Advisory Board

Dr Ryan Lemand is currently the Head of Managed Solutions and Business Development in the ADS Securities Asset Management Team based in Abu Dhabi, where the focus is on bespoke and customized mandates for high net worth and institutional investors. Until 2015, Ryan was the Senior Advisor to the CEO and Head of Risk Management at the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority, the UAE’s federal securities regulator.

In this capacity, Ryan led and contributed to initiatives which led to the development of a number of fundamental regulations including the collective investment scheme regulations, as well as regulations of financial analysis and consultancy services, market making and others.

His was principally responsible for leading the Funds and Investment Management team that handles the licensing and approvals for local and foreign mutual funds and investment managers. Additionally, he helped develop a risk management framework for UAE licensed brokers.

Prior to that, Ryan was the Lead Portfolio Manager at Fortis Investments in London and Paris, where he was responsible for managing a 15 billion euro portfolio of assets, namely in the space of credit derivatives.

Dr Lemand holds a PhD (summa cum laude) in Financial Econometrics from the École Normale Supérieure, France, and is the author of two books on financial contagion, as well as a number of research articles on financial correlation. Dr Lemand also taught financial econometrics courses at the Paris II-Assas University and Paris IX-Dauphine University in Paris, France. He is a sought after speaker and contributor to major financial markets discussions and events in the UAE and in the wider MENA region.

Miren is a registered attorney in Spain and has a long and varied in-house regulatory, transactional and supervisory experience in investment banking and capital markets. Most recently she was the Senior Counsel – instrumental to the ESM banks recapitalization project roles within the European bailout fund (ESM).

Prior to that she was Director, Head of Legal and Compliance at Morgan Stanley (Spain) – where she managed several projects for the restructuring of the MS financial group in Spain. Also managed the initiative to ensure compliance with MiFID and other EU and US regulations during the financial crisis.

Miren holds an LL.M. in Banking, Corporate, Finance and Securities Law from Columbia University, a Masters (D.E.A) in International Economic Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI), University of Geneva, a Juris Doctor degree in law from the University of Deusto and an Executive MBA at IE Business School, in Spain. Foreign languages include English, French and working experience Portuguese, in addition to native Spanish.

Ausaf's 25 year career with two major US investment banks has provided him with significant leadership and management experience of investment banking, strategic planning and implementation across both Asia and EMEA. He has managed large multi-national businesses, executed complex restructuring projects and led major strategic assignments. Ausaf began his career as an economist at BP before joining the Investment Banking division of Merrill Lynch in London in 1985. He then moved to Hong Kong in 1990, where he assumed responsibility for the firm's investment banking coverage of India, Pakistan and Indonesia. In 1995 he relocated to Singapore to establish the firm's investment banking presence in South Asia.

Following the start of the Asian economic crisis he moved into regional management, first becoming Chief Administrative Officer of Asia Pacific in 1998, and then Chief Operating Officer of Asia-Pacific/Australasia in 2000. In 2001 he led the restructuring of Merrill Lynch's private client business in Japan, a complex assignment lasting a year. Following the success of that project he became Head of EMEA Global Private Client and returned to London. The business was heavily loss-making, but returned to profitability under Ausaf's management in 18 months.

In 2007 he moved to Morgan Stanley as Head of Sales & Marketing in its Private Wealth Management business, which focused on wealthy individuals, family offices and trusts. Ausaf led a team which appraised a major acquisition opportunity and worked with MUFG to assess private banking opportunities in Japan.

Warren Thomson is Partner at the international law firm Hogan Lovells, based in their Dubai office. Hogan Lovells is a global legal practice that helps corporations, financial institutions, and governmental entities across the spectrum of their critical business and legal issues globally and locally with over 2,500 lawyers operating out of more than 40 offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the United States.

Warren is admitted as a Solicitor and Barrister in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and practiced as a lawyer at one of Sydney's premier corporate and telecommunications law firms for 5 years before moving to Dubai. While working in Sydney, Warren worked primarily in mergers & acquisitions, private equity and financial services regulation, but also acted on several IPOs and both listed and unlisted investment funds. Warren has now been in Dubai for more than eight years and has extensive experience in all areas of corporate work, including mergers & acquisitions, corporate advisory, investment funds, equity capital markets, international trade, restructuring, regulatory advice, and employment.

Warren has worked closely with some of the world's and region's largest and well-known names, including, AECOM, ALSTOM, Arabtec, Boston University, CISCO, CSR, Deutsche Bank, ExxonMobil, google, Honeywell, IBM, Kodak, LloydsTSB, QInvest, RIM, Serco and Siemens, to name but a few.

Peter J Fort was most recently the Senior Economic Advisor to the Government of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah(RAK) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority(RAKFTZ). In his dual role, Mr. Fort was responsible for the ongoing growth of the free zone, as well as channeling investments in to the emirate, reinforcing RAK's reputation on the regional business and investment landscape.

Mr. Fort worked with Morgan Stanley for 10 years as Head of Mergers, Acquisitions (M&A) and Restructuring for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Relocating from New York to Dubai in 2006, Mr. Fort played an instrumental role in building Morgan Stanley's presence in the Middle East, leading over 50 international, regional and domestic M&A and restructuring transactions across a variety of sectors including energy, basic materials, industrial, transportation, aerospace, telecommunications, media, technology, financial institutions, infrastructure, utilities and real estate.

Prior to his investment banking career, Mr. Fort was a strategy consultant, working on projects in the United States, Latin America and Asia.
Mr. Fort graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international political economics, and also pursued studies at National University of Singapore, Thammasat University, Thailand and Tokyo International University, Japan. He subsequently earned his Master of Business Administration degree, with a focus on Finance, from the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, where he graduated first in his class. Mr. Fort is a White House Presidential Scholar and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Vanessa's legal practice focuses on corporate transactional work, including M&A, joint ventures, securities offerings, IPOs, stock exchange listings and private equity transactions. Vanessa has advised listed companies and investment banks in relation to arrange of equity and debt security issues and frequently works with financial services regulators. Vanessa is well known for the advice she gives to financial institutions in connection with their transactional and regulatory needs.

Vanessa has worked as a lawyer in Dubai for the past 10 years. After initially working with Clyde & Co she joined Simmons & Simmons as a Partner and has most recently been a Partner in the Dubai office of Baker Botts. In addition to her extensive work in the UAE since early 2005, Vanessa's legal background includes two and a half years working for the New Zealand Stock Exchange and several years at New Zealand's largest commercial law firm. She has been practicing law since 1996 and has been recognized as a key individual in the United Arab Emirates by various legal directories. Vanessa has been a Corporate Partner in two large international law firms.

Vanessa is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. She is particularly well known for her ties to NASDAQ Dubai and has developed a strong regional transactional practice. Sources praise her commerciality and understanding of clients' priorities.