Who we are - Business Advisors
JSujit is our lead Advisor on strategic balance sheet restructuring activities. Sujit worked at Citigroup where he held a number of senior roles including Head of Strategy & M&A for Europe, Middle-East & Africa; Head of Corporate Finance for Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa & South Asia; and Head of Multinational Clients for Africa, Middle-East and South Asia. He also held senior business roles including Country Head, India and the Sub-Continent; Head of Corporate Banking, Thailand; and Country Manager in Bangladesh. More recently Sujit has worked as an independent advisor helping banks, financial service firms and technology companies with strategy and M&A activities.
John Bernson is a highly experienced corporate banker and finance generalist. He worked for Citibank for 21 years where he held numerous senior management positions in the Middle East, Europe, North America and Asia. These included being Citibank’s Country Corporate Officer for Lebanon, Turkey and Korea.
John served as a Senior Credit Officer of Citibank and participated in many large Risk Asset Reviews of Citibank businesses around the world. John also headed Citibank’s EMEA Regional Training Centre in Athens for two years.
After leaving Citibank, John was CEO of a Turkish owned bank based in Holland for six years. He then moved to world of education and for ten years served as Chief Financial Officer, first of American University of Beirut and then Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
John has recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Rakeen, a UAE -based sovereign wealth fund and as a Senior Advisor to CFH Beirut, a corporate finance advisory firm. He is currently a Business Advisor for BankT&D Consulting covering the Levant region and is based in Beirut.
R. Douglas Dowie
Mr. Dowie is a director of Al Khaliji Bank (Qatar) and Marsh Insco an insurance broker incorporated in the U.A.E. and an independent non-executive director of British Arab Commercial Bank and a member of its Audit Committee. Mr. Dowie is a member of the Risk & Audit Committee and Regulatory Appeals Committee of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the finance regulator of Dubai International Financial Centre and is a member of the DIFC Banking Advisory Council. He is a member of the University Council of the British University in Dubai.
Mr. Dowie was a Board member of Emirates NBD PJSC and Senior Advisor to the Board from 2007 to 2010. He was the Chairman of the bank's Board Risk Committee, a member of the Board Audit and Credit Committees and a director of NBD Trust Company (Jersey) Limited. Prior to his appointment to the Board of Emirates NBD following the merger of National Bank of Dubai with Emirates NBD in 2007, Mr. Dowie had been the General Manager of National Bank of Dubai since 1998 and its Chief Executive Officer from 2005 to 2007. Throughout this period he had global responsibility for the bank’s affairs reporting to the Board.
A career international banker with what is now Standard Chartered Bank, Mr. Dowie’s first assignment overseas took him to Aden in 1963 followed by assignments in the Middle East which included Lebanon, where he graduated from the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies. He subsequently served in Libya, Iran and several of the GCC states including from 1987 – 1992 as CEO for the UAE Operations of Standard Chartered Bank. Mr. Dowie also served in the Far East with assignments in Hong Kong 1978 – 1984 and Indonesia 1993 – 1997. As CEO of Standard Chartered Indonesia he was also Chairman, PT Standard Chartered Leasing Co; Commissioner, PT Standard Chartered Indonesia (Merchant Bank and Securities House); and Chief Advisor PT Bank Pembangunan Indonesia (Persero) aka Bapindo.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (FCIBS); a member of the Chartered Institute of Management (MCIM) and a Globalscot.
Hanco is our Senior Advisor for Asia based in Hong Kong. He specialises in providing strategic and operational advice to financial institutions. Hanco was Director-Asia for ING's specialist financial sector consulting group and thereafter Managing Director of Priority Project Limited, a boutique consulting firm focused on banks in emerging markets. He worked as an advisor to retail & commercial banks, as well as providing investment advice to foreign equity investors in banks. He designed, staffed and managed many consultancy projects through which he gained a thorough understanding of strategic, commercial, operational and financial issues of banks in emerging markets.
Mukhtar Hasan has been based in Oman for over 30 years. He has local and international experience in banking, finance, senior management, private equity, corporate finance and investments.
Mr. Hasan is the managing partner of Al Barij International LLC, which is a corporate finance firm specialising in corporate turnarounds. He has served on the Board of several companies including Omani public companies United Power, Renaissance Services, Renaissance Hospitality, National Hospitality, Muscat Finance, Oman Textiles, Gulf Investment Services and First Mazoon Fund. Mr. Hasan also served as the Chairman of the American British Academy, an IB World School in Muscat for a number of years.
He is currently the Chairman of Muscat Thread Mills, Managing Director of Gulf Mushroom Products Company and Vice Chairman of Oman Dental College.
Mr. Hasan is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and holds a Corporate Finance qualification issued jointly by this Institute together with the Securities Investment Institute and the Chartered Accountants Institute of Canada.
Amar Zafar Khan
Amar Zafar Khan is a qualified Chartered Accountant, and early in his career worked at Price Waterhouse, London. He joined Citibank In 1981 where he worked in a number of banking and leadership roles. Over the years he covered Financial Control, HR, Credit Risk Management, Corporate Banking, Treasury, Capital markets, Corporate Finance and Private Equity. As an international staffer, he worked in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and in Europe. He was charged with starting new businesses in most of these markets, including the launch of Citibank in Nigeria. In Europe, as head of the Aircraft and Ship leasing business, he lead the team from new entrant to market leadership in Europe for leveraged leasing of Aircraft. In recognition, he was assigned to a global task force responsible for catalyzing new products in Brazil, India and Canada.
He left Citibank to start up a new financial institution in Nigeria, FSDH, which was co-ventured by several banks and the IFC where he was Managing Director,. This pioneering discount house played a pivotal role in the restructuring of the chronically illiquid interbank market of Nigeria. It maintained leadership as market maker of fixed income securities and was highly profitable. Later as Executive Director he led the restructuring of Consumer Banking, Investments Banking and Public Sector Groups, of UBA one of the largest Nigerian banks to be privatized.
In 2000 Amar took over as President and Chairman of United Bank Limited (UBL), one of the largest nationalized banks, with a view to restructuring and commercializing this loss making operation and ultimate privatization. UBL had 1600 branches and 20,000 staff and international operations spanning the Gulf countries, Switzerland, UK and USA. Amar spearheaded a complete overhaul of the bank’s operations, launched new businesses and products, upgraded Information Technology and service delivery systems, inculcated modern risk management and monitoring systems , streamlined its human resources and performance and reward structures, and recruited new talent. He managed the near impossible by turning around the bank into profitability within a year, as well as achieving market leadership in treasury and investment banking. When the bank was privatized 3 years later he was asked by the new multinational owners to continue as CEO.
He has served on the board of several financial and non financial institutions in Europe, Africa and Asia. He holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, and has trained in Psychology and Life Coaching. Now located in Pakistan, Amar works as a business development advisor to banks and the SME sector.