Our Senior Advisors
AfricaDev Consulting has trusted partners in Middle East & Africa as well as senior advisors / expert consultants worldwide providing strategic support and advisory services.
Robert W. van Zwieten
Mr. Robert W. van Zwieten is a senior leader and strategist in global financial markets, with 30 years of experience, passionate about advancing economic development, capital mobilization and private capital investments in emerging and frontier markets.
-He is the founder and CEO of The Serendra Group LLC, a CEO advisory firm, helping clients build sustainable and profitable businesses.
From 2013 through 2017 Robert served as the President and CEO of EMPEA, the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets, based in Washington DC.
Prior to this, from 2009 through 2012, Robert served as the Asian Development Bank’s Director of the Private Sector Capital Markets Division, based in Manila, Philippines. In this role, he was responsible for originating and structuring $2.5 billion in debt and equity transactions across 40 emerging Asian markets. Before joining ADB, Robert served as Managing Director and COO of an Asia-focused hedge fund venture and prior to that as Executive Vice President, CFO and Member of the Executive Committee of the Singapore Exchange. His experience further includes roles as Senior Vice President, CAO and other global leadership roles at Lehman Brothers in New York; Managing Director and Global Treasurer with GE Energy in Atlanta.
Robert earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, holds JD and MA degrees from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and an LL.M. degree from Columbia University School of Law.
Juan Maria Nin Jenova
Mr. Juan Maria Nin Jenova is a Spanish businessperson with a wealth of over 35 years global experience in banking and public sectors. He has been Head of different major companies and is today in the Board of Société Générale, Azvi, Azora, Chairman of Habitat and Operating Partner of Corsair Capital and Mutualidad de la Abogacía, member of Deusto University and Esade Business Schools Counsels, and the executive committee of Círculo de Empresarios.
He held the position of Chief Executive Officer at both La Caixa and Banco de Sabadell and was General Manager at Banco Santander. He was an architect of some of the most important bank merger processes in Spain. During the restructuring of the Spanish financial system, he led several mergers and acquisitions as well as the complex transformation of a savings bank into one of the leading financial institutions in the country’s banking industry.
He has also been a member of the Board of Cepsa, Repsol , Gas Natural, Dia Group, Inbursa Mexico (Slim Group), BPI (Portugal), ERSTE Bank (Austria), and Seguros La Estrella and Banco Vitalicio (Generali Group). He graduated as Abogado-Economista from the University of Deusto and obtained a Master in Laws from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. He was also awarded with the Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil and the Gran Cruz del Mérito Policial.
A graduate of the Public Affairs Management Institute at George Washington University, Slimi worked as a banker, then Director of Cabinet of the Minister of National Education in Morocco. He was Director of Corporate Affairs at the royal holding of the Kingdom of Morocco and also chaired the ONA Foundation for the Preservation of culture and heritage.
Rachid Slimi has received several awards such as the “Young Global Leader” awarded by the “World Economic Forum”. In 2008, he founded Sherpa Associates Inc., a business intelligence center to serve international investors and governments. He is now an independent consultant between Asia, the US and MENA region and works closely with AfricaDev Consulting Ltd on various projects.
Nazem Al Kudsi
Mr. Nazem Al Kudsi, CFA, brings a wealth of experience of 30 years as a seasoned chairman, board member and CEO, with a successful track record across a number of sectors. He has a distinguished investment track record and raising capital in the Middle East, Africa, the US, and Far East.For almost two decades, he worked in the sovereign wealth fund arena in leading roles at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).
He was also responsible for a number of international investment portfolios, initially as US technologies portfolio manager in Silicon Valley, and later as a senior fund manager in Japan. In 2005, he was invited by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi to be Chief Investment Officer, responsible for all aspects of the business. From 2008 to 2014, he was CEO of Invest AD, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi Investment Council.
Mr. Alkudsi also held a number a non-executive roles such as Board Member at Emirates Investment International Company (UAE); Board Member at Abu Dhabi National Property Company (UAE); V. Chairman of the Board at Ekol Logistics (Turkey ); Chairman of the Board at Mobiserve (Egypt), Board Member at Rise General Trading Company (UAE).
William has more than 25 years of resident experience in emerging markets, and more than 10 years in investment advisory and development programs focused on the private sector in frontier and emerging markets. William is the current Local Project Manager for a sustainable energy financing facility in Morocco that provides technical assistance (TA) to both financial institutions and recipient businesses in order to encourage the adoption of energy-efficient technologies. This program, titled MorSEFF, funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and led by DAI, Inc., has been successful enough with William’s local management that it received additional funding for EUR 30 million, reaching a total program value of EUR 110 million.
The success of MorSEFF has led to the DAI-led consortium with LixCap winning the follow-on program, the Green Energy Financing Facility. As a co-founder of LixCap, William helps lead the company’s efforts to structure and advise on financing facilities that support SMEs in North Africa. He recently advised the United States Agency for International Development and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation on a framework for supporting SMEs through a unique financial structure. In addition to his work with LixCap, William provides SME program advisory for a MENA-region investment fund, reviewing SME fund investments and helping design SME TA programs to support sustainable businesses.
William holds a MA in International Economics and Finance from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is fluent in English, Arabic and French.
Matthew, a co-founder of LixCap, has 20 years of investment development experience, including five years of emerging market resident experience facilitating private investment for development outcomes. He is the company’s practice area manager for SME advisory, investment facilitation and fundraising.
He led the marketing and fundraising effort for an agro-logistics infrastructure project (under the project name Friopuerto) at the Port of Tanger Med, ultimately raising USD 15 million. He has also analyzed investment environments and specific opportunities for banks, funds, investors and development actors in North Africa. Matthew leads the development of an energy infrastructure facility at the port of Nador West Med in Northeastern Morocco, a project valued around USD 500 million.
He works with foreign investors, local private sector actors and local government stakeholders on small-scale and other investment projects, and has additional experience with the implementation and management of development projects.
He has an MBA from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business and a BA from Tufts University in International Relations, with a focus on International Finance. Matthew is fluent in English, French and German.