In this economic slowdown, will we be able to ride out the crisis?

“Marking the Juncture” draws the challenges and opportunities of an Industry, that has been serving the vulnerable community for years and is, now, itself, at risk: The Microfinance.

During this mini-web series, Global financial executives and thought leaders, will share their active engagement and innovative outlook on the current industry transformation, the challenges to collaboratively overcome and the peculiarities of the Lebanese crisis.

Our distinguished speakers will present their views on the upkeep of this social mission: they have a purpose at heart.

Stay tuned, on the LMFA channels, for more very soon!

IFC Financial Institutions Group, MEA
Microfinance Practice Group Lead & Senior Specialist

Mohammed Khaled joined IFC in early 2012 as a Senior Microfinance Specialist and now leads the MEA Advisory Services Microfinance Program. He has more than 35 years of experience in development and microfinance. Started as a practitioner in 1994 when he designed and managed the Save the Children/U.S. microcredit program and led its spun off later as FATEN, the first MFI in Palestine.

Mohammed has played a variety of roles in the microfinance sector in the region. He served as the founding director of and a senior trainer for Sanabel, the Microfinance Network of Arab Countries. He has also worked as a consultant and an advisor for several donors and MFIs in the region including the Rockdale Foundation, Grameen Foundation/U.S. (later Grameen-Jameel), AGFUND, UNDP, and GIZ. From 2008-2012, Mohammed also served as CGAP’s MENA Regional Representative.

MD Citi Bank UK & Founding Member of the Citi’s Global Inclusive Finance Group

•Jorge Rubio is a founding member of the Citi’s Global Inclusive Finance Group based in London, UK, which was created in 2005 to spearhead the firm’s commercial efforts to support social and financial inclusion around the world.
•He has participated in the design of Citi’s strategy to support the expansion of financial services through Citi’s businesses in over 40 countries. This worked has been externally recognized with Citi’s award as the 2017 World’s Best Bank for Financial Inclusion by Euromoney.
•Jorge has structured milestone inclusive finance transactions in the capital markets (2006 IFC/Financial Times Sustainable Deal of the Year Award and 2001 Sustainable Banker of the year Award) including the first investment grade local issuance for a microfinance institution and IPO’s as well as the first London Stock Exchange listed global IPO.
•His work around social and financial inclusion spans sustainable value chain development and digital financial services reaching the unbanked.

Senior Financial Sector Specialist, representing The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor CGAP in the Arab world

Nadine Chehade is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist, representing CGAP in the Arab world. She works to deepen CGAP’s engagement in the region, collaborating with various partners, including regulators and policy-makers, donors and investors, regional associations, and businesses. She currently focuses on fintechs and leads CGAP’s global work on financial services and humanitarian crises. More broadly, she covers matters related to regulation, business, and markets, with the overarching goal of advancing financial inclusion. Her research work has included regulatory frameworks, cash transfers, digital financial services, postal financial inclusion, and financial inclusion measurement. She joined CGAP in 2012, bringing ten years of experience in investment banking, management consulting, and microfinance. Nadine holds an MBA from ESSEC in France. She is fluent in Arabic, English, French, and conversational in Spanish.

President of RDCL World
Chief Executive Officer of Zimco Group

Dr. Fouad Zmokhol

CEO of Zimco group (ME) and SAPDIB (Africa)

President of the “Association of Lebanese Business People in the World” (RDCL World)

Professor at Saint Joseph University (USJ) and the Lebanese American University (LAU)

Independent Board Member

Entrepreneur, leader, author and educator, Dr. Fouad Zmokhol holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Newport University (USA). Thanks to his visionary and strategic perspective, he coached and mentored hundreds of young entrepreneurs and inspired businessmen to preserve and develop the public economic systems, with a view to boosting local and international investments.

The combination of his hard work, wisdom and transparency has left an indelible mark on the Lebanese Businessmen Association (RDCL), which he presided from 2011 until 2016. In 2017, he was elected President of the Association of Lebanese Business People in the World (RDCL World).

CEO of Zimco Group (ME) and of SAPDIB (Africa), Dr. Zmokhol continues to share his secrets of success and motivational insights as Professor of Managerial Strategies, Entrepreneurship, and Corporate Governance at Saint Joseph University (USJ) and Leadership-Communication at the Lebanese American University (LAU).

Dr. Zmokhol was a keynote speaker at national, regional and international conferences, such as the French Senate, the OECD, the Euro-Mediterranean Think Tank (IPEMED), the Union of Arab Banks (UAB), Agence Universitaire Francophone (AUF), the Lebanese-Mexican Chamber of Commerce, the Lebanese-African Chamber of Commerce, the Arab Ministerial Conference, the Lebanese-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Paris Municipality… He is regularly invited to speak at major local, regional and international universities: LAU, AUB, USJ, USEK, Sofia University, HEC Montreal…

He wrote various publications and research papers on Corporate Governance, Business Ethics, Business Leadership, International Marketing, Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Communication, Economic Revival, Micro and Macro Economics…

Dr. Zmokhol sits on the boards of several institutions, namely ITG (HOLCOM Group); BSEC (BEMO Group); Bemo Bank (Cyprus),  Agence Universitaire Francophone (AUF) Strategic Orientation Board; Board of Trustees at Lebanese American University (LAU); Board of Trustees at Notre Dame University (NDU); Business Advisory Board of the OECD (MENA); Forum Francophone des Affaires (FFA); Institute of Directors (IOD); Strategic Committee of the Management Faculty at Saint Joseph University (USJ); Advisory Board of the Management Faculty at the Lebanese American University (LAU); Management Committee at Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour (NDJ).

Senior Financial Sector Specialist –FCI Global Practice –International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Carol Khouzami is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist at the International Finance Corporation – the private arm of the World Bank Group –  based in Beirut – Lebanon.

She manages a portfolio of reform projects that aim to improve access to finance, enhance financial inclusion and improve the investment climate. As an instance, Carol’s portfolio includes projects covering commercial mediation, in-court and out-of-court debt resolution, secured transaction, credit information, and business registration in various countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Morocco, Djibouti and Egypt. More specifically, Carol assisted Lebanon and Jordan’s banking sector introducing an out-of-court debt restructuring framework in October 2015.  She also supported Lebanon and Jordan in modernizing their insolvency legislation. The draft Jordan enacted the new draft law in May 2018, while the new insolvency legislative package is under discussion at the Lebanese Parliament after having been approved by the Cabinet in February 2018.

She previously served during 15 years as a Senior Legal Advisor at the UNDP Capacity Development for Fiscal Reform and Management project that provides technical assistance and policy advising to the Ministry of Finance of Lebanon. In this capacity, she advised seven Ministers of Finance on various domestic and international legal issues, including investment climate reforms, and led negotiations on behalf of Lebanon on 65 investment agreements and 47 Tax conventions.

Carol holds a Diplôme d’Etudes Appronfondies (DEA) in International Economic Law from University Paris II-Assas and an Executive MBA from ESA/ EAP-ESCP. She is a CEDR accredited mediator.

Jean-Francois Le Bihan
Managing Director of EuroReg Luxembourg

Jean-Francois Le Bihan, Managing Director of EuroReg Luxembourg

Jean-Francois’s career in ICT spans more than 20 years, mostly in international roles with a focus on public policies and regulatory affairs. He recently joined as a senior expert the technical assistance team supporting to African Union Commission on the implementation of its Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa.
From end of 2017 to early 2020, he led policy and advocacy in Sub-Saharan Africa for GSMA, the worldwide association of mobile operators, coordinating their government engagements as an industry, before returning to his consulting activity.

Before joining GSMA, Jean-Francois was Regulatory Affairs Director for Africa at Millicom supporting all its Tigo operations across the continent since 2015. Previously Jean-Francois was for four years Managing Director and lead consultant at EuroReg, a boutique consultancy he founded in Luxembourg. Between 2008 and 2011, he worked for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations specialized agency.

Prior to ITU, he was in charge of economic analysis (cost modeling, universal service and overseas mobile termination) at ARCEP, the French regulator for telecoms and posts. During the first part of his career he held technical roles in Luxembourg with America Online (AOL), in Germany at a wireless local loop operator and in France and the UK for 3G rollouts.

He graduated from Telecom Sud Paris engineering school and holds a Master in European Studies from Sciences Po Paris and one in International Governance from St. Gallen University in Switzerland.

Ilda Nahas
General Manager

Hosted by Ilda Nahas

Ilda Nahas currently represents the Lebanese Microfinance Association, in her capacity as a General Manager. She aims to build the sector’s reputation, enhance awareness with the multiple local and international stakeholders, and build appropriate bridges with regulators, lenders, and donors.

Her experience in the branding business, offering full-fledged solutions to a wide array of businesses, provides her with the foundations to be aware of various industry developments.

Ilda is recognized as an inspirational leader, long-time practitioner, and coach, in strategy execution and business architecture. Her strong track record of creating successful teams gives her the tools to build and coordinate projects across various business sectors.

Ilda has held a variety of leadership positions over her 25-year career, including overseeing and setting up partnerships in retail, marketing and PR.

Ilda is of Lebanese origin, and holds Italian citizenship. She graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1993 with a B.S Degree in Biology. She is fluent in Arabic, English, French, and Portuguese.