Members are invited to vote in the ABANA board of directors election. Electronic ballots and voting instructions have been sent in separate emails to all members*.
The current Board of Directors has nominated a slate of six candidates for (re-)election by the membership, to fill six open positions on the board; each (re-)elected director will serve a three-year term.
The voting deadline is January 23, 2024 at 5:00 PM EST and the results will be announced at the Annual Meeting beginning at 5:30pm on the same day. To register for the annual meeting, please click here.
*Per ABANA’s By-Laws, only members in good standing as of January 9, 2024 are eligible to vote. If you are a member and have not received the ballot email, please make sure to check your junk mail folder or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Candidates and their bio’s are listed below:
- Zubaid Ahmad, Founder & Managing Partner, Caravanserai Partners
- Karim Baghdady, Chief Executive Officer, EFG Hermes US
- Mona Dajani, Partner, Global Co-Chair of the Energy Infrastructure & Hydrogen, Co-Chair of the Energy Sector, Baker Botts
- Hania Dawood, Manager, Climate Finance & Economics, Climate Change Group, The World Bank
- Lotfi Karoui, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
- Laura Osman, President, Amunet Advisors
Founder & Managing Partner
Zubaid Ahmad is the Founder and Managing Partner of Caravanserai Partners LLC (“Caravanserai” or the “Firm”), a merchant banking boutique focused on M&A and sovereign advisory, strategic capital raising and private equity transactions. Mr. Ahmad established Caravanserai in mid-2017 and brings a 35+ year career at a number of leading global investment banks as senior advisor to corporates, asset managers as well as governments, across a range of strategic advisory and financing issues. He has also worked across all regions of the globe, both in developed and emerging economies, including broader Asia (including GCC and Central Asia), Latin America and Africa, and enjoys an extensive network of public and private sector relationships.
Prior to founding Caravanserai, Mr. Ahmad was a Vice Chairman of Citigroup’s Institutional Clients Group and managed a number of different groups. These included serving as Co-Head of Global Asset Managers group, where he led Citi’s global coverage of private equity funds, sovereign wealth and pension funds (“SWFs”), family offices and other alternative asset managers. During his time at Citi, he continuously served as Global Head of Citi’s practice with SWFs, completed a number of landmark transactions in the sector and built it into an industry leading franchise. Mr. Ahmad also served as Global Head of Citi’s Public Sector Group, which managed the firm’s relationships with government and multilateral clients across the globe and, in particular, worked with a number of countries in assisting them in their economic diversification and FDI promotion strategies. In all of his activities, he was actively engaged across many countries in the MENA region and was a frequent visitor there as well. Mr. Ahmad was also the Chief Operating Officer of the Global Corporate and Investment Banking division, and served on several of Citi’s senior management committees and also represented Citi on a number of external Boards.
Before Citi, Mr. Ahmad held a number of other senior roles, including serving as Vice Chairman and Head of Corporate Finance – Americas for Standard Chartered Bank; Vice Chairman at J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. where he served both as Chief Operating Officer – Americas Investment Banking, and was closely involved in the acquisition and integration of Bear Stearns, as well as a senior member of the Financial Sponsor group; Managing Director in both the Global Corporate Finance (focused on executing large and complex cross-border transactions in the Emerging Markets) and Financial Sponsor/Leveraged Finance groups at Credit Suisse; Director and Head of Capital Markets at Wasserstein Perella & Co.; and Vice President at Drexel Burnham & Lambert.
In addition to his activities at Caravanserai, Mr. Ahmad is also a member of the Board of Directors of Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE: SEE), a leading global provider of food safety and security and product protection solutions and equipment, serves as the Chair of the Audit Committee and is also on the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee. Since leaving Citi in early 2017, Mr. Ahmad has also served as a Senior Advisor to a number of asset managers, including (a) CPP Investments, a global investment organization that invests the assets of Canada Pension Plan (AUM of ≈C$550 billion), (b) Actis, a ≈$20bn+ Emerging Markets focused alternative asset manager, and (c) Muzinich & Co, a ≈$40bn+ corporate credit manager. Mr. Ahmad received his BSBA from Georgetown University and his MBA from the Harvard Business School. He has been a regular attendee at the Annual Meetings of the World Economic Forum, the IMF/World Bank, Milken Institute as well as the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds.
Chief Executive Officer
EFG Hermes US
Karim Baghdady is the CEO of EFG HERMES US, which he established in 2017 as the US-arm of EFG HERMES, the largest investment bank in MENA. Karim’s responsibilities center around advising North American institutional investors seeking opportunities in the Middle East.
Karim began his career in 1996 as a ticket-runner on the floor of the NYSE. Soon after, he joined Mogavero Lee and Co, a floor-trading firm, where in May of 2002 he became the first Egyptian American member and floor trader on the NYSE. Prior to joining EFG, Karim established the US desks for two Egyptian investment banks, Beltone Financial and CI Capital.
During his career in emerging and frontier markets, Karim worked on several high-profile transactions including the sale of Ripplewood’s five percent stake in Commercial International Bank (CIB) in 2009 to two US investment funds, valued at $180 million, and the 2013 sale of Actis’ nine percent stake in CIB to Toronto based Fairfax, valued at $300 million. Two of the largest single transactions on the EGX.
Karim is married with two children. He enjoys soccer, skiing and reading about history.
Partner, Global Co-Chair of the Energy Infrastructure & Hydrogen, Co-Chair of the Energy Sector
Ms. Dajani, dual qualified as a lawyer in the U.S. and England and a licensed professional engineer, serves as a lead lawyer in complex acquisitions, dispositions, financing and project development transactions involving energy and infrastructure facilities in the United States and around the world. She has, for over 20 years, been counsel to many of the world’s most prominent development and investment companies in connection with hundreds of successful infrastructure, real estate and energy transactions, and projects in conventional and Islamic equity and debt transactions. She is highly regarded for her vast experience in projects involving solar, wind, hydrogen, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, waste energy and other renewable energy facilities, as well as large-scale gas and LNG-fired cogeneration plants, coal gasification, transmission lines, and oil and gas pipelines.
Ms. Dajani represents sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, export credit agencies, investment funds, governments, banks, developers, institutional investors, lenders, pension fund advisers, contractors and asset management companies with respect to a wide range of shariah-compliant finance and investment transactions across the core practice areas of banking, project finance, capital markets, restructuring, M&A, investment funds and dispute resolution. She has expertise in structuring, documenting and negotiating complex transactions and developing innovative shariah-compliant techniques, including finance, regulation, project and asset finance, hedging and swap transactions, funds and other structures, including sukuk issues.
Ms. Dajani has repeatedly been recognised as a leading lawyer by IFLR1000, The Best Lawyers in America (2013-2020) and is winner of Law360 MVP 2020 award in the Project Finance category. She was elected to the board of directors for the American Council on Renewable Energy in 2015 and appointed as a Fellow to the Construction Lawyers Society (2017-present), an accolade given to only 42 lawyers.
Ms. Dajani is a regular contributor and commentator for CNN radio, POLITICO, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Fox News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio (NPR) and USA Today, among others.
Manager, Climate Finance & Economics
Climate Change Group, The World Bank
Hania is Manager for Climate Finance & Economics at the World Bank. In her role, she leads a team of over 30 professionals to deliver climate analytics and diagnostics that inform climate policy, priorities and finance; support client countries on carbon markets and carbon pricing; drive innovation in international carbon markets infrastructure; and develop innovative climate finance instruments and business models to support scaling up climate and carbon finance.
Prior to this role, Hania was Climate Business Development & Strategy Manager at the IFC, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, where she led a team focused on green cities and buildings, new climate technologies, and carbon markets.
Hania has also served as Assistant to the World Bank Group’s President, where she advised on a range of strategic and policy matters, including infrastructure, energy, and climate.
Hania spent over 12 years as an investment professional at IFC’s Infrastructure Department, where she structured debt and equity investments in energy sector projects. She also worked in the energy practice at Morgan Stanley and at the International Monetary Fund.
Hania holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Lotfi is the chief credit strategist of Goldman Sachs. He is responsible for research and views on global credit markets. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2007 and was named managing director in 2015. He publishes regularly on the state of fixed income markets and asset allocation. Prior to joining the firm, Lotfi taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in finance and operations research at McGill University and HEC Montreal.
Lotfi’s academic research spans fixed income markets, interest rate models and macro-finance. It has been recognized with awards from the Financial Mathematics Institute of Montréal and published in a number of leading academic journals such as the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Derivatives, and Management Science.
Born and raised in Tunisia, Lotfi graduated from the Institut des Hautes Études Commerciales in Carthage, Tunisia with a Bachelor degree in finance in 2000. He earned a Master’s degree in Financial Engineering from HEC Montréal in 2002 and a PhD in Financial Economics from McGill University in 2007. He is fluent in Arabic and French.
Laura Osman is the President of Amunet Advisors. Prior to her current role, Ms. Osman was Chief Investment Officer of Concord International Investments Group, LP. She is the senior portfolio manager of all the Concord Group’s public equity funds and a key member of its various Investment Committees. Throughout her tenure at Concord, several of the funds under her management were ranked top performers in the world.
Ms. Osman joined the Concord Group in 1996, having spent the prior 6 years in the Asset Management Division of Prudential Securities in New York where she founded and headed Prudential’s Portfolio Analytics Group.
Ms. Osman is a member of the Economic Club of New York and sits on several professional boards. She is also a former President of the Board of the Arab Bankers Association of North America, a founding Board member and former President of the ABANA Foundation and a former member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. She also sat on the board of the United States Egypt Friendship Society (USEF).
Ms. Osman received a BBA in Marketing in 1989 and an MBA in International Finance in 1994 both with honours, from Baruch College, City University of New York.