H.E. Mehmet Simsek
Minister of Finance, Turkey
Union of the Arab Securities Authorities
Cedar Bridge Partners and Member of The MENA Private Equity Association Steering Committee
Dr. Fadi Khalaf
Arab Federation of Exchanges
Dr. Mazen Soueid
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. Tarif is currently the Secretary General of the Arab Union for Securities Commissions located in Dubai. Previously, from 1999 - 2012 he was the first Chief Executive Officer of Amman Stock Exchange.
Mr. Tarif started his career in the Central Bank of Jordan and held the positions of Executive Director and Deputy Director General in Amman Financial Market between 1992 and 1999, where he oversaw Jordan’s entire capital market. Through his role as Deputy Director General, Mr. Tarif assisted in writing the new securities law that implemented the three separate entities that make up Jordan’s Capital Market today.
Some of the roles Mr. Tarif has held during his career include: President, NSC-Unix user group, Atos-Euro Next Market Solutions; Chairman of IOSCO Self-Regulatory Organization Consultative Committee; Member, OECD Corporate Governance Working Group, MENA region; Chairman of FIAS. In addition, he spearheaded the team that established the Stock Exchange in Palestine. He also participated in meetings with the IMF, IBRD, IOSCO, WFE, FEAS, and UNCTAD.
Mr. Tarif's research record covers the following: Role of Capital Markets in Privatization; Transparency; Income Tax Treatment of Investment; Obstacles to Attract Foreign Investment; Legal Structure of Arab Stock Exchanges; External Debt and Economic Development; Foreign Exchange Control; Corporate Governance.
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.
Dr. Khalaf is the Secretary General of the Arab Federation of Exchanges (AFE), since September 2009.
In 1999, Dr. Khalaf served as the Chairman of the Beirut Stock Exchange, for the period of 10 years. Previously, from 1994 to 1999, he worked as a Financial Consultant in France.
Dr. Khalaf is mainly specialized in the Financial Markets field, and has conducted various research and publications. He participates in many regional and International conferences, on an academic and professional level in his field of expertise.
Dr. Mazen Soueid is the Chief Economist at BankMed. He was also Economic Advisor to the Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, and from January 2010 onward, he has been advising PM Siniora in his capacity as head of the Future Parliamentary Block. Prior to joining BankMed, Dr. Soueid worked as an Economist at the International Monetary Fund, particularly in the Asian, Middle Eastern Departments as well as the Capital Markets Department. At the IMF he worked on a range of issues and countries like Venezuela, Korea, Mexico, and the Philippines. He had also worked in Deutsche Bank in London and New York covering the Middle East. He taught Finance and Economics at Brown University and the American University of Beirut. Dr. Soueid is the author of the best-selling book “The Lebanese Economic Project” which won an award for “Best Book on the Lebanese Economy” published in 2010 by Capital Issues.