Founder & CEO of Pi Slice
Following her passions for the MicroFinance & the Online industries, and after a life-altering trek in Kilimanjaro, Genny presented Pi Slice idea & Business Plan as part of her MBA projects at London Business School in 2010. After a year of coaching and mentoring, she founded Pi Slice in March 2012 and negotiated a partnership agreement with MicroWorld from the Group PlanetFinance to build and administer Pi Slice site.
Prior to this, Genny began her career in Development Project Finance, and shifted her focus to the financial industry and business development consultation, wherein she honed her entrepreneurial skills in founding her 1st company Pro-ID in 2003; initiating start-ups and identifying market opportunities for the international corporations represented. She also consulted in setting-up & managing a financial security semi-governmental company in Dubai, expanding its core business, negotiating joint ventures and strategic partnerships with other key players in the industry, and establishing relationships with major financial institutions.
- In 2007, Genny founded and managed Pi Investments, working on:
- Delivered merger and acquisition assistance and related services including; valuations; purchase price allocations, corporate structuring and intensive negotiations.
- Served as a Fund Advisory and Placement Agent, identifying and reviewing target business opportunities, market feasibility and financial viability.
- Signed three funds (Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, and Health Care) to raise money.
- Assessed and executed essential functions to support valuation of companies in Energy, Telecom, Ports, Retail & Private Airlines.
- Identified potential buyers and negotiated equity allocation initiatives.
- In 2010, Genny joined a DIFC based investment bank as the head of business development, working on:
- Worked on a SME MENA Fund under Luxembourg Jurisdiction. Participated in the preparation of the commercial pitch and establishing contact with Supra-nationals for partnership.
- Participated in preparing an Info Memo to double the capital on the bank group level for the proceeds to go to a new Islamic Banking License in Switzerland. Participated in the road show.
- Participated in reviewing documentation with FINMA for the implementation of the Geneva Islamic Private Bank.
Participated in sourcing, analyzing and/or evaluating different international alliances and partnerships on the group and affiliates level.
- Participated in sourcing, analyzing and/or evaluating different investments opportunities for the bank.
Genny is a Masters degree holder in Civil Engineering and an MBA from London Business School,
London UK. She is also a passionate about fitness & trekking, raw food diet & health, yoga & meditation,
reiki & theta coaching, writing poetry and personal & social impact.
Chief Financial Officer
After graduating from HEC Business School with a Master’s Degree in Finance, Nathalie began her career working as an Originator for the Debt Capital Market department at Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking in London, UK. She worked on several Bond emissions for Financial Institutions in Northern Europe.
In 2009, she was offered to join GDF SUEZ, the largest utility company in the world, as part of its CFO’s program for young Finance Executives. She joined the Merger & Acquisitions department where she worked on several acquisition deals, as well as on the recent merger with International Power plc.
She was also responsible for structuring the set up of the MEUR 100 GDF SUEZ’ Socially Responsible Investment Fund, investing in ‘green’ social entrepreneurs and MFI’s around the world.
Having always held a strong interest for the MENA region, she decided to move to GDF SUEZ’ Dubai office in January 2011 where she spent 18 months working within the Project Finance department, was in charge of the Financial Valuation of the region’s assets, and successfully achieved a MUSD 800 deal with Saudi Arabia.
Nathalie is also experienced in the public sector, having worked for the UMP political party at the French Senate, and for the French Ambassador at the United Nations Headquarters. She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Sciences from Sciences-Po Paris, a Master’s Degree in Finance from HEC Business School, and a Master’s Degree in International Insurance Risk Management from French Ecole Nationale d’Assurance.
Chief Technology Officer
Wissam is a digital marketing expert with 8 years of combined experience in Marketing and IT, specializing in Internet Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, fundraising, business development and strategy. In 2006, Wissam moved from Lebanon to the United States and established his own business to design “Digital Marketing Campaigns and Strategies” for companies in the MENA region and the US. His client roaster includes: Balenciaga, Dubizzle, Wamda, Shahiya.com and Local Central Florida Businesses.
By bringing strong understanding of SEO, PPC, Analytics and Social Culture, Wissam joined Pi Slice as the Chief Technology to manage its overall Digital Marketing budget, monitor its brand on external sites, implement content marketing campaign, and enhance paid channels.
Wissam has a Bachelors of Business Administration (Finance) from the American University Of Beirut.
In addition to his commitment to entrepreneurship and growing startups, Wissam is passionate about raw food, travelling and aviation.
Bashir brings 5 years of experience in the management and client service sectors. Bashir began his career as a senior Account Executive with Net Design Plus where he handled several projects, and dealt with all clients’ requirements; website comments, website development, design briefs and online marketing campaigns.
In 2010, he joined Eastline Marketing as a Senior Project Manager serving as the technical expert to oversee their development team, Facebook activities, competitions, website and managing relationships and social media accounts in Lebanon. In 2011, he joined an online company, CreaPix, as a Sales & Account Manager to oversee website and phone application development and to meet sales targets.
Bashir holds a Degree in Management from the American University of Sciences and Technology in Beirut.
Bashir loves to travel and learn about new cultures. He is passionate about modern technology, social media and research. He loves sports and keeps his mind sharp by staying fit.
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Abu Sbaitan started his career in the financial services at Merrill Lynch, San Francisco in 1991; he was assigned in 1995 as a Resident Manager of the Fremont office, California.
He then moved to Bahrain as Sales and Marketing Director covering Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar markets and established Merrill Lynch’s Jordan office in 1999.
He was later appointed as Executive Director of Bahrain’s office in 2002. In 2004, Mr. Abu Sbaitan joined Rasmala as a Senior Sales and Marketing Officer where he served in several roles before being appointed CEO in 2010.
Senior Partner of Abraaj Capital,Chief Executive Officer of Riyada Enterprise Development
Tom Speechley is a Senior Partner of Abraaj Capital and the Chief Executive Officer of Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), Abraaj’s small and medium enterprise (SME) investment platform. He joined Abraaj Capital in 2006 and is a member of the Abraaj Holdings Board of Directors, as well as the group’s Executive and Investment Committees.
Mr. Speechley is responsible for the firm’s SME investment program including the RED and Kantara Funds totaling some US$ 650 million of capital through which he has overseen several investments in various sectors and countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Mr. Speechley has more than 15 years experience in the private equity industry in Europe, the US and the MENA region. He was responsible for creating and launching 'wamda.com', Abraaj Capital’s on-line portal dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs across the MENA region and speaks and writes frequently on the topic of entrepreneurship.
He sits on the ‘Fostering Entrepreneurship’ Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum. Mr. Speechley has also authored two books on acquisition finance. He lives in Dubai.
Investor & Entrepreneur
Danish is an investor, entrepreneur, speaker and father. He is the founder of consulting boutique Xische & Co. in Dubai and New York. He is Chairman of investment boutique Xische Holdings, a privately-held group of wholly-owned and joint-venture companies that include an emerging technology firm, a design consultancy and a Dubai-based startup incubator and seed fund. Danish is one of the youngest successful start-up entrepreneurs in the Middle East. Dropping out of three different universities, he founded new media firm 13thStudios in 2001 at age nineteen, subsequently acquired in 2004. He then founded boutique consulting firm Xische & Co. in Dubai and New York. Danish has spent over ten years consulting, conceiving and managing a wide range of ventures for clients such as the Government of Dubai, DIFC, Qatar World Cup Bid, Emirates Airline, BMW & Giorgio Armani. Born in Libya, and raised in the Dubai, Danish is passionate about design, culture, technology, and social entrepreneurship. He is an exhibiting artist, and regular contributor at regional startup events. Danish is a keynote speaker and visiting lecturer, and regularly blogs on topics including design thinking, social entrepreneurship and business culture. His idea of ‘time-off’ is playing angel investor and mentor for budding local startups in the UAE.
Secretary General for the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee
Hassan Al Thawadi holds the position of Secretary General for the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, the organization responsible for coordinating amongst public and private Qatari entities to ensure infrastructure and development projects are delivered in readiness for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. His appointment in March 2011 as Secretary General follows on from his role as Chief Executive Officer in Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee, in which he worked closely with Bid Chairman, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, promoting Qatar’s revolutionary and ultimately successful attempt to bring the FIFA World Cup to the Middle East for the first time. A graduate in Law from Sheffield University, Hassan is also General Counsel at Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Qatar Holding (QH) entities founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to diversify the country’s economy and that have recently invested in Porsche, Volkswagen, Barclays Bank, the New York Stock Exchange and Harrods. Prior to joining QIA in 2006, Hassan worked in the legal department for Qatar Petroleum where he was involved in a number of major projects such as Qatalum (Aluminium Smelter), Qatar Gas 3 and Qatar Gas 4. Hassan also holds board positions with Hassad Food Company (Qatar’s premier worldwide investor/developer in the agriculture and livestock sector) and Katara Hospitality (previously known as Qatar National Hotels.
Chief Operator Officer MicroWorld
"At MicroWorld, we believe that people should be able to support the fight against poverty in a transparent, efficient, and respectful manner. Previously this was a dream, but now technology has made it a reality. Our success at developing meaningful connections between lenders in Europe and micro-entrepreneurs around the world has inspired us to bring our expertise to MENA."
After graduating from HEC Business School with a Master’s Degree in Finance, David Langlois worked a few years at JP Morgan in M&A in the European Financial Institutions Group(London, Paris). Then, he founded ADPLAY, a start-up specialised in online promotional marketing and premium-call games. He also worked 7 years at Boursorama banque as a sale and marketing director. In October of 2009, he became COO of MicroWorld.