These are some of the people you will meet during the UAE Innovation Study Tour 2019, in addition to the hosts:
Your benefit from this programme will be facilitated and guided by a team of world class consultants and analysts with strong understanding of financialtechnology, digital transformation and UAE’s innovation topics.
Christopher Kiew-Smith, Head of FinTech Strategy, Financial Services Regulatory Authority
Christopher Kiew-Smith joined the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in July 2017. He is the Head of Fintech Strategy, responsible for the FSRA’s projects and their approach to innovative financial technologies. As part of his remit, Kiew-Smith focuses on fostering a thriving Fintech ecosystem through initiatives such as the ADGM Regulatory Laboratory (Reglab), the ADGM Digital Sandbox and institutional-focused projects. Prior to ADGM, he was working at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as co-founder of the FCA Regulatory Sandbox, and led the regulator’s policy towards Blockchain technologies. In the UK, he was also a member of the Whitechapel Think Tank, a London based group of industry experts discussing the potential of Blockchain solutions in financial markets. At the FCA, Kiew-Smith also authored markets policy and regulations for deployment at international and European levels. Prior to this, he worked as a lawyer at Clifford Chance before advising global investment banks as a strategy consultant at Deloitte.
Khaled Al Musawi, uBank Manager, Consumer Banking Group, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)
Khaled Al Musawi has been working in the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) for about 4 years. His role entails preparing strategic expansion and acquisition plans for ADCB’s digital centers, namely uBank. In addition to forging agreements on the service strategy and targets, Al Musawi also monitors and tracks performance, leads and motivates uBank employees in order to achieve desired growth plans and revenue generation whilst developing and maintaining a service culture and ensuring exceptional service is delivered. Al Musawi is passionate about adding value to people’s lives through connecting them with data using innovative platforms.
Ashlene Ramadan, Director of Operations, Plug & Play Tech Center
Ashlene Ramadan is currently a director of operations at Plug & Play Tech Center, where she oversees the operations and communications for the Fintech accelerator program in partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). Her responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the accelerator program, expediting the Proof-of-Concept (POC) process between the startups and corporate partners as well as manage the marketing/communications for Plug and Play MENA. Ramadan relocated to Abu Dhabi from Silicon Valley to support Plug and Play’s expansion across the MENA region. Before joining Plug and Play, she founded a media production company focusing on creating corporate videos, documentaries and short films on social and political issues in order to give voice to the voiceless. Ramadan has more than three years of experience in the technology and innovation space and she is excited to contribute to the development of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as globally outstanding center of technology and innovation.
Babak Ahmadzadeh, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Plug & Play Tech Center
Babak Ahmadzadeh is currently a director of Corporate Partnership at Plug & Play Tech Center, where he engages with private and public sector entities to support them in meeting their digital innovation KPIs through start-up/scale-up interactions. He has supported the successful launch of two open innovation platforms in Berlin, for Energy and Sustainability, and Paris, for Smart Cities. Ahmadzadeh and his team are proud to be part of the nurturing of the UAE and MENA FinTech ecosystem with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) by building bridges between financial institutions and some of the best FinTech scale-up/start-ups globally. His previous experience in the tech domain includes playing a key role in the launch and growth of a tech incubator, Entrepreneur First, start-up, Wimdu, and non-profit, Founder4Schools, in London. Ahmadzadeh has more than ten years of experience working in technology, construction, financial services and education sectors in the UK and UAE.
Louis Lebbos, Founding Partner, AstroLabs
Louis Lebbos is founding partner of AstroLabs, a tech co-working community in Dubai and Riyadh, and a learning academy for topics in digital. AstroLabs Academy has graduated thousands of alumni across the region and delivers custom-made curricula for corporate clients and incubators/accelerators. It currently hosts more than 120 companies in its spaces in Dubai and Riyadh. Before starting AstroLabs, Lebbos co-founded Namshi, an e-commerce portal for the Middle East, where he led the marketing, onsite experience, and human resources teams. Prior to that, Louis was a consultant at the Dubai office of McKinsey & Company. Previously, Louis was part of the general management development program at a US Fortune 200 multinational.
Shereen Abdulla, Senior Manager, FinTech Hive
Shereen Abdulla serves as senior manager at FinTech Hive, overseeing the execution of the accelerator program and is involved in all areas of marketing, operations, and partnership development. Additionally, Abdulla is building FinTech Hive’s global network of accelerators and developing additional revenue streams for the business. Previously, Abdulla developed a business plan for a new FinTech innovation hub for Habib Bank Limited in South Asia. With more than nine years of experience in financial services in the Middle East, Abdulla holds a breadth of experience in several functions within the industry, covering fintech, consumer, commercial, and corporate banking. With a background in both international banking and management consulting firms, Abdulla’s primary areas of concentrations are in business planning and performance improvement at strategic and operational levels.
Clio Andriopoulos, Senior Manager Strategy, TECOM Group Dubai
Clio Andriopoulos serves as senior manager strategy at TECOM Group Dubai, heading the strategy function for three communities including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource City and In5 Tech incubation center. She advises leadership on new business, product and partnership opportunities for growth and assessed impact of digital transformation on the Outsourcing industry, recommended revitalization strategy and oversaw execution. Prior to that, she was planning and strategy manager at Etisalat Services Holding. Andriopoulos has also experiences in the Compass Group, The Nielsen Company and KPMG Advisory. She holds 12 years of strategy professional experience in Dubai, Paris and New York City.
Ziad Al Askari, President and Chief Operations Officer, United Technical Services (UTS)
Mr. Ziad Al Askari is the president and chief operations officer of United Technical Services (UTS), a company established in 1978. UTS currently represents over 30 international companies from different business sectors including Oil & Gas, Air-conditioning and Building Systems, Facilities Management and Environmentally Friendly Business Solutions. Al Askari is currently a member of the board of YPO Dubai chapter, he is also the chairman of OCS Emirates, a facility management joint venture with UAE’s oil and gas conglomerate United Technical Services, chairman of 2getthere Emirates, an advanced transportation technology company, and a director of both Takyeef Air-conditioning Factory and Efeso Consulting, a management and operations consulting company, and a non-executive director of the UTS carrier board. Al Askari was Abu Dhabi Chapter Chair of the Young Presidents’ Oranisation between 2015 and 2017, a chapter he founded in 2010.
Ramesh Jagannathan,Vice Provost, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Managing Director, startAD
Ramesh Jagannathan is currently the vice provost for innovation and entrepreneurship and managing director of startAD, the innovation and entrepreneurship platform at NYU Abu Dhabi. He is an entrepreneurial technologist specialising in leading global teams, and converting abstract concepts into tangible and marketable technologies in a short timeframe. Prior to startAD, Jagannathan piloted an entrepreneurship program, IDEA Lab, which connected NYUAD members with the broader startup community. He also developed the "Superlab" course for engineering students that sought to introduce design concepts around abstract challenges. Since 2010, he has led the focus on innovation and entrepreneurship at NYU Abu Dhabi. Jagannathan believes in the UAE’s ability to develop into a leading innovation center in the world, with a focus on addressing the needs of the 21st century middle class. He has full faith in the UAE's ability to evolve rapidly into giving Silicon Valley a run for its money.
Foo Boon Ping, Managing Editor, The Asian Banker
Boon Ping manages The Asian Banker publication business and engages practitioners, customers, partners and the media on critical issues that impact the industry. He has more than 19 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry, specializing in strategic branding, marketing communications and consumer insight. Prior to The Asian Banker, he was at United Overseas Bank (UOB), covering Singapore and key markets in the region, such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
David Gyori, International Resource Director, The Asian Banker
David Gyori is a globally renowned FinTech consultant, trainer, author and keynote speaker. He is CEO of Banking Reports Ltd London, providing top quality ‘FinTech Training for Bankers’ all over the world. In addition, Gyori holds a number of key international positions: He is founding member of the World FinTech Association as well as member of the panel of judges of the European FinTech Awards. He is co-author of ‘The FINTECH Book’, published by Wiley and Sons in 2016, quickly becoming a global category best-seller. Gyori is faculty member of the Retail Banking Academy (London), one of the most prestigious banker-training facilities globally. He serves on the advisory board of multiple FinTech companies in the United Kingdom.