How technology is bridging the gap for the Diaspora

October 15th at 16:00 BST, as part of the Homestrings Investor Series we’re pleased to invite you to the webinar on “How Technology is Bridging the Gap for the Diaspora”.

As part of the Global Diaspora Week this webinar is helping to build the foundation of world-wide recognition of the power and potential of diaspora communities for generations to come.

During this LIVE webinar, you will be able to know more about how the use of technology has strengthen the links between Diaspora members and their home countries. In anticipation for the webinar, we’d like to introduce you to the panelists that will be present for the webinar from Developing Market Associates (DMA), Azimo alongside with Homestrings.

Register for the webinar here.


Webinar Participants:


Michael Kent
Founder and CEO – Azimo

Michael Kent is a serial entrepreneur, who has spent the last decade building businesses in consumer financial services. He founded Small World Financial Services Group in 2004, growing the multi billion-dollar company to become Europe’s largest offline money transfer provider and a top ten player globally.

Recognizing the impact mobile and social technology could have on the international money transfer market, Michael started Azimo to challenge high-transfer costs and drastically speed-up the way consumers send money abroad. Backed by over $30m in funding, the platform now enables anyone to send cash, bank transfers and mobile money to 195 countries, in 77 different currencies and over social media platforms such as Facebook.

Alongside Azimo, Michael founds and invests in consumer-focused banks and financial services businesses (e.g. CorporatePay, Curve, YoYo Wallet, ClarityFX) and advises institutional investors and blue-chip corporates on cross-border payments. He previously held senior M&A positions at WPP and News Corp.

Michael holds a MA from Cambridge University and a MBA from INSEAD.

dora-ziambraDora Ziambra
Head of Business Development – Azimo

Dora’s career has spanned multiple continents – from starting as a derivatives trader in Chicago, building her own options trading business in Germany, working in international banking in London and Frankfurt, and joining a start-up advisory in Africa.

She has worked for the ECB, Deutsche Börse and Paypal among others. She holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and an MBA from INSEAD. In her role at Azimo, Dora is not only disrupting traditional remittances players but also contributing to the overall growth of the UK Fintech sector. She is passionate about women in tech.

dov-small-140Dov Bar-Gera
CEO and Member of the Board – YooMee Africa Ltd.

Dov is a co-founder and CEO of YooMee Africa, a Pan-Africa 4G wireless broadband mobile Internet operator.Dov has co-founded, built and successfully exited numerous start-ups in the field of telecommunications, internet and technology prior to YooMee Africa. The companies included among others:

1. WiMAX Telecom – the only cross border, wireless broadband operator in Emerging Markets in East Europe. The company deployed over 200 base stations, gaining more than 12’000 customers. WiMAX Telecom was successfully sold to a US Nasdaq quoted company in 2007.

2. SurfEU AG – a pan European ISP in cooperation with the MediaMarkt Group, Europe largest electronic retailer. SurfEU generated more than 1.4 million subscribers and was acquired by Tiscali in 2001.

3. RSLCom Austria – one of the first private fixed line operators in Austria, founded after the liberalization of the market in 1998. Today, the company is part of Telekom Austria.

4. Airpage – the first private paging operator in Austria. The company was sold to Telenor, the Norwegian incumbent, in 1997.

Dov holds an MBA from INSEAD and an engineering degree. Dov is married to Anat and together they have 3 children.Dov and Anat were chosen as one of the Leading Entrepreneurs of INSEAD.

eric-smallEric Guichard
CEO – Homestrings

Eric is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Homestrings. Eric was born in Brooklyn, NY of a Guinean father (West Africa) and an American mother. He spent 20 years growing up in poor rural Guinea, going to primary and secondary school in Fria and then Conakry, the capital.

Eric deeply understands that burning desire to make a difference, when you are so far away from loved-ones, and the limitations of currently available investment options that really make an impact and are profitable. That understanding has led to Homestrings – a contraction of Homesick and Heartstrings.Eric is also currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GRAVITAS Capital Advisors, Inc. an asset management firm he founded in 1996 ( GRAVITAS Capital advises global and sovereign institutional assets.

He runs the Sovereign Solutions Practice which includes innovative macro solutions such as the Sovereign Debt Redemption Fund Ltd and the Pension Support Fund Ltd. Eric also manages GRAVITAS’s Tactical Allocation Fund, LLC. He received a 2009 Risk Innovator Award for Finance from Risk & Insurance Magazine.Prior to GRAVITAS Capital, Eric was portfolio manager at the World Bank (1990-1996) where he also served as technical adviser to sovereign and multilateral institutions worldwide.

Eric is a graduate of the University of Dakar (Cheikh Anta Diop), in Senegal; of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh; and of the Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA (World Bank Scholar and Harvard Fellowship award.) Eric lectures internationally and has published articles on global finance and risk management. He lives in Washington, DC with his family.

leon-isaacsLeon Isaacs
CEO – Developing Markets Associates (DMA)

Leon is recognised as a global authority in the remittances and money transfer industry as well as a seasoned expert and business leader. As one of the co-founders of DMA he has helped lead the company since 2007. He specialises on all elements in connection with remittances, payments, financial inclusion and diaspora investment.

Leon was also Managing Director of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks, an international trade association between 2008 and 2013 where he interacted with numerous regulators and stakeholders to represent the industry.

He is an observer to the G20 Consultative Committee of the Private-Public Sector Partnership on Remittances and has a number of honorary roles within the industry. Leon has spoken at, and chaired, numerous international conferences on remittances including at the World Bank, the United Nations and the G8. He was a steering group member of the UK Government’s Remittances Task Force, form its inception in 2005 until the completion of its work early in 2010.

An economist by training, Leon began his career with NatWest bank and subsequently moved to New Zealand where he joined Thomas Cook Group to help develop and establish the world’s first non-bank commercial foreign exchange business. Prior to establishing DMA he was intrinsically involved with two successful start-up money transfer businesses: MoneyGram International and Coinstar Money Transfer (formerly Travelex Money Transfer).

ashley-groomAshley Groom
Analyst/Project Manager – Developing Markets Associates (DMA)

Ashley is a migration and remittances specialist with a focus on harnessing remittances for development. As project manager she has delivered a range of projects for DMA clients. She was instrumental in the designing of a ground-breaking migrant survey to understand remittance habits and financial inclusion of migrant communities across London.

Ashley was also the lead researcher on a project assessing the viability of the Canadian remittances market for specific interventions to improve market conditions, including innovative financing mechanisms. Alongside her work in migration and remittances, Ashley has a detailed understanding of the regulatory environment related to cross border payments and was a member of the advisory team who supported HMG in better understanding the impact of derisking on remittance flows from the UK to developing countries. Ashley has an MSc in Migration and Development from SOAS, University of London.

For more information or webinar registration, please click here.

Tatty Bullard

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