates NBD & subsidiaries, ADCB & Bank FAB in UAE.
Aditya is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and SAFe Agilist.
Based in UAE since 2013.
Omar Akkor is a Senior Director and heads Strategy Transformation and Innovation of the Banking Operating Unit of Moody’s Analytics. Omar is based in Dubai and totals more than 20 years experience working with Moody’s Analytics’ products and services. Omar is currently guiding the shape of Moody’s banking solutions future vision. Previously, Omar helped customers implement Moody’s credit assessment and credit decisioning software and consulted with clients on credit risk management, adoption of Basel IRB, limits design, stress testing, risk appetite and best practice solutions, leveraging Moody’s Analytics suite of products and services. Prior to this, Omar headed the specialists team responsible for the implementation of PD/EDF tools, LGD and portfolio models with the objective of achieving IRB compliance and
Omar holds a Master of Science in Financial Engineering from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and graduated from Mohammadia school of Engineering in Rabat (Morocco) as an Industrial Engineer, specializing in project management. Omar is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
An accomplished, progressive, result oriented & digital savvy IT Leader with senior management blend, having over 17 years of experience in spearheading data driven digital transformations. Track record of dismantling departmental silos and transcending hurdles to deliver key initiative and value – realising seamless, people, process & technology integration.
Energetic visionary with unique blend of executive leadership competencies to deliver transformative initiatives. Seasoned technology leader with articulate communication flair to motivate, organise and empower teams towards departmental goals and develop individual objectives in alignment with organisational mission, vision, and values. Substantive experience in Portfolio, Program & Project Management and Governance frameworks for robust portfolio management of high profile multi-million dollar projects.
Senior payments and consumer marketing professional with 20 years+ of experience in building and strengthening businesses & brands; Specialization in payments, cards and loyalty programs, merchant acquisition with large local and MNC banks in the emerging markets of India and UAE.
Driven focused business strategies with strong emphasis for precision based execution; an analytical mind with hands-on approach. In-depth experience in major areas of retail banking with thorough knowledge of product & portfolio management, marketing, distribution, financial planning & control, portfolio valuations, operations and technology.
An accomplished sales engineer specializing in cybersecurity solutions. He has represented at various tradeshows and events in the region and has proven track record in solving IT security challenges for businesses.
Alok Gupta is a senior Banking leader with 18 years of experience across Data, Digital, Analytics, AI, ML, Credit Risk, Financial Crime Risk and Business Transformation. He currently heads compliance analytics function of HSBC Bank Middle East, North Africa & Turkey with key responsibility to develop and maintain analytics products & services to support the prevention and mitigation of financial crime and regulatory compliance risks. He has been instrumental in determining optimal location strategy to optimize cost while developing capabilities to scale the business.
He is a life-long learner and holds Post Graduate Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from International Compliance Association, CAMS Certification, FRM Charter Holder from Global Association of Risk Professionals, CFA from CFA Institute and Bachelor of Technology from IIT Kanpur, India.
Digital Banking & Payments professional with over 25 years of experience in Cards, Branch Banking, Digital Banking & Wallets
Started his career with Diners Club International in Pakistan in early 90s where Developed and Managed Card acceptance network on nationwide basis.
Moved to UAE in 1998. Worked with leading Banks in UAE including Mashreq, Emirates Islamic, Al Masraf and currently with UAB where Managed & Up-scaled Digital Banking Channels.
Prior to joining UAB, he was among the pioneering management team member to establish “Emirates Digital Wallet” as an entity which is a joint venture of 15 Banks of UAE. Successfully delivered a complex and challenging initiatives of ecosystem for Digital Wallet for Cashless Society in The UAE – “klip” – UAEs’ Digital Cash. Successfully Integrated the ecosystem with multiple Banks including Mashreq, FAB, NBF, ADCB, UAB, RAK Bank and Invest Bank.
Holds MBA Degree with Major in Marketing.
Benazir Poonawala is the Senior Vice President – Head of Marketing for Retail Banking Group at Mashreq Bank, one of the UAE’s leading financial institutions.
Since joining Mashreq in 2019, Benazir has driven the bank’s retail marketing strategy, supporting the growth of the organization’s customer footprint in the UAE.
Benazir has 20 years of marketing experience across FMCG, the Luxury segment, as well as the Beverage and Banking domains. Prior to joining Mashreq, she held senior positions delivering differentiated brand and marketing experiences that helped institutions to grow market share and build customer loyalty. Her previous roles include stints as the Director and Head of Marketing at Julius Baer in India, amongst others.
Benazir holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from Xavier’s Institute of Management, India and a Bachelors of Arts from Wilson College, Mumbai University.
Sridhar is Group Head of Operations at ADIB with responsibility for Retail Operations, Corporate & International Banking Operations, Business Continuity, Internal Controls and the Analytics Center of Excellence.
Sridhar is a Global O & T & Banking Leader with rich experience in multinational & regional organizations like: Citibank, Barclays, Mashreq & the Tata group.
He has a market leading track record in managing large scale multi geography operations, leading digitization programs to deliver transformation, service improvement and substantial cost reductions.
He specializes in implementing end to end customer straight through process journeys thereby increasing efficiency, significantly improving turnarounds and successfully managing a strong control and governance framework.
Sridhar is a regular speaker at international industry events, and his innovation & digitization projects have won global recognition from Gartner, Asian Banker, Microsoft, Swift and Blue Prism.
Jags heads Citi’s Cash Management business for Middle East, North Africa and is responsible for Business Strategy, P&L, Innovation and Growth in the cluster.
In this role Jags engages with Global Multi-National Companies, Local Corporates, Public Sector entities as well as Financial Institutions.
Jags has been selected for several prestigious Leadership Programs in Citi and has also led D10X - Citi’s Innovation Program in MENA.
Jags has been with Citi for more than 15 years and comes with international work experience spanning India, US, UK and Europe.
Richie mainly specializes in economic development and diversification within the management consulting realm, specifically around internationalization (international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI)), as well as international business, international education, and capability development.
Having lived in seven countries with over 15 years professional experience, he spent almost 5 years until 2018 with PA Consulting based in London, having a portfolio of high-level government (UK, Canadian, Mayor of London) and multinational corporate clients in Europe, North America and the Middle East. Richie has worked in other industries, such as higher education, manufacturing, transportation, NGOs and retail.
Richie has worked with a wide range of sectors in the context of economic development and internationalization, but, in particular he developed a skill set and sub-passion for fintech as well as agriculture/food, tech, tourism and creative industries (particularly film & television).
He now uses Dubai as base but operates globally. Richie is a regular commentator and contributor in economic development with a few hundred contributions/interviews/opinion eds/productions in the media (examples include Forbes.com, Entrepreneur, NBC News and various leading niche and national outlets like The National (UAE)). Having had roles such as Head of Strategy for a boutique commercialisation consulting firm, Richie is deployed as Head of the Middle East and Africa for London-headquartered The Fintech Power 50 and The Fintech Times as well as a senior advisor with Dubai-based The Corporate Group.
Originally from the USA, Richie speaks Spanish and various levels of fluency with French, Portuguese and Arabic. He has a Masters Degree from SOAS: University of London in Globalization & Multinational Corporations and an Advanced Certification of International Trade from the Institute of Export and International Trade UK.
Richie is a mentor for the Mayor of London’s International Business Programme, specifically for the Middle East and African region. The initiative helps London-based SMEs in tech, financial services (particularly in fintech), creative industries and life sciences to internationalize and export.
Omar Faiz is the Financial Services Lead at Salesforce the Middle East. He and his team work with the largest banks and insurance companies within the region to help develop and execute their digital transformation strategies with Salesforce's leading cloud solutions. He has been with Salesforce for over 11 years.
Abdul Rehman Parkar is the Head of IT Data Management & Analytics Services of DIB in this role, he is responsible for developing a vision for the organization wide data modernization and analytics strategy, ensuring the high quality of banking services, and establishing and maintaining an appropriate data management and analytics infrastructure in conjunction with implementing best of breed data governance framework. Prior to joining DIB, he served similar role at Emirates NBD , Mashreq and ICICI bank with over 22+ years of data and analytics domain expertise. Expert and hands-on experience in strategically migrating from traditional Data Warehousing Platform’s to Data Modernization platforms for real time and event driven information by embedding analytics as service.
Florian Akinbiyi is an exotic mix of roots from Nigeria and Germany. An international sponge, who has been enjoying the fast-paced life of Dubai for the past 7 years.
With a strong background and track record of success in the experiential marketing territory, he has the ability to build an emotional connection between brands and their customers. Developing engaging brand experiences such as marketing & social media campaigns, live events, film & video content creation, production design and automotive activities is just one part of his versatile expertise. Anything behind the scenes around strategizing, developing, organizing and successful project leading is where his strengths come through.
What makes him stand out is not only his 'behind the stage' knowledge; it is his true passion and understanding of on-stage experiences. A dedicated member of ‘Toastmasters International’ with numerous MC engagements, various hosted conferences and a track record in coaching competencies, makes him an outstanding public speaking expert. Flo Akinbiyi has the capability to draw an audience into a world of imagination. A world either created by him or performed through him.
Florian has executed public speaking training sessions, workshops, and presentations for individuals as well as corporate organizations. He delivers the content in a pleasant, enlightening and hands-on experience which is highly valuable. The information which he provides is easily relatable, digestible and extremely educational.
His practical approach is always well received by the students and after a session, with Florian, each one leaves empowered and motivated.
Expotrade Middle East FZ-LLC
Level 9, 907 Aurora Tower, Dubai Media City
PO Box 500686 Dubai, U.A.E.
Tel: +9714-4542135 Fax: +9714-4542136