• Shereen Abdulla
  • Senior Manager, DIFC FinTech Hive
  • Host & Producer, Spark! With Shereen
  • Ms. Shereen Abdulla is very passionate about fostering startup ecosystems and empowering entrepreneurship education. She believes that technology has the power to transform and improve people's lives, and entrepreneurs will make that happen! On behalf of the DIFC FinTech Hive, Ms. Abdulla operates the Middle East's largest FinTech accelerator program and consults financial services and government entities on corporate innovation. She also hosts and produces the podcast Spark! with Shereen to amplify the stories of startups and innovation in the Middle East.

  • Adel Ahmad Al Redha
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Emirates Airline
  • Mr. Adel Ahmad Al Redha, has been a pivotal player on the operations team since joining Emirates in 1985. He has taken on broader responsibilities with the growth of the company. His experience over the years has covered all aspects of operations and logistics, including engineering, flight operations, service delivery, airport services, network operations, and aircraft procurement. He was appointed to his current role in 2013. In his various roles with the company, he was instrumental in introducing ab initio cadet programs, engineering apprenticeships, and training in air transport management for UAE nationals pursuing careers in aviation. He also played a vital role in expanding Emirates' engineering and maintenance department, including the development of the state-of-the-art engine maintenance shop and the establishment of the Emirates Flight Training Academy.

  • Ibrahim Ajami
  • Head of Ventures
  • Mubadala
  • Mr. Ibrahim Ajami is Head of Ventures at Mubadala responsible for leading Mubadala’s venture capital strategy and platform. He was previously the Executive Director of Mubadala Technology, responsible for overseeing the company’s interests in the advanced technology sector and led the development of Mubadala’s semiconductor strategy and investments. Ibrahim also served as CEO of the Advanced Technology Investment Company, a 100% owned Mubadala subsdiary. He oversaw the creation and strategic growth of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Prior to that, he was an Associate Director at Mubadala’s Acquisitions unit executing M&A transactions around the world in various industries for Mubadala. Prior to joining Mubadala in 2006, Ibrahim worked for Occidental Petroleum and played a key role in the company's successful expansion in the Middle East and North Africa region.

  • Chavan Bhogaita
  • Managing Director & Head of Market Insights and Strategy
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)
  • Mr. Chavan Bhogaita currently works as Managing Director & Head of Market Insights and Strategy at First Abu Dhabi Bank. Earlier, he worked with the Alternative Investments and Fixed Income teams within the bank’s Global Markets Division. He joined NBAD in 2009, specialising in GCC credit markets (bonds and sukuk) across all sectors. He has over 25 years of professional experience in banking and finance, of which 20 years have been in credit research and analysis. His previous roles include Head of Middle East Credit Research at HSBC (Dubai), Head of Credit Research at Commerzbank (London), and senior credit analyst at Bear Stearns (London), and 6 years prior to his time in financial markets were spent in the areas of corporate recovery & insolvency, audit, and corporate finance in the UK.

  • Maram Al-Jazireh
  • Senior Vice President & Global Head of Financial Institutions
  • Arab Bank
  • Ms. Maram Al-Jazireh is SVP/ Global Head of Financial Institutions at Arab Bank and is responsible for relationships and business development activities with financial institutions globally. She is also a member of the Financial Institutions Credit Committee. Prior to joining Arab Bank in 2001, she worked at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh International, Cairo Amman Bank, Citibank N.A, Amman and ABN Amro Bank, Dubai. She is co-chair of BAFT MENA Council and an advisory board member of Beyond Capital’s governance committee. She is also a fellow of the Middle East Leadership Initiative, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and founder of Mid The Art Reach Project.

  • Neeraj Makin
  • Senior Executive Vice President & Group Head, International and Group Strategy
  • Emirates NBD
  • Mr. Neeraj Makin is the Senior Executive Vice President, Group Head of International at Emirates NBD and a member of the Group Executive Committee. Additionally, he also leads the Group Strategy function. As Group Head of International, Neeraj is in charge of business and profitability management and oversight and governance of all International units. As Head of Group Strategy, Neeraj has been supporting the Group CEO/ Board on strategy development across the Group and to help develop and drive the strategic vision and aspirations for Emirates NBD and its entities/businesses along with managing its strategic acquisitions and international growth plans. Neeraj has played a pivotal role in leading Emirates NBD’s international expansion which includes the successful acquisition of BNP Paribas Egypt and DenizBank in Turkey, as well as the branch licenses in India and KSA. He has been with Emirates NBD for over 11 years now. Between 2016 and 2019 he also served as an Advisory Board member for Network International - the leading payments solution provider in Middle East and Africa which was recently listed at the London Stock Exchange through a global IPO – a project he led from ENBD’s side. He also led the acquisition of EMPH for Network International.

  • Eric Modave
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Arab Bank
  • Mr. Eric Modave is chief operating officer at Arab Bank, a position he has held since July 2014. Mr Modave has 24 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before joining Arab Bank, Mr Modave was chief operating officer of Barclays Africa, where he was based in Kenya and Johannesburg, covering 12 African countries. From 2006 until 2009, he was head of global payment operations at Barclays, in London. Before this, Mr Modave held various positions at Citibank, including head of consumer bank operations at Citibank EMEA from 2003 until 2006 and head of operations and technology at Citibank International Personal Banking, Europe between 2001 and 2003. He was chief financial officer of Citibank International Personal Banking from 1999 until 2001. Mr Modave graduated as a commercial engineer from HEC University of Liège in 1989 and became a certified chartered accountant in 1996. He also completed the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, in 2014.

  • James Pearson
  • Executive Vice President & Global Head of FI and non-bank FI
  • Mashreq Bank
  • Mr. James Pearson is the Global Head of Financial Institutions at Mashreq Bank, which includes coverage of clients in the Banks, Central Banks and Non-Bank Financial Institutions segments. The Financial Institutions business is an integral part of Mashreq Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking Group. In his role at Mashreq, he is responsible for devising and implementing the overall business strategy for the Financial Institutions segment working closely with Head of CIBG to deliver a broader range of products to the Bank’s clients while driving other growth initiatives. Mr. Pearson possesses over 30 years’ experience in corporate and investment banking and has worked extensively with banks, insurers, investors and intermediaries. Before joining Mashreq, he worked with Nomura where he served as Head of Financial Institutions, Asia (ex-Japan). Prior to Nomura, he worked at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore for seven years, where he was the Global Head of Financial Institutions Industry Coverage and Global Head of Insurance Clients.

  • Mike Premo
  • President & CEO
  • Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC)
  • Mr. Mike Premo, as president and chief executive officer, and as a member of ARC’s board of directors, leads the company’s strategy in bringing airlines and their agents together to do more business and do it more efficiently. He and his executive team oversee operations for ARC’s traditional accreditation and settlement work and also its rapidly growing data business. Mr. Premo became ARC’s president and chief executive officer in June 2011 after serving as the company’s vice president of business development. Before joining ARC in 2006, he served as the senior vice president of Global Network for TQ3 Travel Solutions and held senior executive positions at Navigant International, TQ3’s parent company. He also served as the president of SatoTravel from 1990 to 1999. Having grown up in Minnesota, Mr. Premo began his industry career as a reservations agent at Northwest Airlines, after which he entered the agency business at Gelco Travel. He is also the proud grandfather of five granddaughters and one grandson.

  • Hossam Rageh
  • Executive Director & Acting CEO
  • Mayfair Bank - CIB
  • Mr. Hossam Rageh has over 36 years of experience in Finance, Investment and Trade finance through working for various financial Institutions in the MENA region. Mr. Rageh is currently heading the Regional Expansion Group at Commercial International Bank (Egypt) where he established the Representative office of the bank in Addis Ababa last year and is currently managing CIB’s subsidiary in Kenya named Mayfair- CIB limited. Back in 2005 he was the managing director of CIB’s 1st Representative for the Gulf region based in Dubai. His role was focused on sourcing direct investments, attracting FDI funds, participating in project finance and syndications in the GCC region. He was previously the head of FIG at CIB from 2011 till 2020, managing a team of 50 finance professionals focused on expanding the business of the bank in three distinctive business lines, Correspondent Banking, Non-Banking Financial Institutions and Development Finance.

  • Hazem Shish
  • Managing Director & Head of FIG Middle East, Turkey and Africa
  • Barclays Investment Bank
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  • Salwa Smaoui
  • Government Industry Leader, Middle East & Africa
  • Microsoft
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  • Omar Soudodi
  • Managing Director
  • PAYFORT (An Amazon Company)
  • Mr. Omar Soudodi has been on the helm of PayFort since its inception in 2013 and led the expansion to eight countries in the Middle East to support various industries such as: e-commerce, travel, airlines, telcos, government and insurance to name a few and later spearheaded the team to the successful exit to Amazon, Inc. in 2017. He now serves as Director of Payments for Amazon in the Middle East. Prior to PayFort, he successfully launched Souq.com in Egypt in 2010 that enabled millions of buyers to make their first purchase online and tens of thousands of sellers to uncover new opportunities by selling online. Before joining Souq.com, Mr. Soudodi co-founded Accelarabia.com; the first fintech company in the Middle East in late 2005, raised a successful round of funding from large corporations such as ORASCOM Development in 2006, and originated over one billion AED in real-estate loans by 2008.

  • Mohamad Zarakat
  • Director & EMEA Digital Lead
  • BNY Mellon
  • Mr. Mohamad Zaraket, as a Digital Lead, is responsible to derive and execute on BNY Mellon digital strategy for the EMEA region. He’s mostly focused on finding innovative solutions for clients’ needs, fostering an internal culture of innovation, and building relationships with the fintech ecosystem. He brings over 12 years of international experience within the financial services industry, spanning roles in digital, innovation, finance & front office. Prior to working for BNY Mellon, he spent 4 years at HSBC Dubai in various roles.