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Guest Speakers

Houssam Itani

Houssam ItaniPartner

Financial Services Advisory, MENA

Houssam is a Partner of EY's Financial Services Practice and has over 13 years of experience in Financial Services in Europe and across MENA.

Houssam works with our priority banking clients and advises them on how to navigate through change and disruption. He specializes in areas related to strategy, operating model design, organizational design, customer transformation, and large scale program implementations.

His experience includes:

  • Leading the design of a fintech based financial inclusion & savings solution for a G20 economy. The strategy & solution were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers and launched for implementation
  • Managing the development of the online customer acquisition strategy for a leading lender in Switzerland. The client implemented our recommendations
  • Leading the strategy development and organizational transformation for two banks in MENA in which new customer centric Retail and Corporate Banking operating models were implemented
  • Advised one of the world's largest global Islamic banks on its strategic cost reduction initiative (based on digital and automation); managed a team of seven professionals and achieved $200m of implementable cost savings.
  • Leading a team of eight professionals on a multimillion dollar project to successfully establish a credit bureau in GCC. The credit bureau became operational in a challenging timeline of 18 months
  • Leading strategy and operating model design for the setup of an asset management company in GCC
  • Leading the strategic option analysis project for a leading conventional banking group seeking conversion to an Islamic bank in GCC. The engagement included the assessment of strategy, financial, operational, regulatory and Shari'a implications
  • Managing a team of 10 professionals to perform the organizational redesign of the 4th largest Islamic bank in the world by assets. The client implemented the redesigned organizational structure
  • Advising on the strategy and operational alignment for a bank in the UAE, which led to increased market share and strong operational performance

Shaheeda Abdul Kader

Shaheeda Abdul KaderActive Angel Investor & Entrepneur

Shaheeda Abdul Kader is a management executive with 20 years of professional experience in several countries, industries and roles.

She is an entrepreneur at heart and has used her solution driven, process oriented, analytical approach to problem solving to great success. Her experience includes industries such as luxury, high-street fast fashion retail/wholesale, oil & gas, printing/packaging/publishing, food & beverage with Fortune 100 companies. Her clients and vendors were in USA, UAE, Latin America, China, India, Hong Kong and others.

Currently, she takes care of her family investments. She is an avid supporter of both SME businesses as well as technology startups in the region. Prior to this, she was VP for Supply Chain at a Fashion Wholesaler/Retailer in Miami. Her entrepreneurial venture includes successfully starting 3 companies in UAE & India ranging from consulting services to luxury retail.

She credits her experience as a Management Consultant with KPMG Consulting, USA, for providing a solid foundation for vetting and analyzing any business or industry.

Ms. Abdul Kader holds an MBA from Duke University, USA and a BS/BA in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Hartford, USA


Richard Teng

Richard TengCEO of ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority

Mr Richard Teng joined Abu Dhabi Global Market in March 2015 as the CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority. He is responsible for the development and administration of the financial services regulatory and supervisory framework of ADGM to promote a fair, open and transparent financial market. Mr Teng also oversees the strategic development of financial services offerings and growth of ADGM as an international financial centre.

Under his stewardship, ADGM has become the first jurisdiction in the Middle East and Africa region to develop a Fintech Regulatory Laboratory Framework, becoming a hub to support Fintech stakeholders to develop, test and deploy their product and offerings in am controlled environment. Mr Teng is steering the development of a Fintech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi that fosters financial innovations and supports the needs of Fintech players.

With more than two decades of regulatory leadership and capital markets experience in the financial industry, Mr Teng joined ADGM from the Singapore Exchange ("SGX"), where he was the Chief Regulatory Officer. He also held several senior appointments at SGX including Senior Vice President, Head of Issuer Regulation and Chief of Staff for Risk Management and Regulation, and Head of Regulation. Prior to SGX, Mr Teng served as the Director of Corporate Finance Division of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and was in charge of the financial centre development from MAS New York office between 2000 and 2002.

Mr Teng holds a Masters (Distinction) in Applied Finance from the University of Western Sydney, Nepean, Australia, and graduated with First Class Honours in Accountancy from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.


Wai-Lum Kwok, CFA

Kwok Wai LumExecutive Director, Capital Markets

Financial Services Regulatory Authority

Wai Lum joined the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in June 2015. He heads up the Capital Markets division responsible for authorisation and supervision of financial market infrastructures and capital market intermediaries. The division also regulates the offering of securities, collective investments schemes.

Wai Lum also spearheads FSRA's strategy and efforts to support the supervision of innovation in Financial Technology (FinTech) and development of the FinTech ecosystem in ADGM.

Wai Lum has more than 10 years of supervisory experience. Prior to ADGM, Wai Lum served as the Director of the Capital Markets Intermediaries Division of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Wai Lum graduated from Imperial College, London with an M.Eng in Electrical Engineering and holds an M.Sc in Applied Finance from the National University of Singapore. He is a CFA charterholder


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