News from the North

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News from the North

News from the North

About the speakers
  • Oumnia Benaddi
    Oumnia Benaddi
    MENA Equity Lead, Financial Institutions at EBRD
    Oumnia joined the EBRD in 2018, and leads direct equity deal sourcing and execution in the Financial Services sector in the MEA region for the institution. Previously, she was a founding member of deNovo Corporate Advisors, a leading boutique corporate finance advisory based in Dubai and focused on the MENA region. Prior to that, she held a variety of roles in M&A and capital markets advisory at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers in London and Dubai, where she advised financial institutions in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East on acquisitions, divestments, capital raising and restructurings. Oumnia holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, and a MsC in finance from ESSEC Business School.
  • Monica Brand Engel
    Monica Brand Engel
    Partner & CoFounder at Quona Capital
    Monica Brand Engel is co-founder and Managing Partner at Quona Capital, where she leads Quona's Africa, MENA and Cross-Border investment strategy. Monica is an entrepreneur and investor, having launched various funds and products aimed at broadening financial inclusion. She is the co-founding Managing Partner of Quona Capital – a venture firm focused on fintech for inclusion in emerging markets. Quona is the investment manager for the Quona Accion Inclusion Fund and its predecessors – pioneering venture funds focused on financial technology for impact. Monica started in Silicon Valley, where she helped launch a $50 million multi-bank lending intermediary to finance small businesses. Monica also worked at Calvert Ventures and Anthuri Ventures – early stage equity vehicles based in Bethesda and Cape Town, respectively. While living in S Africa, Monica founded Anthuri Catalysts to prepare early stage companies for investment. Monica then was recruited by Accion to set up a product innovation group and worked in Mexico with Gentera (née Compartamos) Bank, the largest microfinance institution in Latin America – which went public in 2007 (NSDQ: GENTERA:MM). Using the IPO proceeds, Monica founded Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, the predecessor to Quona Capital, where Monica served as Managing Director. Monica holds an MBA and MA Ed from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Williams College. She serves on the boards of Khazna, Wasoko, Verto, and Twinco and is a founding member of the EMPEA Impact Council. Previously, she served on the boards of Yoco (pre IPO), Gentera (née Compartamos) Bank (IPO), Shubham Housing (sold to Premji Invest), Pay Rent Builds Credit (accquired by MicroBilt), Tiaxa (acquired by BeMobi), Azimo (acquired by Papaya), Zoona (acquired by Chipper Cash) and chaired the Investor Representative Committee of LeapFrog I, the world’s first dedicated microinsurance fund. She’s half Peruvian and blessed with a fantastic husband and twins.

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