Meet the speakers

Momina Aijazuddin – Senior Industry Manager, Financial Institutions Group, MCT, International Finance Corporation

Momina Aijazuddin is IFC’s Senior Industry Manager, Financial Institutions Group, MCT (Middle East, Central Asia, Turkey, Pakistan & Afghanistan). She is responsible for the IFC’s financial institutions group program for the MCT region which involves supervising a team of fifty covering investment, upstream and advisory engagements with a portfolio of US$$3.3 billion and annual commitments of over US$1 billion.

She was previously responsible as the global lead for IFC’s MSME investment and advisory activities globally, which exceeds cumulative investments of US$6 billion worldwide with over 300 MSME related players, in addition to advisory services worth $63.7 million in 68 projects across 30 countries. This included oversight of the work in Responsible Forum (which IFC manages for the GPFI/ G20), institutional transformation, risk management and product development – to better enable financial sector providers to provide diverse and reliable products and services to suit their clients’ needs. She led IFC’s efforts to scale up private sector commitments with strategic partners in the digital finance, microfinance and fintech space committed to achieving the World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access by 2020. She was also a core member of the drafting team for the G20 Digital Financial Inclusion Principles.

Momina brings over two decades of investment transaction experience in financial services, microfinance and manufacturing sectors in over 70 countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, MENA and LAC regions. Her technical expertise includes setting up greenfield MFIs in MENA and Asia, transforming institutions to become regulated banks and engaging with policymakers and industry players. She has spent the last few years heavily engaged with IFC’s financial inclusion efforts in China with leading banks and fintech players and handled key relationships with Mastercard, Ant Financial as well as leading MSME banks around the world.

Momina currently serves on the Microfinance Enhancement Facility Board (MEF), a US$650 million debt fund, launched by IFC and KFW and other private partners. Her experience prior to joining IFC includes work in the banking sector. Momina holds a Master’s degree in Economics with Distinction from the London School of Economics.

David Allemann – Co-Founder & Executive Co-Chairman, On AG

In 2010, David Allemann founded the Swiss Sports Brand On with his two friends Caspar & Olivier. Today, David co-leads the company with a special focus on product, marketing and the direct-to-consumer business of On. Prior to founding On, David served as Chief Marketing Officer for Vitra, one of the world’s iconic design brands. He spent several years in the creative industry, co-founding one of the first digital agencies in Switzerland in 1995 and leading the advertising agency Young & Rubicam as Managing Director. At McKinsey & Company, David advised global clients in sports and media while supporting entrepreneurs at the McKinsey Startup Accelerator. David holds a Master of Law Degree from the University of Zurich and received an AMP from INSEAD. He supports the Swiss startup ecosystem in the Advisory Board of the Swiss Startup Factory. David and his wife Inja are parents to two young daughters. As a family, they spend a lot of time in nature, skiing, hiking, biking, running and kitesurfing.

René Benko – Investor and Founder, SIGNA Group

René Benko is the founder of SIGNA Group, a privately held real estate, hotel, luxury retail and e-commerce conglomerate in Europe. Starting in 1999, focused on traditional property developments, the company has grown to become a European leader in real estate, luxury department stores and e-commerce, with a total group balance sheet of around €30BN. SIGNA’s real estate portfolio is valued at more than €25BN and sits on a development pipeline of an additional 2,500,000 m² in high-quality space, making SIGNA the biggest real estate developer in Europe. SIGNA’s real estate portfolio includes iconic assets, e.g. Chrysler Building in NY, Selfridges in London, KaDeWe and Upper West Tower in Berlin, Park Hyatt and Postsparkasse in Vienna and the legendary Hotel Bauer in Venice. The retail and e-commerce group employs more than 45,000 people. In July 2021, SIGNA Development issued its first green bond. The first green bond was the first green bond placed by a project developer in 2021 and the largest in its rating category. Further, SIGNA received several outstanding ESG ratings, among others, by Sustainalytics. Overall, SIGNA Development ranked globally among the top 2% of real estate developers.

Catherine Cax – Acting Chief Executive Officer and Director of Investments, Soros Economic Development Fund

As acting CEO and director of investments at the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) – the impact investment arm of Open Society Foundations, Cax leads the investment team and oversees the deployment of capital and the management of SEDF’s active portfolio. SEDF deploys investment capital to advance vibrant, inclusive, and equitable democracies and economies and aim to accomplish this by supporting the rights of, and promoting opportunities for, the most marginalized people and communities. This requires SEDF to invest in places and in ways that entail significant risk with the aim to achieve catalytic change; drive systemic impact and integrate into a larger ecosystem of action. Previous to OSF Cax was for 15 years with IFU, the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (the Danish DFI). Cax was VP of Sub-Saharan Africa, leading IFU’s deployment of capital in the region. Cax has extensive experience with investments in emerging markets and developing countries and prior to joining IFU’s SSA team, Cax was VP of North Asia. Cax holds a Master degree in economics from Copenhagen University.

Enzo Enea – Chief Executive Officer, Enea GmbH

Enzo Enea, who was trained as an industrial designer, studied landscape architecture in London and established Enea GmbH in 1993. Today, Enea’s international landscape architecture firm’s headquarter is based in Rapperswil-Jona and has offices in Zurich, Miami, and New York. The firm is widely recognized for their ability to work with complex designs by creating custom gardens and spaces for both the private and public-sector. The worldwide unique Tree Museum in Rapperswil-Jona brings Enzo Enea’s vision to life and reflects how landscape, architecture, art and design are integrative combined.

Peter Fanconi – Chairman of the Board, BlueOrchard

Peter A. Fanconi is the Chairman and former CEO of Swiss-based BlueOrchard Finance, one of the leading asset management companies in the field of Impact Investing. Peter demonstrated his entrepreneurial competencies in various positions, including CEO of the Vontobel Private Bank, a Swiss-listed bank, CEO of Harcourt Alternative Investments, a global leader in alternative investments, and managing partner at PwC. Peter also serves today as Chairman of the Graubündner Kantonalbank (GKB), a Swiss-listed bank, as Vice-President of the ROKPA International Foundation, as a member of the Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship Committee of Brown University, Rhode Island and is the Chairman of EFG International, a listed global private banking group. Besides lecturing at various business schools, Peter is a frequent speaker at governmental and public events. As co-author, he has published the bestseller “Small Money – Big Impact” as well as Power to the Poor.

Peter Harrison – Group Chief Executive, Schroders

Peter Harrison joined Schroders in March 2013 and became Group Chief Executive in April 2016. Prior to his current role he was Global Head of Investment. Before joining Schroders, Peter was Chairman and CEO of investment boutique RWC Partners. Peter began his career at Schroders, and later spent time at JP Morgan, and as Group Chief Investment Officer of Deutsche Asset Management. Peter is a member of the UK Treasury’s Asset Management Taskforce, a member of the Board of Directors of FCLT Global and the Advisory Boards of venture capital firm Antler, Harvard University Impact Board, CityUK, CFA UK, the Investment Association and the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange. He was previously Chair of the Investment Association, sat on the Takeover Panel and the Prime Minister’s Financial and Professional Services’ Business Council. He is widely engaged in improving inclusion and diversity across financial institutions. He has an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bath.

Felix Keller – Lecturer, ETH Department of Environmental Systems Science

Dr. sc. nat. ETH Felix Keller received his doctorate from the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology at ETH Zurich on the subject of “Interactions between snow and permafrost”. He has been co-director of the institute at the Academia Engiadina for over 20 years. In 2004, he received a teaching assignment at the ETH Zurich for didactics of environmental education. At the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation he is the leading expert for qualification procedures. In 2017 he became president of the Ice Stupa International Association, which deals with glacier and water management issues in high mountain regions. Since this year he has been managing the new Centre for Applied Glaciology at the University of Applied Sciences Grisons and the Academia Engiadina together with Imad Lifa.

Selina Leem - Youth Climate Activist and Spoken Word Performer

Selina N. Leem often calls herself “a small island girl with big dreams.” She credits her grandfather for her deep awareness of the fate of her home — the low-lying Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean — through his stories about how the ice in the North Pole and South Pole were melting and would soon flood the islands. At the age of 16, Leem moved to Germany to finish high school in the UWC (United World College) Robert Bosch College in Freiburg, where she took on the role of a climate crisis warrior for her country. Representing the Marshall Islands, Leem was the youngest delegate at the COP21 (the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris). During the closing remarks, then Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony deBrum gave her the opportunity to give the final statement on behalf of her country. Leem told the world that the Paris Agreement “should be the turning point in our story — a turning point for all of us.”

Tadashi Maeda – Chairman of the Board of Directors, Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Special Advisor to the Cabinet, the Government of Japan

Graduated University of Tokyo Faculty of Law in 1980. At JBIC, he has held various positions including Director-General of Energy & Natural Resources Finance Department ; Managing Executive Officer & Global Head of Infrastructure and Environment Finance Group ; Senior Managing Director ;CEO & Executive Managing Director and Governor. From June 2010 to December 2012, he served as Special Advisor to the Cabinet of the Government of Japan. He has also served as a member of the Steering Committee of Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund from October 2011 to October 2013. He became a member of the IISS Council from June 2014 to 2017. From September 2022, he is serving as Special Advisor to the Cabinet, the Government of Japan again.

Philipp Mueller - Chief Executive Officer, BlueOrchard

Philipp Mueller is Chief Executive Officer of BlueOrchard. As CEO, he leads the executive and extended management team and has executive oversight of the firm’s client and business areas, including strategy and resource management. Prior to that, Philipp held the position of Head Investment Solutions, heading the Global Investment Committee, and overseeing the portfolio management and asset allocation of all funds and mandates. Philipp joined BlueOrchard in 2018 from Partners Group, where he worked for ten years in Switzerland and the UK, most recently as Senior Vice President of Investment Solutions.

Philipp holds an MBA from ETH Zurich and a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Zurich.

Omar Qandeel - Member of the Board, BlueOrchard (Moderator)

Omar S. Qandeel is specialised in project development and consulting for European and Asian corporations doing business in the Middle East and North Africa. Omar developed manufacturing and distribution projects for European corporations in the food and packing industry looking to expand their operations to the Middle East. Early in his career, he was involved in various research work in the public and private sectors. Omar holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Science Degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Southern California.

Dominik Schuler - Co-Founder and Owner, Mister Loo

Dominik is a Co-Founder and Owner of Mister Loo, a Swiss headquartered start-up company operating an innovative and sustainable public toilet concept in Southeast Asia including new advancement such as smart toilets and health check kiosks in combination with e-health application to contribute to better public health. Prior to Mister Loo, Dominik has worked for 4 years with UBS Investment Banking in Switzerland and 2 years with KPMG Corporate Finance and Bank Sal. Oppenheim Structured Products. Dominik holds a Masters Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of St. Gallen and a CEMS Masters Degree in International Management from CBS Copenhagen. Today, Dominik is based in Bangkok to drive the expansion of Mister Loo in Southeast Asia.

Tomas Sedláček – Philosopher of Economics and Author

PhDr. Tomas Sedláček Ph.D. (1977) became known through his book Economics of Good and Evil (OUP 2009) that was translated into 22 languages and won many prestigious prizes in economic literature for original philosophical contributions to economics. He was a former advisor to Czech revolutionary president Vaclav Havel. He was listed among the top 100 most influential global thinkers (Top 100 Thought Leaders, GDI). He was a member of Programme Council for New Economic Thinking of the World Economic Forum that met in Davos and advised EC president Barroso on New Narrative for Europe. In March 2020, he joined the Economic Advisory Team for the Central Crisis Staff, which is included in the system of the National Security Council under the Czech Republic’s Government. He is a sought after speaker, debater and frequent international commentator.

Gelong Thubten - Buddhist monk, Meditation Teacher and Author

Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher and author from the UK. He became a monk 29 years ago at Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery in Scotland, and has spent over six years in intensive meditation retreats, the longest of which was 4 years long. He is now regarded as one of the UK’s most influential meditation teachers, with pioneering work teaching in universities, schools, companies such as Google, hospitals, prisons and rehab centres. He has lectured at Oxford University and for the United Nations, and he provides courses to medical students, doctors and nurses. He works with several meditation as well as humanitarian aid charities. He trained Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton in meditation on the set of the Marvel movie ‘Dr. Strange’ and he collaborated with Ruby Wax and neuroscientist Ash Ranpura on the book ‘How to be Human’. Thubten is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller ‘A Monk’s Guide to Happiness – meditation in the 21st century’ and his next book ‘Handbook for Hard Times’ will be published next year.

Georg Wunderlin - Global Head of Private Assets, Schroders

Georg Wunderlin joined Schroders in May 2019 assuming the newly-created role of Global Head of Private Assets. He is responsible for developing the firm’s private assets expertise on a global scale, drawing on over 20 years of experience. He is also a member of the Group Management Committee. Most recently Georg was the Chief Executive Officer of HQ Capital, a private equity and real estate investment group based in Frankfurt and New York. Previously, Georg was at UBS and The Boston Consulting Group. Georg studied business administration at the University of St. Gallen and Stockholm School of Economics and holds a PhD and a master’s degree from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Maria Teresa Zappia - Chief Impact & Blended Finance Officer and Deputy CEO, BlueOrchard (Moderator)

Maria Teresa Zappia is responsible for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) funds under BlueOrchard’s management and impact practice. Maria Teresa joined BlueOrchard in 2008 as Chief Investment Officer. Previously Maria Teresa worked as Senior Banker in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development financial institution team both in London and Central Asia. Prior to that she worked for the Asian Development Bank in Manila and was an ODI Fellow in Africa.

Maria Teresa holds a M.Phil degree in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Florence.