Board of Directors
Our Board Members are:
Former Credit Suisse
LondonAdel Afiouni was a Managing Director of Credit Suisse Investment Bank in the Global Markets Division until September 2018. Between 2014 and 2108, Adel was Head of the Emerging Markets Client Group in EMEA and a member of the Global Emerging Markets Management Committee.
Over his 19 years career at Credit Suisse Adel held a number of senior positions in Emerging Markets across both Global Markets and Investment Banking. During that period, he led a number of major transactions with Sovereigns, with corporates and with financial institutions in the Emerging Markets across the Middle East, Turkey, Russia and former CIS and Africa.
Adel is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique in Paris (1992). He also holds aMaster degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Paris I Pantheon- Sorbonne in Paris (1993) and a Master degree in Telecommunications Engineering from ENST Paris (1994).
Adel is a founding member of LIFE and a current member of the board. He chaired the Promote Committee of LIFE between 2013 and 2015.
Managing Director - The Invus Group
New YorkHe joined Invus in 2003 to start and head its Public Equity activity globally in New York, Paris and Hong Kong. Since its inception, Invus Public Equity has concentrated its investments in the emerging innovative biotech companies. Prior to joining Invus, he worked at The Olayan Group in New York and ran their US equity portfolio for 15 years. He holds a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut. He is a member of the board of Protagenic and Celtaxsys. As part of his philanthropic engagement, Khalil serves on the board of the Children of Armenia Fund and Solving Kids’ Cancer.
Founder and CIO - Tyregate Capital Holdings, LTD
Wahid is Founder and Chief Investment Officer of TyreGate Capital Holdings, LTD, a Principal Holding Co. of the Chammas Family Office and a Private Equity and Activist Public Equity Asset Management Corporation that manages private placements and investment management services to private mandates and pooled investment vehicles. Wahid Chammas is also Co-Founder and Managing Director of Real Estate Distressed Investments SAL, which is a private equity holding company that invests in distressed real estate in Cyprus and specializes in the purchase of non-performing bank loan portfolios from Cypriot and Greek banks. Wahid is also a shareholder and Managing Partner of The Luxury Fund which, together with its affiliated entities Azure Fund and TLF Ventures, invests in a diversified range of private and public securities issued by companies with global premier brand names in the luxury goods and services sectors. Most recently, Wahid served as Global Chief Investment Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Sapinda Holding B.V., a privately-owned Principal Investment Holding company focused on special situation investment opportunities across Continental Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. Previously, Wahid was Managing Director and Portfolio Manager responsible for managing the Janus European Equity and Janus Emerging Markets Equity strategies.
Wahid established Janus’ investment presence in Europe in 2008 and sat on the European Management Committee. He was recognized in Financial News (Dow Jones) as a Rising Star, 40 Under 40 in Asset Management, and has been highly rated on numerous occasions by Citywire. Prior to joining Janus in January 2005, he spent eight years at Goldman, Sachs, & Co., where he was a Vice President and Equity Securities Analyst, covering the media sector. Wahid joined Goldman Sachs’ Investment Research Division as a Vice President in 2002 from Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM), where he served as the Chief-of-Staff for the U.S. distribution group, supporting strategic planning and management activities across the Asset Management Division. Wahid was one of the youngest professionals ever to serve as an inter-divisional Chief-of-Staff. Prior to that, he worked in both institutional sales and the fixed income product management team. He received his bachelor of arts degree in biology from Amherst College, where he graduated with highest distinction honors, Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. He also conducted research and spent time at the University of Michigan Medical School and Harvard University. He was awarded two Howard Hughes Fellowships and the James R. Elster Award for outstanding achievement in Biology.
CIO - Kleinwort Hambros
Mouhammed is Chief Investment Officer at Kleinwort Hambros, part of Societe Generale. He heads up the investment management division and is a member of the Executive Committee.
He also co-heads the Global Investment Committee for Societe Generale. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and regular contributor to the media (e.g. Bloomberg, CNBC, BBC, Financial Times, Economist).
Under his leadership, the investment team has won prestigious awards including Investment Team of the Year in 2016. Previously, Mouhammed was Head of the Multi-Asset Class business at Morgan Stanley, where he managed money for clients in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Mouhammed spent his early career in the fixed income division of Citigroup’s investment bank in New York, London and Madrid. Mouhammed has a Masters in Finance with distinction from London Business School, and a Bachelor’s with first class honours from the University of London, King’s College. He is also a CFA charterholder.
Mouhammed is a board member and trustee for a number charities and a governor at a local school.
His interests include long distance triathlons (Ironman), hiking and dance theatre.
He is currently ranked number one for Ironman for Lebanon, albeit with very little competition from other Lebanese athletes in his age group, something he is looking to change by encouraging more people into the sport!
Senior MD - Temasek Holdings
Nagi Hamiyeh is the Senior Managing Director at Investment at Temasek International Private Limited. Nagi heads the Industrials Cluster and oversees Transport & Logistics. Outside of the Investment Group, Nagi heads Australia & New Zealand as well as the Middle East regions. Further, Nagi co-heads Africa and the Enterprise Development Group. Previously, Nagi was a Senior Banker with Credit Suisse First Boston (Energy Group). Nagi began his career at Bain & Company. Nagi received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from University of Texas and his Master of Science Degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Co-Founder - Capital D
Jean-Marc co-founded capital D, a pan-European private equity fund manager focused on investing in companies that show clear evidence of transforming legacy business models or have demonstrable potential to do so. Our distinctive approach integrates three competencies: intelligence, investment and impact. Jean-Marc started his investing career in 2000 with Morgan Stanley Venture Partners in Menlo Park focusing on early-stage healthcare and technology. In his last role prior to capital D, he was head of Morgan Stanley Private Equity in Europe, a $1.5bn fund focused on growth and buyout investing. His early years in finance include investment banking with Morgan Stanley in New York followed by debt restructuring in London, where he helped establish Morgan Stanley’s advisory business in EMEA.
Jean-Marc has an M.B.A. from INSEAD, a Masters of Engineering from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Engineering from McGill University.
MD, Leveraged & Acquisition Finance - Morgan Stanley
Wissam has an established and successful professional track record with 23 years of experience in Asset Management, Investment Banking & Capital Markets. Wissam is a Managing Director in Morgan Stanley’s Leveraged &Acquisition Finance Group in New York where he oversees the group's industry practices in Healthcare, Retail and Financial Services. Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2009, Wissam was a Managing Director in the Global Leveraged Finance group at Merrill Lynch. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch in 1998, he worked in fixed income investment management at Black Rock for 4 years. Over the years, Wissam has advised and structured multi-billion dollar transactions for large and leading corporate and private equity clients such as iHeart Media, Univision, First Data, KKR, Blackstone, Apollo and CVC.
He received a B.A. (double major) in Economics and Political Science from McGill University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University. Wissam is fluent in Arabic, French and English.
General Manager - Fransabank SAL, Chairman & General Manager - BLC Bank SAL
Nadim Kassar is the son of a conservative and prominent Beirut family, well known for its high professional and personal values, persistence and perseverance. These qualities have instilled in Nadim Kassar the insight and the knowledge prerequisites to embark and develop a result driven business career that aims at achieving effectively, the carefully set business goals and objectives without comprising his values, while staying very well focused on an ambitious strategic vision. He is a seasoned banker, he has drawn on the knowledge and expertise of his uncle and father to develop his banking and finance profession on advanced grounds guided by high values and driven by a firm commitment to Fransabank Group’s mission, that is aimed to be one of the most leading and prominent financial groups within the local and regional markets, and to provide quality service to its customers, through innovation, cutting-edge, value-added, banking services and financial solutions, while keeping the Group’s corporate social responsibility very much in perspective to his heart. He is:
- General Manager of Fransabank which is the mother company of Fransabank Group and he serves on a number of the Bank’s Committees.
- Deputy Chairman of BLC Bank, a local banking subsidiary of Fransabank
- Founder and Board member of Fransa Invest Bank, the investment arm of Fransabank
- Founder and Chairman of Fransabank El Djazaїr, Algeria, the 1st and only Lebanese bank in Algeria
- Deputy Chairman of Société Financière du Liban, a Lebanese financial institution whose operations are focused on the Lebanese Treasury Bills
- General Manager of A.A.Kassar – Lebanon, a trading and an investment company and the Co-Manager of A.A.Kassar (France), a subsidiary of A.A.Kassar – Lebanon.
- Board member of many financial institutions, philanthropic organizations among others.
Nadim has a bachelor degree from the American University of Beirut in Business Administration obtained in 1986. He is the father of four 4 children, Mira (born in 1988), Tamara (born in 1991), Tania (born in 1994) and Adel (born in 1999).
European Head - BlackRock Private Capital Markets
Prior to her role at BlackRock, Anna was Head of Investments at Generali Investments, based in Paris. This role involved managing a portfolio of fixed income, equity, quantitative & fund of funds assets for Generali insurance clients, as well as a portfolio of third party client assets (€350BN). At Generali Investments, Anna managed a team of portfolio managers, research analysts and traders across Europe.
Anna spent over 16 years at Morgan Stanley. In her last role at Morgan Stanley, she was Head of Credit Trading, Securitisation Trading, Sales & Structuring as well as Asset-Based Lending for EMEA. While at Morgan Stanley, she was named in E-Financial news Top 100 Women in Finance in 2014.
Partner - Loeb & Loeb LLP
Rima is a partner in the Mergers and Acquisitions/Private Equity Group of Loeb & Loeb in New York. She focuses her practice on the representation of private equity firms and management groups in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, going private and other corporate transactions. Prior to joining Loeb &Loeb in 2015, she had been a partner at Proskauer Rose and Haynes and Boone.
She has represented clients such as Thakoon LLC in its sale to Silas Chou, Neuberger Berman in the $1.5billion management buyout from Lehman Brothers, Grifols S.A. in its $4 billion leveraged buyout of Talecris Biotherapeutics, and numerous transactions on behalf of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.
Rima is also active in a number of non profit organizations, including LIFE, of which she is a member of the U.S. Committee; Social and Economic Action for Lebanon (SEAL), where she serves as a board member; as well as the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, one of India's largest non-governmental organisations.
May Nasrallah - Chair of the Board
Founder & CEO - deNovo Corporate Advisors
May founded in 2010 deNovo Corporate Advisors, a Middle East based corporate finance and M&A advisory boutique. deNovo has acted as the advisor on a large number of M&A and restructuring mandates across the MENA region and cross border on behalf of well-known regional corporates, family groups, PE firms and sovereign wealth funds. DeNovo today stands as the largest and most reputable independent pure play MENA based advisory boutique with a strong track record of successful executions. Prior to founding deNovo, May spent over 15 years at Morgan Stanley in numerous capacities and roles across investment banking and in various geographies including New York, Hong Kong, London and lastly Dubai. Most recently, she was Head of Investment Banking for the Middle East and North Africa region, where she established, led and grew Morgan Stanley’s first on-the-ground Investment Banking presence in the Middle East, a role she played until she retired from the firm in late 2009.
May has been ranked in the top 500 Most Influential Arabs in Arabian Business magazine in 2013 and 2012 consecutively and was similarly ranked in the top 100 Most Influential Arab Women. In 2015, she was named Business Woman of the Year for the UAE at the Arab Women Awards Ceremony; the award was bestowed by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. May was also featured in the Financial Times List of The Leading Business Women in the Arab World.
May graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. She also received her Masters in Management and Finance from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Executive Vice Chairman - UBS
Paul Raphael currently serves as Executive Vice Chairman of UBS A.G. on a cross-divisional basis.
Previous to his appointment as Executive Vice Chairman in May 2018, Paul had served as UBS’ Head of Wealth Management for Europe, Middle, East, Africa and Latin America where he managed $450 billion of client assets and over 3,000 employees across 4 continents. He joined UBS in October 2010 as Head of Wealth Management - Global Emerging Markets managing $150 billion of client assets.
Before joining UBS, he spent six years at Credit Suisse, including three years in Hong Kong as Head of Investment Banking for the Asia Pacific region, and served on the bank’s Global Investment Banking Operating Committee. Previously, he was in London where he headed Equity Capital Markets and subsequently served as Co-Head of the European Financing Group across all primary financing and derivative markets.
Prior to Credit Suisse, Paul spent 10 years with Merrill Lynch initially as Chairman of its Emerging Markets activities in Europe across all products. Later, he also served as Head of French Investment Banking and European TMT client coverage. From 1986 to 1994, he was at Salomon Brothers in New York initially as a generalist in corporate finance and eventually leading the Latin American Investment Banking and Capital Markets teams.
Paul M. Raphael holds a degree in Economics from the University of Maryland and an MSc in Management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is fluent in French, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese.
Wahbe A. Tamari
Chairman - ATFO
Wahbe is currently Chairman of the Board of Arab Bank Switzerland Ltd., Arabia Insurance Company and ATFO, a company he founded in 2003 in Switzerland that offers family office and asset management services to high net worth individuals. He leads numerous projects in financial services and real estate.
He is also an active member of the board of Arab Bank Plc, Consolidated Contractors Company, as well as a number of family companies. His deep understanding and passion for commodities began with his internship at Merrill Lynch London in 1982; later he joined Sucafina SA, a company belonging to his family which he managed between 1989 and 2004. Sucafina SA has grown to be one of the leading coffee trading houses with 9 sourcing operations in producing countries across Africa, Asia and South America.
Wahbe has been a valuable member of LIFE since its inception and is an active member of YPO (Young President Organisation) having previously taken the lead of their Alpine Chapter.
Wahbe also serves on a variety of philanthropic councils that mainly focus on the education of young people. He is an advisor to the board of trustees of The Hassib Sabbagh foundation and sits on the Board of the Tamari Foundation whose mission is to be a catalyst for change through a variety of educational initiatives and projects focusing on human well-being within developing nations. The Foundation has a scholarship partnership with LIFE since 2014, sponsoring promising and deserving young Lebanese students. Wahbe resides in Geneva & was born in Beirut, Lebanon and started his career as a coffee trader at Sucafina SA, Geneva.
He is a graduate of Webster University Geneva with a BA in Management and Harvard Business School in 2013 Owner/President Management OPM 43.
Sasha Van de Water
Managing Partner - Keyhaven Capital Partners
Sasha van de Water is Founding Managing Partner of Keyhaven Capital Partners, an independent London-based private equity firm which invests in European businesses with enterprise values typically less than €100 million. Keyhaven’s global investor base includes insurance companies, corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations, and family offices. Since its inception in 2003, the firm has committed or advised on investments worth in excess of €1.8 billion.
Sasha has over 20 years' experience in European private equity. In addition to managing Keyhaven Capital Partners, she is responsible for leading the investment process, and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. She serves as an advisory committee member for a number of European private equity partnerships and sits on the Supervisory Board of DARAG Deutsche Versicherungs- und Rückversicherungs- AG. Prior to founding Keyhaven, she was a Managing Director at AXA Investment Managers where she was responsible for setting up and developing its European private equity fund of funds programme. Earlier in her career, Sasha was employed by an affiliate of BT Alex. Brown (now Deutsche Bank), and she worked as a consultant for Cambridge Associates, an investment advisory firm, in both their London and Boston offices.
Sasha received a BA cum laude from Wellesley College. She is fluent in Dutch and English, and speaks conversational Italian, Spanish and Arabic.
Founder and Managing Partner - Valoris Capital
Valoris Capital, an independent investment and financial advisory firm that counts among its investors some of the most prominent corporates, family offices and senior executives in the MENA region. Valoris Capital invests primarily in high growth companies in the region and brings to its portfolio companies a distinctive hands-on strategic and financial value-added support. On the advisory side, the firm focuses on M&A and restructuring mandates and has acted for banks, investment companies and family businesses across the region.
Prior to founding Valoris Capital in 2011, Walid was a Managing Partner and member of the Investment Committee of EFG Hermes Private Equity, one of the largest Private Equity fund managers in the MENA region. Walid joined EFG Hermes from Goldman Sachs in 2008, where he was an Executive Director in its Investment Banking Division in London and Dubai. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Walid spent two years with The Boston Consulting Group as a Senior Consultant based in Paris. Walid started his career in the telecoms industry where he worked for five years in various capacities, including co-founding a telecoms consulting company in 1998.
Walid holds an MBA from INSEAD with Honors, a telecommunications engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Telecommunications in Paris and an electrical engineering degree from the Ecole Superieure d'Ingenieurs de Beyrouth in Lebanon.