DUBAI DIAMOND CONFERENCE

SPEAKERS

Ahmed_Bin_Sulayem_285x320.jpg

Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Executive Chairman, DMCC

X

Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Executive Chairman, DMCC

Ahmed Bin Sulayem has and continues to play a key role in positioning DMCC as a major international commodities hub for trade. Under his leadership, DMCC has introduced a number of value-added products and services; this includes the establishment of the DMCC Free Zone – the UAE’s largest and fastest growing Free Zone -, the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), the only diamond exchange in the Arab World affiliated to the World Federation of Diamond Bourses; the DMCC Tea Centre which offers a range of value-added facilities to the global tea trade and has contributed to the UAE becoming the world's largest re-exporter of tea; DMCC Tradeflow, a central registry of ownership for commodities stored in Dubai stimulating commodity trade by offering enforceable collateral based trade finance solutions; as well as other services, such as gold refineries, gold and diamond vaults; as well as the UAE gold bullion coins and the Visions of Dubai gold souvenir coins.

Bin Sulayem joined DMCC in 2001 as a director, prior to the Dubai Government Authority’s official launch in 2002, and his responsibilities included overseeing the organisation’s operations. Today, he is the Executive Chairman of DMCC, as well as the director of Human Resources, Director of Dubai Shariah Asset Management (DSAM) and Dubai Commodity Asset Management (DCAM). He has also played a leading role in reviving Dubai’s traditional pearling industry by launching the Dubai Pearl Exchange in 2007 and conceptualised the idea behind Almas Tower, the tallest commercial building in the Middle East, home to Dubai Diamond Exchange, the largest vault in the UAE, and DMCC headquarters.

Mr Bin Sulayem’s extensive knowledge of the diamond trade also led to his appointment as global Kimberley Process Chair on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Economy in 2016. The UAE Chairmanship saw Mr Bin Sulayem travel to 20 countries including Latin America before concluding the successful chairmanship with a speech on the draft resolution “The Role of Diamonds in Fueling Conflict” at the UN General Assembly in February 2017.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem continues to play a leading role in positioning DMCC and Dubai as a major international commodities hub for trade. Under his leadership DMCC has built and delivered the world’s number one Free Zone; ensured the UAE has 60 percent market share of global tea re-exports, enabled mainly by the DMCC Tea Centre; helped establish Dubai as one of the world’s leading physical gold markets and one of the world’s top hubs for the diamond trade.

Ernest Blom

Ernest Blom

President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses

X

Ernest Blom

President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses

Ernest Blom is a third generation member of a South African diamond family. As the son of one of the original group of diamond manufacturers who travelled to South Africa from Holland and founded the South African diamond cutting industry, Mr Blom entered the business as an apprentice diamond polisher, qualifying as a cross worker after a five-year training period. In 1976, he became the factory manager at the plant in which he worked. Two years later, he opened Ernest Blom Diamonds and established Ernest Blom Diamond Cutting Works in 1986.

Mr Blom is the chairman of Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa and Diamond and Jewellery Federation of South Africa. He is a board member of The South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator. He is also an honorary life president of World Federation of Diamond Bourses, a founding member and vice-president of the World Diamond Council which is part of the Kimberley Process, and vice-president of CIBJO. Mr Blom is also an economic diplomatic advisor to the Government of Belgium.

X

Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Executive Chairman, DMCC

Ahmed Bin Sulayem has and continues to play a key role in positioning DMCC as a major international commodities hub for trade. Under his leadership, DMCC has introduced a number of value-added products and services; this includes the establishment of the DMCC Free Zone – the UAE’s largest and fastest growing Free Zone -, the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), the only diamond exchange in the Arab World affiliated to the World Federation of Diamond Bourses; the DMCC Tea Centre which offers a range of value-added facilities to the global tea trade and has contributed to the UAE becoming the world's largest re-exporter of tea; DMCC Tradeflow, a central registry of ownership for commodities stored in Dubai stimulating commodity trade by offering enforceable collateral based trade finance solutions; as well as other services, such as gold refineries, gold and diamond vaults; as well as the UAE gold bullion coins and the Visions of Dubai gold souvenir coins.

Bin Sulayem joined DMCC in 2001 as a director, prior to the Dubai Government Authority’s official launch in 2002, and his responsibilities included overseeing the organisation’s operations. Today, he is the Executive Chairman of DMCC, as well as the director of Human Resources, Director of Dubai Shariah Asset Management (DSAM) and Dubai Commodity Asset Management (DCAM). He has also played a leading role in reviving Dubai’s traditional pearling industry by launching the Dubai Pearl Exchange in 2007 and conceptualised the idea behind Almas Tower, the tallest commercial building in the Middle East, home to Dubai Diamond Exchange, the largest vault in the UAE, and DMCC headquarters.

Mr Bin Sulayem’s extensive knowledge of the diamond trade also led to his appointment as global Kimberley Process Chair on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Economy in 2016. The UAE Chairmanship saw Mr Bin Sulayem travel to 20 countries including Latin America before concluding the successful chairmanship with a speech on the draft resolution “The Role of Diamonds in Fueling Conflict” at the UN General Assembly in February 2017.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem continues to play a leading role in positioning DMCC and Dubai as a major international commodities hub for trade. Under his leadership DMCC has built and delivered the world’s number one Free Zone; ensured the UAE has 60 percent market share of global tea re-exports, enabled mainly by the DMCC Tea Centre; helped establish Dubai as one of the world’s leading physical gold markets and one of the world’s top hubs for the diamond trade.

Ernest Blom

President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses

Ernest Blom is a third generation member of a South African diamond family. As the son of one of the original group of diamond manufacturers who travelled to South Africa from Holland and founded the South African diamond cutting industry, Mr Blom entered the business as an apprentice diamond polisher, qualifying as a cross worker after a five-year training period. In 1976, he became the factory manager at the plant in which he worked. Two years later, he opened Ernest Blom Diamonds and established Ernest Blom Diamond Cutting Works in 1986.

Mr Blom is the chairman of Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa and Diamond and Jewellery Federation of South Africa. He is a board member of The South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator. He is also an honorary life president of World Federation of Diamond Bourses, a founding member and vice-president of the World Diamond Council which is part of the Kimberley Process, and vice-president of CIBJO. Mr Blom is also an economic diplomatic advisor to the Government of Belgium.

Feriel Zerouki

Feriel Zerouki

Head of Government and Industry Relations, The De Beers Group of Companies

X

Feriel Zerouki

Head of Government and Industry Relations, The De Beers Group of Companies

After graduating in Mathematics and Business Management, Feriel worked as a Financial Analyst before joining De Beers in 2005 as a Supply Chain Analyst at the Diamond Trading Company. Feriel gained experience and knowledge in forecasting mine production, pricing rough diamonds and creating selling mixtures for Sightholders (De Beers clients). In 2009 she was appointed Best Practice Principles Manager for De Beers, with responsibility for building and maintaining a streamlined social compliance programme, identifying and managing social risks to the business and the industry. More recently, Feriel was appointed as Head of Government and Industry Relations with the overarching objective of protecting the integrity of diamonds, the diamond supply chain and maintaining the integrity of De Beers and its commercial interests. She has extensive experience designing collaborative partnerships between multi-sectoral stakeholders to mitigate operational and reputational risk across the diamond supply chain.

Currently, Feriel is on the Board of Directors of the World Diamond Council and the Responsible Jewellery Council.

Dr Sipho Manese

Dr Sipho Manese

Chair, KP Working Group of Monitoring

X

Dr Sipho Manese

Chair, KP Working Group of Monitoring

Dr Sipho Manese is a multidisciplinary expert who worked in both public sector and private sector for 26 years and 9 years consecutively, armed with four degrees and three diplomas inclusive of Project Management; Financial Management; Psychopedagogics and Project appraisal. As a Director for ten years of the Institution overseeing Skills Development, worked closely with a mining qualification authority, which its vision is to ensure that the mining and minerals’ sector has sufficient, and competent people to improve health and safety, entrench employment equity and increase productivity standards, and therefore exposed to legislative mandates in mining in South Africa.

He is currently a Board Chairperson of South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, which was established in terms of section 3 of the Diamond Amendment Act. No. 29 of 2005 of SA. As the Chairperson of KP Team SA, also serves as WGM Chairperson on behalf South Africa from 2017 to 2019, which is one of the six KPCS (Kimberly Process Certification Scheme)’s working groups. Focusing on issues related to implementation and compliance with KPCS’ minimum requirements.

X

Feriel Zerouki

Head of Government and Industry Relations, The De Beers Group of Companies

After graduating in Mathematics and Business Management, Feriel worked as a Financial Analyst before joining De Beers in 2005 as a Supply Chain Analyst at the Diamond Trading Company. Feriel gained experience and knowledge in forecasting mine production, pricing rough diamonds and creating selling mixtures for Sightholders (De Beers clients). In 2009 she was appointed Best Practice Principles Manager for De Beers, with responsibility for building and maintaining a streamlined social compliance programme, identifying and managing social risks to the business and the industry. More recently, Feriel was appointed as Head of Government and Industry Relations with the overarching objective of protecting the integrity of diamonds, the diamond supply chain and maintaining the integrity of De Beers and its commercial interests. She has extensive experience designing collaborative partnerships between multi-sectoral stakeholders to mitigate operational and reputational risk across the diamond supply chain.

Currently, Feriel is on the Board of Directors of the World Diamond Council and the Responsible Jewellery Council.

Dr Sipho Manese

Chair, KP Working Group of Monitoring

Dr Sipho Manese is a multidisciplinary expert who worked in both public sector and private sector for 26 years and 9 years consecutively, armed with four degrees and three diplomas inclusive of Project Management; Financial Management; Psychopedagogics and Project appraisal. As a Director for ten years of the Institution overseeing Skills Development, worked closely with a mining qualification authority, which its vision is to ensure that the mining and minerals’ sector has sufficient, and competent people to improve health and safety, entrench employment equity and increase productivity standards, and therefore exposed to legislative mandates in mining in South Africa.

He is currently a Board Chairperson of South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, which was established in terms of section 3 of the Diamond Amendment Act. No. 29 of 2005 of SA. As the Chairperson of KP Team SA, also serves as WGM Chairperson on behalf South Africa from 2017 to 2019, which is one of the six KPCS (Kimberly Process Certification Scheme)’s working groups. Focusing on issues related to implementation and compliance with KPCS’ minimum requirements.

X

Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Executive Chairman, DMCC

Ahmed Bin Sulayem has and continues to play a key role in positioning DMCC as a major international commodities hub for trade. Under his leadership, DMCC has introduced a number of value-added products and services; this includes the establishment of the DMCC Free Zone – the UAE’s largest and fastest growing Free Zone -, the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), the only diamond exchange in the Arab World affiliated to the World Federation of Diamond Bourses; the DMCC Tea Centre which offers a range of value-added facilities to the global tea trade and has contributed to the UAE becoming the world's largest re-exporter of tea; DMCC Tradeflow, a central registry of ownership for commodities stored in Dubai stimulating commodity trade by offering enforceable collateral based trade finance solutions; as well as other services, such as gold refineries, gold and diamond vaults; as well as the UAE gold bullion coins and the Visions of Dubai gold souvenir coins.

Bin Sulayem joined DMCC in 2001 as a director, prior to the Dubai Government Authority’s official launch in 2002, and his responsibilities included overseeing the organisation’s operations. Today, he is the Executive Chairman of DMCC, as well as the director of Human Resources, Director of Dubai Shariah Asset Management (DSAM) and Dubai Commodity Asset Management (DCAM). He has also played a leading role in reviving Dubai’s traditional pearling industry by launching the Dubai Pearl Exchange in 2007 and conceptualised the idea behind Almas Tower, the tallest commercial building in the Middle East, home to Dubai Diamond Exchange, the largest vault in the UAE, and DMCC headquarters.

Mr Bin Sulayem’s extensive knowledge of the diamond trade also led to his appointment as global Kimberley Process Chair on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Economy in 2016. The UAE Chairmanship saw Mr Bin Sulayem travel to 20 countries including Latin America before concluding the successful chairmanship with a speech on the draft resolution “The Role of Diamonds in Fueling Conflict” at the UN General Assembly in February 2017.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem continues to play a leading role in positioning DMCC and Dubai as a major international commodities hub for trade. Under his leadership DMCC has built and delivered the world’s number one Free Zone; ensured the UAE has 60 percent market share of global tea re-exports, enabled mainly by the DMCC Tea Centre; helped establish Dubai as one of the world’s leading physical gold markets and one of the world’s top hubs for the diamond trade.

Ernest Blom

President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses

Ernest Blom is a third generation member of a South African diamond family. As the son of one of the original group of diamond manufacturers who travelled to South Africa from Holland and founded the South African diamond cutting industry, Mr Blom entered the business as an apprentice diamond polisher, qualifying as a cross worker after a five-year training period. In 1976, he became the factory manager at the plant in which he worked. Two years later, he opened Ernest Blom Diamonds and established Ernest Blom Diamond Cutting Works in 1986.

Mr Blom is the chairman of Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa and Diamond and Jewellery Federation of South Africa. He is a board member of The South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator. He is also an honorary life president of World Federation of Diamond Bourses, a founding member and vice-president of the World Diamond Council which is part of the Kimberley Process, and vice-president of CIBJO. Mr Blom is also an economic diplomatic advisor to the Government of Belgium.

Feriel Zerouki

Head of Government and Industry Relations, The De Beers Group of Companies

After graduating in Mathematics and Business Management, Feriel worked as a Financial Analyst before joining De Beers in 2005 as a Supply Chain Analyst at the Diamond Trading Company. Feriel gained experience and knowledge in forecasting mine production, pricing rough diamonds and creating selling mixtures for Sightholders (De Beers clients). In 2009 she was appointed Best Practice Principles Manager for De Beers, with responsibility for building and maintaining a streamlined social compliance programme, identifying and managing social risks to the business and the industry. More recently, Feriel was appointed as Head of Government and Industry Relations with the overarching objective of protecting the integrity of diamonds, the diamond supply chain and maintaining the integrity of De Beers and its commercial interests. She has extensive experience designing collaborative partnerships between multi-sectoral stakeholders to mitigate operational and reputational risk across the diamond supply chain.

Currently, Feriel is on the Board of Directors of the World Diamond Council and the Responsible Jewellery Council.

Dr Sipho Manese

Chair, KP Working Group of Monitoring

Dr Sipho Manese is a multidisciplinary expert who worked in both public sector and private sector for 26 years and 9 years consecutively, armed with four degrees and three diplomas inclusive of Project Management; Financial Management; Psychopedagogics and Project appraisal. As a Director for ten years of the Institution overseeing Skills Development, worked closely with a mining qualification authority, which its vision is to ensure that the mining and minerals’ sector has sufficient, and competent people to improve health and safety, entrench employment equity and increase productivity standards, and therefore exposed to legislative mandates in mining in South Africa.

He is currently a Board Chairperson of South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, which was established in terms of section 3 of the Diamond Amendment Act. No. 29 of 2005 of SA. As the Chairperson of KP Team SA, also serves as WGM Chairperson on behalf South Africa from 2017 to 2019, which is one of the six KPCS (Kimberly Process Certification Scheme)’s working groups. Focusing on issues related to implementation and compliance with KPCS’ minimum requirements.

Stéphane Fischler

Stéphane Fischler

Acting President, World Diamond Council

X

Stéphane Fischler

Acting President, World Diamond Council

Stéphane Fischler is a third generation diamantaire and began working at Fischler Diamonds in 1979. The firm was founded in 1953 by Aby and Cappi Fischler and the late Bram Fischler. Stéphane is a partner in the company.

Stéphane was re-elected as chairman of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) in June 2014. He served as the organization's treasurer from March 2005 and was elected vice-resident and chairman of its Task Force in 2006. He is a former chairman of the board of HRD Research, i.e. the Centre for the Scientific and Technical Research for Diamond Manufacturing and Trade (WTOCD).

He currently serves as vice-president of the board of directors of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI).

He is a founding member of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and in 2012 was elected to serve as vice-chairman for the second time. He is now the acting President of the WDC.

Alexander_Pshenichnikov_285x320.png

Alexander Pshenichnikov

Head of Corporate Governance in Precious Metals and Precious Stones, Russian Federation's Ministry of Finance

X

Alexander Pshenichnikov

Head of Corporate Governance in Precious Metals and Precious Stones, Russian Federation's Ministry of Finance

Alexander Pshenichnikov is the Head of Corporate Governance in Precious Metals and Precious Stones at the Russian Federation's Ministry of Finance.

Having worked in the Ministry of Finance since 2009, he has deep understanding and experience in business administration and management, covering the state regulation, trade and production of precious metals and precious stones.

He is a member of the Russian Kimberley Process authority since 2010, acting as Chair of the Committee on Rules and Procedures.

He is a member of the intergovernmental working group on cooperation between the Russian Federation and South Africa on metals of the platinum group.

He is also a member of the interdepartmental commission on countering the legalization of money laundering and the financing of terrorism working with the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).

And a representative of the Russian Federation to the Committee on Investments and Working Group on Responsible Business Administration of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He coordinated the activity of businesses and organizations under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance Federal Public Institution “Gokhran Russia”, Federal Public Institution “Russian State Assay Office”, PJSC “ALROSA”, Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Goznak”, Prioksky Plant of Non-Ferrous Metals, OJSC “Kristall Production Corporation”. Member of the board of directors OJSC “Almazny Mir”.

He was awarded the letter of acknowledgement of the Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation in recognition of the services to financial and economic activity.

X

Stéphane Fischler

Acting President, World Diamond Council

Stéphane Fischler is a third generation diamantaire and began working at Fischler Diamonds in 1979. The firm was founded in 1953 by Aby and Cappi Fischler and the late Bram Fischler. Stéphane is a partner in the company.

Stéphane was re-elected as chairman of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) in June 2014. He served as the organization's treasurer from March 2005 and was elected vice-resident and chairman of its Task Force in 2006. He is a former chairman of the board of HRD Research, i.e. the Centre for the Scientific and Technical Research for Diamond Manufacturing and Trade (WTOCD).

He currently serves as vice-president of the board of directors of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI).

He is a founding member of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and in 2012 was elected to serve as vice-chairman for the second time. He is now the acting President of the WDC.

Alexander Pshenichnikov

Head of Corporate Governance in Precious Metals and Precious Stones, Russian Federation's Ministry of Finance

Alexander Pshenichnikov is the Head of Corporate Governance in Precious Metals and Precious Stones at the Russian Federation's Ministry of Finance.

Having worked in the Ministry of Finance since 2009, he has deep understanding and experience in business administration and management, covering the state regulation, trade and production of precious metals and precious stones.

He is a member of the Russian Kimberley Process authority since 2010, acting as Chair of the Committee on Rules and Procedures.

He is a member of the intergovernmental working group on cooperation between the Russian Federation and South Africa on metals of the platinum group.

He is also a member of the interdepartmental commission on countering the legalization of money laundering and the financing of terrorism working with the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).

And a representative of the Russian Federation to the Committee on Investments and Working Group on Responsible Business Administration of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He coordinated the activity of businesses and organizations under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance Federal Public Institution “Gokhran Russia”, Federal Public Institution “Russian State Assay Office”, PJSC “ALROSA”, Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Goznak”, Prioksky Plant of Non-Ferrous Metals, OJSC “Kristall Production Corporation”. Member of the board of directors OJSC “Almazny Mir”.

He was awarded the letter of acknowledgement of the Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation in recognition of the services to financial and economic activity.

Peter Meeus

Peter Meeus

Chairman, Dubai Diamond Exchange

X

Peter Meeus

Chairman, Dubai Diamond Exchange

Mr Peter Meeus started his career as Chief of Staff of the Governor of Antwerp in August 1986. In 1990, he joined DTC-broker Bonas & Co Ltd and later became Managing Director of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse in 1992.

He was appointed Managing Director to the HRD, the umbrella organization of the Belgian’s world diamond centre in 1999, a position he held for six years. Under his leadership, the HRD certificate market share increased significantly by close to 400 percent. In that capacity, he was also responsible for the very successful organization of the Antwerp Diamond Conferences in 2002 and 2004 with support from Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Thabo Mbeki and Festus Mogae.

From 2007 onwards, Meeus held the portfolio of Executive Director–Diamonds at DMCC, and was the author of the Master Plan for Dubai’s diamond sector. The Plan set out targets to further develop the trade by developing additional finance options and creating industry forums amongst other strategic initiatives.

On 2nd of March 2009, Peter Meeus was selected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). DDE is the first diamond bourse within the Arab region, serving a broader region of growing trade flows beyond the Middle East. The Exchange facilitates the trade of rough and polished diamonds in and through the region.

Tom Moses

Tom Moses

Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Laboratory Officer, Gemological Institute of America

X

Tom Moses

Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Laboratory Officer, Gemological Institute of America

Tom Moses has been instrumental in the Institute’s groundbreaking gem identification and research effort. He earned his Graduate Gemologist (GG) diploma from GIA in 1976 and began his career at the GIA laboratory in Santa Monica, California in 1977.

In 1986, he joined GIA’s New York laboratory, working with G. Robert Crowningshield, one of the world’s most revered gemologists. Moses was appointed vice president of identification services in 1988; vice president of identification and research services in 2003; and senior vice president of laboratory and research in 2005. In 2008 Moses was promoted to executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer overseeing GIA’s laboratories and research. He also currently holds a seat on the GIA board of governors.

X

Peter Meeus

Chairman, Dubai Diamond Exchange

Mr Peter Meeus started his career as Chief of Staff of the Governor of Antwerp in August 1986. In 1990, he joined DTC-broker Bonas & Co Ltd and later became Managing Director of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse in 1992.

He was appointed Managing Director to the HRD, the umbrella organization of the Belgian’s world diamond centre in 1999, a position he held for six years. Under his leadership, the HRD certificate market share increased significantly by close to 400 percent. In that capacity, he was also responsible for the very successful organization of the Antwerp Diamond Conferences in 2002 and 2004 with support from Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Thabo Mbeki and Festus Mogae.

From 2007 onwards, Meeus held the portfolio of Executive Director–Diamonds at DMCC, and was the author of the Master Plan for Dubai’s diamond sector. The Plan set out targets to further develop the trade by developing additional finance options and creating industry forums amongst other strategic initiatives.

On 2nd of March 2009, Peter Meeus was selected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). DDE is the first diamond bourse within the Arab region, serving a broader region of growing trade flows beyond the Middle East. The Exchange facilitates the trade of rough and polished diamonds in and through the region.

Tom Moses

Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Laboratory Officer, Gemological Institute of America

Tom Moses has been instrumental in the Institute’s groundbreaking gem identification and research effort. He earned his Graduate Gemologist (GG) diploma from GIA in 1976 and began his career at the GIA laboratory in Santa Monica, California in 1977.

In 1986, he joined GIA’s New York laboratory, working with G. Robert Crowningshield, one of the world’s most revered gemologists. Moses was appointed vice president of identification services in 1988; vice president of identification and research services in 2003; and senior vice president of laboratory and research in 2005. In 2008 Moses was promoted to executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer overseeing GIA’s laboratories and research. He also currently holds a seat on the GIA board of governors.

X

Stéphane Fischler

Acting President, World Diamond Council

Stéphane Fischler is a third generation diamantaire and began working at Fischler Diamonds in 1979. The firm was founded in 1953 by Aby and Cappi Fischler and the late Bram Fischler. Stéphane is a partner in the company.

Stéphane was re-elected as chairman of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) in June 2014. He served as the organization's treasurer from March 2005 and was elected vice-resident and chairman of its Task Force in 2006. He is a former chairman of the board of HRD Research, i.e. the Centre for the Scientific and Technical Research for Diamond Manufacturing and Trade (WTOCD).

He currently serves as vice-president of the board of directors of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI).

He is a founding member of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and in 2012 was elected to serve as vice-chairman for the second time. He is now the acting President of the WDC.

Alexander Pshenichnikov

Head of Corporate Governance in Precious Metals and Precious Stones, Russian Federation's Ministry of Finance

Alexander Pshenichnikov is the Head of Corporate Governance in Precious Metals and Precious Stones at the Russian Federation's Ministry of Finance.

Having worked in the Ministry of Finance since 2009, he has deep understanding and experience in business administration and management, covering the state regulation, trade and production of precious metals and precious stones.

He is a member of the Russian Kimberley Process authority since 2010, acting as Chair of the Committee on Rules and Procedures.

He is a member of the intergovernmental working group on cooperation between the Russian Federation and South Africa on metals of the platinum group.

He is also a member of the interdepartmental commission on countering the legalization of money laundering and the financing of terrorism working with the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).

And a representative of the Russian Federation to the Committee on Investments and Working Group on Responsible Business Administration of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He coordinated the activity of businesses and organizations under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance Federal Public Institution “Gokhran Russia”, Federal Public Institution “Russian State Assay Office”, PJSC “ALROSA”, Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Goznak”, Prioksky Plant of Non-Ferrous Metals, OJSC “Kristall Production Corporation”. Member of the board of directors OJSC “Almazny Mir”.

He was awarded the letter of acknowledgement of the Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation in recognition of the services to financial and economic activity.

Peter Meeus

Chairman, Dubai Diamond Exchange

Mr Peter Meeus started his career as Chief of Staff of the Governor of Antwerp in August 1986. In 1990, he joined DTC-broker Bonas & Co Ltd and later became Managing Director of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse in 1992.

He was appointed Managing Director to the HRD, the umbrella organization of the Belgian’s world diamond centre in 1999, a position he held for six years. Under his leadership, the HRD certificate market share increased significantly by close to 400 percent. In that capacity, he was also responsible for the very successful organization of the Antwerp Diamond Conferences in 2002 and 2004 with support from Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Thabo Mbeki and Festus Mogae.

From 2007 onwards, Meeus held the portfolio of Executive Director–Diamonds at DMCC, and was the author of the Master Plan for Dubai’s diamond sector. The Plan set out targets to further develop the trade by developing additional finance options and creating industry forums amongst other strategic initiatives.

On 2nd of March 2009, Peter Meeus was selected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). DDE is the first diamond bourse within the Arab region, serving a broader region of growing trade flows beyond the Middle East. The Exchange facilitates the trade of rough and polished diamonds in and through the region.

Tom Moses

Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Laboratory Officer, Gemological Institute of America

Tom Moses has been instrumental in the Institute’s groundbreaking gem identification and research effort. He earned his Graduate Gemologist (GG) diploma from GIA in 1976 and began his career at the GIA laboratory in Santa Monica, California in 1977.

In 1986, he joined GIA’s New York laboratory, working with G. Robert Crowningshield, one of the world’s most revered gemologists. Moses was appointed vice president of identification services in 1988; vice president of identification and research services in 2003; and senior vice president of laboratory and research in 2005. In 2008 Moses was promoted to executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer overseeing GIA’s laboratories and research. He also currently holds a seat on the GIA board of governors.

Praveen Shankar Pandya

Praveen Shankar Pandya

Chairman, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

X

Praveen Shankar Pandya

Chairman, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

Praveen Shankar Pandya completed his B.Com Honours in 1969, and his Chartered Accountancy course in 1973.

Entering diamond, gem & jewellery business in 1973, Mr Praveen Shankar Pandya is a Director of the Shankar Group of Industries which includes Revashankar Gems Ltd; Shankar Jewels Ltd; Shangold Ltd; Naqsh; Shankar Packaging Ltd and Shankar Realty Pvt. Ltd.

Mr Pandya was the founder Chairman of Diamond India Ltd. ( DIL), a company formed by 60 leading diamantaires ever since its inception viz the year 2002 till the May 2013.Presently he is a Permanent Director of DIL.

Mr Pandya has played an active and leading role in industry bodies and social activities. He was Chairman of The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the apex body set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, from 1996 to 2000. This was the period when Foreign Trade Policy of the country was still facing lots of controls and he, with the Committee of Administration, had extensive deliberations with MOC & MOF for bringing appropriate changes.

Kevin Ryan

Kevin Ryan

Chief Operating Officer, Damas Jewellery LLC

X

Kevin Ryan

Chief Operating Officer, Damas Jewellery LLC

Kevin joined Damas in August 2013 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the retail industry. His career has been in managing multi-site retail operations. He has a proven track record in achieving sustainable sales and profit results. Immediately prior to joining, he held the position of Stores Director with Signet Group. Signet is the world’s largest retail jeweller and Kevin had strategic and operational responsibility for 607 stores in the UK.

X

Praveen Shankar Pandya

Chairman, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

Praveen Shankar Pandya completed his B.Com Honours in 1969, and his Chartered Accountancy course in 1973.

Entering diamond, gem & jewellery business in 1973, Mr Praveen Shankar Pandya is a Director of the Shankar Group of Industries which includes Revashankar Gems Ltd; Shankar Jewels Ltd; Shangold Ltd; Naqsh; Shankar Packaging Ltd and Shankar Realty Pvt. Ltd.

Mr Pandya was the founder Chairman of Diamond India Ltd. ( DIL), a company formed by 60 leading diamantaires ever since its inception viz the year 2002 till the May 2013.Presently he is a Permanent Director of DIL.

Mr Pandya has played an active and leading role in industry bodies and social activities. He was Chairman of The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the apex body set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, from 1996 to 2000. This was the period when Foreign Trade Policy of the country was still facing lots of controls and he, with the Committee of Administration, had extensive deliberations with MOC & MOF for bringing appropriate changes.

Kevin Ryan

Chief Operating Officer, Damas Jewellery LLC

Kevin joined Damas in August 2013 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the retail industry. His career has been in managing multi-site retail operations. He has a proven track record in achieving sustainable sales and profit results. Immediately prior to joining, he held the position of Stores Director with Signet Group. Signet is the world’s largest retail jeweller and Kevin had strategic and operational responsibility for 607 stores in the UK.

Debbie_Azar_285x320.jpg

Debbie Azar

Founding Partner, Gemological Science International

X

Debbie Azar

Founding Partner, Gemological Science International

Debbie Azar is an experienced executive with extensive knowledge of the jewellery and gem lab industries. Her entrepreneurial skills and clarity of vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide.

She began her industry career by starting her own successful costume jewellery business. She then expanded her knowledge of the industry with sales, marketing and business development roles at several companies. In 2005, she joined Mark Gershburg to establish GSI.

Ms Azar is an active member of myriad industry organizations and charities; she currently serves as a Board Member of Jewelers for Children. Her strengths include working directly with retail chains and stores to help build their business and brands. She is widely known in the industry for her commitment to meeting customer needs.

George Abraham

George Abraham

Executive Vice-President and Head of the Specialised Industries Group within the Wholesale Bank, Emirates NBD

X

George Abraham

Executive Vice-President and Head of the Specialised Industries Group within the Wholesale Bank, Emirates NBD

Mr George Abraham is the Executive Vice President, and Head of the Specialised Industries Group within the Wholesale Bank of Emirates NBD. Mr Abraham is responsible for the Wholesale Banking business of companies which operate within the UAE and the region in the Commodities and MNC segments.

He has additional responsibility for Global Contractors operating in the EPC segment covering Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Power and Water. In 2014 he was responsible for setting up the Diamond vertical within the Commodities segment and in 2015 the Gold and Bullion vertical too.

Abraham returned to Emirates NBD in September 2013 after a five and a half year stint with FGB as Group Head of Corporate Banking. Prior to joining FGB, Abraham spent over 19 years at Emirates NBD, rising to become Head of Large Corporate and Government Division.

X

Debbie Azar

Founding Partner, Gemological Science International

Debbie Azar is an experienced executive with extensive knowledge of the jewellery and gem lab industries. Her entrepreneurial skills and clarity of vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide.

She began her industry career by starting her own successful costume jewellery business. She then expanded her knowledge of the industry with sales, marketing and business development roles at several companies. In 2005, she joined Mark Gershburg to establish GSI.

Ms Azar is an active member of myriad industry organizations and charities; she currently serves as a Board Member of Jewelers for Children. Her strengths include working directly with retail chains and stores to help build their business and brands. She is widely known in the industry for her commitment to meeting customer needs.

George Abraham

Executive Vice-President and Head of the Specialised Industries Group within the Wholesale Bank, Emirates NBD

Mr George Abraham is the Executive Vice President, and Head of the Specialised Industries Group within the Wholesale Bank of Emirates NBD. Mr Abraham is responsible for the Wholesale Banking business of companies which operate within the UAE and the region in the Commodities and MNC segments.

He has additional responsibility for Global Contractors operating in the EPC segment covering Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Power and Water. In 2014 he was responsible for setting up the Diamond vertical within the Commodities segment and in 2015 the Gold and Bullion vertical too.

Abraham returned to Emirates NBD in September 2013 after a five and a half year stint with FGB as Group Head of Corporate Banking. Prior to joining FGB, Abraham spent over 19 years at Emirates NBD, rising to become Head of Large Corporate and Government Division.

X

Praveen Shankar Pandya

Chairman, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

Praveen Shankar Pandya completed his B.Com Honours in 1969, and his Chartered Accountancy course in 1973.

Entering diamond, gem & jewellery business in 1973, Mr Praveen Shankar Pandya is a Director of the Shankar Group of Industries which includes Revashankar Gems Ltd; Shankar Jewels Ltd; Shangold Ltd; Naqsh; Shankar Packaging Ltd and Shankar Realty Pvt. Ltd.

Mr Pandya was the founder Chairman of Diamond India Ltd. ( DIL), a company formed by 60 leading diamantaires ever since its inception viz the year 2002 till the May 2013.Presently he is a Permanent Director of DIL.

Mr Pandya has played an active and leading role in industry bodies and social activities. He was Chairman of The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the apex body set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, from 1996 to 2000. This was the period when Foreign Trade Policy of the country was still facing lots of controls and he, with the Committee of Administration, had extensive deliberations with MOC & MOF for bringing appropriate changes.

Kevin Ryan

Chief Operating Officer, Damas Jewellery LLC

Kevin joined Damas in August 2013 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the retail industry. His career has been in managing multi-site retail operations. He has a proven track record in achieving sustainable sales and profit results. Immediately prior to joining, he held the position of Stores Director with Signet Group. Signet is the world’s largest retail jeweller and Kevin had strategic and operational responsibility for 607 stores in the UK.

Debbie Azar

Founding Partner, Gemological Science International

Debbie Azar is an experienced executive with extensive knowledge of the jewellery and gem lab industries. Her entrepreneurial skills and clarity of vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide.

She began her industry career by starting her own successful costume jewellery business. She then expanded her knowledge of the industry with sales, marketing and business development roles at several companies. In 2005, she joined Mark Gershburg to establish GSI.

Ms Azar is an active member of myriad industry organizations and charities; she currently serves as a Board Member of Jewelers for Children. Her strengths include working directly with retail chains and stores to help build their business and brands. She is widely known in the industry for her commitment to meeting customer needs.

George Abraham

Executive Vice-President and Head of the Specialised Industries Group within the Wholesale Bank, Emirates NBD

Mr George Abraham is the Executive Vice President, and Head of the Specialised Industries Group within the Wholesale Bank of Emirates NBD. Mr Abraham is responsible for the Wholesale Banking business of companies which operate within the UAE and the region in the Commodities and MNC segments.

He has additional responsibility for Global Contractors operating in the EPC segment covering Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Power and Water. In 2014 he was responsible for setting up the Diamond vertical within the Commodities segment and in 2015 the Gold and Bullion vertical too.

Abraham returned to Emirates NBD in September 2013 after a five and a half year stint with FGB as Group Head of Corporate Banking. Prior to joining FGB, Abraham spent over 19 years at Emirates NBD, rising to become Head of Large Corporate and Government Division.

Biju Patnaik

Biju Patnaik

Head of Gem & Jewellery Segment, IndusInd Bank Limited

X

Biju Patnaik

Head of Gem & Jewellery Segment, IndusInd Bank Limited

Starting as a Management Trainee in 1984, Mr Biju Patnaik has been a career banker for 33 years. During this span, he has discharged multiple responsibilities as a Corporate Relationship Banker, Head, Corporate Banker, Branch Manager, Regional Manager (Asia), Member of Country Management Team, Global Management Team & also as a Designated Country Executive for India.

His banking career has moved around India's premier banking groups namely: State Bank Group, ABN AMRO Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland and now he is the Executive Vice President and Heads the Diamond, Gem and Jewellery portfolio of IndusInd Bank which is the industry leader in India and has the largest market share in India.

Erik Jens

Erik Jens

CEO, ABN Amro Bank ID&JG

X

Erik Jens

CEO, ABN Amro Bank ID&JG

Professional experience in banking, financing and investments. Specialised in private wealth management solutions, investments in hedge funds, private equity and real estate industry. Held various senior executive positions at Fortis MeesPierson in banking and investment services in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands Antilles, Ireland, United Kingdom, USA and Asia. Served as director/advisor to various hedge fund of funds and private equity funds at Fortis which became later ABN AMRO. Strong interest in leading business in a turnaround situation, creating sustainable value. Leader versus a manager, walking the talk. Staff first, then clients, creating happy shareholders in the end. Think different approach.

X

Biju Patnaik

Head of Gem & Jewellery Segment, IndusInd Bank Limited

Starting as a Management Trainee in 1984, Mr Biju Patnaik has been a career banker for 33 years. During this span, he has discharged multiple responsibilities as a Corporate Relationship Banker, Head, Corporate Banker, Branch Manager, Regional Manager (Asia), Member of Country Management Team, Global Management Team & also as a Designated Country Executive for India.

His banking career has moved around India's premier banking groups namely: State Bank Group, ABN AMRO Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland and now he is the Executive Vice President and Heads the Diamond, Gem and Jewellery portfolio of IndusInd Bank which is the industry leader in India and has the largest market share in India.

Erik Jens

CEO, ABN Amro Bank ID&JG

Professional experience in banking, financing and investments. Specialised in private wealth management solutions, investments in hedge funds, private equity and real estate industry. Held various senior executive positions at Fortis MeesPierson in banking and investment services in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands Antilles, Ireland, United Kingdom, USA and Asia. Served as director/advisor to various hedge fund of funds and private equity funds at Fortis which became later ABN AMRO. Strong interest in leading business in a turnaround situation, creating sustainable value. Leader versus a manager, walking the talk. Staff first, then clients, creating happy shareholders in the end. Think different approach.

Alain Spruyt

Alain Spruyt

Managing Director, Driesassur Group

X

Alain Spruyt

Managing Director, Driesassur Group

The name Driesassur is synonymous with diamond insurance and at its helm is Alain Spruyt who joined his grandfather and father in the business in 1985. Starting with one office in Antwerp and with a 7-member team, Alain has expanded Driesassur globally to all major diamond centres and currently leads a team of 100+ professionals. The services provided by Alain and his team were initially only in the field of Jewellers’ Block Insurance but this has expanded to Credit Insurance, Diamond Processing Insurance and Fine Art Insurance as well. Driesassur has been bestowed the title of Lloyd’s Cover Holder by Lloyd’s of London for over 25 years now, a title given by Lloyds’ to a chosen few. The Driesassur promise of providing personalized and dedicated service with consistent professional quality has made them leaders in their segments of Insurance. When not working, Alain is a family man who recently became a grandfather and is still active in extreme sports like heli-skiing and kitesurfing. His motto is "Live your dreams" and "Risk more than is required".

Davy_Blommaert_285x320.jpg

Davy Blommaert

Unit Head – Precious Metals & Diamonds, National Bank of Fujairah PJSC

X

Davy Blommaert

Unit Head – Precious Metals & Diamonds, National Bank of Fujairah PJSC

Davy joined the National Bank of Fujairah as a unit head of the bank’s precious metals &diamonds unit, which falls under the bank's corporate and institutional banking division.

With nearly 10 years of experience in the diamond industry, he was tasked to establish a unit within NBF that is focused on providing working capital and trade finance services specific to the diamond sector.

Prior to joining NBF, he spent six years at Antwerp Diamond Bank, where he supported the development of its Antwerp and Hong Kong businesses before moving on to oversee its Dubai office.

His career also included a stint at the Internationale Diamond Laboratories DMCC (IDL)from 2007 to 2009. As its finance manager and legal counsel, he played a key role in helping IDLset up its operations in locations from Mumbai and Jeddah to Istanbul and Antwerp.

X

Alain Spruyt

Managing Director, Driesassur Group

The name Driesassur is synonymous with diamond insurance and at its helm is Alain Spruyt who joined his grandfather and father in the business in 1985. Starting with one office in Antwerp and with a 7-member team, Alain has expanded Driesassur globally to all major diamond centres and currently leads a team of 100+ professionals. The services provided by Alain and his team were initially only in the field of Jewellers’ Block Insurance but this has expanded to Credit Insurance, Diamond Processing Insurance and Fine Art Insurance as well. Driesassur has been bestowed the title of Lloyd’s Cover Holder by Lloyd’s of London for over 25 years now, a title given by Lloyds’ to a chosen few. The Driesassur promise of providing personalized and dedicated service with consistent professional quality has made them leaders in their segments of Insurance. When not working, Alain is a family man who recently became a grandfather and is still active in extreme sports like heli-skiing and kitesurfing. His motto is "Live your dreams" and "Risk more than is required".

Davy Blommaert

Unit Head – Precious Metals & Diamonds, National Bank of Fujairah PJSC

Davy joined the National Bank of Fujairah as a unit head of the bank’s precious metals &diamonds unit, which falls under the bank's corporate and institutional banking division.

With nearly 10 years of experience in the diamond industry, he was tasked to establish a unit within NBF that is focused on providing working capital and trade finance services specific to the diamond sector.

Prior to joining NBF, he spent six years at Antwerp Diamond Bank, where he supported the development of its Antwerp and Hong Kong businesses before moving on to oversee its Dubai office.

His career also included a stint at the Internationale Diamond Laboratories DMCC (IDL)from 2007 to 2009. As its finance manager and legal counsel, he played a key role in helping IDLset up its operations in locations from Mumbai and Jeddah to Istanbul and Antwerp.

X

Biju Patnaik

Head of Gem & Jewellery Segment, IndusInd Bank Limited

Starting as a Management Trainee in 1984, Mr Biju Patnaik has been a career banker for 33 years. During this span, he has discharged multiple responsibilities as a Corporate Relationship Banker, Head, Corporate Banker, Branch Manager, Regional Manager (Asia), Member of Country Management Team, Global Management Team & also as a Designated Country Executive for India.

His banking career has moved around India's premier banking groups namely: State Bank Group, ABN AMRO Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland and now he is the Executive Vice President and Heads the Diamond, Gem and Jewellery portfolio of IndusInd Bank which is the industry leader in India and has the largest market share in India.

Erik Jens

CEO, ABN Amro Bank ID&JG

Professional experience in banking, financing and investments. Specialised in private wealth management solutions, investments in hedge funds, private equity and real estate industry. Held various senior executive positions at Fortis MeesPierson in banking and investment services in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands Antilles, Ireland, United Kingdom, USA and Asia. Served as director/advisor to various hedge fund of funds and private equity funds at Fortis which became later ABN AMRO. Strong interest in leading business in a turnaround situation, creating sustainable value. Leader versus a manager, walking the talk. Staff first, then clients, creating happy shareholders in the end. Think different approach.

Alain Spruyt

Managing Director, Driesassur Group

The name Driesassur is synonymous with diamond insurance and at its helm is Alain Spruyt who joined his grandfather and father in the business in 1985. Starting with one office in Antwerp and with a 7-member team, Alain has expanded Driesassur globally to all major diamond centres and currently leads a team of 100+ professionals. The services provided by Alain and his team were initially only in the field of Jewellers’ Block Insurance but this has expanded to Credit Insurance, Diamond Processing Insurance and Fine Art Insurance as well. Driesassur has been bestowed the title of Lloyd’s Cover Holder by Lloyd’s of London for over 25 years now, a title given by Lloyds’ to a chosen few. The Driesassur promise of providing personalized and dedicated service with consistent professional quality has made them leaders in their segments of Insurance. When not working, Alain is a family man who recently became a grandfather and is still active in extreme sports like heli-skiing and kitesurfing. His motto is "Live your dreams" and "Risk more than is required".

Davy Blommaert

Unit Head – Precious Metals & Diamonds, National Bank of Fujairah PJSC

Davy joined the National Bank of Fujairah as a unit head of the bank’s precious metals &diamonds unit, which falls under the bank's corporate and institutional banking division.

With nearly 10 years of experience in the diamond industry, he was tasked to establish a unit within NBF that is focused on providing working capital and trade finance services specific to the diamond sector.

Prior to joining NBF, he spent six years at Antwerp Diamond Bank, where he supported the development of its Antwerp and Hong Kong businesses before moving on to oversee its Dubai office.

His career also included a stint at the Internationale Diamond Laboratories DMCC (IDL)from 2007 to 2009. As its finance manager and legal counsel, he played a key role in helping IDLset up its operations in locations from Mumbai and Jeddah to Istanbul and Antwerp.

Dr Ola Bello

Dr Ola Bello

Executive Director, Good Governance Africa

X

Dr Ola Bello

Executive Director, Good Governance Africa

Ola obtained both his MPhil and PhD degrees in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and also holds a First Class BSc degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He has worked for organisations including the United Nations (New York) and Management Systems International (Washington DC), Merchant International Group (London) and Arthur Andersen (later KPMG). Dr Ola Bello has more than 12 years of experience in research and policy advisory, including on governance and extractive sector reform; sustainable development; and international development cooperation/EU-Africa relations. He spent three years with FRIDE (Spain) managing a donor funded programme on the EU’s role in managing fragility and resource governance in select African countries. In 2012-2015, he was Head, Governance of Africa’s Resource Programme (GARP) at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and also functioned as head of SAIIA’s Cape Town office. Ola oversaw research, advisory and consultancy work covering extractive governance models and regimes, resource beneficiation, sustainable local procurement/community engagement, climate change and the environment in more than 15 African countries during his stint at SAIIA.

In November 2015, Ola was appointed the Executive Director of Good Governance Africa’s (GGA) office in Lagos. He currently provides technical support and advisory to African governments and official frameworks such as the African Mineral Geoscience Initiative (AMGI) of which he is a member of the Technical Working Group. He also advises the AU Commission on implementing the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). Ola speaks French, Spanish and Portuguese and possesses good working knowledge of Arabic and basic German. He has been the keynote speaker at both the African Mining Indaba and the Alternative Indaba and led the annual meeting of the SAIIA Forum for Change-Makers in the African Extractive Sector during the Indaba week of 2013, 2014 and 2015. He’s been twice invited as guest speaker to Chatham House in London; the South African presidency and the Dubai Diamond Exchange, among others. Dr Bello is also a regular commentator in the print media and appears regularly on news channels including Al Jazeera, CCTV, TV Intereconomia (Spain), CNBC (South Africa) and TV Continental (Nigeria). He has taught B.Sc and Masters courses on global politics, Development Cooperation and EU-Africa Relations at the University of Cambridge (UK), Universidad CEU San Pablo (Madrid), ESSCA (France), the Diplomatic Academy (Vienna) and the University of Geneva.

Sabyasachi Ray

Sabyasachi Ray

Executive Director, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

X

Sabyasachi Ray

Executive Director, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

Sabyasachi Ray had joined The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) on 2nd of August 1999, as Director, Eastern Region at the Kolkata office of the Council. Being professionally qualified in Business Management with Marketing Specialisation and having prior experience in marketing in various firms, ranging from office automation, exports of tea to business services for 6 years, Mr Ray’s advent to GJEPC at the above-mentioned position was quite justifiable. With the passage of time, it was an important milestone in his career, as it marked the beginning of 12 years of professional excellence that eventually led him to crown the highest executive post as the Executive Director of GJEPC. Of course, his elevation had not come in a day and certainly not easily. He earned it by way of his dedication and devotion to his work and the organization and given his supreme attitude and analytical mind, the Committee of Administration of the Council has bestowed the post of the Executive Director to a person of immense ability.

In the course of his professional journey in GJEPC, Mr Ray was not only managing and promoting the cause of the entire Eastern Region of India but later was made the Director, Exhibitions & Trade Promotions and the Senior Director. Subsequently, he was elevated to the post of the Acting Executive Director. Mr Ray had been instrumental in the coming up of Manikanchan, the first sector specific Special Economic Zone in the country for advancing the exports of jewellery from Eastern Region. He is instrumental in the transformation of India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) as the mega show, what it is today, and working out the systems and logistics to make the show world-class in-spite of facing the odds of organising the show in hostile rainy season and without proper exhibition infrastructure at Mumbai. After seeing the success of IIJS, under his supervision not only a second IIJS, the IIJS Signature was born in 2008, but he also strategically changed the focus of Council from organising major India Pavillions internationally to standalone buyer-seller meets for China, Europe, CIS & USA. India International Jewellery Week, Mines to Market, India Show at Basel World etc are some of the other events which he had successfully overseen. In his tenure in the Council, he actively participated in the introduction of iconic events like India International Jewellery Week (IIJW), IIJS Signature etc. He has not only helped the Indian Diamond Industry to gain a strong voice in Kimberley Process Scheme but had given leadership to the African Countries during the Zimbabwe crisis of KP to emerge as one of the finest statesmen of the world diamond industry today.

Mr Ray, during his tenure, has successfully rallied and argued with the different government departments of India and the states to create policies for the betterment of the trade and exports in India, including the introduction of duty drawback scheme for jewellery and decrease of Octroi in the city of Mumbai for diamonds. He has earned a lot of appreciation for the proactive role that the Council took to guide the industry out of the great economic downturn in 2008-09. He almost single-handedly guided the Council to become tech-savvy including the implementation of ERP in the day to day operations and making most of the services online.

He is the force behind the creation of Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI).

In spite of all odds, Mr Ray was successful in looking after the employee welfare and keep abreast with the changing times and adapting modernisation of the Council in every sense. This had been possible because of his drive and ability to draw the best out of his colleagues and subordinates as a motivational leader.

He has widely travelled to countries like USA, Japan, Russia, Israel, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa, various CIS countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan & Kazakhstan, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Congo, Namibia, UAE & etc. Today Gems & Jewellery is one of the highest foreign exchange earners of the country and India polishes 14 out of 15 diamonds in the world which makes him one of the busiest executives of any non-profit organisations in the country.

X

Dr Ola Bello

Executive Director, Good Governance Africa

Ola obtained both his MPhil and PhD degrees in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and also holds a First Class BSc degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He has worked for organisations including the United Nations (New York) and Management Systems International (Washington DC), Merchant International Group (London) and Arthur Andersen (later KPMG). Dr Ola Bello has more than 12 years of experience in research and policy advisory, including on governance and extractive sector reform; sustainable development; and international development cooperation/EU-Africa relations. He spent three years with FRIDE (Spain) managing a donor funded programme on the EU’s role in managing fragility and resource governance in select African countries. In 2012-2015, he was Head, Governance of Africa’s Resource Programme (GARP) at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and also functioned as head of SAIIA’s Cape Town office. Ola oversaw research, advisory and consultancy work covering extractive governance models and regimes, resource beneficiation, sustainable local procurement/community engagement, climate change and the environment in more than 15 African countries during his stint at SAIIA.

In November 2015, Ola was appointed the Executive Director of Good Governance Africa’s (GGA) office in Lagos. He currently provides technical support and advisory to African governments and official frameworks such as the African Mineral Geoscience Initiative (AMGI) of which he is a member of the Technical Working Group. He also advises the AU Commission on implementing the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). Ola speaks French, Spanish and Portuguese and possesses good working knowledge of Arabic and basic German. He has been the keynote speaker at both the African Mining Indaba and the Alternative Indaba and led the annual meeting of the SAIIA Forum for Change-Makers in the African Extractive Sector during the Indaba week of 2013, 2014 and 2015. He’s been twice invited as guest speaker to Chatham House in London; the South African presidency and the Dubai Diamond Exchange, among others. Dr Bello is also a regular commentator in the print media and appears regularly on news channels including Al Jazeera, CCTV, TV Intereconomia (Spain), CNBC (South Africa) and TV Continental (Nigeria). He has taught B.Sc and Masters courses on global politics, Development Cooperation and EU-Africa Relations at the University of Cambridge (UK), Universidad CEU San Pablo (Madrid), ESSCA (France), the Diplomatic Academy (Vienna) and the University of Geneva.

Sabyasachi Ray

Executive Director, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

Sabyasachi Ray had joined The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) on 2nd of August 1999, as Director, Eastern Region at the Kolkata office of the Council. Being professionally qualified in Business Management with Marketing Specialisation and having prior experience in marketing in various firms, ranging from office automation, exports of tea to business services for 6 years, Mr Ray’s advent to GJEPC at the above-mentioned position was quite justifiable. With the passage of time, it was an important milestone in his career, as it marked the beginning of 12 years of professional excellence that eventually led him to crown the highest executive post as the Executive Director of GJEPC. Of course, his elevation had not come in a day and certainly not easily. He earned it by way of his dedication and devotion to his work and the organization and given his supreme attitude and analytical mind, the Committee of Administration of the Council has bestowed the post of the Executive Director to a person of immense ability.

In the course of his professional journey in GJEPC, Mr Ray was not only managing and promoting the cause of the entire Eastern Region of India but later was made the Director, Exhibitions & Trade Promotions and the Senior Director. Subsequently, he was elevated to the post of the Acting Executive Director. Mr Ray had been instrumental in the coming up of Manikanchan, the first sector specific Special Economic Zone in the country for advancing the exports of jewellery from Eastern Region. He is instrumental in the transformation of India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) as the mega show, what it is today, and working out the systems and logistics to make the show world-class in-spite of facing the odds of organising the show in hostile rainy season and without proper exhibition infrastructure at Mumbai. After seeing the success of IIJS, under his supervision not only a second IIJS, the IIJS Signature was born in 2008, but he also strategically changed the focus of Council from organising major India Pavillions internationally to standalone buyer-seller meets for China, Europe, CIS & USA. India International Jewellery Week, Mines to Market, India Show at Basel World etc are some of the other events which he had successfully overseen. In his tenure in the Council, he actively participated in the introduction of iconic events like India International Jewellery Week (IIJW), IIJS Signature etc. He has not only helped the Indian Diamond Industry to gain a strong voice in Kimberley Process Scheme but had given leadership to the African Countries during the Zimbabwe crisis of KP to emerge as one of the finest statesmen of the world diamond industry today.

Mr Ray, during his tenure, has successfully rallied and argued with the different government departments of India and the states to create policies for the betterment of the trade and exports in India, including the introduction of duty drawback scheme for jewellery and decrease of Octroi in the city of Mumbai for diamonds. He has earned a lot of appreciation for the proactive role that the Council took to guide the industry out of the great economic downturn in 2008-09. He almost single-handedly guided the Council to become tech-savvy including the implementation of ERP in the day to day operations and making most of the services online.

He is the force behind the creation of Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI).

In spite of all odds, Mr Ray was successful in looking after the employee welfare and keep abreast with the changing times and adapting modernisation of the Council in every sense. This had been possible because of his drive and ability to draw the best out of his colleagues and subordinates as a motivational leader.

He has widely travelled to countries like USA, Japan, Russia, Israel, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa, various CIS countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan & Kazakhstan, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Congo, Namibia, UAE & etc. Today Gems & Jewellery is one of the highest foreign exchange earners of the country and India polishes 14 out of 15 diamonds in the world which makes him one of the busiest executives of any non-profit organisations in the country.

Karim Merchant

Karim Merchant

CEO and Managing Director, Pure Gold Jewellers

X

Karim Merchant

CEO and Managing Director, Pure Gold Jewellers

Karim Merchant is the CEO and MD of Pure Gold Jewellers, a family run multi-million dollar jewellery retail business founded by his father Firoz Merchant in 1989 in Dubai, UAE. He oversees the company’s operations across 11 countries with over 150 stores with an employee base of 3,500 people. Karim is largely responsible for the growth and expansion of the brand in the UAE and beyond.

He is also instrumental in setting up the Group’s property development arm, Pure Gold Real Estate Development. The company’s first project is already under construction in a prime location at Al Furjan development in Dubai. The project is called The Upper House and offers stylish fully furnished one-bedroom apartments targeted at first time home owners, especially the millennials.

His position requires high level of management skills with the ability to lead and train staff at all levels ranging from sales staff to senior level managers. As he was involved in the family business from a young age, he has also acquired sound skills in financial management, sales, inventory management and, overseeing marketing and PR campaigns to deliver consistent messaging.

Under his leadership, Pure Gold Jewellers has achieved many awards including the "Best Service Performance Brand" award by the Dubai Service Excellence Scheme (DSES) of the Dubai Department of Economic Development for six years - 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. The company also topped in the 'Best Customer Service' category in the UAE jewellery sector in an annual study by international consultancy Ethos Consultancy for the year 2009 and 2010. Pure Gold Jewellers has been consistently ranked as a Superbrand by UAE Superbrand Council for five consecutive years since 2009.

He also led the company’s move to become fully ISO certified and be awarded the prestigious ‘D’ Mark by World Diamond Mark.

He ensures the successful operations of the company’s fully owned and managed integrated supply chain including its travel retail business. The company operates as the exclusive and sole retailer for gold and diamond jewellery at several Duty Free locations across the Middle East and Asia, including all terminals at the Abu Dhabi Duty Free, Kuwait Duty Free, Muscat Duty Free, Sri Lanka Duty Free, Singapore Duty Free and Jordan Duty free while also being a valued supplier at the Dubai Duty Free.

He is also an industry commentator for the gold and diamonds sector in the Middle East and his opinions are featured frequently in leading publications such as Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Al Bayan, The National, to name a few.

Tawhid Abdullah

Tawhid Abdullah

Chairman, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group

X

Tawhid Abdullah

Chairman, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group

Tawhid Abdullah is one of the most well-known personalities in the gold and jewellery fraternity in Dubai. He was the co-founder of the well-known jewellery brand Damas and the Managing Director cum Chief Executive Officer of Damas Real Estate. He is currently the Managing Director of their latest venture, Jawhara Jewellery. Mr Abdullah is currently the chairman of the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group.

In 2004, he received Italy's highest civilian Commendatory award for promoting Italian jewellery trade for over 25 years. His professional approach has earned him several accolades from all quarters ranging from Suppliers, Customers, and Media, Banks and Government bodies. Arabian Business Awards named him Businessman of the Year in 2006 and in April 2007, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, awarded Mr Abdullah ‘The Best Entrepreneurial Mentor’ special award for his support for the young UAE businessmen. In 2007, he was named as one of the top 100 CEOs in the region. As a strong believer in serving and giving back to the community, Tawhid Abdulla supports several notable charities and has been the major sponsor for many prestigious events.

X

Karim Merchant

CEO and Managing Director, Pure Gold Jewellers

Karim Merchant is the CEO and MD of Pure Gold Jewellers, a family run multi-million dollar jewellery retail business founded by his father Firoz Merchant in 1989 in Dubai, UAE. He oversees the company’s operations across 11 countries with over 150 stores with an employee base of 3,500 people. Karim is largely responsible for the growth and expansion of the brand in the UAE and beyond.

He is also instrumental in setting up the Group’s property development arm, Pure Gold Real Estate Development. The company’s first project is already under construction in a prime location at Al Furjan development in Dubai. The project is called The Upper House and offers stylish fully furnished one-bedroom apartments targeted at first time home owners, especially the millennials.

His position requires high level of management skills with the ability to lead and train staff at all levels ranging from sales staff to senior level managers. As he was involved in the family business from a young age, he has also acquired sound skills in financial management, sales, inventory management and, overseeing marketing and PR campaigns to deliver consistent messaging.

Under his leadership, Pure Gold Jewellers has achieved many awards including the "Best Service Performance Brand" award by the Dubai Service Excellence Scheme (DSES) of the Dubai Department of Economic Development for six years - 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. The company also topped in the 'Best Customer Service' category in the UAE jewellery sector in an annual study by international consultancy Ethos Consultancy for the year 2009 and 2010. Pure Gold Jewellers has been consistently ranked as a Superbrand by UAE Superbrand Council for five consecutive years since 2009.

He also led the company’s move to become fully ISO certified and be awarded the prestigious ‘D’ Mark by World Diamond Mark.

He ensures the successful operations of the company’s fully owned and managed integrated supply chain including its travel retail business. The company operates as the exclusive and sole retailer for gold and diamond jewellery at several Duty Free locations across the Middle East and Asia, including all terminals at the Abu Dhabi Duty Free, Kuwait Duty Free, Muscat Duty Free, Sri Lanka Duty Free, Singapore Duty Free and Jordan Duty free while also being a valued supplier at the Dubai Duty Free.

He is also an industry commentator for the gold and diamonds sector in the Middle East and his opinions are featured frequently in leading publications such as Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Al Bayan, The National, to name a few.

Tawhid Abdullah

Chairman, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group

Tawhid Abdullah is one of the most well-known personalities in the gold and jewellery fraternity in Dubai. He was the co-founder of the well-known jewellery brand Damas and the Managing Director cum Chief Executive Officer of Damas Real Estate. He is currently the Managing Director of their latest venture, Jawhara Jewellery. Mr Abdullah is currently the chairman of the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group.

In 2004, he received Italy's highest civilian Commendatory award for promoting Italian jewellery trade for over 25 years. His professional approach has earned him several accolades from all quarters ranging from Suppliers, Customers, and Media, Banks and Government bodies. Arabian Business Awards named him Businessman of the Year in 2006 and in April 2007, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, awarded Mr Abdullah ‘The Best Entrepreneurial Mentor’ special award for his support for the young UAE businessmen. In 2007, he was named as one of the top 100 CEOs in the region. As a strong believer in serving and giving back to the community, Tawhid Abdulla supports several notable charities and has been the major sponsor for many prestigious events.

X

Dr Ola Bello

Executive Director, Good Governance Africa

Ola obtained both his MPhil and PhD degrees in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and also holds a First Class BSc degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He has worked for organisations including the United Nations (New York) and Management Systems International (Washington DC), Merchant International Group (London) and Arthur Andersen (later KPMG). Dr Ola Bello has more than 12 years of experience in research and policy advisory, including on governance and extractive sector reform; sustainable development; and international development cooperation/EU-Africa relations. He spent three years with FRIDE (Spain) managing a donor funded programme on the EU’s role in managing fragility and resource governance in select African countries. In 2012-2015, he was Head, Governance of Africa’s Resource Programme (GARP) at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and also functioned as head of SAIIA’s Cape Town office. Ola oversaw research, advisory and consultancy work covering extractive governance models and regimes, resource beneficiation, sustainable local procurement/community engagement, climate change and the environment in more than 15 African countries during his stint at SAIIA.

In November 2015, Ola was appointed the Executive Director of Good Governance Africa’s (GGA) office in Lagos. He currently provides technical support and advisory to African governments and official frameworks such as the African Mineral Geoscience Initiative (AMGI) of which he is a member of the Technical Working Group. He also advises the AU Commission on implementing the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). Ola speaks French, Spanish and Portuguese and possesses good working knowledge of Arabic and basic German. He has been the keynote speaker at both the African Mining Indaba and the Alternative Indaba and led the annual meeting of the SAIIA Forum for Change-Makers in the African Extractive Sector during the Indaba week of 2013, 2014 and 2015. He’s been twice invited as guest speaker to Chatham House in London; the South African presidency and the Dubai Diamond Exchange, among others. Dr Bello is also a regular commentator in the print media and appears regularly on news channels including Al Jazeera, CCTV, TV Intereconomia (Spain), CNBC (South Africa) and TV Continental (Nigeria). He has taught B.Sc and Masters courses on global politics, Development Cooperation and EU-Africa Relations at the University of Cambridge (UK), Universidad CEU San Pablo (Madrid), ESSCA (France), the Diplomatic Academy (Vienna) and the University of Geneva.

Sabyasachi Ray

Executive Director, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

Sabyasachi Ray had joined The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) on 2nd of August 1999, as Director, Eastern Region at the Kolkata office of the Council. Being professionally qualified in Business Management with Marketing Specialisation and having prior experience in marketing in various firms, ranging from office automation, exports of tea to business services for 6 years, Mr Ray’s advent to GJEPC at the above-mentioned position was quite justifiable. With the passage of time, it was an important milestone in his career, as it marked the beginning of 12 years of professional excellence that eventually led him to crown the highest executive post as the Executive Director of GJEPC. Of course, his elevation had not come in a day and certainly not easily. He earned it by way of his dedication and devotion to his work and the organization and given his supreme attitude and analytical mind, the Committee of Administration of the Council has bestowed the post of the Executive Director to a person of immense ability.

In the course of his professional journey in GJEPC, Mr Ray was not only managing and promoting the cause of the entire Eastern Region of India but later was made the Director, Exhibitions & Trade Promotions and the Senior Director. Subsequently, he was elevated to the post of the Acting Executive Director. Mr Ray had been instrumental in the coming up of Manikanchan, the first sector specific Special Economic Zone in the country for advancing the exports of jewellery from Eastern Region. He is instrumental in the transformation of India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) as the mega show, what it is today, and working out the systems and logistics to make the show world-class in-spite of facing the odds of organising the show in hostile rainy season and without proper exhibition infrastructure at Mumbai. After seeing the success of IIJS, under his supervision not only a second IIJS, the IIJS Signature was born in 2008, but he also strategically changed the focus of Council from organising major India Pavillions internationally to standalone buyer-seller meets for China, Europe, CIS & USA. India International Jewellery Week, Mines to Market, India Show at Basel World etc are some of the other events which he had successfully overseen. In his tenure in the Council, he actively participated in the introduction of iconic events like India International Jewellery Week (IIJW), IIJS Signature etc. He has not only helped the Indian Diamond Industry to gain a strong voice in Kimberley Process Scheme but had given leadership to the African Countries during the Zimbabwe crisis of KP to emerge as one of the finest statesmen of the world diamond industry today.

Mr Ray, during his tenure, has successfully rallied and argued with the different government departments of India and the states to create policies for the betterment of the trade and exports in India, including the introduction of duty drawback scheme for jewellery and decrease of Octroi in the city of Mumbai for diamonds. He has earned a lot of appreciation for the proactive role that the Council took to guide the industry out of the great economic downturn in 2008-09. He almost single-handedly guided the Council to become tech-savvy including the implementation of ERP in the day to day operations and making most of the services online.

He is the force behind the creation of Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI).

In spite of all odds, Mr Ray was successful in looking after the employee welfare and keep abreast with the changing times and adapting modernisation of the Council in every sense. This had been possible because of his drive and ability to draw the best out of his colleagues and subordinates as a motivational leader.

He has widely travelled to countries like USA, Japan, Russia, Israel, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa, various CIS countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan & Kazakhstan, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Congo, Namibia, UAE & etc. Today Gems & Jewellery is one of the highest foreign exchange earners of the country and India polishes 14 out of 15 diamonds in the world which makes him one of the busiest executives of any non-profit organisations in the country.

Karim Merchant

CEO and Managing Director, Pure Gold Jewellers

Karim Merchant is the CEO and MD of Pure Gold Jewellers, a family run multi-million dollar jewellery retail business founded by his father Firoz Merchant in 1989 in Dubai, UAE. He oversees the company’s operations across 11 countries with over 150 stores with an employee base of 3,500 people. Karim is largely responsible for the growth and expansion of the brand in the UAE and beyond.

He is also instrumental in setting up the Group’s property development arm, Pure Gold Real Estate Development. The company’s first project is already under construction in a prime location at Al Furjan development in Dubai. The project is called The Upper House and offers stylish fully furnished one-bedroom apartments targeted at first time home owners, especially the millennials.

His position requires high level of management skills with the ability to lead and train staff at all levels ranging from sales staff to senior level managers. As he was involved in the family business from a young age, he has also acquired sound skills in financial management, sales, inventory management and, overseeing marketing and PR campaigns to deliver consistent messaging.

Under his leadership, Pure Gold Jewellers has achieved many awards including the "Best Service Performance Brand" award by the Dubai Service Excellence Scheme (DSES) of the Dubai Department of Economic Development for six years - 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. The company also topped in the 'Best Customer Service' category in the UAE jewellery sector in an annual study by international consultancy Ethos Consultancy for the year 2009 and 2010. Pure Gold Jewellers has been consistently ranked as a Superbrand by UAE Superbrand Council for five consecutive years since 2009.

He also led the company’s move to become fully ISO certified and be awarded the prestigious ‘D’ Mark by World Diamond Mark.

He ensures the successful operations of the company’s fully owned and managed integrated supply chain including its travel retail business. The company operates as the exclusive and sole retailer for gold and diamond jewellery at several Duty Free locations across the Middle East and Asia, including all terminals at the Abu Dhabi Duty Free, Kuwait Duty Free, Muscat Duty Free, Sri Lanka Duty Free, Singapore Duty Free and Jordan Duty free while also being a valued supplier at the Dubai Duty Free.

He is also an industry commentator for the gold and diamonds sector in the Middle East and his opinions are featured frequently in leading publications such as Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Al Bayan, The National, to name a few.

Tawhid Abdullah

Chairman, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group

Tawhid Abdullah is one of the most well-known personalities in the gold and jewellery fraternity in Dubai. He was the co-founder of the well-known jewellery brand Damas and the Managing Director cum Chief Executive Officer of Damas Real Estate. He is currently the Managing Director of their latest venture, Jawhara Jewellery. Mr Abdullah is currently the chairman of the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group.

In 2004, he received Italy's highest civilian Commendatory award for promoting Italian jewellery trade for over 25 years. His professional approach has earned him several accolades from all quarters ranging from Suppliers, Customers, and Media, Banks and Government bodies. Arabian Business Awards named him Businessman of the Year in 2006 and in April 2007, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, awarded Mr Abdullah ‘The Best Entrepreneurial Mentor’ special award for his support for the young UAE businessmen. In 2007, he was named as one of the top 100 CEOs in the region. As a strong believer in serving and giving back to the community, Tawhid Abdulla supports several notable charities and has been the major sponsor for many prestigious events.

Rajesh Mehta

Rajesh Mehta

Chairman, Super Gems Group

X

Rajesh Mehta

Chairman, Super Gems Group

Mr Rajesh Mehta has been in the diamond business for 49 years. After a few years of work experience, he established Supergems in the early 1970’s in Antwerp. His vision and on his son’s joining of the business, Dubai and Mumbai office were started in the late 90’s. He moved to Dubai in 2002 as his son took over Antwerp trading.

In his career, he spent 32 years in Belgium and 15 years in Dubai.

He has been deeply involved in cyclone rehabilitation, groundwater harvesting, educational and calamity support over the last forty years, as giving back to Society is part of his upbringing.

Rihen Mehta

Rihen Mehta

Chairman, 7Cs Group

X

Rihen Mehta

Chairman, 7Cs Group

Rihen Mehta is the Chairman of the 7Cs Group. The 7Cs group was founded in 1999 by Dr Harshad Mehta as a company that focused on the jewellery industry, under the name Rosy Blue. Rihen’s innovation led to the complete transformation of 7Cs’ jewellery B2B business.

The desire to innovate prompted Rihen to join his father’s company 7Cs Group, and spearhead its successful diversification from a purely diamond and jewellery-trading business. Today, the Group has a strong presence in the field of wholesale and retail jewellery, sustainable construction, real estate investment and hospitality.

Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, 7Cs Group employs more than 1,900 personnel belonging to 23 nationalities.

X

Rajesh Mehta

Chairman, Super Gems Group

Mr Rajesh Mehta has been in the diamond business for 49 years. After a few years of work experience, he established Supergems in the early 1970’s in Antwerp. His vision and on his son’s joining of the business, Dubai and Mumbai office were started in the late 90’s. He moved to Dubai in 2002 as his son took over Antwerp trading.

In his career, he spent 32 years in Belgium and 15 years in Dubai.

He has been deeply involved in cyclone rehabilitation, groundwater harvesting, educational and calamity support over the last forty years, as giving back to Society is part of his upbringing.

Rihen Mehta

Chairman, 7Cs Group

Rihen Mehta is the Chairman of the 7Cs Group. The 7Cs group was founded in 1999 by Dr Harshad Mehta as a company that focused on the jewellery industry, under the name Rosy Blue. Rihen’s innovation led to the complete transformation of 7Cs’ jewellery B2B business.

The desire to innovate prompted Rihen to join his father’s company 7Cs Group, and spearhead its successful diversification from a purely diamond and jewellery-trading business. Today, the Group has a strong presence in the field of wholesale and retail jewellery, sustainable construction, real estate investment and hospitality.

Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, 7Cs Group employs more than 1,900 personnel belonging to 23 nationalities.

Philip Hoymans

Philip Hoymans

Managing Director, Bonas-Couzyn NV

X

Philip Hoymans

Managing Director, Bonas-Couzyn NV

Philip Hoymans is Managing Director at Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp, Belgium, a pre-eminent Diamond Brokerage and Consulting firm, which he joined in 1994. During that time, Philip has helped clients manage change in the ever-evolving diamond pipeline, and the increased emphasis on marketing and distribution. Strategic advice on procurement, operations and business development are key areas of expertise. In the last five years, he has also developed Bonas’ tender platform, that now handles productions from five junior diamond mining companies on three different continents.

Philip holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance and is a post-graduate International Business at Solvay. Before joining Bonas, Philip worked briefly as a Researcher at the European Commission, at the Directorate General for Competition Policy.

Adam Schulman

Adam Schulman

Chief Executive Officer, Koin International

X

Adam Schulman

Chief Executive Officer, Koin International

Adam Schulman has over 17 years of experience across the diamond and jewellery pipeline with a notable business development background. He has gained an extensive global network coupled with versatile experience in research and analysis, marketing, and development of trading platforms in both the B2B and B2C sectors.

With an eye to exemplary service, continuing innovation and streamlined business practices, Adam has been at the forefront of developing the Tender & Auction platforms as efficient and effective sales & marketing tools for both buyers and sellers globally.

As CEO, Adam has spearheaded the growth and development of Koin International to one of the influential international diamond tender houses today. Under Adam's leadership, Koin International has emerged as a dynamic and highly respected player in the tender industry.

X

Philip Hoymans

Managing Director, Bonas-Couzyn NV

Philip Hoymans is Managing Director at Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp, Belgium, a pre-eminent Diamond Brokerage and Consulting firm, which he joined in 1994. During that time, Philip has helped clients manage change in the ever-evolving diamond pipeline, and the increased emphasis on marketing and distribution. Strategic advice on procurement, operations and business development are key areas of expertise. In the last five years, he has also developed Bonas’ tender platform, that now handles productions from five junior diamond mining companies on three different continents.

Philip holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance and is a post-graduate International Business at Solvay. Before joining Bonas, Philip worked briefly as a Researcher at the European Commission, at the Directorate General for Competition Policy.

Adam Schulman

Chief Executive Officer, Koin International

Adam Schulman has over 17 years of experience across the diamond and jewellery pipeline with a notable business development background. He has gained an extensive global network coupled with versatile experience in research and analysis, marketing, and development of trading platforms in both the B2B and B2C sectors.

With an eye to exemplary service, continuing innovation and streamlined business practices, Adam has been at the forefront of developing the Tender & Auction platforms as efficient and effective sales & marketing tools for both buyers and sellers globally.

As CEO, Adam has spearheaded the growth and development of Koin International to one of the influential international diamond tender houses today. Under Adam's leadership, Koin International has emerged as a dynamic and highly respected player in the tender industry.

X

Rajesh Mehta

Chairman, Super Gems Group

Mr Rajesh Mehta has been in the diamond business for 49 years. After a few years of work experience, he established Supergems in the early 1970’s in Antwerp. His vision and on his son’s joining of the business, Dubai and Mumbai office were started in the late 90’s. He moved to Dubai in 2002 as his son took over Antwerp trading.

In his career, he spent 32 years in Belgium and 15 years in Dubai.

He has been deeply involved in cyclone rehabilitation, groundwater harvesting, educational and calamity support over the last forty years, as giving back to Society is part of his upbringing.

Rihen Mehta

Chairman, 7Cs Group

Rihen Mehta is the Chairman of the 7Cs Group. The 7Cs group was founded in 1999 by Dr Harshad Mehta as a company that focused on the jewellery industry, under the name Rosy Blue. Rihen’s innovation led to the complete transformation of 7Cs’ jewellery B2B business.

The desire to innovate prompted Rihen to join his father’s company 7Cs Group, and spearhead its successful diversification from a purely diamond and jewellery-trading business. Today, the Group has a strong presence in the field of wholesale and retail jewellery, sustainable construction, real estate investment and hospitality.

Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, 7Cs Group employs more than 1,900 personnel belonging to 23 nationalities.

Philip Hoymans

Managing Director, Bonas-Couzyn NV

Philip Hoymans is Managing Director at Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp, Belgium, a pre-eminent Diamond Brokerage and Consulting firm, which he joined in 1994. During that time, Philip has helped clients manage change in the ever-evolving diamond pipeline, and the increased emphasis on marketing and distribution. Strategic advice on procurement, operations and business development are key areas of expertise. In the last five years, he has also developed Bonas’ tender platform, that now handles productions from five junior diamond mining companies on three different continents.

Philip holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance and is a post-graduate International Business at Solvay. Before joining Bonas, Philip worked briefly as a Researcher at the European Commission, at the Directorate General for Competition Policy.

Adam Schulman

Chief Executive Officer, Koin International

Adam Schulman has over 17 years of experience across the diamond and jewellery pipeline with a notable business development background. He has gained an extensive global network coupled with versatile experience in research and analysis, marketing, and development of trading platforms in both the B2B and B2C sectors.

With an eye to exemplary service, continuing innovation and streamlined business practices, Adam has been at the forefront of developing the Tender & Auction platforms as efficient and effective sales & marketing tools for both buyers and sellers globally.

As CEO, Adam has spearheaded the growth and development of Koin International to one of the influential international diamond tender houses today. Under Adam's leadership, Koin International has emerged as a dynamic and highly respected player in the tender industry.

Mike Aggett

Mike Aggett

General Manager, Trans Atlantic Gem Sales

X

Mike Aggett

General Manager, Trans Atlantic Gem Sales

Mike has been in the Diamond industry for 41 years during which time he has covered all sections of the rough diamond pipeline. During 32 years with De Beers London, he spent many years working in both the major producing countries and the leading trading centres around the globe. He left De Beers in 2008 as Head of Client Management for Global Sightholder Sales. Over the next 7 years, Mike was Managing Director of H.Goldie & Co, a recognised De Beers Broker, representing some of the leading rough manufacturing companies in the world. Mike is very well known and connected within the industry and enjoys close professional relationships with the principal diamantaires. For the past 2 years, Mike has been an independent industry Consultant who is currently working for Trans Atlantic Gem Sales, in collaboration with DMCC.

​Neil Haddock

​Neil Haddock

Managing Director, Global Diamond Tenders DMCC

X

​Neil Haddock

Managing Director, Global Diamond Tenders DMCC

Neil Haddock is the Managing Director of Global Diamond Tenders DMCC who has 25 years' experience in the diamond industry.

He worked for DeBeers on the buying and selling side, ran the buying operation in The Democratic Republic of Congo, negotiated the purchases of the JV productions in Namibia and Botswana and managed the DeBeers sales office in Bombay and satellite offices in Surat and Ahmedabad.

During his tenure in India, he established and maintained working relations with an extensive number of manufacturers with whom he enjoys close links today.

X

Mike Aggett

General Manager, Trans Atlantic Gem Sales

Mike has been in the Diamond industry for 41 years during which time he has covered all sections of the rough diamond pipeline. During 32 years with De Beers London, he spent many years working in both the major producing countries and the leading trading centres around the globe. He left De Beers in 2008 as Head of Client Management for Global Sightholder Sales. Over the next 7 years, Mike was Managing Director of H.Goldie & Co, a recognised De Beers Broker, representing some of the leading rough manufacturing companies in the world. Mike is very well known and connected within the industry and enjoys close professional relationships with the principal diamantaires. For the past 2 years, Mike has been an independent industry Consultant who is currently working for Trans Atlantic Gem Sales, in collaboration with DMCC.

​Neil Haddock

Managing Director, Global Diamond Tenders DMCC

Neil Haddock is the Managing Director of Global Diamond Tenders DMCC who has 25 years' experience in the diamond industry.

He worked for DeBeers on the buying and selling side, ran the buying operation in The Democratic Republic of Congo, negotiated the purchases of the JV productions in Namibia and Botswana and managed the DeBeers sales office in Bombay and satellite offices in Surat and Ahmedabad.

During his tenure in India, he established and maintained working relations with an extensive number of manufacturers with whom he enjoys close links today.

Sahag Arslanian

Sahag Arslanian

Director, Arslanian Frères NV

X

Sahag Arslanian

Director, Arslanian Frères NV

Sahag Arslanian joined his family's business, Arslanian Group in 2013. After becoming Chief Financial Officer of the Group in 2015, Sahag recently took over the role of Co-chief Operating Officer for the group's global operations alongside his brother Garen. As such, he manages all aspects of the business throughout the entire diamond industry pipeline, from rough sourcing and trading, manufacturing, polished trading to high-value fancy colour polished diamonds across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Furthermore, Sahag oversees all financial operations and business development investment opportunities for Arslanian Group. Fluent in five languages (French, English, Chinese, Armenian, Spanish) with a solid set of skills in international finance, management and investment, Sahag is using his experience to further strengthen Arslanian Group's position as one of the leading players in the international rough diamond industry, while developing other profit centres.

Johan Erikson

Johan Erikson

Managing Director, First Element DTC

X

Johan Erikson

Managing Director, First Element DTC

Mr Johan Erikson has 39 years of experience in diamond sorting, valuing, cutting and polishing, marketing/dealing, wholesale and retail diamond and jewellery sales and the running of international diamond tenders.

He is an ex-Member of the Advisory Board to the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs (RSA); member of the Master Diamond Cutters Association in South Africa; member of the Diamantkring, Antwerp, Belgium; Managing Director of First Element Group of companies (South Africa, Botswana, Antwerp, Dubai and Zimbabwe).

He is currently the Managing Director of Erikson Group, including Erikson Diamond Cutting Works and Flawless Property holdings and a specialist in the Deep Boiling Method of Diamond Cleaning.

X

Sahag Arslanian

Director, Arslanian Frères NV

Sahag Arslanian joined his family's business, Arslanian Group in 2013. After becoming Chief Financial Officer of the Group in 2015, Sahag recently took over the role of Co-chief Operating Officer for the group's global operations alongside his brother Garen. As such, he manages all aspects of the business throughout the entire diamond industry pipeline, from rough sourcing and trading, manufacturing, polished trading to high-value fancy colour polished diamonds across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Furthermore, Sahag oversees all financial operations and business development investment opportunities for Arslanian Group. Fluent in five languages (French, English, Chinese, Armenian, Spanish) with a solid set of skills in international finance, management and investment, Sahag is using his experience to further strengthen Arslanian Group's position as one of the leading players in the international rough diamond industry, while developing other profit centres.

Johan Erikson

Managing Director, First Element DTC

Mr Johan Erikson has 39 years of experience in diamond sorting, valuing, cutting and polishing, marketing/dealing, wholesale and retail diamond and jewellery sales and the running of international diamond tenders.

He is an ex-Member of the Advisory Board to the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs (RSA); member of the Master Diamond Cutters Association in South Africa; member of the Diamantkring, Antwerp, Belgium; Managing Director of First Element Group of companies (South Africa, Botswana, Antwerp, Dubai and Zimbabwe).

He is currently the Managing Director of Erikson Group, including Erikson Diamond Cutting Works and Flawless Property holdings and a specialist in the Deep Boiling Method of Diamond Cleaning.

X

Mike Aggett

General Manager, Trans Atlantic Gem Sales

Mike has been in the Diamond industry for 41 years during which time he has covered all sections of the rough diamond pipeline. During 32 years with De Beers London, he spent many years working in both the major producing countries and the leading trading centres around the globe. He left De Beers in 2008 as Head of Client Management for Global Sightholder Sales. Over the next 7 years, Mike was Managing Director of H.Goldie & Co, a recognised De Beers Broker, representing some of the leading rough manufacturing companies in the world. Mike is very well known and connected within the industry and enjoys close professional relationships with the principal diamantaires. For the past 2 years, Mike has been an independent industry Consultant who is currently working for Trans Atlantic Gem Sales, in collaboration with DMCC.

​Neil Haddock

Managing Director, Global Diamond Tenders DMCC

Neil Haddock is the Managing Director of Global Diamond Tenders DMCC who has 25 years' experience in the diamond industry.

He worked for DeBeers on the buying and selling side, ran the buying operation in The Democratic Republic of Congo, negotiated the purchases of the JV productions in Namibia and Botswana and managed the DeBeers sales office in Bombay and satellite offices in Surat and Ahmedabad.

During his tenure in India, he established and maintained working relations with an extensive number of manufacturers with whom he enjoys close links today.

Sahag Arslanian

Director, Arslanian Frères NV

Sahag Arslanian joined his family's business, Arslanian Group in 2013. After becoming Chief Financial Officer of the Group in 2015, Sahag recently took over the role of Co-chief Operating Officer for the group's global operations alongside his brother Garen. As such, he manages all aspects of the business throughout the entire diamond industry pipeline, from rough sourcing and trading, manufacturing, polished trading to high-value fancy colour polished diamonds across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Furthermore, Sahag oversees all financial operations and business development investment opportunities for Arslanian Group. Fluent in five languages (French, English, Chinese, Armenian, Spanish) with a solid set of skills in international finance, management and investment, Sahag is using his experience to further strengthen Arslanian Group's position as one of the leading players in the international rough diamond industry, while developing other profit centres.

Johan Erikson

Managing Director, First Element DTC

Mr Johan Erikson has 39 years of experience in diamond sorting, valuing, cutting and polishing, marketing/dealing, wholesale and retail diamond and jewellery sales and the running of international diamond tenders.

He is an ex-Member of the Advisory Board to the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs (RSA); member of the Master Diamond Cutters Association in South Africa; member of the Diamantkring, Antwerp, Belgium; Managing Director of First Element Group of companies (South Africa, Botswana, Antwerp, Dubai and Zimbabwe).

He is currently the Managing Director of Erikson Group, including Erikson Diamond Cutting Works and Flawless Property holdings and a specialist in the Deep Boiling Method of Diamond Cleaning.

Amit_Dhamani_285x320.jpg

Amit Dhamani

CEO and Managing Director, Dhamani Jewels

X

Amit Dhamani

CEO and Managing Director, Dhamani Jewels

Amit Dhamani is the second generation jeweller who has made a huge impact in worldwide jewellery industry specifically in GCC- Gulf region, Europe & Far East.

In the last 26 years, under his forward thinking leadership and modern style management, the group has developed into a corporate identity while Amit Dhamani has become a driving force in transforming the Dhamani Brand to a well-recognized Jewellery brand in the region amongst luxury fashionistas. Creating the Dhamani 1969 brand in 2014, the Dhamani Group made a step forward to go global aimed to satiate the appetite of jewellery connoisseurs.

Amit Dhamani is a Harvard Business School Alumni and is on the Board of Director at the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) & The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and on the Board of Governors of GIA ( Gemological Institute of America).

His vision for the global development of the retail Gem & Jewelry industry has made him a prominent figure not just in the Gulf region but in the international arena as well. He is an active participant in international trade activities and is a distinguished speaker at various international forums.

X

Amit Dhamani

CEO and Managing Director, Dhamani Jewels

Amit Dhamani is the second generation jeweller who has made a huge impact in worldwide jewellery industry specifically in GCC- Gulf region, Europe & Far East.

In the last 26 years, under his forward thinking leadership and modern style management, the group has developed into a corporate identity while Amit Dhamani has become a driving force in transforming the Dhamani Brand to a well-recognized Jewellery brand in the region amongst luxury fashionistas. Creating the Dhamani 1969 brand in 2014, the Dhamani Group made a step forward to go global aimed to satiate the appetite of jewellery connoisseurs.

Amit Dhamani is a Harvard Business School Alumni and is on the Board of Director at the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) & The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and on the Board of Governors of GIA ( Gemological Institute of America).

His vision for the global development of the retail Gem & Jewelry industry has made him a prominent figure not just in the Gulf region but in the international arena as well. He is an active participant in international trade activities and is a distinguished speaker at various international forums.

X

Amit Dhamani

CEO and Managing Director, Dhamani Jewels

Amit Dhamani is the second generation jeweller who has made a huge impact in worldwide jewellery industry specifically in GCC- Gulf region, Europe & Far East.

In the last 26 years, under his forward thinking leadership and modern style management, the group has developed into a corporate identity while Amit Dhamani has become a driving force in transforming the Dhamani Brand to a well-recognized Jewellery brand in the region amongst luxury fashionistas. Creating the Dhamani 1969 brand in 2014, the Dhamani Group made a step forward to go global aimed to satiate the appetite of jewellery connoisseurs.

Amit Dhamani is a Harvard Business School Alumni and is on the Board of Director at the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) & The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and on the Board of Governors of GIA ( Gemological Institute of America).

His vision for the global development of the retail Gem & Jewelry industry has made him a prominent figure not just in the Gulf region but in the international arena as well. He is an active participant in international trade activities and is a distinguished speaker at various international forums.