H.E Mehmet Simsek
Minister of Finance, Turkey
Investments - Fajr Capital
Cedar Bridge Partners and Member of The MENA Private Equity Association Steering Committee
Ahmed Saleh Al Marhoon
Muscat Securities Market
Capital Markets Authority, Lebanon
H.E. Mehmet Simsek was elected to Parliament in the general election on July 22, 2007. He was appointed as the Minister of Finance on May 1, 2009. Prior to that, he was the State Minister for Economic Affairs during August 2007 - April 2009.
Prior to joining politics, H.E. Simsek was the chief economist and strategist for emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa region at Merrill Lynch in London for 7 years. He also served as senior economist and bank analyst for Deutsche-Bender Securities from 1998 to 2000. H.E. spent about a year in New York where he worked for UBS Securities in 1997. Prior to that, he was a senior economist at the US Embassy in Ankara for almost four years.
Mr. Zafar focuses on principal investments at Fajr Capital, and also serves on the Board of Directors of MENA Infrastructure.
He was previously Managing Director, Corporate Finance Advisory at Deloitte, Middle East. Prior to Deloitte, Mr. Zafar established the Qatari investment firm and government–related entity Al Rayan Investment, serving as CEO and Board Member. In a wide ranging international investment banking career, he has also held senior roles at leading institutions such as CIBC, Bank of America and HSBC in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He has particular depth in Islamic financial services (having set up Bank of America’s Islamic financial services unit in 1999 and assisted in Arcapita’s early development) and the oil, gas and mining industries. He has a Bachelor’s in Accounting and a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas, Austin. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. Ghandour is the Co-founder & Managing Director of CedarBridge, where he focuses on investing in growth companies in MENA region. He has more than 10 years experience in private equity and investments throughout the Middle East and China, and specializes in the educational and healthcare sectors.
Mr. Ghandour is currently a director in the board of Kids First Group, the region’s largest chain of nurseries, CIRA, the largest chain of schools in Egypt, and Tamkeen, private public partnership to train and employ Egyptians. Previously, he was a director in Maarif Education, the largest educational group in Saudi Arabia, TechnoScan, the largest chain of radiology centers in Middle East, and Advanced Laboratory Services, a reference lab in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Ghandour is also a co-founder of the MENA Private Equity Association, and was awarded by Private Equity World the prestigious Private Equity MENA Merit Award for 2011.
Mr. Ahmed Saleh Al Marhoon assumed his duties as the Director General of the Muscat Securities Market in 2001. He has since worked for Oman’s public and private sector organizations in leading positions in many public and private sector institutions like the Ministry of Oil & Minerals and one of the brokerage companies in Oman.
He serves as a board member in many banking and financial institutions.
Mr. Al Marhoon successfully graduated with an MBA degree from a reputed university in United Kingdom.
Mr. Saliba is currently an Executive Board Member at the Capital Markets Authority of Lebanon, established by Government Decree in July 2012. Formerly, he served for around 20 years as Chief Financial Officer for 3 of the top 10 Lebanese banks where he was involved in initiating many issues of shares and debt instruments as well as investment funds, and managed mergers and acquisition transactions.
His experience includes hands-on Asset/Liability Management, Accounting systems and procedures, implementation of Basle 2 and 3 requirements, IAS and IFRS reforms and ICAAP related standards. He has extensive experience in implementing IT/Business Intelligence products throughout the institutions he worked for including Data Warehousing, Treasury Management Core systems and MIS reporting.
Previous to the above, he worked for The Arab Monetary Fund in Abu Dhabi as Division Chief in Investment Management. He started his career with Merrill Lynch International in New York and Dubai as Financial Advisor.