Speaker Biographies

H.E. Maryam Al Suwaidi, Deputy CEO, Financial Markets Operations Sector Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA)

H.E. Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi is widely regarded as one of the few multi-faceted professionals of global repute from the region, with expertise across a broad spectrum of specialized disciplines ranging from corporate governance to security regulation and markets management to Islamic and conventional jurisprudence. 

Over the past 15 years, H.E. Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi has held several leadership positions with major focus on organizational development and quality improvement in various industries. Currently, she is the Deputy CEO for Financial Markets Operations Sector- Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA), where she has held a number of positions over her 10 + year tenure. The SCA is the public authority set up as the governing body of the capital markets community in the United Arab Emirates. 

In her role at the SCA, HE Dr. Al Suwaidi has been the Team Leader of the SCA International Competiveness that accomplished the number one rank in corporate board effectiveness in the board of director's effectiveness indicator at the World Competitiveness Yearbook issued by the International Institute for Management Development, and the number one rank in MENA region in the Investor Protection Indicator in the World Bank Ease of Business Report; Chairwoman of the Technical Committee in the SCA from 2012 until 2015; and Team Leader of the UAE Oversight and Supervision on Financial Markets of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.


Abdul Hafiz Mansour, MENA FATF President 2018, Secretary General of the Special Investigation Commission (SIC), the FIU of Lebanon

Appointed as the Secretary General of the Special Investigation Commission (SIC), the FIU of Lebanon on June 1st 2010.  He was the President of MENAFATF for the year 2018 and was elected in July 2017, for the second time as the Egmont MENA Regional Representative and Vice Chairman for the Egmont Group.

Before joining the SIC, he held senior managerial positions including Chairman – General Manager, and Board Member of banking, insurance, investment, and real estate investment companies. The most recent were Chair of Board Audit Committee in 3 banks in Lebanon and Board Member of Solidere (Beirut Central District Reconstruction Company).

For intermittent periods, Mr. Mansour held advisory positions to their excellences the Prime Ministers and Minister of Finance of Lebanon.
He started his career life in public accounting working for Arthur Anderson, and Deloitte. Later on he worked with the Banking Control Commission of Lebanon. He was a lecturer in finance, accounting and auditing at the American University of Beirut, and was a technical trainer in Deloitte regional training programs. 

Mr. Mansour’s educational background combines both business and law. He earned his MBA and BBA from the American University of Beirut, and his LLB from Alexandria University and Beirut Arab University. 

He is a CAMS and a founding member of the Lebanese Certified Public Accountants Association (LCPA).

On social responsibilities, Mr. Mansour is member of the Board of Trustee of the American Community School at Beirut, and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Makassed Philanthropic Association in Lebanon.ttingham University Business School.

Hans-Peter Bauer, Senior Advisor Wolfsberg Group & Basel Institute on Governance 


Peter Bauer studied Economics and Business Administration at St. Gallen University in Switzerland and the London School of Economics. He spent his entire professional career with Swiss Bank Cooperation and, since the merger, with UBS. His major tasks included that of a Chief Operations Officer for the German subsidiary of SBC, the build-up and the management of a Global Compliance Organisation, Head of Divisional Governance (Legal, Compliance, Communications) for the Global Private Bank, the Chief Risk Officer for the Retail Bank in Switzerland and the Global Private Bank and, finally, he acted as Global Head of Regulatory Relations and Strategy for the UBS Group.

In April of 2004, after 26 years of a banking career, Peter decided to retire to have more time for strategic aspects of compliance and reputation risk at large and, in particular, banking secrecy, money laundering, the fight against terrorism, corruption and financial crime. Peter is also one of the initiators and the first chairman of the Wolfsberg Group which has actively contributed to international standards against money laundering (incl. corruption) and the financing of terrorism.

Today he acts as Senior Advisor to the Wolfsberg Group and Member of the Board of the Basel Institute on Governance as well as international organizations and banks.

Ghaith Zubi, UN Security Council 'Sanctions Expert' 


2015–Present Expert at United Nations Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267/2253

2012- July 2015 Director of Legal Affairs Directorate at Jordanian Financial Intelligence Unit with 15 years of experience in addressing the countering financing of terrorism and sanctions regime on Al-Qaida & affiliates. Zubi has been a member of the United Nations Security Council Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, established pursuant to UNSCR 1526 (2004) and 1904 (2009) concerning Al-Qaida, Taliban, and associated individuals & entities, with a long field experience in counter terrorism, and related legal challenges.  

1997 to 2012 Jordanian General Intelligence Department (GID) Chief of Counter-Terrorism Center, oversaw a large budget and numerous programs in Cyber Terrorism operations and Countering Financing of Terrorism.

Through the AML/CFT Unit membership in the National Technical Committee for the Implementation of Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001), which supervises and monitor National efforts in CFT & freezing assets of sanctioned individuals and entities, as a committee Deputy Chair, Zubi developed the capacity to coordinate all national capabilities and measures to strengthen the Jordanian implementation of UN Security Council 1267/2253 Sanctions regime.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Refinitiv  (Middle East & Africa) 


Nadim Najjar is the Managing Director of Refinitiv, formerly the Financial & Risk business of Thomson Reuters, in the Middle East & Africa (MEA). Nadim has been managing the business in the region since   December 2013, and has been on the cutting edge of the information industry for more than three decades. With a programming   and   computer   engineering   background,   he   was   responsible for the technology development of new products and setting the architectural direction for Reuters platforms in the Levant region during the 90s. This included introducing the first of its kind two-way satellite communication system in Istanbul, Athens, and Beirut.

Nadim’s previous roles across Thomson Reuters including serving as Managing Director for business units across Africa, the Middle  East  and  Russia/CIS,  as  well  as  serving as Global Head of Business Planning & Operations (Rapidly Developing Economies).

Wissam H. Fattouh, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Banks &  Chairman of MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group (MENA FCCG) 


Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh became the Secretary General of the Union of Arab Banks in November 2010. In this role he leads the largest banking consortium in the region and the sole representative of the Arab banking community, which aims at the development and advancement of the banking and financial markets, in addition to the cross-border relations and exchange of expertise with international counterparts.
Mr. Fattouh is an expert in Arab and International banking and financial sectors, acquired from over 25 years of experience in this domain and through extensive and close relations with MENA Region, Europe and United States of America, in addition to regional/International financial and regulatory bodies.

Before his current position, Mr. Fattouh served as the Acting Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Director of Conferences Department at UAB and Manager of Databank & Information Technology.  He established the new line of technical Forums that excelled for its scientific importance and established a number of Professional Groups and Associations, Group of Certified Compliance Officers (GCCO), Group of Certified Risk Managers (GCRM) in MENA Region, in addition to initiatives for dialogue between the Arab Banking community with its counterparts from Turkey, the European Union and United States. The Turkish-Arab, EU-Arab and US-Arab banking dialogue initiatives cover matters of laws and regulations, investment, trade including Basel recommendations, AML/CFT acts, FATCA, De-risking, Correspondent banking and others.

Mr. Fattouh has overseen the development of the UAB to the highest standard of professionalism while using advanced technologies and relying on the best human resources. He managed to transform the UAB into an internationally renowned organization with a say on the international banking and financial fronts.

Phil Cotter, Global Managing Director, Risk,  Refinitiv


Phil Cotter is Managing Director of Thomson Reuters Risk business. Prior to joining Thomson Reuters in 2014, Cotter was Managing Director of Experian’s Credit Services business in the UK before running his own consulting business.

He also served as a non-executive director on the board of Bisnode AB. With nearly 20 years’ experience in information services, he has extensive expertise in global information trends and strategies, and holds several advisory positions, including as an honorary professor at Nottingham University Business School.

Antoine Hobeiche, Advisor of the Union of Arab Banks, Strategic Advisor MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group


Mr. Antoine Hobeiche is the Advisor of the Union of Arab Banks. He is also the Managing Partner of React-Adapt-Lead Consulting, a Canadian-MENA consulting firm that has proven expertise in enhancing some of the biggest private & public sector organizations. He has more than 20 years’ experience in advising government agencies, central banks, banks and other non-financial service providers.

Antoine won in 2007 the World Quality Award in Paris- France, in 2008, the Global Crown Award in London- United Kingdom and in 2011, was nominated for the Diamond Award New York-USA. He holds a dual degree in business administration and human resources from Molson Business School, Canada and his specialization is in strategy from Harvard Business School, USA.

Antoine is very active in the international community being a prominent speaker for many organizations such as the United Nations and the OECD. Antoine also serves as the advisor of the World Union of Arab Bankers.

Muhammad Babar, Head Fintech & Digital Compliance - Europe, ME and APAC, MoneyGram


Muhammad is a Technology enthusiast with over 15 + experience in the Banking and Payments technology/compliance spheres. Muhammad is currently at the forefront of MoneyGram’s Digital and Regtech initiatives, from a Global and regional perspective, exploring / driving efficiencies via adoption of the latest Regtech / Fintech trends.

Muhammad, graduated as a Computer Engineer from the University of Huddersfield- UK in 2002, and for about 6 years, worked as a Software Developer / Design Architect for various Tech Startups specializing in application development for the Financial sector, specifically for AML/CTF compliance for the Retail banking and Payments spheres. 

Expertise in Fintech and understanding of the global AML/CTF regulations, naturally facilitated Muhammad’s transition into the core Compliance teams in the Middle Eastern Banks/ Financial institutions for the last 12 years, where he has delivered efficiencies and bottom line improvements – by marrying the worlds of regulations and technology. 

Ibtissem Lassoued, Partner, Head of Advisory
Regional Financial Crime Practice


Ibtissem Lassoued is a Partner and Head of Advisory in the Regional Financial Crime Practice with Al Tamimi & Company, based in Dubai. She has extensive experience advising international clients on a spectrum of complex, multijurisdictional issues, including but not limited to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, global economic sanctions, anti-corruption issues including the extraterritorial effect of the US FCPA and UK Bribery act, extradition and INTERPOL notices, and Capital Market investigations. Ibtissem also offers clients a full and practical knowledge of the remit of inter-governmental organizations, in particular in relation to the FATF and MENAFATF, and the effect of these on anti-corruption efforts, confiscation of the proceeds of crime, de-risking and the reporting of suspicious transactions.

Ibtissem has been ranked as Band 1 in Chambers Global for Corporate Investigations for three consecutive years since the category’s inclusion and is commended for being “stunningly good at what she does”.

Bryan Stirewalt , Chief Executive - Dubai Financial Services Authority 


Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA’s Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. 
Over his time with the DFSA, Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA’s regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. His responsibilities have included prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of financial service providers in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), in addition to the DFSA’s regulatory role with Registered Auditors and Credit Rating Agencies. He has also directed the DFSA’s efforts in fighting methods of illicit finance, including the crucial regulatory relationships with Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions.  
Prior to joining the DFSA, Bryan developed his skills over a career that spans more than 30 years. He has held a number of senior positions in financial regulation, both in the public and in private sectors. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, specialising in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 until joining the DFSA in 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan.
In relation to international development, Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

Lana Pebley, 
Chief Compliance Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Freezones 


Lana Pebley is the Chief Compliance Officer for economic zones in Ras Al Khaimah. Lana is a financial crime expert with extensive experience in working in various organisations setting up and driving compliance framework, and running lookbacks and investigations. Lana believes that financial crime risks are unique to each organisation’s business and customer profile, and compliance programmes need to be tailored to target specific vulnerabilities. 

Lana’s experience in commodities trading, financial services and Big 4 in the UAE and the UK has given her diverse exposure to financial crime risk management within different industries. She has designed and delivered bespoke compliance training worldwide and is passionate about raising awareness of the importance and intricacies of financial crime compliance within business lines.


David Shepherd, Head of Market Development, Risk (MENA) at Refinitiv and Group Secretariat MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group


A Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), who also holds a Diploma in Financial Crime and Compliance. Recently completed the Executive Program in 2018 with MIT for AI and Machine Learning, with practical application for the financial crime industry. A multi-award winning Risk market specialist with over 10 years experience both in the UK and Middle East. 

Currently based in Dubai, heading up the market strategy for the Middle East, North Africa, Malta, Cyprus and Pakistan for Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk). Also currently Group Secretariat for the MENA Financial Crime and Compliance Group (MENA FCCG)


Jesse Spiro, Global Head of Policy- Chainalysis Inc.


Jesse Spiro is the Global Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Chainalysis, an organization that builds trust in blockchains between people, businesses and governments. Chainalysis products and services power compliance and investigations related to virtual currencies for the world’s top institutions. In his role he engages directly with global governments and regulatory bodies on risks and emerging regulation in the blockchain ecosystem. 

Previously he was the Head of Threat Finance and Emerging Risks for Thomson Reuters/Refinitiv, where he oversaw global engagement and research on threat finance (terrorism, proliferation, cyber crime, organized crime, smuggling, trafficking). He is a 2018 National Security Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a member of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Financial Threats Council, and sits on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Human Trafficking Task Force. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Ernst Pienaar, Global Head of Content Specialists, Refinitiv 


Ernst Pienaar is the Global Head of Content Specialists at Thomson Reuters World-Check responsible for all risk data inclusion policies, legal matters and knowledge management within World-Check. Ernst also acts as the lead Content Professional for the World-Check product for client and regulator engagements as it relates to international sanctions, law and regulatory enforcement matters, politically exposed persons compliance and financial and related crime screening. He is the former Global Head of Research for Financial Crime and Reputational Risk activities at Thomson Reuters World-Check. In this capacity he was responsible for the management of the then 5 global World-Check Research centers (Santiago, Washington DC, Cape Town, Singapore and Penang) tasked with the creation and update of the World-Check and related risk databases for over 245 countries and territories in over 65 local languages. 

He assumed responsibility for managing the World-Check global research team in 2009. Mr Pienaar joined World-Check in 2009 from the Sanlam Life Group where, over a ten year period, he was the Head of Forensic Investigations and Group Money Laundering Reporting Officer. Previously he was a Senior State Advocate with South Africa's Office for Serious Economic Offences, and began his career as a State Prosecutor in Johannesburg. He holds a Master’s Degree in Constitutional Law, and LL.B and B.lur law degrees.

Dima Godfrey, Senior Sales Manager, Risk, Refinitiv 


Dima is currently a Senior Sales Manager for RISK covering the UAE & Oman. He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) & British MBA graduate with over 25 years of work experience in client facing roles covering various sectors of the UK, Europe and now the Middle East.  He has vast International Development & Strategic Consultancy experience gained while working in Vietnam, Macedonia and Ukraine on projects funded by the World Bank, European Commission and Asian Development Bank covering a range of topics including financial risk & Compliance. 
Over the last 3 years Dima has worked exclusively with Refinitiv’s strategic clients and has built an extensive industry network which includes Regulators and Government organizations.
A family man at heart with a newborn and toddler keeping him busy in his spare time Dima can also be found tackling a number of endurance sports which include Marathon running & Iron Man Triathlons.

Che Sidanius, Global Head of Financial Crime & Industry Affairs - Refinitiv



My role is to identify, monitor and prioritise how regulatory changes affect how the Risk and Supply Chain business operate globally. I propose course of action to address these regulatory changes and drive execution throughout the Refinitiv organisation.

I act as a thought-leader, internally and externally, in how regulatory change impacts the industry. I also act as the Secretariat for the Coalition to Fight Financial Crime founded by Europol, Refinitiv and the World Economic Forum in 2018. My previous experiences include working at Big 4 consultancies within Capital Markets Advisory, as a Senior Advisor at the Bank of England, and a Senior Examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Umair Hameed, Partner at KPMG Financial Services Advisory practice, UAE & Oman, 

Umair is the Partner in charge of the KPMG Financial Services Advisory practice in UAE and Oman, with responsibility for developing and enhancing the multi-disciplinary Deal Advisory, Risk and Management Consulting competencies. Over the last 16 years, he has delivered complex strategy, operations, technology and regulatory transformation initiatives for prominent financial sector entities in Europe, USA, MENA and South East Asia. He has a Bachelor’s of Science from Cornell University in the USA and a MBA with Distinction from London Business School.

Ghassan Schbley, UAE-based Senior Adviser at the Financial Integrity Network

Ghassan Schbley is a UAE-based Senior Adviser at the Financial Integrity Network, where he manages the firm's Dubai office. 

From 2014 to 2017, Ghassan was the Vice President of Middle Eastern & African Affairs at Chenega International Consulting LLC, where he developed and supervised Chenega’s regional projects by providing the company’s key public and private sector clients with training and technical services in order to investigate illicit activities and mitigate security risks. 

From 2012 to 2014, Ghassan was appointed by United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2091 (2013) and 2035 (2012) to serve as the Finance Expert for the United Nations Panel of Experts on the Sudan, where he investigated individuals, entities and armed opposition groups that engaged in acts that violated UN sanctions on the Sudan. 

From 2010 to 2012, Ghassan was the Finance Expert for the UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (appointed by UN Security Council Resolutions 2002 (2011) and 1916 (2010)) where he investigated the financial and support networks of Somali armed opposition groups, notably the Al-Qaeda linked Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen group. Ghassan led an investigation into Al-Shabaab financing, which established that the export of charcoal from Somalia is a significant revenue source for Al Shabaab, and also exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. This investigation encouraged the UN Security Council to impose a ban on the direct or indirect import of charcoal from Somalia (UNSCR 2036 (2012)). 

From 2007 to 2010, Ghassan worked as a National Security Project Associate at the RAND Corporation where he focused on issues related to terrorist and extremist organizations in the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining RAND, Ghassan was at the Nixon Center where his primary- source research supported a study on extremism in the Middle East. He has also worked at the US mission to the EU and the United Nations Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

Ghassan holds an MPhil in Economics from the Free University of Brussels and an MA in International Politics from the European Center of Strategic and International Research at the University of Paris-Sud XI. He is a fluent Arabic, English and French speaker.

Edward Sander, President of Arachnys

Edward Sander is the President of Arachnys. In this role, he is responsible for Arachnys’ customer and market-facing organisation, leading the company’s sales, marketing, partnerships, customer success, implementation and support resources globally.

Ed has two decades of experience in running global software enterprise organisations and is an acknowledged market expert in financial crime specializing in anti-money laundering (AML), know-your-customer (KYC), customer due diligence (CDD) and enhanced due diligence (EDD) compliance disciplines. He has served as a public-company CEO, general manager, chief product officer and global marketing leader at Model N, NICE Actimize and SAP.

Most recently, he served as CEO of Model N (NYSE:MODN), a Silicon Valley-based, cloud software company that pioneered Revenue Management. Prior to that, Ed spent five years at NICE Actimize (Nasdaq:NICE) as General Manager of its Anti-Money Laundering business and as Chief Product Officer before that.  

As part of NICE's Actimize’s Anti-Money Laundering business, Ed oversaw product creation, solution delivery, go-to-market planning and client relationship management activities. Ed’s expertise also extends further into portfolio management and new product development across analytics, audit-compliance, business process management and customer relationship management solutions for the banking, insurance, energy, and life science markets. Prior to Model N and NICE Actimize, he held leadership positions at SAP and IntraLinks.


Vishal Relhan, Head of Risk Specialists, GCC & Pakistan – Refinitiv

Vishal heads the Customer Success and Sales team for Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions for GCC & Pakistan at Refinitiv.

Vishal is a seasoned technology leader with 15+ years’ experience in domains like Risk, Regulatory compliance, Fraud and Financial Crime, E-Fx, Customer Analytics, Information Management and Business Intelligence. Vishal has consulted various public and private organisations in Middle East, Africa and India increasing their adoption of technology to solve business challenges.

Vishal is a Software Engineer & holds an MBA in Marketing with special interest in Angel investment in Technology start-ups in the field of Artificial intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning

Scott Ramsay, Regional Head of Sanctions - HSBC, MENAT

Scott Ramsay has over 15 years Compliance Experience in the Banking industry including over 10 years covering sanctions in the Middle East. He has been leading the Financial Crime Compliance Sanctions programme for HSBC MENAT since 2014 and prior to that, held various compliance roles at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi for five years and at ANZ New Zealand. He holds a Master’s Degree in Law from Victoria University of Wellington and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Sajid Hussain, Group Executive - Compliance at United Bank Limited

Senior Audit, Risk, Compliance & Controls professional with over 22 years of extensive experience.

Managed all types of different Audit & Risk Review assignments like Treasury Audit, Corporate & Retail Banking Audit, Consumer Assets, Branch Operations, IT Audit, International Audits, Business Risk Review of Bank's Credit portfolio, Financial & Management Audits, Fraud Investigations, International Audits of various HBL, UBL and SFG locations across the globe (including US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Fiji Islands, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen and KSA).

Specialties: External & Internal Audit especially in Financial Services industry, assurance & consulting, Fraud Risk assessment & investigation, implementation of COSO framework with emphasis on ICFR that includes documenting "As Is", reviewing control design and identifying gaps, oversight of Risk & Control Self Assessment process, people management, Regulatory frameworks including KYC & AML compliance, Credit Documentation, Report writing, Board Audit Committee (BAC) level reporting packs, managing meeting / circulating minutes as Secretary to BAC and review of policy & procedures, Overview of Risk Management framework, introducing best practices and ethical standards.