Private Investor Middle East

International conference

26 - 27 September 2018

The Montcalm London Marble Arch

40+ Speakers   |  Confirmations for 2017:

Jeffrey completed his studies at Manchester University and London Business School, and qualified as IMC with the UK Institute of Investment Management and Research.

He started his career as an investment analyst and then as a portfolio manager in the Asia and Emerging equity and credit markets, initially managing long-only funds and then long-short funds. During this period he worked in Hong Kong from 1992-2000. As a portfolio manager his funds generated consistent first quartile returns.

In 2008 he moved into the wealth management area with Barclayswealth in London, as Emerging Market debt specialist and member of the global strategy committee.
Jeffrey joined CPB as the Capital Markets Strategist in January 2013, where he is the EMEA specialist and a voting member of the Global Investment Committee. Additionally, using his broad background as both an investment analyst and fund manager, in both equity and credit, within both buy-side institutions and wealth management, Jeff produces EMEA equity and credit market commentary and investment lists, highlighting investment recommendations to CPB clients..

Investment Executive with experience in private equity, investment management, and consulting roles accrued at several reputable organizations & Family Groups. Having over 15 years of progressive professional experience in Investment arena; extensive experience in leading transactions across multiple industries in MENA region, GCC, UK, Asia and Africa. Heavily involved in deal origination, execution, negotiation and post-acquisition management globally and regionally.

Entrepreneur Hanan Kattan’s latest venture is Tabun Kitchen, a casual dining concept featuring Palestinian-inspired food. The flagship restaurant opened in London’s Soho in September 2016 to universal critical acclaim. She plans to expand the brand to more sites in 2018.

She is also the award-winning sole producer of four feature films. Her latest feature as a producer is Despite the Falling Snow with Rebecca Ferguson and Charles Dance. The movie had its UK theatrical release in April 2016 and released in the US in March 2017. It has won 13 awards to date.

Hanan’s first feature film ‘I Can’t Think Straight’ won 11 awards and her follow up movie ‘The World Unseen’ had its debut at Toronto Film Festival before going on to garner 23 awards internationally. Her 2011 feature documentary and directorial debut, The House of Tomorrow was inspired by the TEDxHolyLand conference that Hanan co-curated in Jerusalem.

Hanan is a member of BAFTA and Women in Film, and has spoken on several film panels. She was selected as the UK producer for the 2015 TIFF Producers Lab .

Hanan’s previous businesses included her own hair care brand, Te Tao, distributed throughout the UK in Boots, Tesco and other multiples.

Her awards include ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Kingston Business Awards. As an acclaimed author of digital marketing book ‘Grow Your Profits’, Hanan spoken at various business events and has joined panels at conferences such as DLDWomen and TEDx events.

Michael Addison is a member of UBS Switzerland AG's Ultra High Net Worth / Global Family Office Wealth Planning team and is base in Zurich. He provides international tax and legal consulting services to the bank's Ultra High Net Worth clients. His areas focus invlude estate and succession planning matters; family asset protection structures; transaction structuring issues; tax planning; legal, tax and regulatory issues relating to family offices; implementing trust and corporate holding structures; private fund structures and international relocation services.

Michael studied law at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor in the Province of British Columbia, Canada. He also holds a BA (Honours) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Michael has been a member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) for more than 15 years and is a qualified Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP).

Before joining UBS, Michael worked for a major UK Bank as a wealth planner. In that role, he primarily worked with clients from the UK, Scandinavian, Israeli and Russian / CIS markets. He has also worked as the Tax Director at a major independent trust company on the Isle of Man and was a Senior Tax Manager with EY (Ernst & Young) in Canada, focusing on private client tax planning and mergers and acquisitions matters.

Most of his current clients are based in Russia, the Ukraine, Turkey, certain Asia Pacific countries and the Middle East. His clients generally has complex cross-border tax and legal issues, either at a personal or corporate level. Michael also has a comprehensive understanding of US, UK and Swiss tax and legal issues that typically concern UHNW private clients.

Jan van Bueren, LLM, TEP, is Head Wealth Planning Zurich at the Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) and Co-Founder of UBP’s family office advisory service - FOSS Family Office Services Switzerland (FOSS).

Jan holds a Master’s degree in Tax Law (1997). He worked, among others, as a tax advisor at PricewaterhouseCoopers with a focus on large family-owned companies and their owners, and as a senior legal counsel with the financial supervisory authority in the Netherlands. He joined ABN AMRO Bank (Switzerland) AG in 2006, which was acquired by UBP in 2011.

Jan van Bueren deals, on a daily basis, with complex international wealth planning issues for internationally oriented affluent families, tax efficient corporate structures, universal life insurance, international relocation schemes and (wealth protection) structures such as trusts and family foundations. He has been a full member of STEP since 2010.

Through FOSS Jan assists families with the establishment of a single-family office or alternatively supports them with the selection of a multi-family office in Switzerland or abroad. FOSS also regularly supports affluent families with relocation to fiscally (more) attractive jurisdictions.


Lesley started her career with the Treasury of Royal Bank of Scotland before joining Northern Trust’s asset management business in 1995 to establish a portfolio management capability outside of the United States. After the successful establishment of this function she then worked with international clients on their global investment and securities lending needs.


She has a M.A. degree, with Honours in Accountancy and Economics from the University of Dundee, Scotland and is IMC qualified.


She serves as a Director to The Northern Trust Company of Saudi Arabia and Northern Trust Cayman International Limited. She is Chair to the Northern Trust Fiduciary Services (Guernsey) Limited board and also serves on a number of client company boards.


Lesley is responsible for the Global Family and Private Investment Offices Group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and specialises in working with ultra high net worth global families and their advisors on a vast range of different aspects to managing family wealth. She works with some of the leading global experts on tax and legal matters with special attention on establishing trusts, PTC’s and SPV’s. Her experience includes helping families establish efficiency, governance and succession planning within family businesses, property, art and landed estates. She has been instrumental in the establishment of new family offices as well as providing ongoing strategic solutions to those with long standing offices.

Paul Stibbard joined Rothschild in 2012 as Executive Vice Chairman with primary focus on Trusts and Wealth Management. Paul was formerly Co-Chairman of the Global Wealth Management Practice and Head of Wealth Management Department, Baker McKenzie London. He graduated from Cambridge University (Natural Science and Law) and INSEAD International Business School (MBA, Dean’s List) Fontainebleau. He specialises in advising individuals extensively on cross‑border tax, trust and succession issues, advising on issues relating to succession of substantial family-owned businesses and creation of complex offshore structures for wealth preservation.  Paul lectures extensively on many of these topics.  Paul also completed an Islamic Diploma Course at the Islamic College, London in 2010.  He is an Academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. In May 2008 he received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from CityWealth. Chambers Global and Chambers UK Directories rated Paul in the top tier as a private client adviser and Spears Wealth rated him as one of the top five Private Client Lawyers in June 2010. In September 2012, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the STEP Annual Awards. He was Chairman of the Presiding Judges of the STEP Awards 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and is a Presiding Judge again in 2017.

Sheikh Bilal Khan is Co-Chairman and Partner at Dome Advisory, a leading Islamic finance advisory firm headquartered in London. He is uniquely positioned as both an award winning Shari’ah Scholar and an English qualified lawyer with one of the leading ‘Magic Circle’ law firms.

As UK Government Department for International Trade (DIT) Catalyst, Sheikh Bilal is promoting UK excellence internationally and the City of London in particular as a leading Islamic finance hub. He serves as Senior Adviser to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Islamic Finance and to APPGs for several countries and is also an Advisory Board member of the Middle East Association (created by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office).

Sheikh Bilal was invited to feature in the television series ‘Secrets of Success’ as part of 20 London-based personalities showing on British Airways In-flight. He is a recognised speaker who speaks regularly in most international events as well as frequently featuring in the international media. 

Sheikh Bilal was ranked 7th in the SHARIA100 which includes the leading 100 Shari’ah Scholars globally in 2017; recognised in the ISLAMICA500 which includes leading Islamic finance specialists in 2017; awarded ‘Freedom of the City of London’ in 2014; ‘Religious Advocate of the Year’ at the British Muslim Awards 2013; ‘Takaful Scholar of the Year’ at the 2012 International Takaful Summit; and ‘Zaki Badawi Shari’ah Scholar of the Year’ at the 2011 London Sukuk Summit.

Detailed profile: 


Twitter: @strictlybilal

Philip qualified as a solicitor in Withers’ London office and has since practised with the firm in Hong Kong and Singapore.  His practice focuses on succession planning for international families and on the use of trusts.  As well as implementing estate planning arrangement for individuals, Philip frequently acts for trustees and financial institutions in relation to trust planning matters, often in commercial situations.  Philip has been involved in recent years in a number of matters involving the administration of cross border estates.  Philip is admitted in England, Hong Kong and the BVI. 

Ian Barnard is a Partner of Capital Generation Partners. He is Chairman of the Investment Committee and serves on the Asset Allocation, Client Portfolio and Risk Committees. He oversees the firm’s rigorous investment due diligence process which spans economic analysis, operational scrutiny and meticulous due diligence on individual managers and ideas.

Ian is particularly interested in ensuring that managers are correctly incentivised and that their interests are aligned with the clients’ interests.

Ian began his career at Smith Barney advising on structured finance and mergers & acquisitions but he also spent time in the British Army before joining the Diplomatic Service where he served in the UK and abroad.

Ian studied history at Oxford and also completed an MSc (with distinction) in Management at London Business School.

Matthew is the CIO of a Japanese family based across Europe, sits as a Non Executive Director for the London based single family office of a West African family and is a director of the Vincent Wildlife Trust, a UK charity founded by a UHNWI. Matthew’s prior family office experience includes eight years as the Head of Investments for a London based Brazilian family.

Matthew regularly speaks on issues such as family governance, philanthropy and the establishment of family offices, while he is often consulted by families specifically on philanthropic and next generation issues. Matthew holds an MA in International Conflict Analysis.

Mark is an entrepreneurial problem solver having spent over 25 years advising ultra high net worth families, both domestic and international.

Mark has been in wealth management for his entire career and has also built and sold two wealth businesses from start up during this period.  The first was by organic growth and the second by acquisition.

Mark’s last role was as Executive Director and Head of International Wealth & Immigration at a well-known wealth management firm where he was instrumental in advising international families.  He also has a particular specialisation on the UK Investor Visa.  Mark also advised the Home Office and was instrumental in amending some immigration rules as well.

Mark has advised families from a range of geographic locations, especially the emerging markets.  Many of these families have complex affairs.  Mark also has vast experience in coping with high risk issues.

Nainish Bapna is the CIO of a single family office, where he invests across multiple asset classes and portfolio management across the world, including managing a real estate portfolio of residential development assets in the US, UK and UAE. This wide remit suits his career experience – equity research analyst, entrepreneur in media, software and renewable energy companies (gasification and anaerobic digestion) and partner in an India-based technology transfer fund. Whilst Nainish has never (!) used his MEng in Computer Science directly, he feels the structure it gave him allows him to understand new investment opportunities and thus take advantage of unusual situations.

Charles is a partner in the private client practice at Macfarlanes and co-heads the firm’s family office group.  He rejoined Macfarlanes in 2013 from a leading City of London firm where he headed their international private client team and had responsibility for their Swiss and Gulf practices.  Charles originally trained at Macfarlanes.

He specialises in advising international families and entrepreneurs as well as the family offices, trust companies and other institutions helping them.  His work often relates to their estate planning, structures (whether trusts, foundations or other vehicles), philanthropy and personal affairs. This frequently involves complex tax planning with an international element and co-ordinating advice from advisers in different jurisdictions. He also regularly advises foreign residents on the most tax efficient way to structure UK investments or a move to the UK. He also has experience of contentious UK and international trust and probate work – resolving disputes between trustees or executors and beneficiaries, acting for either side.

Charles has been ranked as one of the 50 most influential private client advisers by Private Client Practitioner since 2009 and is ranked as a top tier adviser in the UK and Global editions of the independent Chambers guide.

Jeremy Franks joined the Knox group of companies in October 2016 as Deputy Chairman with responsibility for Knox Private Office. Jeremy joined from UBS Wealth Management where he was Managing Director, Head of UK Wealth Planning Advisory and UK Head of Clients and Products Tax. During his time with UBS, nearly 12 years, he worked with family offices, entrepreneurs, hedge fund and private equity principals and assisted them with all aspects of their wealth planning needs.

Prior to working at UBS, Jeremy worked at PWC in their Entrepreneurs and Private Clients and their Tax Technical Teams.

Jeremy is a Chartered Tax Adviser and holds the Advanced Planning Certificates. He sits on the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s (CIOT) Technical Committee for capital gains tax and investment income. He has represented the CIOT and British Bankers Association in consultations with HMRC and HM Treasury. Jeremy is a regular speaker at Private Client Conferences and has frequently provided press comment.

With over 12 years' experience working with and advising private clients, Tom leads our UK Philanthropy services to help clients identify and achieve their philanthropic and impact investing strategies. Prior to joining UBS in 2013, Tom spent his career in the non-profit sector working with wealthy individuals and companies to deliver award winning,  sustainable philanthropic and social investment solutions. As Director of Philanthropy and Social Investment at the disability charity Scope, he pioneered the use of social investment structures, including the Scope Bond which was the first listed bond issued by an
operational charity in the UK. Tom also worked with the cabinet office on the development of the new Social Investment Tax Relief.

Earlier in his career, Tom was the first UK employee of the Microloan Foundation securing the investment for the charity to expand into sustainable microfinance business reaching over 20,000 clients a year in Malawi and Zambia.

Tom is a Politics graduate from Exeter University and has professional qualifications in marketing (CIM), fundraising management and financial planning..

Having begun her career in the non-profit sector, Rachel now specialises in helping Coutts clients and their families to develop their philanthropy so that is both effective and rewarding, and contributes to the annual Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report, which tracks and analyses trends in major philanthropy internationally.  Rachel holds practising Certificates in Family Business Advising and Family Wealth Advising from the Family Firm Institute and also supports clients with challenges such as planning for the future of the family business, and preparing children for inheritance.

Rachel is a volunteer adviser to the Coutts Foundation, a trustee of Philanthropy Impact, a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at the University of Plymouth, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Environmental Funders Network’s Expanding Environmental Philanthropy programme.


Stella is the Head of the International Corporate Department of Chryssafinis and Polyviou LLC since 2006.

She studied law in England where she obtained her Law Degree from the University of Leicester in 1991 and then she continued her studies in the United States and obtained her LLM in International Banking Law from the Boston University in 1992. Upon her return to Cyprus she became a qualified lawyer and member of the Cyprus Bar Association.

Her main area of expertise is corporate, commercial and banking law as well as advising on international wealth management and planning, with special focus on succession planning and trust and on international tax structuring. Based in Cyprus she is liaising with a number of international law firms and is also organising international conferences in co-operation with associate law firms in various jurisdictions and also in co-operation with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce.

She has been for many years the Legal Adviser of an international banking unit in Cyprus and other international companies and prior to that she has been extensively involved in the Litigation Department of Chryssafinis and Polyviou LLC with daily appearances before all courts in Cyprus.

She is a member to the boards of various companies, organisations and associations including, inter alia, the Housing Finance Corporation (being the Vice-Chairwoman appointed by the Council of Ministers in July 2016), the board of STEP Cyprus (being its Secretary since 2015) and the boards of the Cyprus-Ukraine, Cyprus-Polish and Cyprus-Czech Republic Business Associations, both operating under the auspices of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is also on the board of the BPW Cyprus (Organisation of Business and Professional Women) and she is the President of the Legal Committee of BPW Cyprus (elected in December 2015)

Stella is also the representative of her law firm in InterAct Law which is a global collaborative network of specialist legal firms.

She has been ranked as a leading lawyer by Citywealth leaders List for two successive years in 2015 and 2016 and also made the Citywealth Power Women List of 2015 and 2016.

Simon is trained as a mediator, and practises as a collaborative lawyer on international cases. His particular expertise is in advising UK and international individuals, families, trustees, beneficiaries and family offices. His cases often involve complex children, and confidentiality and pre-marital agreements, trusts and tax.

Simon’s track record for obtaining the best possible outcome for his clients has seen him involved in four family law cases that have reached the Supreme Court. This includes the recent landmark children and abduction cases Re A (Children) (AP), Re B (A child) and Radmacher, where he represented Mrs Radmacher at the judgment. The cases were complex and ground-breaking. Katrin Radmacher's case was particularly significant in establishing the importance of pre-marital and post-marital contracts in family cases. It has changed the landscape of family law. Simon was also significantly involved in the Supreme Court case of Prest and Petrodel.

International Family Law and other achievements
Simon has recently been appointed as President of the Family Law Commission of the Union Internationale des Avocats, and sits on the UIA's Governing Board. He is fluent in French.

Simon has been accredited by ‘Resolution’ as an expert in substantial asset cases and in emergency procedures in financial relief. 

He is also a founder member of the Central London Collaborative Forum. 

Editor of Online News for the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. 

Jesdev is the Head of Sidra Capital UK a division of the CMA regulated entity in KSA.

He studied Law, attained an MBA and is a member of the RICS.  He was previously a Managing Director of Deloitte in the Middle East before he started his own ‘Family office’ 3 Associates Capital. Prior to that he was with Land Securities and Goldman Sachs Whitehall Real Estate Fund.

His main area of expertise is Property Investment, debt restructuring and Infrastructure.  He is recognised as an authority on cross border UK - Middle East Property investment. Most recently he led the bid on the $1.3bn Grosvenor House and Plaza Hotel bids and led a team restructuring Dubai’s $19bn debt challenges in 2010. Since then he has worked with IBBC in Iraq, raised capital for an Afghan oil refinery, acquired Investment assets in the UK and continues to be one of the leading figures in London Hotel investments for multifamily offices and an active panel member at the London Sukuk Summit.

Ian Edge is also Barrister, 3 Paper Buildings, Temple London


Ian Edge is a specialist in most legal matters concerning Islamic/Shari’a law and the laws of the Middle East. He acts as advocate in matters of commercial and private international law relating to the Middle East or Islamic law and is considered one of the leading experts on the civil and commercial laws of the Middle East (including the application of Islamic law).
His clients include governments, major corporations and banks as well as Royal and Ruling family members as well as the scions of the most well-known and leading families in the Middle East. Ian is the only non-UAE resident member of the DIFC Legislative Council which he has sat on since its inception. Ian was appointed to the International Committee of the Bar
Council as the member with responsibility for the Middle East and Chairman of the IC’s Middle East Interest Group in which role he served for four years.
Ian has written publications on commercial law with particular reference to Middle East and Islamic Law and has a good working knowledge of French and of written Arabic.

Dr. Najat Benchiba-Savenius is Founder and Director of Gazelle Advisory Group, a GCC-focused firm based in London that bridges the gap between private equity, venture capital, real estate and direct investments and Arab family offices across the Gulf region.

Najat has worked in and out of the Arab world since the late 90s and has fostered excellent family office and institutional investor relations. Najat has consulting experience across various sectors and industries in Europe, North Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Najat was latterly Head of Social and Economic Research, focusing on the GCC at Oxford Strategic Consulting and previously part of the McKinsey & Co practice management team in the Financial Institutions Group, Singapore.

Najat is a University of Oxford graduate with distinction for her thesis research as well as three other university degrees including a published PhD. Najat is a public speaker in both business and academic spheres in the UK and the GCC where she covers topics from oil diversification, Arab women in finance, entrepreneurship and general social and economic issues pertaining to the GCC region. Najat is fluent in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and Italian.


Reem Al Rasheed is Alfanar's Operations Director. She is focused on reorganising Alfanar’s internal systems and organisational structure to facilitate Alfanar's smooth growth. She is also involved in helping social enterprises develop their strategies and business plans through creating sustainable revenue streams to support their social purpose activities. She previously worked at Dohler, a leading German flavours and fragrances manufacturing company, focusing on strategy, HR and operations. She also worked with the Greater Amman Municipality to develop and implement a strategy to create a child-friendly city. She holds a BA in economics and an MBA from INSEAD.

David Awit is Director for the Middle East and Africa at Wealth-X, the global authority on the ultra-wealthy, where he is responsible for growing the business’ presence in the luxury, financial services, education and not-for-profit sectors, and managing client relationships in the region. Wealth-X provides UHNW insights and strategy solutions to its members, so that they can identify, develop and enhance relationships with ultra-affluent individuals. Wealth-X has the world’s largest collection of curated research and intelligence on wealthy individuals, compiled by highly trained researchers across five continents, speaking over 35 languages.

Prior to joining Wealth-X, David worked with Nouriel Roubini, the world renowned macroeconomist, managing his UHNW, Family Office, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Private Equity, Hedge Fund and Corporate client relationships, and organising his speaking engagements in France, Switzerland and the Middle East.

Prior to that he was at an advisory firm working primarily with Private Equity firms and Hedge Funds, assisting them with industry due-diligence in the TMT and Energy & Industrials sectors.

He is a graduate of the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, having studied Middle East Studies with Arabic. He spends his time between London and the UAE

Naomi Rive is a Group Director and Head of Family Office at independent trust business, Highvern.  A lawyer by training, Naomi was called to the English Bar in 1999 and re-qualified as a Jersey Advocate in 2003.  During her time as a Partner of law firm, Appleby, Naomi provided wealth-structuring advice to high net worth individuals, international private banks and trust companies.  In 2014, Naomi joined Coutts & Co Trustees (Jersey) Limited where she was a Board Director and a part of the senior management team.  The business was subject to a management buy-out in late 2016 in which Naomi played a key role and this led to the business being re-branded as Highvern Trustees.   

Naomi works closely with Highvern’s international client base and their independent legal, tax and investment advisers to ensure the establishment and implementation of robust and sustainable wealth planning structures.  Naomi has considerable experience of providing trustee services in connection with complex trust structures and sitting on the board of directors of private trust companies. Naomi is Chair to STEP in Jersey and sits on the Jersey Finance Trusts Law Working Party.  She is also a former adjunct-professor of trusts at the Jersey Institute of Law.

Based in Dubai, Salma oversees development of The Fine Art Group in the region and manages the Group’s corporate and private art advisory relationships.

In partnership with The Fine Art Group, she established The Fine Art Middle East Trading LLC in 2012, when it was the first advisory business of its kind in Dubai.

Salma was born and raised in Dubai, and studied Finance and History of Art at Richmond University in London. Following her studies, she worked for The Fine Art Group in London for two years before relocating back to Dubai.

Michael Strachan is the company’s founder and has over 41 years investment experience. He developed the approach used by IAM Advisory whilst one of the original senior investment managers in the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and subsequently as advisor to the State General Reserve Fund for the Government of Oman’s two major Sovereign Wealth Funds. ADIA was unique at the time in its development of a structure that combined both externally-managed specialists and internal investment managers – a situation that required a rigorous framework for developing investment strategy of the total portfolio and subsequent monitoring. This background underlies IAM Advisory’s own development of flexible unconstrained guidelines which allow fund managers to manage money actively whilst controlling risk centrally.

Before working for ADIA and Government of Oman Michael worked as an investment manager with Guardian Royal Exchange in London.

Head of Corporate Finance and Management Consulting divisions.

Ajaz has over 20 years of experience in Management Consultancy and Corporate Finance working with leading brands and corporations around the globe.
He has successfully concluded a number of $multi-million transactions and projects involving Real-Estate, buy-side / sell-side M&A deals, private-equity, bilateral debt arrangements and other structured finance and capital market placement activities.

Ajaz is also experienced and knowledgeable concerning Islamic Finance and SUKUKs.

Ajaz started his career in the mid 90’s with a global Management Consulting firm and very quickly progressed from Associate Consultant to Project Manager then Programme Director leading assignments for multinational companies and government entities at senior directorate and board levels.

During his varied career, Ajaz led and delivered numerous Business Strategy and Implementation Projects, Merger & Acquisition consolidations and has been involved in a variety of Corporate Finance related transactions.

He is also regarded by many as a serial entrepreneur involved in numerous start-up and early stage business opportunities across different industry sectors, one of which grew into a successful and profitable multi-miillion pound enterprise spread across 4 continents.

As a graduate in Finance and Marketing his commercial abilities are based on solid foundations and at the same time, Ajaz is also well known for his technical skills and knowledge of information technology.

At MBU-Capital, Ajaz continues to demonstrate his natural flair in strategy design and creative out-the-box thinking in finding solutions to complex business and financing challenges in helping to build and grow the Corporate Finance, Real-Estate and Consulting business lines.

Outside of work, Ajaz is actively involved with a number of charitable organisations and remains passionate about matters concerning social responsibility.

Basim Al-Ahmadi is a political risk consultant at SET Advisory & Co-Founder of Global Risk Insights. He manages the Middle East & North Africa practice at SET Advisory, a leading boutique business intelligence firm based in London. SET Advisory provides due diligence, corporate investigations, political risk assessments and market entry studies across Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Western Europe. Basim is also the co-founder of Global Risk Insights (GRI), a world leading publication providing political risk analysis for the business community. GRI have over 200 analysts on their team, ranging from former presidential advisors, diplomats, industry experts to professors. The publication has been widely referenced, including by leading think-tanks, financial institutions, military generals, former foreign ministers and major media outlets such as BBC World, CNBC, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Politico and many others. Basim was also previously Editor of Bonds & Loans, a leading debt market publication based in London, read by bankers, investors and lawyers worldwide.

Basim is the co-founder and former President of the Political Risk & Investment Society at the London School of Economics (LSE). He holds an MSc in Theory & History of International Relations from the LSE and a First Class BA (Hons) in Politics with International Relations from the University of York.

Bartosz Golba leads GlobalData’s Wealth Management team, providing market intelligence and business information to a number of world’s leading FS organisations. A former private banker himself, Bartosz is committed to understanding how wealth managers’ clients react to the industry’s changing environment. Digital wealth management (the rise of robo advisors, above all), asset allocation trends, and intergenerational transfer are his key interests.

Houssam Nasrawin has founded the business organization Arab Business Leaders meant to bridge the GCC to Africa and Europe
He previously founded the consulting firm Mideast Capital Ltd, active in Europe to advise European SMEs to establish in the Middle East
He worked in Private Equity in Dubai for Agility Logistics investment arm. He has experience in London and Paris, mainly working in Investment Banking at La Societe Generale and at Credit Agricole. He then joined Pechel Industries Partner, a private Equity firm in Paris 
Houssam holds a Master in Finance from Audencia Business School (France) and a BA in International Economics from the University of Paris Nanterre. He also studied at the Ohio State University, USA
He is a French and Jordanian citizen and lives between Dubai, UAE and Paris, France

Ishreen Bradley is a passionate pioneer of parity in organisations. She influences public policy, organizational culture and individual progression by applying research, executive experience and a nurturing approach.

Her book “Authentic You” is a practical guide for female leaders to succeed at work whilst staying true to themselves.  It builds on “Shooting for the C-Suite” which is widely acknowledged as one of the most progressive research contributions on gender parity.

Focused on cultural transformation for parity, Ishreen works at organisational, group and individual levels to develop skills and environments that provide equal opportunities for growth through merit, understanding and relatedness.

Farah has eleven years of experience working across the non-profit, philanthropy and fundraising sectors. She is currently Head of Gulf Partnerships at Plan, one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. 

Previously, she was The Social Investment Consultancy’s CEO for the Middle East. The Social Investment Consultancy (TSIC) is an international consulting firm using the latest models of social enterprise, revenue generation, impact investment and venture philanthropy to help businesses, charities and philanthropists maximise their impact. Here she led Gulf-based strategic projects for UNICEF, the UN World Food Programme and Plan International. 

Prior to moving to Dubai, Farah worked in strategy and major gifts at the UK’s largest fundraising charity, Cancer Research UK, Farah was responsible for overseeing key relationships with major donors, trusts and foundations. 

Farah has lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Rwanda, Canada and the UK.

John is Managing Director of Knox Investment Consulting, which is part of the Knox group of companies. Knox investment Consulting is an independent practice, which provides investment consulting and reporting solutions to private individuals, their families and family offices. It also works with Trust companies to provide investment audit and monitoring oversight. Previously, John was Managing Director of Multi Manager Investment Solutions for EMEA, within the Global Family Offices group at Northern Trust, based in London. He was also a founding partner of Family Office Advisors LLP, a consulting company which advised on establishing or restructures investment and reporting solutions for family offices, wealthy individuals, trust companies and regulated investment & wealth managers John is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and has more than 30 years of broadly based financial services experience encompassing consulting, investment management and financial planning. John serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the boards of a series of investment funds and companies John is also a PAM Awards judge, chairs the Private Banking and Wealth Management Group of the Financial Services Forum and is a Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig is a legal associate at Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates, a leading Malta law firm based in Valletta, Nicosia, London, Zurich and Hong Kong. Dr Saliba Haig forms part of the firm's Residency & Citizenship practice, specialising in private client tax planning, wealth structuring and citizenship and residency planning. Dr Saliba Haig advises on Malta residency & citizenship programmes including the Malta Citizenship by Investment,  Malta Golden Visa, the Malta Global Residence Programme and buying property in Malta. Having written his doctoral thesis on the modes of acquisition and loss of citizenship in Malta, Dr Saliba Haig also advises client on modes of obtaining Maltese citizenship through all naturalization and registration routes available including  citizenship by birth, citizenship by marriage and citizenship by descent. 

Swatee joined Stars in September 2015 as a Partnerships Consultant, engaging global foundations and donors in innovative funding collaborations.

With a career straddling policy, business development and implementation of programmes within multilaterals, bilaterals, international agencies and donor agencies, she is passionate about development with specialist experience working in youth engagement, sexual, reproductive and maternal health, human rights and gender empowerment. 

Swatee is a board member and advisor to a number of international development agencies and start-ups. Swatee also co-founded a social enterprise which runs music,arts and cultural events in the UK and worldwide, a record label and a glamping business.

Sonia Watlal is a Doctor of Coaching and Mentoring with professional experiences in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. She worked alongside Business leaders and CEO’s in global organisations, in the areas of personal and professional growth, supporting the enhancement of emotional, social and cross-cultural skills. Dr. Sonia’s strength lies in her ability to analyse and investigate complex situation, identify potential opportunities and establish paths for individuals to develop within diverse inter-disciplinary fast moving environments. She has an academic background in Sociology and Management (A Graduate of Middlesex University London - MA is Marketing Management and of London South Bank University - BSc in Sociology). As a consultant for the past 12 years she has worked in the field of publishing, real estate, media production, legal advisory, not-for profit, finance and pharmaceuticals and has excellent knowledge in analysing key trends and environmental contextual dynamics.

Maiya is the Director and Founder of Global Allied Solutions Limited, ( a UK based company providing consultancy in Clinical Pharmacy for the GCC countries and East Africa.

She is a highly motivated and experienced clinical pharmacist with 15 years experience in paediatric and neonatal pharmacy. Working across prestigious London teaching hospitals including Great Ormond Street Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital (Paddington), St Georges’ Hospital and The Harley Street Clinic Hospital.  She has gained an independent prescribing qualification with current prescribing experience in parenteral paediatric and neonatal nutrition (TPN). An additional MSc in International Child and Maternal Health was undertaken at the University College London in 2009.  She has taught and trained clinical pharmacists in various hospitals in London and continues to provide this working in Hospitals such as The Cromwell Hospital and HCA international.

Maiya also is the director of a U.K charity which she co-founded almost ten years ago. Walou ( works with current and former street children in Morocco by working with partner organisations in the North of Morocco to rehabilitate and reintegrate street children back into society and with their families where this is possible.

Dawn is a partner in the contentious trust and succession team.
Having a wealth of experience of litigation in most offshore jurisdictions, as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Dawn advises all parties who may be involved in a dispute arising out of lifetime estate planning or on death, whether about trusts, foundations, professional negligence, fraud or succession. Previously a divorce lawyer, she also specialises in advising trustees and beneficiaries caught up in divorce proceedings.
Dawn uses her experience as to what can go wrong to advise trustees and protectors on their duties and how to manage and reduce their risk. Settlors are advised on how to create robust structures. Once a problem has arisen she advises on methods to defuse contention, risk mitigation and alternative dispute resolution as well as on proceedings if necessary, ranging from consensual to the most hostile. Dawn features in Who’s Who Legal’s list of International Private Client Lawyers as one of the ‘most highly regarded practitioners in the world’, described as ‘phenomenal’ according to their sources who praise her ‘responsiveness’.


Master Degree in French Literature and Language, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A., 1987

Bachelor Degree in French Literature and Language with English Subsidiary, Queen Mary College, University of London, U.K. 1982

Additional Optional Paper: Proficiency in French Language of the BA Degree in French, University of London

Three A. Levels, Oxford/Cambridge board

Nine O. Levels, Oxford/Cambridge board

Brevet d’Études du Premier Cycle du Second Degré, Académie de Lille, 1975

All school education was at the Lycée Français de Londres (now Lycée Charles de Gaulles), London, U.K. 


  • Lecturer at the College of Languages and Translation at King Saud University in the English and French departments from 1990 to 2012
  • Vice Chairperson of the College of Languages and Translation at King Saud University from 1999 to 2012
  • Member of the Shura Council as of 2013 for a period of 4 years, reappointed in Dec. 2016 for another 4 years
  • Member of the Scientific Council, Translation Section of The Bureau of Experts, at the Council of Ministers 2012 – 2014
  • Member of subcommittee of French Translation Section of the Bureau of Experts at the Council of Ministers, ongoing

Cooperation with governmental and private institutions:

  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance Française d'Arabie Saoudite as of Feb 2011
  • The Bureau of Experts, Translation Section at the Council of Ministers, 1999 till present
  • The Ministry of Culture and Information
  • Member of KSU's Self-Study Committee for the NCAAA Accreditation 2009/2010
  • Member of the Steering Committee for Quality Assurance and Accreditation 2009 – 2010
  • Member of COLT's Self-Study Committee for the CEA Accreditation 2010/2011
  • Member of COLT's Strategic Plan Committee 2009/2010
  • Public Affairs Administration at the Ministry of Royal Aviation and Defence, May 2009
  • The Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health
  • The “New Horizons for the Teaching of English” committee
  • The Arab Open University committee

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti
B.A., LL.M.(Warwick), LL.D., TEP
Managing Partner, Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
Legal | Tax | Corporate

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, managing partner of Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates, a leading law firm with offices in Malta, Cyprus, London, Zurich and Hong Kong. Dr Chetcuti heads the firm's Private Client practice, specialising in private client tax planning, wealth structuring and citizenship and residency planning.   Dr Chetcuti is a key advisor on Malta Citizenship by Investment, Cyprus Citizenship by Investment, the Malta Golden Visa, the Malta Global Residence Programme and buying property in Malta and Cyprus.  Dr Chetcuti was the first to be licenced by the Identity Malta Agency (licence IIP 001) to directly file citizenship applications under the Malta Individual Investor Programme.  Within his tax planning and wealth structuring function, he specialises in the use of Cypriot and Malta holding companies, Malta & Cyprus participation Exemption regimes, Malta & Cyprus royalty companies, Malta & Cyprus trusts and foundations and Professional Investor Funds.  Jean-Philippe spends his time between the firm's Malta and Cyprus office.

Dr Chetcuti is a member of the Malta Chamber of Advocates and sits on the executive council of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners. He is also a co-founder and secretary of the MAFE Malta Association of Family Enterprises and has led proposals for the enactment of a world first Family Business Act in Malta.