I have over 35 years' experience in international banking and investment, working in the UK, France, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia, as well as being responsible for banking operations in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. My first banking role was in London in the Africa and Middle East Department of National Westminster Bank. Later, in Saudi Arabia, I ran the Merchant Banking Division of The Saudi British Bank (HSBC affiliate) and established its international division. I then moved to Bahrain where I was part of a small team to establish a Kuwait-Bahrain consortium bank, and was promoted to Deputy General Manager, responsible for credit and marketing, treasury, investment, operations and administration. I worked for the bank for 7 years. I was also closely involved in mergers and acquisitions in South East Asia and Australasia, and subsequently worked in Australia for 2 years for a boutique merchant/investment bank in that field.
In 1992, I set up a banking consultancy in London, Banking Solutions Limited (www.bankingsolutions.co.uk), and have since been involved personally in assignments in Ghana, The Gambia, Guyana, Tunisia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. During this period, as a consultant for the European Commission, I worked to merge three credit institutions in Palestine, and converted the resulting fund (Palestinian Development Fund) into a development bank (PBC), for which I was CEO for 6 years until 2005. The main business of the bank was lending to SMEs. During this time, I was also closely involved in a number of Israeli-Palestinian business initiatives, particularly in IT and tourism and in investment funds.
I have served on various bank boards, including Korea International Finance Corporation (affiliated with World Bank/IFC) and Xiamen International Bank, in China. I have been a guest speaker at various international banking and investment conferences. In the UK, I served for many years as the UK Representative for the largest bank from the Philippines.
In 2006-2007, I worked for the British Government (DFID) in Iraq to try to improve the banking sector in Basra Province, to increase access to credit for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and to develop international trading and investment links for Iraq. During this time, I established the parameters for a regional SME loan fund in Basra. I also worked to assist UNIDO in the establishment of an SME fund for the whole of Iraq, and in formulating an Iraq agricultural credit scheme for an EU government. From July 2008 to June 2009, I worked in Baghdad on a World Bank assignment to restart an SME fund for the Iraqi government, and from October 2009 to October 2011 worked in Jordan on a World Bank project to restructure a government-owned development bank. In June 2011, I became part of a small team monitoring the Temporary Financing Mechanism established to assist the new Libyan ruling council on behalf of the Contact Group. In 2012, I returned to Baghdad to work on a USAID project to improve access to finance in Iraq and in upgrading the banking system. I am still involved in Iraqi banking projects.
In 2013, I joined Philadelphia Consulting Group in Amman to assist with business development in the region, in particular Baghdad and Erbil. Philadelphia has a long history on consulting in banking, oil & gas, corporations and government, and also undertakes training in all sectors. The Group has sister companies in medical services, executive recruitment and marketing - www.PhiladelphiaConsulting.com. I have also been involved privately in World Bank and IMF-funded assignments in Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi, as well as running SME finance training workshops for Asia bankers in Malaysia and Jakarta. In 2014, I worked on a project in Iraq to upgrade customs procedures.
I have experience of all banking products and services, operations and activities (necessary in setting up and evaluating financial institutions), and in corporate governance, SME finance, and risk management. I have a good knowledge of all banking and investment policies and procedures, as well as banking law and investment law.I am very comfortable with all cultures, and maintain a current list of international contacts in banking, business and politics in the regions in which I operate. I am known for my problem solving, project management, strong inter-personal skills, staff management and development, as well as communication skills, diplomacy and advocacy.
I was born in London, England, and have British nationality. I was educated in the UK, France, Germany and Holland, and obtained a Double Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Economics at the University of Birmingham. I later spent a year at the Middle East Centre for Aarabic Studies in Lebanon learning Arabic.