Rt. Honourable Mark Simmonds – Chairman
Rt. Hon Mark Simmonds was until recently The Foreign & Commonwealth office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention. He served as a Member of the UK Parliament for 14 years.
He focused on driving and facilitating inward investment into Africa across a range of key economic sectors including Hydrocarbons, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Energy & Agriculture. He has an immense knowledge of the economic and political composition of African Governments, countries and regions and he Chaired the UN Security Council on two occasions.
He now has a number of International roles including senior consultant to Kroll, Deputy Chairman of the Commonwealth enterprise & Investment Council & Chairman of the advisory Board of the Global Investment platform ‘Invest Africa’. Senior Advisor to Farallon Capital, Non-Executive Director of African Potash. Chairman of the Counter-Extremist Project (UK).
He also has roles with not for profit organisations, including as Honorary Vice President of Flora & Fauna International. He is a Trustee of the British Institute in East Africa. He is a Member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council.
Hirander Misra – Deputy Chairman & Founder
Hirander Misra is Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of GMEX Group, which is a set of companies that offer sustainable and innovative solutions for the new era of global financial markets through an aligned partnership driven approach. This involves the creation and operation of electronic exchanges and post trade infrastructure in equities, debt, FX, derivatives and commodities in both developing and developed markets through the establishment of a cohesive business and technology ecosystem. This includes the GMEX Market Advancement Programme (MAP), which is all about partnerships and creating an ecosystem with exchanges and post trade market infrastructure operators to deliver centralised, decentralised Blockchain Distributed Ledger technology & hybrid solutions in a collaborative fashion including the enablement of cryptocurrency and digital asset exchanges.
He is also Founder & Co-Chairman of FinComEco, a fully integrated Financial & Commodities Ecosystem providing services, financing, capacity building and enablement solutions to help improve the livelihoods of Sub Saharan African smallholder farmers leveraging blockchain technology.
Formerly, he was the COO and Co-Founder of Chi-X Europe Limited. Hirander was instrumental in taking the company from concept in November 2005 to reality resulting in a successful launch and ongoing development.
Steve Round – Director
Steve is CEO of electronic banking solutions provider Saescada bringing the first challenger banking platform to market in 2015 .He has a wealth of experience in Financial Services both in the UK and Internationally. He founded the innovative Change Account, is Chair at Ecology Building Society and also Chair at The Big Issue Foundation.
Previously Steve has been Marketing Director at Unity Trust Bank and has advised companies as wide ranging as MasterCard, GE Money and Charity Bank. He has worked and headed projects in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia and South Africa working on range of projects including Community Banking, International Remittances and Loyalty Programmes.
Rory O’Brien – Projects Director
Rory O’Brien is the co-founder, CEO of Abridge Consulting Partners (ACP), a specialist consultancy serving the global capital and commodity markets. ACP is currently directing the development of China’s first, truly-international commodity exchange. ACP’s consultants experience and advice will be available for the development of FinComEco’s African commodity exchanges.
After education at the Universities of Kent and Cambridge, Rory entered consultancy and worked on IT, agricultural and project management assignments around the World. He entered the financial markets in 1992 and after 8 years with UBS Bank he joined LIFFE exchange where he started and developed their consultancy practice before leading major projects to implement the LIFFE trading platforms for exchanges around the World; the largest of these being the project to implement the global e-CBOT platform for the Chicago Board of Trade. After LIFFE and its AEMS subsidiary he joined LCH.Clearnet as a Director and developed clearing opportunities for them; particularly in India and China.
Rory has worked in more than 35 countries and specialises in leading projects internationally to establish and develop commodity exchanges and associated infrastructure.
Hash Dave – Advisor
Hash has expertise in private investments primarily focused on special situations, distressed and private equity. He is also a Director in AARK Global, a Hong Kong based company focused on Asian opportunities.
Hash was previously a Director in the Asia Pacific Illiquid Investment Team for DB Zwirn Asia Partners, from 2006. Previously, from 2002 to 2006 he was an Investment Principal in the Special Situations team at Actis Capital focusing on Asia ex-Japan. Prior to this he worked as an Associate at KPMG Corporate Finance, a Trader at PRICOA Capital and started as a Bond Salesman at Peregrine Fixed Income in 1996.
Hash has a Masters in Finance from the London Business School (2001) and a Bachelors in Economics from the London School of Economics (1994).
Neeraj Bhardwaj – Advisor
Neeraj has general management, marketing and entrepreneurial experience in financial services, outsourcing and research and analytics. He is currently a Director at Aranca, an India based research and analytics firm serving over 1500 clients globally. He is also an investor / advisor to a number of startups and outsourcing ventures.
Neeraj was the CEO of RocSearch from 2004 to 2007, a turnaround of a publishing business into a custom research and analytics firm. Prior to that he was part of a start up team at Inaltus, the UK’s first SME Accounting and Finance startup. From 1996 to 1999 he was a banking supervisor at the Bank of England and Financial Services Authority.
Neeraj has an MBA from the London Business School (2003) and a Bachelors in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics (1995).