CONNECTING THOUGHT-LEADERS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE
Tarique Al-Ansari, or “T”, is one of those elusive university dropout success stories. After three years of studying software engineering at Western University in London, Ontario, T decided to start his own online food court. Running a business drew his attention to the challenges small business owners face when accepting electronic payments, so he started his own payment processing company in 2009. Over a decade later the award – winning company evolved into Paystone.
Paystone is now a leading North American payment and software company redefining the way merchants engage their customers and grow their businesses. Paystone’s solutions are used at over 35,000 locations across Canada and the United States which collectively process over 10 billion dollars a year in bankcard volume. The fintech company employs over 150 employees and serves as the technology partner of choice for hundreds of partners across North America.
Ex-Mastercard | Latitud Fellow LF3 | Forbes 30 – 2022
Passionate about innovation and startup investment in Latin America. Experienced with 13+ years of knowledge in Payments, Fintech, Startups, Financial Institutions and Consumer Goods in Latin American markets.
Strong experience in business development, team management, finance management, international account management, sales strategy, and international sales.
LGBTQ+ & diversity leader and promoter
Martin Kwame Awagah is a highly experienced Digital Economy Specialist and FinTech Expert with over 12 years of expertise in economic research, governance, public policy, financial inclusion, international development, and project management. He is recognized for his contributions to the advancement of financial technologies (fintechs) and digital/mobile payment institutions in Ghana. Martin holds key leadership positions and plays a pivotal role in promoting financial technology innovation, knowledge sharing, and capacity building within the fintech ecosystem.
Barbadian Dr. Annalee C. Babb is CEO of Intersections, a start-up cluster driver helping to accelerate Caribbean creativity and innovation. She explores these issues in the My Belonging podcast (https://www.intersections.digital/mybelonging/). She was Digital Transformation Sherpa | Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy | Special Advisor | Ministry of Innovation, Science & Smart Technology. She led the team developing COVID-19 public health emergency management tech solutions; was legislative co-Chair for Barbados’ national digital ID | mobile ID; led on creation of a tech accelerator for digital public services; and chaired the Telecoms Working Group. She led the Digital Transformation and Solutions Committee | Prime Minister’s Jobs and Investment Council, was a member of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Board, co-lead organiser of UNCTAD 15’s Creative Industries Trade Digitisation Forum, and on the International Advisory Board of Oman’s Research Council.
Jo Ann Barefoot is CEO & Co-founder of the Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR), host of the global podcast show Barefoot Innovation, and Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government. She has been Deputy Comptroller of the Currency, partner at KPMG, Co-Chairman of Treliant Risk Advisors, and a staff member at the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. She serves on the boards of Oportun and FinRegLab, and on advisory bodies for FINRA, the Milken Institute, and the California Blockchain Working Group. She formerly served on the board of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. She is Co-founder of Hummingbird RegTech.
In 2023, American Banker recognized Jo Ann in its inaugural Most Influential Women in Fintech. She was also named to the Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Powerlist for the second year in a row as a Senior Leader. In 2021, Jo Ann was named Fintech Woman of the Year by Finovate and selected to the Forbes list of 50 Over 50. She is also in the Fintech Hall of Fame. She previously served on the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board and chaired the board of the Financial Health Network. She has published nearly 200 articles and speaks each year to thousands of people throughout the world.
Originally from Tunisia and currently based in Geneva, Haifa Ben Salem works at the International Trade Centre – United Nations – Tech Sector Development team on projects supporting the Tech sector at different levels in more than 12 markets in Africa, Asia and The Caribbean.
Her work involves capacity building of Tech startups, enabling ecosystems, connecting digital entrepreneurs to market opportunities and investment, strengthening online freelancers’ skills & promoting job creation through tech entrepreneurship and innovation.
Michelle Beyo is the CEO and Founder of FINAVATOR, an award-winning future of finance consultancy. She is also a TEDx Speaker, WEDO United Nations speaker, Money 20/20 Rise Up alumni, board advisor to Open Banking Expo and the President and a Board Member at the Open Finance Network of Canada (OFNC).
With over 20 years of extensive industry experience, Michelle started FINAVATOR as she is passionate about payments and financial inclusion. She has helped to drive innovation across the retail and payments space and supported the growth of industry leaders across North America.
Michelle Beyo has won multiple awards including the “Top 30 Best CEOs in 2021” by The Silicon Valley Review, “Women in Fintech Global Powerlist” 2021, “Most Influential Leader in FinTech Consulting 2020 – Canada” by Corporate Vision.
Wayne has over three decades of experience building innovative solutions for
banks and FinTechs. Through his leadership at The Walker Group, a boutique
FinTech management consulting firm, his primary focus is to launch and support
business strategies focused on banking, risk, security and technology. He has
successfully grown key partnerships for a growing list of FinTech clients in the
United States, Europe and Latin America.
Through his industry accomplishments Wayne is a sought after as a FinTech
industry speaker and frequently presents the topics at digital banking and
payments, Real Time Payments (RTP), business and consumer payment
challenges and growth of FinTechs globally. He continues to partner with a
growing portfolio of FinTech startups to increase their visibility, branding and
growth through identifying collaboration through The Walker Group network.
Before launching The Walker Group, Wayne focused on product development
roles at several large global banks and payment technology firms. His previous
role was Vice President and Product Manager of the Citigroup North America
Receivables Team, where he was responsible for a suite of digital payment
products including B2B and B2C. Prior roles consisted of both senior product and
account management responsibilities at Fidelity Information Services, (FIS)
Deutsche Bank and MasterCard respectively.
Wayne is an active member of NACHA’s Innovation Alliance Council and led the
authorship of the Walk-In Payment Best Practices Guide. He is developed and
launched payment biller direct (B2C) and B2B (EIPP) solutions for MasterCard,
Princeton eCom (purchased by ACI), Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. These
solutions include managing multiple key industry verticals ranging from
insurance, utilities, mortgages, education, finance etc. On behalf of his clients, he
has introduced B2B and B2B biller solutions to a wide range of banks including
U.S. Bank, Bank of America, United Missouri Bank (UMB), HSBC USA and Key
Bank. He continues to partner with FinTech Accelerators in the U.S., Canada,
Latin America/Caribbean and Europe.
He holds a B.B.A in Finance from Baruch College, City University of New York
and has completed his Masters of Science coursework in Management and
Strategic Planning at Manhattanville College.
Aaron is a proud North Carolina native and grew up on the family farm in the mountains of North Carolina. Aaron has over 20 years of experience in designing and implementing projects focused on forest management for wildlife in Virginia and North Carolina for private landowners.
The past several years, Aaron has been focused on leading Outsyde, Inc. a company focused on conservation land acquisitions, climate tech, outdoor recreation, renewable energy, blockchain, digital assets, public capital markets and carbon market strategies.
Aaron is a graduate of Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, NC and holds a degree in Business Marketing and Finance. Aaron splits his time between Richmond VA and Emerald Isle, NC with his wife, daughter and his Foxhound sidekick “Molly”.
Chris Burns is the CEO of First Atlantic Commerce. He has worked in the ecommerce industry for 19 years and has served as CEO of FAC for the past 10 years. His expertise lies in assisting companies and banks develop and deploy successful ecommerce strategies across the Latin America and Caribbean region. Today FAC is operating in 29 countries, processing hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and it is the most connected payment gateway in the Caribbean and Central America with team members in five countries. FAC’s clients include Flow, Digicel, Pricesmart, Sandals, and many of the region’s governments and major utilities. Chris is also CEO of Powertranz, a sister company to FAC. Powertranz was recently started to address many of the inadequacies in the Point of Sale industry in the Caribbean.
Carmelle M. Cadet is the Founder and CEO of EMTECH, a
technology company working with central banks around the
world to make their financial infrastructures inclusive and resilient
by design. At EMTECH, Carmelle leads the vision of developing
the next generation central banking infrastructure to drive
financial inclusion, economic development and modernization of
regulatory environments. From Digital Regulatory Sandbox to
Digital Cash Platform (Central Bank Digital Currency), Carmelle
and her highly experienced team of former regulators and
experienced engineers, present groundbreaking and actionable
tech solutions to solve current economic challenges.
A thought leader and public speaker in fintech and regulatory innovation, Carmelle also advises
other women, minority fintech entrepreneurs. She has won and has been nominated for several
awards for her leadership and trailblazing work.
In her previous life, Carmelle was the Deputy CFO for IBM Blockchain where she spearheaded
the global product commercialization and financial management strategy. With clients like
Walmart, JPM Chase, Softbank, Carmelle oversaw the launch of several groundbreaking
technologies that drove better food safety, strong cybersecurity and supply chain digitization.
She joined the company as a Financial Analyst, and when Carmelle took over as Product CFO
she helped lead a highly successful product launch that created 200+ jobs while driving strong
revenue growth to over $100M in 3 years.
Carmelle earned her Executive .M.B.A. from the New York University Stern School of Business
with specializations in Leadership and Global Business, and her B.A. from Florida Atlantic
University. She is originally from Haiti, but now lives in NYC with her husband and son.
Anthony Clerk, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, was appointed to the Board of Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited in 2017. Mr. Clerk is a career banker with more than a decade of experience at the Senior Management Level and has served as Regional Corporate Manager, Corporate Business Centre East/Central, Republic Bank Limited; General Manager, Credit, Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited; Corporate Manager, Corporate Business Centre North, Republic Bank Limited; and Branch Sales Manager, Ellerslie Court, Republic Bank Limited.
Mr. Clerk holds an Executive MBA and a Diploma in Business Management, both from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, and a Diploma in Banking from the Institute of Banking and Finance of Trinidad and Tobago. He is a pass council member of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He has served as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of National Enterprises Limited. Mr. Clerk is currently the President of The Barbados Bankers Association.
With over 15 years of experience spanning industries like Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Insurance, and Digital Banking for financial services in the Caribbean, she excels as a Business Development head and strategist driving the growth of the Fintech and Digital partners ecosystem in the region.
Icelsa is renowned as one of Fintech America’s Top 25 most innovative bankers and holds the esteemed title of Top 50 Women of Power and Success in the Dominican Republic.
She actively contributes to fintech organizations and accelerator entities across the Caribbean, showcasing her expertise as an Industrial Engineer with an MBA from Université du Québec à Montréal and a master’s in digital marketing and business from the University of California.
“Adil is deeply immersed in the realm of financial inclusion within Low- and Middle-Income countries as a member of the GSMA’s Mobile Money Programme.
His primary role involves nurturing cooperation among stakeholders within the industry, with the objective of addressing pivotal challenges and seizing opportunities in the digital finance landscape.
Adil’s focus centers on unlocking the potential of digital technology to uplift marginalized communities, driven by his unwavering belief in technology’s transformative capabilities.
Drawing from his previous experience as a business developer in the digital cross-border money transfer sector, Adil possesses a unique understanding of the sector’s intricate workings.
His wealth of expertise and unwavering commitment position him to speak on the remarkable potential of digital technology in the realm of financial inclusion”.
A forward-thinking strategic and tactical executive, I earned an MBA from Columbia University and a BSc. In Computer Science and Mathematics Magna Cum Laude from UWI in Barbados. I served as the Head of Risk Architecture Reporting to the CRO of CCB at JPMorganChase and led the ERM Capabilities at Citi Globally and lead the Risk and Business Capabilities for American Express Interactive. I have 32 years of experience in Risk, Finance, Data, Analytics and Emerging Tech, and international experience across ASIA, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. I have also been actively involved in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies since 2016 where I supported a client project to evaluate the BlockChain technology, design and implementation of Blockchain architecture for internal and external contracts with trading partners. The pilot was then implemented for business use. I continue to provide assistance to clients on their white papers, business plans and Risk profiles and evaluates for clients the Risks to be considered. I have presented on Risk Management, AML, KYC, Fraud, Customer Onboarding, AI, Blockchain and Big Data at industry conferences and events such as the Blockchain Fest @Boston hosted at MIT, the Blockchain Leadership Connect Consensus New York 2018, the Chicago 2018 Blockchain Leadership connect and was a Blockchain Hackathon judge at the Global Blockchain Hackathon in New York in July 2018 and the Global Blockchain Hackathon in Chicago 2018. I am currently performing as the COO of TechBlue, which provides Data Analytics, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and visualization solutions that optimize operational performance in both the public and private sector. I am a Co-Founder of VENTI – a mobile digital wallet and debit card account, that allows for for the real time and free money movement to loved ones anywhere in the world. The platform allows customers to more easily pay bills, allow direct mortgage and loan deductions directly from their account. The technology allows customers more control, more security, less cost and higher quality account services without high fees, all adding up to more time to enjoy the important things in life.
Dave Dowrich is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer of TIAA, where he has responsibility for TIAA’s financial
management and planning, actuarial, tax, accounting and financial
reporting functions for the organization.
Dave joined TIAA from Prudential where he held a similar role for
Prudential Financial’s International Businesses, based in Tokyo, Japan.
Prior to Prudential, he worked at AIG as Chief Executive Officer,
International Life and Retirement, with oversight of AIG Life (UK), Laya
Healthcare (Ireland) and leading the Life and Retirement division’s
international strategy and growth. He previously served as CFO of AIG
Japan and Asia Pacific and as CFO and Chief Financial Actuary of
Institutional Markets in the USA. Prior to joining AIG, Dave held senior
roles in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, as
well as reinsurance and transaction structuring roles at Swiss Re and
Canada Life Reinsurance. Dave began his career as a pension
consulting actuary in Toronto, Ontario.
Dave earned an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania and a BSc in Actuarial Science and Applied
Statistics from the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Society of
Actuaries, an Associate of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and a
Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Dave is on the board of
Scotiabank, Vantage Group Holdings Ltd, has served on several
insurance and non-insurance operating and holding company boards,
and currently serves on the boards of non-profit and academic
In July 2022, Dave was named one of the “2022 Most Influential Black
Executives in Corporate America”
Pascale Elie, is Chairwoman of CELLPAY.
She has a degree in Actuarial Mathematics and Economy from University of Montreal in Canada.
For many years she successfully managed and lead a top-rated Insurance Company. Later she profound her knowledge and gain experience as CEO of a Visa Credit Card issuer.
Wanting to start her own financial institution she cofounded HaitiPay the first Fintech led of mobile banking service in Haiti. With her team she worked tirelessly to develop a mobile money network of merchants and agents. This earned her the Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 award in the innovation category.
Alison Browne-Ellis is an experienced Corporate Executive with over 24 years of expertise. In her capacity, she leads a dynamic team and sets strategy for Cave Shepherd Card (Barbados) Inc. t/a as “Payce Digital”. Alison has successfully led her company to acquire the status of the first Non-Financial Institution in the English-speaking Latin American Caribbean region to obtain a Principal Membership license with Visa International while spearheading the launch of one of Barbados’s first digital payment wallets that is available to small business customers and supports the Government’s EZ Pay+ payment platform.
Prior to her current role as CEO, Alison spent 13 years at FirstCaribbean International Bank. She has a proven track record in leading change initiatives in the payments industry with expertise in implementation of innovative products, business development, marketing, credit and customer experience strategies.
Alison holds an Executive Diploma from the Ivey Business School, Western University and a MBA with Distinction, from the University of Surrey. Alison is also a Certified John Maxwell Team Coach. She is a past Vice President and Council Member of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry where she Chairs the Marketing & Communications Committee.
Alison is passionate about the professional development of our future leaders which has led to the recent launch of her book – “LIFE LESSONS A Purpose Driven Leadership Journey” and her new 365 Day Inspirational Desk Calendar.
Alison is also the Founder of Boss Ladies United – a professional development and networking association for women.
Marwan Forzley is an innovator and a visionary who’s passionate about building companies through disruptive technologies and global strategies. After founding and selling eBillme, Marwan became the GM of eCommerce and Strategic Partnerships at Western Union.
Marwan is now the co-founder and CEO of Veem, an organization which helps businesses transfer money domestically and internationally. Trusted by over 800,000 users all around the globe, Veem is transforming how businesses pay and get paid with time-saving Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable automations, and flexible payment options in over 100 countries and 70+ currencies.
Ms. Tara Frater is the Principal and Founder of FT Legal, a boutique law firm based in Barbados. She is an experienced attorney-at-law with over 15 years of experience working at leading firms in international financial services centres in the Caribbean. She has lectured in various fora on legal issues and her speaking engagements include various Caribbean and Latin American conferences hosted by STEP and other organisations.
Ms. Frater actively engages on issues affecting the international financial services sector in the Caribbean. She participates in various working groups focused on legislative reform and currently serves on the Trust Review Committee and the FinTech Advisory Committee convened by the Barbados Government. She formerly served as the Chairperson of the STEP Barbados Branch and is a former Director of the Barbados International Business Association. She has repeatedly made the Citywealth IFC Power Women Top 200 List, which recognise women of influence in government, private wealth, private client advisory and philanthropy across international financial centres. She has a keen interest in cryptocurrencies and the transformative potential of blockchain technology
Sebastian is an Ecuadorian entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Kushki, a leading payments infrastructure company for Latin America founded in 2017 and with a recent entry into the Latin American unicorn club. He also serves as General Partner of Alpha4 Ventures.
In the past, he co-founded Leaf, a technology company dedicated to financial services based in Cambridge, MA. Leaf was acquired in 2014 by Heartland Payment Systems (now Global Payments NYSE: GPN).
Mr. Castro is particularly interested in promoting Latin American tech companies and entrepreneurs and has invested in the region both through his fund as well as an angel investor. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT, where he studied mathematics and engineering.
Kushki, the world-class payment platform that connects Latin America through payments, helps businesses reduce the cost and complexity of payments online while improving acceptance rates and reducing fraud. With less than a decade of existence. Kushki operates locally in 5 countries and leverages local teams to deliver customized solutions for clients in each country.
Eldred F Garcia is the SVP of Business and Partner Development at First Atlantic Commerce & PowerTranz.
He brings 25+ years of experience in the payments industry through banking, consulting, the major credit card brands, processors, 3rd party vendors, and on the merchant side as well. Eldred’s focus has been primarily on the payments industry and, more specifically, on emerging technologies and fraud prevention.
While at Visa, Eldred was responsible for cardholder authentication in e-commerce for Latin America and the Caribbean region. Eldred also directed the Latin America and Caribbean region for TowerGroup, a research and consulting firm in Boston owned by MasterCard, Accertify, a fraud prevention company owned by American Express, and EPX, an international payments processor.
On the merchant side, Eldred owned and operated a restaurant & entertainment establishment where he launched the first “Hot Zone” in partnership with the local city and a fortune 500 telecommunications company. Eldred served in the City of Miami’s Technology Advisory Board and with the United States Secret Service MECTF and ADFIN Groups and was head of the EMV Readiness Committee.
Eldred holds a BA in International Business and Management from FIU and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Barry University.
Fonta Gilliam is the CEO and Founder of wellthi, a fintech company based in Washington, DC. Ms. Gilliam has over 10 years of development finance experience working in the United States, Africa, and Asia as a U.S. Diplomat and a management consultant in Deloitte’s Emerging Markets Practice. Over the course of her career, she led numerous White House and U.S. State Department initiatives, including launching two of the U.S. Government’s first women’s business centers in Africa and designing innovative financing facilities to unlock capital for women and small businesses in the United States, Kenya, Morocco, Zambia, Nigeria, South Korea, and China. In 2016, she was awarded the U.S. State Department’s prestigious Franklin Award for her tireless work to support economic empowerment and financial inclusion initiatives in Africa. Ms. Gilliam has a Master of Arts in economic development from American University’s School of International Studies (SIS) and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from Howard University. wellthi has been featured in Forbes, the Washington Business Journal, Nationswell and the American Banker. Learn more about wellthi by visiting www.wellthiapp.com.
Ms. Helen Gradstein is the Regional Representative & Digital Finance Technical Specialist covering the Eastern Caribbean for the UNCDF, based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
She is an expert in digital finance and financial inclusion and is passionate about ensuring that financial inclusion policies and programmes protect consumers, empower women, and support financial capability.
Previously, Ms. Gradstein worked as a Financial Sector Specialist in the World Bank’s Financial Inclusion and Payments team.
She holds a Masters in Global Policy from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Aaron Grinhaus LL.B., J.D., LL.M. (Tax) is a business and tax lawyer, writer and lecturer, and the founder of Grinhaus Law Firm (grinhauslaw.ca) based in Toronto, Canada. Aaron advises on business, international tax, estate structuring and regulatory matters, and is an established Web3 and Fintech consultant.
Aaron has acted as chair, presenter and lecturer through a number of educational institutions and organizations. He is Faculty and Co-Director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s prestigious Web3, Blockchain and Metaverse Law Certificate Program and in 2019 he published “A Practical Guide to Blockchain and Smart Contract Law” (LexisNexis), the world’s first textbook on Blockchain and Smart contract law now in its third edition with international editions. In January 2022 Grinhaus Law Firm became the first Canadian law firm (and one of only a few in the world) to establish an office in the Metaverse. He was also a founding member of the Metaverse Bar Association (MetBA.io).
Aaron holds law degrees from the University of Ottawa (LL.B.), Michigan State University College of Law (J.D.) and a Masters in Tax Law from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University (LL.M.)
Martin Hanna is a renowned fintech and retail entrepreneur who has made a significant impact in the business world. As the CEO and Founder of Penny Pinch Inc., he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to build innovative products and systems that provide immense value to users.
Martin’s passion for design, product development, and marketing has enabled him to create solutions that are both aesthetically pleasing and functionally effective. He has a keen eye for identifying gaps in the market and developing products that fill those gaps, making life more convenient for people in the process.
Despite dropping out of college, Martin’s entrepreneurial spirit and determination have driven him to become a successful business leader. He has won several awards for his innovative ideas and has been recognized as a thought leader in the fintech and retail space.
Aside from running Penny Pinch Inc.,a regulated money services business (MSB) that offers a mobile-first alternative to money management and spending, Martin is committed to helping other entrepreneurs succeed. He has a talent for guiding new business owners through the challenges of building and growing their businesses. His expertise and mentorship have helped many young entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and realize their dreams.
Martin’s dedication to innovation, creativity, and helping others has made him a standout figure in the business world. He continues to inspire and motivate people through his work, and his impact on the fintech and retail industries is sure to endure for years to come.
Zachary Harding is the Executive Chairman and co-founder of Delta Capital Partners, a Caribbean based Private Equity firm. Delta has investments in Financial Services, Health and Wellness, E- commerce, Media and Entertainment, and Industrials and was awarded as “The Next 100 Global Awards – Private Equity Deal House (2021)”.
The Hon. Jason Hayward JP, MP currently serves as the Minister of Economy and Labour in the Bermuda Government. In this role, he is primarily responsible for the economic growth, development and the expansion of jobs in Bermuda. His portfolio oversees the island’s immigration, workforce development, labour relations, financial assistance, international business, statistics and economic development.
Minister Hayward was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2019, and was later appointed as the Minister of Labour in 2020. Before becoming a Member of Parliament, he was appointed to the Bermuda Government Senate in 2017, and served as Junior Minister of Education, Health, Labour, Community Affairs and Sports. Mr. Hayward is a former Chairman of the National Training Board and chaired the Working Group which produced Bermuda’s first National Workforce Development Plan.
Prior to entering the political arena, Min. Hayward worked in the Economic and National Accounts Division of the Department of Statistics. Min. Hayward also served as the first elected full-time President of the Bermuda Public Services Union (BPSU), President of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, and Director and Treasurer of the Bermuda Credit Union.
Min. Hayward is an alumnus of the Canada – Caribbean Emerging Leaders Dialogue (a Commonwealth leadership development program), an alumnus of the US Department of States’ International Visitor Leadership Program, and holds a Chartered Manager Designation from the Chartered Management Institute.
Minister Hayward holds a MBA in Finance from Nova Southeastern University, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mount Saint Vincent University and an Associate’s degree in Arts and Science from the Bermuda College
Peter Hazlehurst, CEO and co-founder of Synctera, is a global FinTech entrepreneur and philanthropist with nearly 30 years of experience creating financial products for banks, FinTechs, and large tech companies.
In 1993 he built core banking technology for Phoenix, which still powers companies today. More recently, Peter served as Head of Uber Money, Chief Operating Officer at Postmates, Senior Director of Product Management at Google, CEO and Board Member of Google Payments Corporation, and Chief Product Officer at Yodlee.
Peter also led Product at Nokia for Enterprise Mobility and Mobile email and has served as a CTO and consultant at several startups.
Garnet Heraman is a serial entrepreneur and fund manager with over 20 years experience at the intersection of innovation, diversity + technology. Garnet’s family emigrated to the US from Trinidad & Tobago, and he was educated at Columbia University, NYU and The London School of Economics. As an entrepreneur, he built 3 startups, had 2 exits one of which was to a publicly traded company. As an investor, Garnet has helped build 2 investment platforms, the most recent being Aperture Venture Capital, VC For The Multicultural Mainstream™.
Garnet’s investment experience with AI goes back to the early 2000’s when his second company – University Ventures – was engaged in the acquisition of patent portfolios related to NLP, OCR, machine vision, machine learning & decision support systems from a network of 40 research universities across North America.
Garnet lives in Laguna Beach, CA with his wife and one very spoiled rescue dog.
Daryl is first and foremost a fanatic older brother who always comes equipped with a story about his latest adventure. Affectionately described by others as “someone you want on your team when sh** hits the fan”, Daryl brings that same intensity to the strategy and vision for Revival, where borrowers can buy out and eliminate their debt for the discounted rates it gets traded for on the aftermarket.
Prior to starting Revival, Daryl designed the websites for two of the leading organizations in the fight to cancel student debt and served as a US Senate panelist on the issue. Outside of work, Daryl is a marathoner, a novice sailor and that person who will facetime an old friend without any warning.
More than anything, Daryl cares about access to opportunity and regularly volunteers and donates to organizations focused on helping people create a better life for themselves.
Dwight Housend is a Co-Founder and The Executive Chairman of TT RideShare Ltd, Trinidad & Tobago’s largest ridesharing company. He has over 12 years of experience in Banking and Finance in Trinidad and has utilized his expertise and knowledge of Information Systems to guide and expand the ridesharing market in T&T.
Dwight’s guiding philosophy as a young professional is that, in the Digital Era, technology solutions should be utilized in process development, strategic planning, and structural and change management. He has led with a focus on people analytics, enforced by his view that many organizations often overlook psycho-social factors as they utilize new technologies to pursue digital transformation. He has strong values of integrity, respect, responsibility, and family.
Paul is a successful and results driven insurance executive, with extensive knowledge and experience in leading high-performance teams in the insurance and banking sectors across multiple Caribbean jurisdictions. He has proven successes in implementing and executing business strategies for large regional financial institutions.
HIGHLIGHTS OF CAREER LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
EDUCATION / DEVELOPMENT
Paul serves his community as an active member and past president of the Optimist Club of Barbados Central and served as President for the period 2021 to 2023. He also currently serves as Director, Barbados Jazz Society.
Assurance Partner With over 14 years experience Sirpaul currently leads PwC’s East Caribbean Hospitality practice. Over the last 14 years, Sirpaul has audited many of Barbados’ hospitality and tourism products.
• Sirpaul joined the Barbados office of PwC East Caribbean fourteen years ago from Guyana. He has over fifteen years of audit and assurance experience in various industries. His primary role is providing assurance services to clients in the Private Clients space. Before joining the Barbados office he was part of the assurance team with a firm in Guyana. • Sirpaul’s experience with the hospitality industry brings an understanding of your business and the team with strong leadership.
• He currently services South and West Coast hotels, tourism attractions, and tourism associations.
• Digital leader of PwC East Caribbean.
Qualifications and Memberships:-
● BSc. in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University (UK)
● Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
● Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB)
● Certificate in Digital Innovation for Finance Professionals (ACCA)
Oliver Jordan is an experienced Corporate Director and Strategic Advisor to public and private sector clients in the Caribbean and Canada.
He is currently the Chairman of the Financial Services Commission of Barbados and Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance in Barbados for State-Owned-Entity Reform & Restructuring. He is also a co-founder of Board Diversity Network (www.boarddiversitynetwork.ca) in Toronto, Canada. This program prepares race and gender diverse executives to become more attractive board of director candidates through a board-readiness educational program.
Oliver serves as a Director on several Corporate Boards in the region including Ansa Merchant Bank in Barbados and the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute in Trinidad. He is also the Chancellor’s Nominee on the UWI Council and is also Chairman of the University Audit Committee.
His prior operational roles include Managing Director for CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank in Barbados, Partner for Advisory Services at PwC and Chief Operating Officer of Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited. He is also a past President of the Barbados Bankers Association.
Stephanie is the Co-Founder & CEO of Kura, a purpose-driven cross-border digital payments and digital acceptance platform revolutionising digital acceptance across Latin America and the Caribbean region.
A Fintech Founder and a Harvard MBA who has extensive experience in financial services working with top US and European financial institutions, venture funds, and venture-backed early-stage startups with a focus on driving product innovation & strategy, technology transformation, and strategic growth initiatives across the globe (US, UK, South Africa and Kenya).
Before co-founding Kura at Harvard Business School, she held strategy and management consultant roles at American Express and at Ernst & Young, respectively
Stéphanie grew up and spent most of her life in the Caribbean and she hails from Haiti. She is passionate about leveraging technology for impact and economic growth, particularly in emerging and frontier markets.
Forbes “International Speaker” and Inc.’s “Billionaire Networker” Christopher Kai is a 7X author, founder of GPS, a speaker training program and founder of GifterX Talks, the world’s leading speaker community for entrepreneurs which has been called the “TED Talks for Entrepreneurs.” He is a former American Express business strategist. He teaches entrepreneurs how to build a global personal brand, master networking, and become a professional speaker. Christopher has helped his clients in 120 cities and 30 countries generate $200 million. He is the author of “Wizard of Words: The 7 Magical Words for Success,” “Story-based Leadership: How 2 Rise 2 the Top with Your Story” and “Big Game Hunting: Networking with Billionaires, Executives and Celebrities” which is a #1 international bestseller. Outside of his business, he created Mondays at the Mission, the only homeless youth program of its kind in the world. Elon Musk once exclaimed in an interview, “Wow! You really know a lot!
Sanjib has built and launched over 20 products and businesses in his career. He is Founder & CEO of Guppy, a fintech startup focused on self-sovereign credit data.
He was the Wizard and former Chief Marketing Officer at Money20/20, a fintech conference he helped grow from startup to exit. He worked for Citi, managing the world’s largest credit card portfolios, Google, creating partnerships for Google Wallet, and Intel, launching their graphics chip business.
Sanjib has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management as well as Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.
Warren Kellman is the Founder and CEO of Nickel & Dime – a Barbados-based startup revolutionizing the traditional financial system, empowering borrowers and lenders by providing a transparent, convenient and flexible peer-to-peer lending solution.
As a passionate and persistent entrepreneur, Warren sees challenges as opportunities. He is an engineer with experience that spans a range of industries including finance, agriculture, construction and manufacturing, giving him a diverse perspective to rally teams and launch new ventures. Warren has a unique drive to create solutions that make a positive impact and has demonstrated the ability to turn ideas into action through perseverance, strategic thinking, and a hands-on approach. He values innovation, sustainability and building connections within communities. Warren aims to empower others through his work while creating social and economic value.
Asif R. Khan is a proud Canadian and veteran tech startup, business-development and marketing entrepreneur with more than 20 years experience in building high-performance startups. He is currently the Founder and CEO of GroundLevel Insights, a movement science company leveraging consumer location data to inform business insights and analytics and the creator of the free CANATRACE platform. Asif is also the founder of the Location Based Marketing Association (The LBMA) — an international group with operations in over 30 countries dedicated to research and education in the space — and a desired advisor to the FCC, CRTC and Ontario Privacy Commission on the development of privacy laws regarding the use of location data.
Asif holds degrees in economics and management sciences from the University of Waterloo and is a regular guest lecturer at his alma mater as well as at Ryerson University, Penn State, University of Texas.
Marcia is a thought leader in emerging payments with over 15 years of experience in the financial services and payments industry, and 5+ years in fraud and identity. She has led international, cross-functional teams to build and deliver secure products and solutions. Marcia has worked at industry leaders such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Visa, FIS Global, and LexisNexis Risk Solutions. She excels in creating a vision, connecting people to ideas, and bringing game-changing solutions to market.
Sabrina Lamb is the Founder/ CEO of Wekeza, a U.S. based fintech, whose mission is to provide families from the African diaspora residing in the United States with financial education and services. Wekeza, means ‘save’ and ‘invest’ in Swahili, and reflects her vision.
Sabrina also founded the WorldofMoney non-profit, the leading provider of immersive youth financial education for ages 7 – 18, empowering 7,000 youth globally. Her six best-selling books, include the NAACP Image Awards-nominated “Do I Look Like An ATM?”. WorldofMoney received Motley Fool’s award for the “Best Overall Financial Literacy” app.
Sabrina appears globally at fintech and financial inclusion conferences. Her shortlist of awards includes Rep. Gregory Meeks, Westchester Board of Legislators, New York State, NBC News/The Grio 100, State Farm’s National Dream Achiever Award, Essence Magazine’s “Shining Moments: 50 Women Who Made Us Proud” and Rainbow Push/Wall Street Project Honors.
36 years old, Theo is a partner and Commercial Director at ByeBnk. He began investing in the United States and the international market in 2014, looking for assets that historically offered the best returns with the least amount of risk.
After nearly 10 years as an attorney specializing in banking law (with a specialization from FGC), Theo and his partners founded ByeBnk, a Bahamas-based bank, to enable Brazilian investors to access the North American market with the best services, assets, and advisory.
He has completed a course in entrepreneurship and innovation from MIT, was a resident at Plug’n’Play in Silicon Valley, and holds an MBA from Fundação Dom Cabral.
Theodora (Theo) Lau is the founder of Unconventional Ventures, a public speaker, and an advisor. She is the co-author of Beyond Good: How Technology is Leading a Purpose-driven Business Revolution, and host of One Vision, a podcast on fintech and innovation. Her monthly column on FinTech Futures explores the intersection of financial services, tech, and humanity. She is named one of American Banker’s Most Influential Women in FinTech in 2023. She is also a regular contributor and commentator for top industry events and publications, including BBC News, Finovate, American Banker, and Journal of Digital Banking. Her latest book, the Metaverse Economy, co-authored with Arun Krishnakumar, offers a balanced insight into the complex world of the Metaverse, and demystifies the technology and economic paradigms that have triggered the rise of the metaverse.
Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon is the sixth President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the regional development finance institution based in Barbados. With over 30 years of experience in economic development, Dr. Leon directed macroeconomic and financial policy support to government authorities in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caribbean. A former Associate Professor, Dr. Leon worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for more than 24 years, serving as Mission Chief in parts of Africa, The Bahamas, and several Gulf States. In addition, he was the Senior Resident Representative in Jamaica and Nigeria. Dr. Leon served as Director of Research at the Central Bank of Barbados and Country Economist at CDB. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom (UK) and a Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc.) in Economics from the University of London.
Hailing from the beautiful and industrious country of Trinidad & Tobago, Jeston, a digital entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of TrumeiD, brings two decades of experience in the digital arena.
With multiple certifications in Business, Digital Marketing, Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, AI, and Machine Learning, he has excelled in various sectors, including Government Communications, Media, Advertising and Technology.
Having founded a creative agency and Ignition Innovation, a technology company, Jeston has collaborated with renowned organizations such as HBO, Coca Cola, UNDP, GE, Atlantic LNG, Royal Unibrew, the City of Miami, and various Caribbean governments.
Now, his unwavering focus on Digital Identity is propelling the Caribbean region towards a new way of doing business, creating policies and achieving specific Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Angel is the Founder and CEO of FinTech Connector, a globally acclaimed member platform spanning over 120 countries. His visionary leadership propels this platform, uniting experts, investors, financial institutions, and entrepreneurs to cultivate fintech innovation.
Prior to FinTech Connector, Angel was an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, leading multifaceted CFO teams covering trading businesses, risk management, and treasury functions. Furthermore, Angel was instrumental in steering the Finance division’s digital innovation strategy as the Digital Tooling & Data Transformation Leader, where he reengineered processes by integrating cutting-edge automation tools and upskilling the workforce to drive efficiency and modernization.
Beyond his corporate achievements, Angel is an avid contributor to the startup ecosystem. He offers invaluable counsel and mentorship to financial services innovators and fintech entrepreneurs, empowering them to scale and navigate the complexities of their enterprises.
Angel’s contributions have been widely acknowledged, earning him a place on Diversity MBA Magazine’s esteemed Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executives list.
His academic pursuits underscore his commitment to continuous learning and innovation. He holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the City University of New York – Baruch College and an MBA specializing in Finance and Information Systems from Pace University. To augment his expertise in digital transformation, Angel obtained Certificates in Fintech: Future Commerce and Big Data & Social Analytics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Vlad Lounegov is the CEO of Mbanq, a prominent US-based banking technology innovator and a global Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider.
Under his leadership, Mbanq has evolved into one of the world’s leading FinTech companies, serving numerous banks and credit unions with its cutting-edge technology stack and compliance-first approach.
Vlad’s visionary technology innovations and entrepreneurial acumen have been instrumental in Mbanq’s remarkable global success as a comprehensive BaaS provider, achieving recognition for regulatory compliance, risk management, and advanced technology solutions.
Briana Marbury is the President & CEO of the Interledger Foundation (ILF), a nonprofit organization committed to expanding digital financial inclusion to vulnerable populations. ILF invests in organizations, communities, and entrepreneurs working towards the shared goal of enabling interoperable and frictionless payments around the globe.
In her role, Briana leads the strategic vision of the organization and has grown ILF from a small team of three to a global workforce of changemakers. Having firsthand experience in the challenges associated with navigating inequitable and inaccessible financial systems, Briana understands how imperative it is to enable communities an opportunity to create and lead their own financial futures.
In recognition of her work at ILF she has been nominated as a finalist for Finovate’s 2023 Executive of the Year award, and named as a Changemaker on the International Black Heritage Month’s inaugural Iist, in recognition of individuals disrupting the status quo and advancing inclusion.
Rohan Marley is an entrepreneur and former football player for the University of Miami Hurricanes and Canadian Professional Football League. He is the son of reggae legend and humanitarian, Bob Marley.
Rohan founded Marley Coffee, an organic coffee plantation and sustainable farming business sourced from Jamaica’s Blue Mountains and Ethiopia with coffee shops in operation worldwide. Later he founded House of Marley, an eco-friendly headphones and speakers electronics company. The brand can be found worldwide throughout all major electronic stores.
Rohan helps run his family’s charitable organization 1Love, as well as, Tuff Gong Clothing company.
Another venture by Rohan is the RoMarley Beach House in Puerto Morales, which opened in July 2020 in partnership with The Fives Oceanfront, a luxury boutique hotel.
In 2022, Rohan launched Lion Order, a Rastafari cannabis and hemp lifestyle brand. Lion Order is currently sold in Michigan with plans for expansion throughout all U.S. and international recreational and medical markets.
Begoña is a Deals partner with PwC, sought for her M&A background to provide advice on acquisitions, divestitures, and mergers in Latin America. During her 20+ years of experience in deals, Begoña has been a senior advisor to more than 200 M&A projects, mainly in the fintech sector.
She has been a leader in multiple offices around the world (Madrid, Mexico City, Miami and New York), where she has developed an intrinsic knowledge of the fintech and microfinance space, working with key players in these markets.
Begoña has a BA in Business by the Universidad de Navarra (Spain), holds a CPA license in the State of New York and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
She is a board member of the US-Spain Chamber of Commerce in New York and founder of the Women’s Hispanic Executive Association in Florida. As an active member in associations such as EJE&CON in Spain and ALPFA in the United States, she is an advocate for the participation of women and minorities in the corporate world.
Chris Maurice is a highly accomplished entrepreneur, writer, and public speaker who has led early developments in emerging industries and markets. He has made significant contributions to the African cryptocurrency industry, earning him a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List (2023) in the “Finance” and “Big Money Startups” category.
Chris is a thought leader and authority in the industry, frequently speaking at international events and conferences, and being interviewed on prominent international and pan-African media platforms such as the BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Forbes, and Business Insider.
As the CEO of Yellow Card, Chris has led the company through two successful funding rounds, raising a total of $57 million, which is the most raised ever by any crypto company on the African continent. Under his leadership, the company has achieved a number of significant milestones, including surpassing one million customers, expanding to 16 countries, and becoming the first and only licensed cryptocurrency company on the continent. Chris is committed to building a diverse and inclusive company culture and is dedicated to driving growth and success for Yellow Card.
Dr. Mark Moyou is a Senior Data Scientist at NVIDIA, developing scalable machine learning solutions for top North American retailers.
With previous roles at Lucidworks and Alstom Transportation, he brings a wealth of experience in machine learning applications.
Dr. Moyou, who holds advanced degrees in Systems Engineering, also actively contributes to the tech community as the host of the Caribbean Tech Pioneers Podcast and the Southern Data Science Conference in Atlanta.
Alicia D. Nicholls is an international trade consultant with over a decade of experience providing bespoke trade research and advisory services to a variety of clients. She is currently a research fellow and part-time lecturer with the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy & Services of the University of the West Indies and also lectures part-time in the political economy of international trade and finance in The UWI Cave Hill’s Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology. Miss Nicholls is the founder of the Caribbean’s leading trade policy and development blog, www.caribbeantradelaw.com, since 2011. She also presents regularly at both regional and international academic and industry-related conferences and webinars. Her primary research interests are foreign investment law/policy, global financial regulation and international business.
Miss Nicholls’ multidisciplinary background includes a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with First Class Honours, a Master of Science in International Trade Policy with Distinction and a Bachelor of Laws with Upper Second Class Honours from The University of the West Indies. She also holds the prestigious FITT Diploma in International Trade from the Ontario, Canada-based Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). She attained the Post-Graduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (PGCUTL) from The UWI in July 2022.
Miss Nicholls is a member of several professional organisations, notably the FITT, the Academy of International Business, the Caribbean Studies Association and the International Studies Association. She is also part of the network of experts of the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe (CCEE), an Advisory Committee member of the Caribbean-ASEAN Council and a Fellow of the Caribbean Policy Consortium (CPC). In her limited spare time, she enjoys volunteering, travelling and is a proud member of the Lions Club of Bridgetown.
Richard Nunekpeku is the Vice President – Legal & Strategy for the Ghana Fintech and Payment Association (GFPA), an association of all Fintech ecosystem players in Ghana. He is also the Managing Partner of Sustineri Attorneys PRUC – a boutique law firm specializing in business and transactional legal services, particularly for Startups and Fintech Companies.
Equally, he devotes his time to matters concerning Entrepreneurship and Youth development across Africa, facilitating training and mentorship programs for young entrepreneurs and sharing his experience as an entrepreneur on programs such as the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) AgriTech Challenge, Total Energies Startupper Challenge, NextGen Incubator Program and the Tony Elumelu Foundation among others.
Richard is a qualified legal practitioner in Ghana and a product of the Ghana School of Law School, an LLB degree holder from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), an MBA holder from the University of Ghana Business School and holds a Certificate in Fintech and Regulatory Innovation from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, Cambridge Judge Business School.
Richard spends his time advocating for the use of law to promote Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and has passionately used credible platforms including the America Bar Association International Law Session’s Pan Africa Forum and the Ghana Economic Forum organized by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) among others to push this agenda.
As an entrepreneur, he prides himself as an award winner of the Agriculture Man of the Year, 2019 by EMY Africa. He has also been recognized by notable institutions such as the US Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), the Youth Enterprise Support (YES), now NEIP Ghana, and Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurial Foundation.
Since completing his first degree from the University of Ghana, Legon, he has held several roles in multi-national companies like Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited and PZ Cussons. He has also led high-performing teams to achieve great results in Sub-Sahara Africa working for world-class brands like Haier Thermocool and Samsung as a Marketing Executive.
He writes for the START COLUMN; a column in the Business and Financial Times Newspaper in Ghana, which seeks to demonstrate the intersection of law and business in ordinary and plain language.
His vision is to provide legal services that will be useful to business managers and owners in their quest to promote sustainable and compliant business operations across Africa.
N’Nhyn Fernander is a dynamic young Bahamian entrepreneur who embarked on his digital journey at the age of 17 by creating his first app, BahBing, in 2015.
His entrepreneurial path includes co-founding Brandsy, a Bahamian digital marketing agency, and establishing successful platforms like StarOptions Institute and iKnowealth, focused on digital education and youth development. Notably, N’Nhyn established O’cof Securities Limited at the age of 21 and obtained his license at 24. His firm introduced Prospuh, a mobile-first investment platform connecting non-accredited investors in the Bahamas to major international stock markets.
He also launched a free financial literacy and investment education platform serving the Caribbean community.
In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, N’Nhyn has represented The Bahamas as a premier swimmer, embodying qualities of discipline, resilience, and personal growth.
He envisions a future where he and other young Bahamians make substantial contributions to the global community
Ali is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief at FF News | Fintech Finance and creator of “The Payments Race.”
Since inception Ali has managed to grow Advertainment Media from a bootstrapped startup to a profitable company with turnover in the millions, while retaining 100% equity.
As well as shepherding bespoke video and media assets, he runs the content for Fintech Finance, interviewing some of the best and brightest representatives across the financial services landscape.
Zia leads Digital Services at PwC in the Caribbean and is also the joint leader of the Consulting Practice for PwC in the Southern Caribbean.
With over 25 years of experience, Zia works closely with clients across many sectors to deliver successful outcomes. Zia advises on Strategy as well as Implementation including complexities associated with People and Change, Process and Systems. Zia advises clients in both the public and private sectors and works closely with multi-national teams as well as multi-disciplinary teams.
Zia has a strong network of global specialists with whom she frequently collaborates and is currently working with teams to drive increased digital adoption here in the Caribbean.
Qualifications and memberships
Keeghan Patrick is a graduate of MIT, cofounder of Orbtronics, and a recent member of the inaugural 35 Under 35 Caribbean 2023 Cohort.
Keeghan and his team are now building Rifbid an AI-powered e-procurement platform connecting government agencies and suppliers. Rifbid is eliminating the tedious search process, and long pay cycles and allowing for faster responses to government contracts with AI assistance. Rifbid is helping governments accelerate development in their economy and suppliers gain access to millions of dollars in government contracts.
Paul is the CEO of TCI Finance, working with the Government and Private Sector to promote the Financial Services industry in TCI. With an honours degree in Law and a Masters in Corporate Finance, Paul has over 20 years’ experience in Investment Banking and Consultancy.
Before joining TCI Finance, Paul was a Director at JP Morgan leading their Digital Asset strategy across Trading Services, and prior to that led transformational projects around the globe for PWC´s Advisory group. Paul is a keen believer in an “Innovative and Agile approach to change”.
Originally from the UK, Paul has spent most of his career overseas in Luxembourg, South Africa, Canada, Singapore, and the United States.
Alex Preece is co-founder and CEO of Tillo, an embedded digital rewards platform that connects the world’s most popular brands with businesses looking to reward and incentivize their customers in new ways. Starting his career in the British Army, Alex spent seven years touring Bosnia and Iraq on active duty. Alongside his co-founder, Gareth Gillatt, Alex started the UK’s first daily deal business, later sold to Moneysupermarket.com, the world’s biggest comparison website. Trading in 36 countries and across 16 currencies, Tillo is the industry innovator for digital rewards and incentives globally.
Usman has over a decade of experience in the FinTech industry across the globe, and works as an advisor, mentor, consultant and thought leader within the industry. He is passionate about exploring how the intersection of technology and payments combine to remove friction and improve the experience of payments, people and processes within the banked, un-banked and financial inclusion segments.
While working closely with Banks, Central Banks, FinTechs, MNO’s, FI’s, Startups and other organizations, Usman has a successful track-record of launching new projects, products and services in the market by utilizing his in-depth expertise of product, partnerships, leadership and strategy to build and scale innovative payment solutions (digital wallets, agent banking, merchant solutions, virtual cards, online & offline payments etc) in various markets.
Usman has previously participated in a number of strategic projects such as interoperability between digital wallets in Africa, OPEN API’s for mobile money (GSMA), e-voucher solutions for unbanked and more. A special highlight of a project launched in Malaysia was covered as a case study by GSMA: “Mobile money-enabled remittances are a lifeline for families of migrant workers”.
Nicholas Rees is a two-time Olympian, FinTech visionary, and entrepreneur born on the Island of Grand Bahama. Nicholas serves as Chairman and Co-founder of Kanoo Pays (“Kanoo”), the World’s First licensed Payment Institution to achieve integration, interoperability, and processing of secure Central Bank Digital Currency (“CBDC”) payments.
Kanoo has now grown to become the Caribbean’s leading “Super App,” offering an integrated digital marketplace and wallet experience. Nicholas’ vision for Kanoo is to provide true financial inclusion and empowerment by connecting the people and businesses of the Caribbean through technology.
Nicholas believes in a humanistic, people-first approach to deploying technology solutions and aims to empower people to prosper. Nicholas is committed to delivering on the Kanoo promise of Security, Prosperity, Empowerment, and Convenience.
Nicholas is a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) with a Master of Business Administration from The University of Miami. Nicholas is also an alumnus of The Ohio State University, having graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Financial Management and a Minor in Economics.
Dr Terri-Karelle Reid, is a human ethernet – connector of people and dots!
She has built a brand that is synonymous with the word excellence in the
world of Event and TV Hosting, Speaking, Content Curation, Online
Branding and Storytelling. Terri-Karelle is also the author of “My Brand
Compass, The 13 Cs to Building Your Personal Brand.”
Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of Fintech Nexus (formerly known as
LendIt Fintech), a diversified media company providing essential knowledge,
connections and inspiration to the entire financial services industry. Our community
of 225,000+ banking, fintech and investment executives enjoy our diverse portfolio
of original news, newsletters, podcasts, webinars, research, credentialed education
courses, and more. Fintech Nexus is also home to the Fintech Blueprint brand.
Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010, over 2,500 articles, and he is the
author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest running
fintech interview series.
Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York
Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times and
dozens of other publications.
Jill Richmond stands at the forefront of innovation in the dynamic and evolving web3 landscape as the General Partner & Founder, Full Stack Ventures. With an astute understanding of the decentralized web, blockchain technologies, and digital assets, she has established herself as a pivotal figure in shaping the future of the internet and commerce.
Armed with a degree in Political Science, from Rutgers College and an MSc. from the SOAS, Economics, Jill embarked on a journey that carved a path through the realms of digital entrepreneurship and venture capital with 15 years of experience working for the World Bank, United States Congress. Her career trajectory took a steep climb following her role in co-founding Jewel, Digital Asset Bank, which became a cornerstone in custody, stablecoins, collateralized lending as well and settlement exchange.
Jill’s shift from founder to financier was marked by her innate ability to identify and empower startups that promise not only technological advancement but also the potential to democratize access to technology and financial systems. She leveraged her expertise working with early companies formed out of Consensys to propel Full Stack Ventures into a vanguard position within the web3 investment space, championing the firm’s mission to unlock the power of the decentralized web through strategic investments and advisory services.
As an advisor, she has built, developed and executed on driving results through companies such as Times of India (Abound), supported over 15 companies from Seed to Series A in fundraising, built sales and business development roadmaps for multiple SaaS companies, and operated through multiple complex regulatory frameworks for several FinTechs.
Matteo Rizzi is an unconventional entrepreneur with two decades of experience in Financial Services, constantly referred amongst the top executives in the industry.
He spent 13 years at SWIFT – where he co-founded Innotribe, the innovation arm of the cooperative, launching the first global startup challenge. Since 2013, he has a FinTech Investor and/or Venture Partner role with global VCs and CVCs (20+ deals, 5 exits). In 2015, he co-founded FinTechStage (now FTSGroup.eu) – a platform for Investors and Innovators to boost FinTech innovation globally. In 2019, Matteo founded Timepledge.org, a global initiative to foster financial inclusion and entrepreneurship. The same year he launched Breaking Banks Europe (as the Executive Producer).
He is the author of “The FinTech Revolution” and “Talents & Rebels” and is fluent in 5 languages.
Anita C. Roberts is an inspiring minority tech ecosystem builder and international speaker. She has held multiple executive and senior-level positions throughout her career and served as an army executive spokesman and public relations/marketing guru.
Currently, Anita is Founder & Managing Partner of Silicon Hills Capital and a Founding Partner of mvmt inc., two venture firms focused on bridging the gap to venture capital for underrepresented founders. Through these funds, Anita helps build scalable, growth-aggressive companies that create accessible technologies to empower millions of people to live healthier, happier, and more productive lives.
Anita has also created Made Media Group, a nonprofit organization that empowers and educates African-American business owners in North America to build sustainable wealth, promote cultural relevance, and uplift their communities through economic equity.
Keron Rose is a Digital Strategist who has worked with Caribbean Entrepreneurs and Businesses across the region.
He is the host of one of the top business podcasts in the Caribbean called “Digipreneur FM”.
He is also the host of the radio show “The Digital World” on Freedom 106.5fm and a column writer for both the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday and the Jamaica Observer.
Mr. Rose is also an advisor for the Digital Marketing Program at the University of Southern Florida and a workshop facilitator at UWI-Lok Jack School of Business for Marketing.
Mr. Rose has worked with companies across the Caribbean such as The Organization of American States, The Caribbean Telecommunications Union, Flow, Digicel, Bmobile, Huawei, Sagicor, Scotiabank, Eastern Credit Union and Wipay.
His goal is to help Caribbean businesses build their digital presence, monetize their platforms and participate in the global economy.
Mr. Houston Ross is a vision-driven strategist, leader and change agent with an internationally well-earned reputation for driving fundamental business transformation and realising growth objectives through technology innovation. A repeat award-winner for contributions to solution design and delivery, he was named among the Top 100 IT Executives Globally.
Prior to joining the Republic Financial Holdings Team on June 1st, 2023, Houston was an Executive Committee member of Paidy, Inc., Tokyo, Japan, which was one of the only six “unicorn” fintechs in Japan’s history. He successfully led several innovations such as redesigned payments platform in the cloud, with over eight (8) million customers, integration of a post-payment service within Amazon, Japan and the largest exit in Japan’s history of a foreign owned start-up.
He also held Board level roles in Banking and Insurance Industries within Asia and Europe, leading regional and global transformation initiatives.
Houston has a Master of Business Administration from University of Liverpool, UK and a Bachelor of Science, Management Information Systems from Barrington University, Mobile, Alabama, USA.
Lars Rottweiler is a banking and FinTech expert with 25+ years of industry experience.
As Co-founder and CTO of Mbanq, a leading US-based Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider, Lars pioneers BaaS by facilitating the establishment and operation of banks, neobanks and FinTech platforms for clients through Mbanq’s digital banking platform, white-label mobile apps, and comprehensive support services.
Mbanq stands out for its exceptional regulatory prowess, modern technology and industry-specific solutions, extending embedded banking benefits to a diverse clientele, from retail brands to sports teams.
Previously, Lars served as Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and held senior roles at PwC, Accenture, and Infosys. Recognized as a prominent digital banking influencer, Lars is a distinguished speaker, having lectured at prestigious institutions like Stanford University and the University of Liechtenstein, solidifying his global reputation as a banking industry expert.
Martin Rowinski is a visionary leader in the global technology landscape, boasting 25 years of top-level executive experience. As the co-founder and CEO of Boardsi, I take immense pride in our recent accomplishment of securing the #640 position on the esteemed Inc5000 list. At Boardsi, we’ve revolutionized executive recruitment with our platform using AI and human touch to provide perfect white glove service. This innovative tool empowers companies to seamlessly pinpoint the most qualified Boards of Directors and Advisors from a vast pool of elite executives across the U.S. and beyond. Executives, too, benefit from our platform, easily discovering coveted board positions within premier companies through a straightforward and streamlined process.
With Boardsi, we’re all about catalyzing exponential growth by helping companies swiftly and efficiently assemble top-tier executive boards. Our dedication to this mission has solidified us as industry trailblazers, establishing a nationwide private network for C-level executives. Beyond my role at Boardsi, I’m honored to be the author of the acclaimed book, “The Corporate Matchmaker.” My insights have garnered recognition in prestigious publications, including Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, FastCompany, NASDAQ, Bloomberg, CEO Today, and The Marquis Who’s Who (2022 – 2023). Join me on this dynamic journey of shaping the future of executive recruitment and propelling businesses and individuals toward unmatched success.
Self-made fintech entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Girasol Payment Solutions with strong knowledge in technology, payments, financial systems and operations.
Focusing on developing cutting edge solutions by revolutionizing the way payments platform operates and interacts between traditional banking and fintechs in the Caribbean and Latam.
Also passionate about developing an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the Caribbean Region.
Dr Iwa Salami is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Financial Law and Regulation at the Royal Docks School of Business and Law, University of East London (UEL). She is the Director of the Centre of FinTech at UEL and the Programme Leader for the LLM in FinTech Law. She has published extensively in the field of financial and FinTech regulation.
Iwa is a highly sought-after voice in FinTech Regulation and is one of the leading minds in digital assets regulation. She is currently researching the legal and regulatory implications of the adoption of AI in Finance; regulatory frameworks for Web 3.0 application in finance, including crypto-assets, stablecoins, decentralised finance (DeFi) and Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs), Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the metaverse and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
Leila has 20+ years of experience in financial services and technology investments. She leads IFC’s FinTech investments in Latin America and also leads specific verticals globally including TradeTech and Lending. She’s contributed to numerous IFC/WBG initiatives on financial inclusion and development.
Prior to IFC she worked at Bank of America in financial lending and structured finance products, and the World Bank Group in financial sector development of emerging markets.
Leila also had a previous career in programming and technology development that contributes to her enthusiasm for digital finance and fintech innovation.
Lodewijk Van Setten has comprehensive expertise across diverse investment and trading products, and a keen focus on cutting-edge blockchain technologies.
Having led the European legal department at State Street Global Advisors and served as General Counsel and COO at Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s international division, Lodewijk has an impressive track record across investment funds, OTC derivatives, and securities financing.
Presently, as General Counsel and executive director at Trilitech, a prominent Tezos ecosystem company, Lodewijk supports critical blockchain matters, from core protocol development to application and business development, propelling groundbreaking ventures in gaming, art, and DeFi domains.
Kevin Simmons is an experienced angel and venture capital investor who has co-founded several investing networks and syndicates in the US, UK, and Africa. He is a General Partner with pan-African VC leader LoftyInc Capital Management’s (LCM) Fund 4 and a Venture Partner for LCM’s Fund 3.
Kevin Simmons co-founded Rice University based Valhalla Investment Group which has invested several million in startups including 2 SPACs and a NASDAQ IPO in its 10 years of existence. Kevin is a former startup founder, co-founder, and early employee and has helped launch four technology startups, including UK award-winning Aceleron where he was the Chief Finance and Operations Officer, and notable US-based Innclusive which was featured in The Fast Company; The Washington Post; and Forbes.
Kevin Simmons also runs Fund 1 (known as the Afropreneur Angel Group) for LoftyInc which is the most active angel network on the continent which made 86 investments in 19 countries in 2021 alone, and he serves as an advisor to several of LCM’s 170 portfolio companies. Among his notable investments were first investments into 2 of Africa’s 8 unicorns, Andela and Flutterwave, and investments in Moove, Wave, FairMoney, and other leading African technology ventures.
Kevin Simmons co-founded Rice University based Valhalla Investment Group which has invested several million in startups including 2 SPACs and a NASDAQ IPO in its 10 years of existence. Kevin is a former startup founder, co-founder, and early employee and has helped launch four technology startups, including UK award-winning Aceleron where he was the Chief Finance and Operations Officer, and notable US-based Innclusive which was featured in The Fast Company; The Washington Post; and Forbes.
Kevin Simmons continues to mentor, advise, and gives masterclasses for global incubators in Canada, Africa, and the United Kingdom. He is also a current Techstars Mentor and Director of WeHub Barbados. He has been a regular writer for The Innovation publication and is an alumnus of Entrepreneur First and Founder Institute.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, with service at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Kevin Simmons excels at leadership and team dynamics in high-stress environments. He is a former project manager for global oil giant Chevron where he managed complex engineering and construction projects in 6 countries and his work has been featured in the leading industry publication Offshore. A former consultant, Kevin Simmons holds advanced management and business degrees from Stanford University, Rice University and the University of Oxford and is passionate about football and motor sports
Nikola: Explorer, Innovator, Communicator, Connector, Changemaker.
An experienced ocean and climate professional with a deep passion for regenerative development in the Caribbean & beyond, Nikola is committed to empowering and amplifying voices of individuals including women and youth and co – creating community solutions by marrying the old with the new while encouraging a culture of an innovation mindset.
She is a dreamer but also a doer, thriving at the edge of the unknown, ready to explore and anticipate alternative futures through data supported emerging signals, trends and foresight with curiosity and an open mind.
With over 10 years of putting her expertise into practice, with experiences and drive for continuous learning, pivoting and adapting, this translates into Nikola being a proud global citizen inspired by local roots and ready to continue to create impact in the Eastern Caribbean and beyond.
Adam Swartzbaugh is on a mission to provide equitable access to financial services globally.
His current work focuses on cost optimization and risk reduction in cross-border transfers through the application of predictive modeling techniques in multi-blockchain routing.
Adam holds advanced degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Brown, spanning technological innovation, economics, and policy.
Adam is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Almond FinTech, an award-winning technology infrastructure company transforming international payment and credit evaluation processes.
Diego Szteinhendler is Senior Vice President of Fintechs, Enablers and Crypto for Latin America and the Caribbean. In this role, he and his team are responsible for the strategy, relationship, and growth of the fintech ecosystem in the region.
Diego joined Mastercard in 2008, and since then, has held roles in different areas of the organization and geographies. In his most recent role, he led business development for Mastercard’s fast growing Cyber & Intelligence business in North America, where he partnered with established companies and startups to improve and optimize their fraud, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, authentication, biometrics, chargebacks, crypto AML and other key operational functions.
Throughout his career, Diego also led product management and business development at industry leading companies like Discover and PayPal as well as in start-ups including, Transpay and CheckWow.
Diego holds an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the Digital Transformation program at Columbia.
He is an avid traveler having visited 75 countries.
Mikel is a 3x Olympian from Trinidad and Tobago, the first athlete from the region to qualify for both the Summer (110m hurdles; Beijing 08, London 12, Rio 16) and Winter Olympics (2 man Bobsleigh-Beijing 2022).
With an impressive track record of driving innovation and execution within large global organizations, his skills have consistently enhanced the performance of the teams he’s worked with.
Currently, Mikel supports Visa’s Global & North American Fintech Partnerships driving growth and development of fintech wealth management platforms, as well as Visa’s Inclusive Client Partnerships focused on innovating relationships and amplifying impact of underrepresented founders (Black, Brown, Latinx, LGBTQ, Indigenous and women founders) within the fintech space in North America.
Prior to joining Visa, an experienced storyteller and marketer, Mikel worked with brands like Airbnb, Brooks and JBL, to global organization like the International Testing Agency(ITA) and the International Olympic Committee(IOC).
Mikel has also spent time serving his community as a former Firefighter/EMT in Atlanta metro area in Clayton County.
He gained his Master’s degree in Sport Management and Technology from the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology (AISTS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, Bachelors in Kinesiology from the University of Kentucky.
Aldwyn L. Wayne graduated from Georgia College & State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Master of Computer Applications from the University of Georgia.
He hails from the twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and is the founder and CEO of Colour Bank and WiPay which provides innovative solutions for e-commerce, online payments and facilitating digital transactions for the unbanked in Trinidad & Tobago. He has extended the service to other countries such as Jamaica, Guyana and St. Lucia.
WiPay was created in 2016 as a direct result of a persistent problem. The Caribbean faced challenges with digital payments and the lack of ‘financial inclusion’ for the majority of persons. WiPay developed a uniquely ‘inclusive’ platform that is secure, flexible and simple to use. WiPay allows anything connected to the Internet to move money quickly, safely and easily for the ‘Banked’ and for the ‘Unbanked’. WiPay integrates with existing legacy systems to bring payments over the Internet to any industry, taking advantage of the latest developments in technology; built on the blockchain making it safe and secure. WiPay is the number one payment platform in the Caribbean empowering people to accept and make payments online using all forms of payment in local currency. The Company has raised 1.5 million USD over 2 funding rounds and acquired WiFund you in December 2017. His recent activities include launching a mobile app designed to make all of WiPay’s services even more accessible to users and a line of Point of Sale devices which range from handheld units to sleek, compact countertop units.
Fast tracked to today Wipay has partnered with the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago on a cashless solution when purchasing CNG. CNG users can now full-up and pay at the pump with a simple swipe or tap, making the overall transaction easier and faster.
In January 2022, Aldwyn launched Colour Bank, a US-Based Neobank for Caribbean and African Diasporas in America. Colour Bank allows Caribbean students in universities across the United States to open bank accounts without a social security number.
Jim Wiandt is the founder and CEO of Spark Network and also serves as a board member and investor in various companies. Wiandt is the founder of ETF.com aa well as the Journal of Indexes ETF Report and IndexUniverse.com. His company also launched the successful Inside ETFs events and ETF.com’s data business. In 2015-2016 he participated in the sale of ETF.com’s data business to FactSet, its events business to Informa and its publications to BATS (now CBOE). Wiandt is also the author of the Jon Wiley & Sons book, Exchange Traded Funds.
Cherie Williams, an accomplished entrepreneur, and visionary is the founder of Veekle and owner of FIRM1040. A deep passion for helping others drives her journey. Before starting her own ventures, Cherie gained valuable experience in various corporate leadership roles, preparing her for the entrepreneurial path.
Despite facing challenges, Cherie’s unwavering determination and resilience propelled her forward, allowing her to overcome obstacles and achieve her goals. Alongside her professional accomplishments, she is dedicated to giving back to her community through volunteer work and donations. Cherie actively mentors aspiring entrepreneurs, inspiring them to pursue their dreams.
With certifications as a New Jersey Certified Public Accountant, an MBA in Finance, and a BS in Accounting, Cherie is highly accomplished in her field. Outside of work, she finds joy as a loving spouse and proud mother of four children.
Cherie’s diverse achievements and commitment to making a positive impact position her as an inspirational figure in entrepreneurship. Her journey stands as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of dreams.
Chasity Wright, an accomplished entrepreneur and cybersecurity leader, brings a diverse background in aerospace engineering and technical management. With expertise in quantum computing, AI, blockchain, and IoT security, she leads Infiltron Software Suite. Her notable achievement includes developing proprietary advanced encryption technology, enhancing protection against “harvest now, decrypt later” and quantum computer attacks. This innovation is crucial for safeguarding sensitive information.
Chasity’s certification in quantum computing from the University of Toronto underscores her commitment to staying at the forefront of emerging technologies, allowing her to develop innovative solutions to complex problems.
Chasity Wright’s leadership and technical prowess make her a respected figure in cybersecurity. Her dedication to innovation ensures continued success in this dynamic field.