The BAFT MENA Bank to Bank Forum returns to Dubai, UAE on March 13, 2023. The forum is a unique opportunity to discuss pressing industry issues with a regional focus while sharing insights, and networking with senior transaction banking, trade, and payments executives, subject matter experts, and other industry leaders within the wider Middle East and North Africa region.
This year’s program will feature emerging issues and ongoing industry topics from digitization and innovation in trade and payments, global macroeconomics view, regulatory and compliance, sustainability, and talent/workforce challenges from a diverse group of speakers and subject matter experts.
BAFT events are known for balancing thought leadership sessions with adequate time dedicated to bilateral meetings. The MENA Forum is no exception. We’ve carved out extensive time in the afternoon of the conference for bilateral meetings then followed immediately with a networking reception for a perfect way to end the conference!
Some private meeting spaces at the hotel are available. For availability and to reserve your meeting room, contact Matt Kaitz at [email protected].
8.30 – 9.30
09.30 – 09.50
President & CEO
Senior Vice President, Global Head of Financial Institutions
Chair of the Board of Directors
9.50 – 10.30
Global banking heads in the region will address regional and global challenges and opportunities facing the trade and payments industry today.
Head of Financial Institutions
Commercial Bank of Dubai
Global Head of Transaction Banking
Head, Global Transaction Solutions
Banque Saudi Fransi
Senior Managing Director, Head of Global Transaction Banking
First Abu Dhabi Bank
10.30 – 11.10
With Sustainability's largest convention being held in Abu Dhabi in 2023 the focus is on the Middle East yet once again! While the region is being hailed as the "New Wall Street" of the world with major sustainable investment s being driven from here, the question remains if this is indeed futuristic and/or if it will indeed transform the way the world looks at MENA. What is it that will make it successful and what are it's main adversaries? Experts will discuss ESG market trends, financing products, and ESG regulation challenges in MENA.
Group Chief Sustainability Officer
Husam Abdel Al, CFA
Senior Director, Origination & Sustainable Finance, Investment Banking
Majid Al Futtaim
Executive Director, Sustainable Investment Banking
Credit Agricole CIB (UAE)
11.10 – 11.55
International financial system participants - banks, fintechs, network operators, global entities - are working aggressively to harness the power of advancements in cross-border payments to maximize value for themselves and their clients. However, the race for innovation and digitization requires careful planning, execution, and the knowledge to make optimal decisions. Hear from a panel of industry leaders representing these market participants and learn how to effectively navigate messaging standards, system integration, future-proofing, interoperability, and FX considerations, with perspectives representing both the practitioner and scholarly communities.
Director and Head of Innovation
Euro Banking Association (EBA)
Head of Immediate Payments
Regional Head, Middle East, North Africa & Turkey
Head of Visa B2B Connect CEMEA
11.55 – 12.15
12:15 – 12.50
The session will cover the macroeconomic forces affecting the industry, such as the rising interest rates and inflation trends and their implications on oil prices and other commodities which are predominant in the region. In addition, our panel will have a more in-depth discussion on the opening of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and what it means to the region and the rest of the world, both in the near and long term.
Senior Director, Financial Institutions – Banks
Dr. Gıyas Gökkent
Group Chief Economist
Economist, MENA, Financial Markets
Standard Chartered Bank
12.50 – 13.30
The evolution of regulatory and compliance standards has been unprecedented over the recent past. The increasing sophistication of financial crime risks coupled with regulatory stringencies has persistently challenged banks to keep pace. Recent geopolitical issues globally have created an additional burden on the banks to comply with regulatory requirements. While the complex development of cryptocurrencies fuelled by the collapse of entities such FTX has raised further alarm bells in terms of added scrutiny by banks. Are banks paying a higher price in creating the perfect balance between regulators and consumers?
Global Head of Financial Institutions & Non-Bank Fintechs
Chief Compliance Officer & Head of Financial Crime Compliance MENAT
UAE Banks Federation
13.30 – 14.10
As global markets see a tectonic shift in banking services with the rise of digital banks, the Middle East has not been far behind in the trend. Over the last five years, it has seen digital banks powering to successful launches and grabbed market share from traditional banks. With a high internet penetration rate and a large youth population, the Middle East is a fertile ground for digital banks to establish, build, and scale. In this session, we look at the success of digital banks in the Middle East so far, the challenges they confront and whether have they truly lived up to the disruption we anticipated. We also hear from global banks on their journey of building resilience and embracing collaboration with fintechs to protect their market share.
Managing Director & Head, Global Cash Product Management & Innovation
First Abu Dhabi Bank
Mohamed Al Qassab
Head of Digital Experience
Global Head Cash Management Sales
Chief Commercial Officer
Wio Bank PJSC
14.10 – 15.15
14.10 – 17.30
17.30 – 19.00
Husam has over 14 years of wide-ranging experience in loan origination, structuring, underwriting, and distribution across MENA. He has closed numerous transactions for clients, raising over USD 50bn across multiple sectors including Sovereigns, Construction, Industrials, Real Estate, and Financials. He is currently managing all Sustainable Finance transactions at Mashreq. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
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. Maram grew up in Kuwait and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a major in Accounting. 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.
A digital transformation expert with a track record of successful challenger bank launches in MENA region. Passionately helping companies navigate uncharted waters while keeping a firm grip on the customer experience. Mohamed has over 16 years of experience in Banking and Telecoms industries and is part of the founding team behind ila Bank in Bahrain, he currently serves as the Head of Digital Experience in ila Bank powered by Bank ABC. Mohamed holds an MSc Degree from University of York in Internet & mobile communication systems and BSc (Hons) in Design Technology.
Nazly Asadollahpour is the ESG Director at Majid Al Futtaim-Holding. In her current role, Nazly is responsible for creating and updating the Group’s sustainability and ESG strategy and acts as the ambassador for ESG activities within and outside the Group. Nazly brings over sixteen years of experience in sustainable real estate, sustainable finance, ESG and corporate sustainability and one of her top priorities is to drive ‘Net positive’ sustainability strategy across the company’s different business units. Nazly joined Majid Al Futtaim in 2016 as the Sustainability Manager for Majid Al Futtaim-Properties where she played an important role in driving sustainable real-estate practices across the properties. In 2018 she joined the Corporate Sustainability team. Since 2019, she has been responsible for Majid Al Futtaim ESG rating and serves as the subject matter’s expert in ESG reporting across the company. Alongside the treasury team, Nazly led the successful Majid Al Futtaim Green Sukuk & Sustainability Linked Loan in their multiple rounds. Nazly was recognized as a Top Talent across the company for many years, due to her continued drive to live Majid Al Futtaim’s leadership model to drive sustainable business growth.
Vijay Bains is the Group Chief Sustainability Officer at Emirates NBD. Reporting to the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Shayne Nelson, Vijay is responsible for the bank’s end-to-end ESG strategy including the introduction of more sustainable practices based on a thorough review of policies, processes and procedures across the Group. In his role, Vijay works closely with various business units across the bank to increase sustainable finance offerings and investments and provide customers with advisory services to support their net-zero transition. In addition, Vijay is also responsible for all the corporate governance requirements of the Group. Vijay has over 15 years of sustainability experience across the Middle East, UK, Europe and North America. Prior to joining Emirates NBD, Vijay served as Sustainable Finance Lead with KPMG, UK. He has held senior Sustainable Finance roles across leading organisations including Ernst and Young and Lloyds Bank and has extensive experience building and implementing ESG strategies and teams. Vijay has designed and marketed highly successful sustainable finance products including sustainability loans and green bonds, while advising on sustainability for IPOs, as well as designing and building ESG finance products such as mortgages, loans and insurance.
Rana Beydoun is the Head of Financial Institutions at the Commercial Bank of Dubai, managing both Banks and Non-Bank Financial Institutions. Prior to that, she lead a similar position at BLOM Bank where she was responsible for relationships and business development activities with banks/ financial institutions globally. Her career spans 20 years in banking. She has been engaged with BAFT during the past 8 years, and currently is the co-chair of the BAFT MENA Council.
Mr. Tod Burwell is the President and Chief Executive Officer of BAFT. Prior to being promoted to CEO, he served as the Senior Vice President of Trade Products with oversight of all trade-related initiatives including the Global Trade Industry Council, Trade Committees, and other strategic initiatives of the organization. Mr. Burwell has over 25 years of trade, supply chain and cash management experience as a banking practitioner, as well as serving as a consultant to global corporations and suppliers of strategically integrated trade solutions. Prior to joining BAFT, Mr. Burwell was a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase and held senior global management roles responsible for trade operations, launching the logistics business and managing global product sales for trade finance and logistics management.
Gautam Dutta is the Global Head of Cash Product Management and Innovation and part of Global Transaction Banking (GTB) at FAB. He has over 25 years of experience and held various banking & finance roles in Sales & Distribution, Operations & Delivery, Consultancy Technical implementation, Project & Product Management. Prior to joining FGB, Gautam worked at HSBC for over 7 years where he worked with clients in building innovative solution and drive Channel transformation. He joined FGB in 2013 to manage Global Transaction Banking Operations and after the merger with National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Gautam heads up the Cash Management Products function. Gautam has supported Clients in establishing and building centralised Treasury functions and in house banks. He has worked in developing leading capabilities within the payments, collections and Liquidity management space including areas on Treasury centralization & Advisory services and helped clients to carve out strategic propositions across multiple geographies.
Amr Elsolamy is the Global Head of Transaction Banking Group for Arab Bank Plc. Mr. Amr comes with 28 years of experience in Wholesale Banking across Corporate Credit, Relationship Coverage, Transactional Banking, and Working Capital Digital Products & solutions within reputable international and regional institutions. Amr started his career at Commercial International Bank Egypt and later held several leadership positions across extended geographies at Citigroup, whereby he was the Head of Global Relationship Banking in Egypt, the Global Head of Transaction Services for North & Francophone West Africa Cluster, followed by Head of GTB for MENA Region out of Dubai, UAE, respectively. Amr had an extensive leadership role with Samba Financial Group in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he held the position of Global Head of Transaction Services & FI Trade for 13 successful years since 2009. Amr holds a number of global achievements and awards such as but not limited to The Citigroup Chairman’s Club Award, EMEA Best Performance Commendation, The Five Stars Trade & Supply Chain Finance Awards . He also holds a Master Degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Dr. Gıyas Gökkent joined Bank ABC in 2022 as Group Chief Economist. With in-depth expertise and understanding of Bank ABC’s markets and market economics, he is responsible for presenting independent views on economic and financial market developments to assist in the Group’s business and investment decisions, including country risk. In an illustrious career spanning three decades, Dr. Gökkent has worked with leading institutions in the US, Turkey and MENA. Prior to joining Bank ABC, he worked with JP Morgan Securities, as Chief Economist for MENA and Pakistan. In this role, he led macroeconomic research on 17 countries in the MENAP region, as well as publishing on oil and gas sector developments and analyzing regional implications. Prior to that, he worked as Senior Economist, MENA, at the Institute of International Finance in Washington DC, and as Group Chief Economist at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, UAE. He has published numerous articles and books including Journey in the Grand Sahara of Africa and Through Time and The Ethiopia Book of Travels. Mr. Gokkent has passed the CFA Level I from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Florida International University, USA.
Andrew Haskell is a Director and the Head of Immediate Payments Product Management at BNY Mellon within Treasury Services. In his current role, Andrew is responsible for BNY Mellon’s strategy and development of Immediate Payment solutions including U.S. and international Real-Time Payments and Tokenized Payments® with Zelle® solutions. Andrew is currently pursuing an Executive Doctor of Business Administration degree from Georgia State University with a concentration in international business and finance, researching the future of cross-border payments and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
Sarya is responsible for developing the Sustainable Banking business in MENA for Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank. She has over 20 years experience in Global Markets, providing cross-asset solutions to Financial Institutions and Sovereign Wealth Funds, specialising in secured lending. Prior to joining Credit Agricole in 2018, Sarya started her career at Citigroup in London in 2000-2008 as an Emerging Markets Fixed Income specialist. Sarya holds a BA Hons degree from the University of Durham.
Collin Lobo brings to HSBC more than 25 years of financial crime risk management experience in banking and accountancy across the Middle East, Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa. A Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a specialist in forensic accounting and regulatory advisory services, Collin joined HSBC in the Middle East as Regional Head of Financial Crime Compliance in August 2014 from Standard Chartered. Since May 2020 his remit expanded to encompass the role of Regional Chief Compliance Officer MENAT. Collin believes passionately in the value that meritocratic and diverse organizations gain from the willingness of colleagues to share knowledge and experiences to deliver ever-better outcomes for the customers and stakeholders they serve.
Anton Lopatin joined Fitch Ratings in February 2011 as Analyst in the Financial Institutions Group and since then was responsible for banks coverage in the CIS and the GCC regions. Before 2022 he was incharge of Russian and Uzbek banks coverage. He currently holds a position of Senior Director and heads up Saudi and Egyptian banks coverage and is also involved in coverage of major banks in the UAE and Qatar. Anton is based in Dubai.
Onur Ozan is managing director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey operations of Swift, overseeing the development of Swift’s business across the region. As part of this role, he looks after the execution of the strategy of Swift within the region and go-to-market activities. He is also responsible for identifying market opportunities, fostering industry education in payments modernization, driving Swift’s local initiatives and working with the community to provide solutions to regional industry challenges such as financial crime compliance and cyber security. Onur specializes in payment systems, middle/back-office transaction management solutions as well as project management. Onur has been with Swift for ten years during which he held the positions of Head of Business Development for the Middle East, Turkey & Africa, and Country Manager of several of the largest markets in the region. Prior to joining Swift, he worked in consulting and product management roles across the financial services industry. Onur holds an MBA from Hult Business School, USA.
Shane Riedel is the co-founder and CEO of Elucidate, the regulated financial crime risk quantification platform. Prior to Elucidate, Shane was the Head of Financial Crime Compliance for Financial Institutions and Correspondent Banking at Standard Chartered Bank. He started his career in Finance with Goldman Sachs. Prior to his career in Finance, Shane was a diplomat with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
An experienced professional in financial services sector, Arup has held various leadership positions in Corporate & Institutional banking, Transaction Banking, business transformation and innovation. Prior to joining BSF, he worked for HSBC Group in multiple countries for a number of years handling various important assignments.
Jamal Saleh joined UBF (UAE Banks Federation) in July 2018 and became UBF's Director General on 1st January 2019. Prior to joining UBF, his last role was Head of Credit & Risk and Acting Regional Chief Risk Officer with a leading GCC bank. Jamal Saleh spent 29 years in banking (Conventional and Islamic) and covered Credit and Enterprise Risk Management (Credit, Market, Operational, Liquidity, and IT Risks). His first 10 years were in the USA (in Private Banking and Credit) and the last 19 were in the UAE in Corporate Banking, Credit, and Risk Management with three leading UAE banks. He served as PRMIA's UAE Director General for 7 years (2007-2014) and was concurrently Member on British University's Advisory Board.
Sabry Salman is Global Head Financial Institutions & Non-Bank PSPs and responsibilities spanning Banks, Brokers AltFI & Fintechs. Sabry has 25 years of experience in global corporate banking, having lived and worked in Asia and the UK. Prior to his current role, he was Global Head of Banks Coverage and Head of UK MNC for 6 years, covering client markets in the Americas, UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Since joining Barclays in 2004, he has held many leadership roles spanning industry sectors and geographies including Africa for 7 years. Prior to Barclays he worked at Standard Chartered and RBS Group. Sabry is a member of the Corporate Bank Sustainability Council & The Digital Execution Board.
Sanjay is the Senior Managing Director & Head of Global Transaction Banking and part of Corporate and Commercial & International Banking Management at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). Sanjay has joined from Arab Banking Corporation (Bank ABC) where he was the Group Head for Transaction Banking based in Bahrain. Prior to this, he worked at Citi Bank, holding several leadership positions in Transaction Banking and Institutional Banking, several clients across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Sanjay has lived and worked in the UK, the UAE, Bahrain, South Africa, Kenya, Singapore and India. He holds a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; an MBA from FMS, University of Delhi, and has completed executive education from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
David is the Managing Director, Global Head of Cash Management Sales. David is a member of the Transaction Banking Senior Leadership Team, responsible for all cash management and FX sales activity for Barclays Corporate Banking globally. In addition to this role David is Co-Executive Sponsor for Spectrum, Barclays LGBT+ network. David has held a number of advisory board positions, examples include the Visa Digital Strategic Advisory Board and the China Union Pay Advisory Board.
Carla is an economist at Standard Chartered Bank covering the Middle East based in Dubai. She provides on-the-ground analysis of macroeconomic and financial-market developments in the region to external and internal stakeholders of the Bank, including clients and senior management. Carla is a regular presenter at industry conferences and in the media. She holds an economics degree from the American University in Beirut.
In his current role, Daniel is in charge of business development, thought leadership, innovation, events and educational activities. He runs the association’s working groups, the EBAday conference and EBA’s professional training seminars and schools. Daniel completed a first term of office as Head of Communications and Corporate Governance at EBA CLEARING from 2002 to 2012. From 2001 to 2002, Daniel was a Payment Systems Advisor to the European Banking Federation (EBF) in Brussels. He began his professional career in 1994 with SWIFT in Brussels. Daniel holds graduate degrees in business administration and management from Boston University, Mass. and from the University of Brussels.
Prateek Vahie is the Chief Commercial Officer of Wio Bank PJSC, the region’s first platform bank created to reboot banking for all, and is responsible for driving the commercial strategy of Wio. A creative thinker and customer-oriented retail banker, Prateek is developing and executing a scalable customer-centric digital acquisition strategy for Wio to increase its market share, generate revenues and build the organizational profile of the company. He brings over 20 years of demonstrated success and proven innovative business-building capabilities to Wio. In his most recent role, Prateek was Senior Vice President – Head of Retail Assets at Emirates NBD where he has served in various leadership capacities with a primary focus on building robust year-on-year revenue growth through analytically-driven and innovative acquisition and retention strategies. Prior to this, Prateek held various management roles at the National Bank of Dubai, ICICI Bank and GE Money.
Vishal Virmani leads Visa B2B Connect, across Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA). Visa B2B Connect is a cross-border payments network and platform, that provides financial institutions a secure, fast and predictable way to process their cross-border business-related payments. Vishal joined Visa in June 2019 to assist financial institutions in CEMEA enhance their payments proposition for Corporate, NBFI, Government and SME clients and improve efficiencies in cross-border payments processes. Prior to joining Visa, Vishal spent over 20 years at financial institutions across multiple geographies leading sales & advisory and product & solutions teams that consulted and designed payments, foreign exchange, cash management and liquidity management solutions for various customer segments and industry verticals.
Join the transaction banking community along with others involved in cross border payments and trade as they gather to discuss key issues and best practices at the 2023 MENA Forum. The Forum will focus on correspondent banking with topics including de-risking, Islamic banking challenges and opportunities, the evolving trade and payment landscapes, and regulatory reform for transaction banking.
The MENA Forum is your opportunity to position your organization as a thought leader and connect with your clients. Plus, network with your colleagues or have uninterrupted meetings with prospective and future clients during dedicated bilateral meeting times included in the program schedule.
BAFT is the leading global industry association for International Transaction Banking. It helps bridge solutions across financial institutions, service providers, and the regulatory community that promote sound financial practices enabling innovation, efficiency, and commercial growth.
|Speaking opportunity in event programming||Yes||Yes||Yes||–|
|One-page flyer for conference registration desk||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Event Registrations/Lead Generation|
|Bi-lateral meeting space||Yes||Yes||Additional $1500||Additional $3500|
|Event Attendee List with Email Contact Information (pre- and post-event)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Custom giveaway to all attendees||Yes||Yes||–||–|
|Pull-up banner in registration area for the duration of conference||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Logo featured on event website, registration page and confirmation email||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Recognition as sponsor during event introduction and event PPT presentation||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Logo included on all email promotion pre- and post-event and recognition as sponsor for on-demand and live recording||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Diamond Sponsor – $25,000 – One Available
Platinum Sponsor – $16,500 – Two Available
Gold Sponsor – $13,000 – Four Available (Visa)
Silver Sponsor – $7,000 – Six Available
Evening Reception – $11,000
Conference Lunch – $9,250
Conference WiFi – $8,500
Conference Q&A/S.lido Password – $8,000
Conference Breaks – $6,750 – Two Available
Conference Notepads – $6,000
Conference Bags – $6,000
Conference Lanyards – $5,500
Bilateral Meeting Space – $5,000 – Four Available
*Subject to planning committee approval
Looking for something specific? We can tailor your sponsorship to meet your goals. Contact Matt Kaitz at [email protected] to tailor and book your package today!
The 2023 BAFT MENA Bank to Bank Forum will be held at the Habtoor Palace in Dubai. The hotel is centrally located in the landmark lifestyle development on the banks of the Dubai Water Canal and minutes from DIFC, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, and other local attractions.
Habtoor Palace Dubai
Al Habtoor City
Sheikh Al Zayed Road
We pre-negotiated a special number of hotel rooms at discounted conference attendee price. Both hotels are connected to each other for easy access to the conference room. Book your room early to guarantee your space!
Choose from either of the hotels below. All room prices include breakfast and taxes with cancellation until February 15, 2023.
Need optional add-ons?
Download the hotel reservation form to reserve your room and any optional add-ons, then email it to [email protected]
“Very useful from a networking perspective and the subjects discussed in the panels were interesting.”
Abu Dhabi, UAE
“The quality of the participants was very high, which provided a great opportunity for networking. ”
“Interesting subjects and discussions, well animated. Very good opportunity to network with regional peers.”
“The BAFT MENA Forum was an excellent event with high quality speakers presenting on important issues in banking both for the region and globally.”
Saint Paul, United States