Featured Speakers

Jordan Belfort - Author of The Wolf of Wall Street and Inspiration for Martin Scorsese Film

In the 1990s, Jordan Belfort built one of the most dynamic and successful sales organizations in Wall Street history. During that time, he soared to the highest financial heights, earning over $50 million a year, a feat that coined him the name “The Wolf of Wall Street.” As the owner of Stratton Oakmont, Belfort employed over 1,000 stockbrokers and raised over $1.5 billion and started more than 30 million-dollar-companies from scratch. He’s acted as a consultant to more than fifty public companies, and has been written about in virtually every major newspaper and magazine in the world, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the London Times, the Herald Tribune, Le Monde, Corriere della Serra, Forbes, Business Week, Paris Match and Rolling Stone. Along the way, he succumbed to some of the traps of the high-flying Wall Street lifestyle, going through a spectacular—and well-publicized—fall from grace. Taking invaluable lessons from the mistakes he made and the prices he paid, he has re-emerged as a globally recognized potent force behind extraordinary business success. Today, his proprietary Straight Line System allows him to take virtually any company or individual, regardless of age, race, sex, educational background or social status, and empower them to create massive wealth, abundance, and entrepreneurial success, without sacrificing integrity or ethics. He created the Jordan Belfort Foundation to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in underprivileged communities to create economic opportunities that transform their own lives, their families, and their communities. Jordan’s two international bestselling memoirs, The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, have been published in over forty countries and translated into eighteen languages. His life story has been turned into a major motion picture, with Leonardo DiCaprio staring and Martin Scorsese directing.

Badr Jafar - Founder of the Pearl Initiative and Managing Director of the Crescent Group

Badr Jafar is Managing Director of the Crescent Group, which has been operating from the UAE as a family business group for over 42 years. The Group today comprises two main companies: Crescent Petroleum, the region’s first independent and privately-owned petroleum company in the Middle East, of which Badr is President; and Crescent Enterprises, the company’s conglomerate operating across eight core sectors of the global economy, of which he is Chief Executive Officer. Badr founded the Pearl Initiative, a Private-Sector venture between the Gulf Region of Middle East and the United Nations Office for Partnerships to promote a corporate culture of transparency and accountability. He sits on the Global Board of Education for Employment (EFE), is a member of the Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) Program Board of Governors and is a Founding Board Member of Endeavor UAE, an initiative encouraging entrepreneurship in the Gulf Region. Badr is actively involved in higher education, chairing the Alumni Advisory Council of the Cambridge University Judge Business School and serving as Board Member of their International Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Business Advisory Council of the American University of Sharjah, and a member of the Research and Innovation Advisory Council for The Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training (CERT) at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in Abu Dhabi. Badr is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organisation, serving as Ex-Officio Chair of the YPO Emirates Chapter. Badr was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is Vice-Chair of their Global Agenda Council on Energy Security.

Osman Sultan - Chief Executive Officer, du

Osman Sultan serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Maltacom PLC and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC. Sultan served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mobinil at Telecommunications SAE. He served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Egyptian Co. for Mobile Services since April 21, 1998. Sultan served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MobiNil Telecommunications Company (a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding Sae). Sultan joined the France Telecom Group in 1983 and has held various senior management positions. Sultan worked in management positions in sales, marketing and customer services activities in one of France Telecom subsidiaries specialised in electronic information services from 1983 to 1994. In 1994 he was actively involved in the acquisition of a US based operations and was appointed Vice President for worldwide marketing & sales for the new company of France Telecom Group. In 1997, he joined France Telecom Mobiles International (FTMI) as Vice President for business development in charge of the Middle East and the Arab World. Since 1995, he served as the President of a US based subsidiary, Questel Orbit Inc., in view to lead the growth in North America levering on the impact of the Internet in the world of professional Online Services. Sultan serves as the Chairman of Maltacom PLC. He served as the Chairman of the Arab Working Group for the Private Sector in the International Telecommunications Union from 2003 to 2005. He served as a Director of GO Mobile. He served as a Director of GO plc from May 19, 2006 to June 2, 2011. He served as a Director of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC. In 1996, Sultan received 'The Best Web Site-Legal Product' by the American Information Association in 1996. Following which, he was awarded the 'Man of the Year' award by the Professional Electronic Information Services Community in France 1996. Sultan holds a Degree in Engineering and has given several conferences on Telecommunications and Electronic Information Services, Mobile Telecom and the Internet in the Middle East (Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Emirates), Japan, the USA and Europe.

Ziad Makhzoumi - CEO, Fakih IVF

Before joining Fakih IVF as the Group CEO, Ziad started his career in 1981 with Booz Allen & Hamilton the global management consultants. From 1985 till 2000, Ziad became the CFO and CIO of a Luxembourg based private holding company with operations in North America, Europe, and the MENA region. From 2001 till his appointment as the CFO of Arabtec Holding PJSC in 2008, Ziad led many strategic restructuring projects in Europe, the Middle East and North America. During his tenure with Arabtec, Ziad was very vocal on the subject of governance and transparency and was continuously quoted in the media. Ziad left Arabtec in 2013 to become the CEO of Fakih IVF a UAE based specialist fertility medical group and the leader in the GCC in male and female infertility. Ziad was voted in 2009 as The Revolutionary CFO of the Year and for Excellence in Finance in 2010 and in 2011 as the Most Admired CFO in the Middle East. Wall Street Journal listed him in 2010 among the top 20 influential non-royal decision makers in the UAE. Arabian Business listed him in 2012 among the top 500 most influential Arabs in the world and recently among the top 50 influential Brits in the UAE.

Bruce McAlister - General Counsel, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, General Electric (GE)

Bruce is General Counsel, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) for General Electric (GE). He joined GE in 2000 and has held various roles supporting GE Aviation division's Commercial Engines Operations, Engine Services, Supply Chain, and Systems organisation. Bruce recently led Aviation’s legal team in the acquisition of Avio’s aerospace business in a cross-border transaction valued at $5.8BN. He has also led a global team including members in Asia. Bruce was appointed as General Counsel MENAT in March 2014. Bruce leads a multi-disciplinary team in MENAT, consisting of qualified attorneys and compliance professionals located throughout the region, supporting all of GE's business divisions, namely Oil & Gas, Energy, Aviation, Transportation, and Healthcare teams. Bruce has extensive experience in corporate acquisitions/disposals and joint ventures in the emerging markets, leading complex cross-border international transactions, and leading a compliance organisation charged with the implementation, maintenance and investigations of GE's corporate compliance and ethics policy. Bruce graduated from the University of Natal, South Africa, with a B.A and LLB degrees, and completed a Masters degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom. Bruce is located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Hani Ashkar - Middle East Territory Senior Partner, PwC

Hani Ashkar is PwC’s Territory Senior Partner for the Middle East. He joined the firm in 1994 and was admitted as a Partner in 2004. Prior to becoming our Senior Partner, Hani was the leader of the deals practice for the Middle East Region. Deals encompasses transaction services (diligence and valuation), corporate finance, deals strategy, capital projects & infrastructure, business recovery services and forensic services. Hani was also country leader in Saudi Arabia. Hani advises multinational and regional investors on transactions across the Middle East region and helped establish PwC’s deals businesses in Saudi Arabia and the Levant. Over the years, he has been involved in over 300 transactions with corporate and private equity investors across the region covering a number of industries. Hani also has considerable IPO and listings experience, acquired in London and more recently in Saudi Arabia, where he has advised on over 15 IPOs on the Saudi Stock Exchange. Hani is a US Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder and a graduate of McGill University in Canada.

Abdul Aziz Al-Yaqout - Regional Managing Partner, DLA Piper

Abdul Aziz Al-Yaqout is a Kuwaiti-German lawyer and the regional managing partner of DLA Piper in the Middle East. Before moving back to the Middle East, he was the office managing partner of the Cologne office in Germany. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions and the representation of corporate clients and financial investors in acquisitions, divestures and joint venture projects as well as pre- and post-merger restructurings. In addition, Abdul Aziz has established a leading capital markets practice in Kuwait, which advises on all types of capital markets transactions including IPOs and public take-overs as well as capital markets compliance matters. He has advised on a number of capital markets and corporate regulations, including co-authoring the Kuwait Companies Law. Furthermore, Abdul Aziz has a broad ranging practice in restructuring matters, including out-of-court workouts and reorganizations. He represents insolvency administrators, distressed companies, lending institutions, private equity funds, purchasers of distressed equity and debt, and secured and unsecured creditors.

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood - Board Member and Chairman of the Management Executive Committee, The Abraaj Group

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood oversees The Abraaj Group’s investment activities across the various geographies. He is a Board Member of The Abraaj Group and Chairman of the Management Executive Committee. He joined from EFG-Hermes, where he was Chief Executive Officer for the UAE. Before this, he co-founded Sigma Capital and served as its Managing Director. Prior to that he spent eight years at Orascom Group as Director of Development and Investments. Abdel-Wadood has served on the Boards of several publicly listed and private companies. In 2002, the World Economic Forum named Abdel-Wadood a 'Global Leader for Tomorrow' and in 2007 named him a ‘Young Global Leader’. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. He graduated in Business Administration from American University and holds an MBA from Georgetown University.

Trefor Murphy - Managing Director, Morgan McKinley Middle East & North Africa

Trefor Murphy joined Morgan McKinley in 2001, he is currently the Managing Director for Morgan McKinley Middle East & North Africa and has been based in the region since early 2012, previously he has worked in director positions in Ireland and the UK for Morgan McKinley. Morgan McKinley UAE have had a significant presence in the Gulf since 1997 and currently have over 30 consultants recruiting for positions across the region. Murphy is an industrial engineer with 10 years experience working with a variety of US & European multinationals operating at senior positions across supply chain and engineering.

Nicholas Cully - Director and Head of Business Development, Sovereign Corporate Services

Nicholas Cully has worked for the Sovereign Group for four years. Prior to this he trained as a private client stockbroker in London before moving to Gibraltar to work for a boutique firm of investment advisors. Cully is currently a Director at Sovereign Corporate Services in Dubai, heading up the Business Development division and managing a team of consultants. The Sovereign Group specialises in the setting up, administration and management of offshore companies and trusts. The Dubai office also assists with the setting up of local free-zone companies and LLCs on a consultancy basis. Sovereign was founded in 1987 in the United Kingdom and now has twenty eight offices worldwide. The Dubai office was opened in 1997. Its clients are predominantly High Net Worth individuals seeking to structure their assets in an efficient manner and companies looking to relocate to Dubai or those seeking advice on the efficiency of their existing corporate structures.

Andrew Neil - BBC Television Presenter, and Chairman, ITP Group

Andrew Neil is a newspaper editor, publisher, broadcaster and business consultant on media matters working out of London, New York, Edinburgh and France. A veteran television presenter, he has fronted both The Daily Politics show on BBC Two, and This Week on BBC One since January 2003. His varied career has included stints as a political advisor, as UK editor of The Economist, editor of The Sunday Times, executive chairman of Sky Television, executive editor of Fox Television News of America and an anchorman on British political television. Neil remains chief executive of The Spectator and chairman of ITP Group, the publisher of Arabian Business. A Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Neil has honorary degrees from Napier University in Edinburgh, and the University of Paisley. In the autumn of 1999 he was elected Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews, UK, which is recognised as one of the world’s oldest and most distinguished universities. On stepping down from that post in 2002 he was made a Doctor of Laws by the university.

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