Our speakers bring experience, diversity and multidisciplinary perspectives to the table—just what you need to start thinking in bold new ways.
Patrick Leenheers is Program Director and Faculty for Corporate Social Intrapreneurship programs. He has led projects on topics such as Energy Transition, Gender Equality, Food Waste, Public Health and Good Finance.
Patrick loves helping people progress through conception and incubation of (digital) innovations, leveraging the formidable resources of large organisations to achieve system-level impact. Prior to THNK, he led digital transformation programs in Vodafone and Telstra Australia, and was a strategy consultant at AT Kearney. However, his secret dream is to be a rock star.
Rod Ben Zeev works professionally with theater, television, corporate, non-profit and educational institutions around the world. His focus is on using the soft skills from improvisation to help people be more present.
Rod holds a Bachelor's degree in Playwriting from Boston University, and a Master's in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam. He loves to cook.
Since 2001, Victoria White has served as Managing Director for Accion’s Global Advisory Solutions, helping leading financial service providers leverage the latest innovations in technology and financial services to better meet the financial needs of underserved individuals and small businesses. She is a member of the senior management team, and serves as a board director for a number of Accion’s portfolio partners, including Early Dawn Microfinance Ltd. which primarily serves women entrepreneurs in Myanmar. Previously, Victoria was Accion’s Regional Head for Asia, responsible for Accion’s management and technical services relationships with partner microfinance institutions, and for providing oversight of Accion’s investments in Asia. Prior to this, she supported Accion’s African partners in such areas as strategic planning, bank downscaling, institutional transformation planning, and financial management.
Victoria is a co-author of Transforming Microfinance Institutions: Providing Full Financial Services to the Poor and Institutional Metamorphosis: Transformation of Microfinance NGOs into Regulated Financial Institutions, a contributing author to Commercialization of Microfinance: Balancing Business and Development, and author of A Case Study in Transformation: The Creation of Uganda Microfinance Limited.
Before working with Accion, Victoria was a senior advisor for Calmeadow’s international operations, performing financial evaluations and transformation planning for MFIs throughout Africa. She has also worked as a program analyst for USAID’s Office of Microenterprise Development, both in Washington and in the South Africa mission. Prior to entering the microfinance field, Victoria was a bank examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Victoria holds an MA in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA in Political Science and French from Wellesley College.
Mulenga Silwamba joined Cavmont Bank Limited on the 17th of March 2014, as Area Manager in Retail, and was promoted to Head Retail two years later. She brings with her over eighteen years of banking experience, also gained during her employment at Lloyds Banking Group (formerly Lloyds TSB Bank).
Ms. Silwamba has the following qualifications: Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Finalists, Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA - LIBF), Diploma for Financial Advisors (DipFA - LIBF), Certificate in Mortgage and Advice Practice (CeMaP - LIBF), and several other banking qualifications with the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF).
Mulenga has been instrumental in the growth of the bank’s Retail Business by implementing new bespoke solutions such as the award-winning “Imiti Ikula” children’s account and the “Imbasela” account targeted at marketeers and other MSMEs.
Mulenga has previously been a trainer in Diploma in SME Relationship Management under the Zambia Institute of Banking and Financial Services.
In May 2018, Mulenga took part in the Zambian Female Leadership Program supported by the Bank of Zambia, FMO and Arise.
As FMO's Senior Gender Finance Advisor, Saskia spearheads the embedding of a gender lens in FMO’s investment process, ensuring that gender equality remains at the core of FMO's business model. Saskia coordinates various (commercial) projects, partnerships and initiatives that aim to bring about tangible results for FMO’s clients and investees, and for the end-beneficiaries they serve.
Saskia's areas of focus include gender equality, entrepreneurship and development research. Combining these perspectives enables her to co-create new approaches and methods for gender finance, including new ways of doing market research, sourcing, due diligence, and the design of products and non-financial services. She brings over fifteen years of experience in advising impact investors, policy makers, development practitioners and financial institutions.
Next to her work at FMO, Saskia is a researcher affiliated with the Center for Frugal Innovation in Africa (CFIA) . She explores how financial innovations targeted at women entrepreneurs in emerging markets may help to transform gender inequalities.
Elisabeth Ballreich is an Investment Officer at WWB Asset Management, a subsidiary of Women’s World Banking, which makes direct equity investment in women-focused financial institutions with the objective to increase women’s financial inclusion and gender diversity within financial institutions. During her time at WWB Asset Management, Elisabeth has conducted investment due diligence on a large range of financial service providers throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia, and has provided value to investees by supporting them in analyzing their gender performance and guiding them to improve engaging women as clients and employees.
Prior to joining Women’s World Banking, Elisabeth was an Investment Officer with the Inter-American Development Bank (“IDB”), where she was responsible for sourcing, structuring, and executing debt investments in sustainable businesses and financial institutions serving the base of the pyramid in Latin America. Previously she also worked for Dalberg Global Development Advisors in Geneva, the International Finance Corporation in Mexico and the Boston Consulting Group in Vienna.
Elisabeth holds a Master’s in International Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She is a CFA charter holder and is fluent in German, English and Spanish. Outside of work, Elisabeth is a passionate beach volleyball player and has recently started competing in tournaments.
Together with her business partner, Anna de Lanoy Meijer founded her (web)shop and agency Anna + Nina in 2012. Anna is a good example of a female entrepreneur who has managed to grow from a small jewellery line into a larger MSME. Throughout the years, she and her business partner faced the challenges typical to start-up businesses run by (female) entrepreneurs. Anna can shed light on the market reality and the perspective of a financial institution’s end-client.
Lars Sudmann is the principal of Sudmann & Company. He is a speaker with background in business leadership, finance and strategy, including as the former CFO of Procter & Gamble Belgium. Lars has in-depth experience in engaging leadership and has been featured on BBC.com, Fast Company, Inc., the Chicago Tribune and many more. He is a lecturer at several leading universities in Europe.
Kate advises clients in managing their FX, interest rate, inflation and commodity risk. Through her work with investment funds including social impact investment vehicles, development finance institutions, infrastructure funds and global corporate PE funds, Kate has specialized in modeling exposure, portfolio risk management, and pricing difficult-to-value derivatives such as contingent structures and frontier currencies. Kate has over 10 years of experience working in frontier markets and leads Chatham’s global Emerging and Frontier Markets team. Recently, she was one of the key experts contributing to “A Study of Solutions to Increase Local Currency Lending in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood” for the European Commission, which focused on mobilization of both foreign and local capital.
Prior to joining Chatham, Kate worked for eight years at Accenture in customer relationship management for large pharmaceutical companies. Kate graduated with honors from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in French.
James Doree is a Managing Director at Lion’s Head and has primary responsibility for managing the African Local Currency Bond Fund (ALCB Fund). Through this and other initiatives, he originates and executes transactions in financial services, housing, renewable energy, infrastructure and agriculture. Since 2015, the ALCB Fund has raised $175 million in committed capital and has made investments in more than 15 African countries.
In addition to his work in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, James has advised European utilities, governments and regulators on corporate and regulatory finance issues, covering energy, rail and postal sectors. James was previously a Senior Consultant at Cambridge Economic Policy Associates and, prior to that, worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Nairobi. He has a Master's in Development Economics and a first-class MA in History and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford.
Away from African capital markets, James can be found cringing at UK politics and chasing a one-year-old around the parks of London.
Amaury Gossé joined Citi in 2010. He has more than 19 years of market experience and, prior to joining Citi, was global head of MTNs and CPs at Commerzbank.
His team is responsible for all private placements origination and trading at Citi, including Local Currency MTNs. Citi has been ranked consistently among the top three EMTN dealers over the past five years and won the mtn-i “Dealer of the Year” award two years in a row in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Amaury's team executed over 320 new issues for a combined primary volume of USD 22.4 billion.
Over the years, Citi has established itself as a key player in the Local Currency Space and currently ranks number 2 in the Public Sector MTN Local Currency league table.
Amaury holds a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from Ecole des Travaux Publics and a Master's in Financial Markets from Dauphine University.
Othman Boukrami is the Head of Trading at TCX. He has over 15 years of experience in development finance and investment banking. Within TCX, Othman’s focus areas are portfolio management, product development and frontier capital market development.
Before joining TCX, Othman worked for a development finance institution as well as an investment bank. He holds a PhD in Finance, is a father of three daughters, and is passionate about swimming and the Mediterranean Sea.
Matthijs Pinxteren started as Director Treasury of FMO in September, 2015. FMO’s Treasury attracts funding in capital markets, manages the bank’s liquidity portfolio, and ensures financial risks are managed in line with the risk framework.
Matthijs has more than 20 years of experience in financial markets in Treasury, Funding, Investor Relations, and Capital Management with Rabobank, ING, and Aegon. He has a degree in financial economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.