Chief Executive Officer
John Orchard is Chief Executive Officer of OMFIF, taking over on 1 January 2020. He chairs OMFIF’s executive committee and is a member of the OMFIF board.
Up to November 2019 John was a member of Euromoney’s management board, having started with the London stock market-quoted global information business in 1994. John oversaw all aspects of Euromoney’s £65m turnover finance and banking division, comprising Euromoney, the publishing and events business, GlobalCapital, the primary capital markets news, data and events service, and IMN, the New York-based securitisation and real estate events business. He presided over events and publications to mark Euromoney’s 50th anniversary, including the organisation’s celebratory dinner on 10 July 2019 at the London Hilton with 500 senior bankers and their teams.
Orchard has a double honours degree in German language and European history from the University of East Anglia, where he studied under the tutorship of the writer W.G. Sebald.
Managing Editor and Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Clive Horwood is Managing Editor and Deputy Chief Executive of OMFIF, where he is responsible for all content and helps set the strategic direction of the company. He joined in November 2020.
Prior to this, he spent 15 years as Editor of Euromoney, the leading publication for the global banking industry and capital markets, where he became the title’s longest-serving editor. During this time he interviewed and formed close relationships with many of the leading bankers and policy-makers globally, pioneering coverage on ESG issues from early in his tenure and making Euromoney the benchmark accreditor for financial institutions globally.
Clive started his career as a financial journalist as a reporter on Euromoney in 1993. He was Deputy Editor of Euroweek, the capital markets newspaper. He successfully launched Credit magazine in 2000, and was editor of Risk, the leading title for the global derivatives industry, from 2003 to 2005.
Chief Operating Officer
Sarah Holmes is Chief Operating Officer. She is responsible for ensuring implementation of the company’s strategy across a wide range of fields, including meetings, report production, and marketing and communications. Holmes develops relationships with public and private sector institutions across the world, including central banks, sovereign funds, public pension funds, hedge funds and asset managers.
Holmes was previously Operations Director for a business media company, based in New York. She was responsible for creating strategy and implementing processes to improve business efficiency and profitability. Designing, executing and managing the operational and financial planning for large-scale meetings, Holmes has worked extensively across North, South and Central America, and throughout Europe.
Chris is Commercial Director at OMFIF. His role is to expand and enhance OMFIF’s activities. He previously worked in financial publishing for Incisive Media and Euromoney Institutional Investor.
He has set up international investment conferences all over the world and has worked extensively in Russia, Southern Europe and across Asia. He has been involved in British and European politics for many years and has stood for parliament at both general and European elections.
He studied at the University of East Anglia and the IE Business School in Madrid, where he is now a visiting lecturer on financial markets and business ethics.
Chief Economist & Director, Research
Danae Kyriakopoulou is Chief Economist and Director of Research at OMFIF. She also chairs OMFIF’s Sustainable Policy Institute. Her team ensures that OMFIF’s economic research agenda continues to put the organisation at the forefront of understanding the economic and strategic issues facing global public policy and investment institutions such as central banks, sovereign funds and public pension funds. These range from monetary policy and ﬁnancial regulation to reserves management, investment policy and governance, including issues around climate risk supervision by central banks, ESG integration in portfolio management and the scaling up of green and sustainable ﬁnance. She is a frequent speaker and contributor on these themes in the media, international publications and seminars.
Prior to joining OMFIF, she was Managing Economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research. She has also served as Economic Adviser to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has worked at the Bank of Greece. She holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Brasenose College, Oxford, and an MSc in Economics for Development from the Oxford Department for International Development. She is fluent in German, Greek and Spanish.
Mark Sobel is US Chairman at OMFIF. Mark is a veteran US Treasury official, who was at the forefront of international financial diplomacy for two decades.
Mark, who represented the US on the International Monetary Fund executive board up to April 2018, has had a 40-year Treasury career with extensive around-the-world engagement.
He works with OMFIF in dealings with private and public sector organisations, speak regularly on international and US policy, and provide OMFIF members with insight and analysis.
Mark was Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for international monetary and financial policy between 2000 and early 2015. He helped lead Treasury preparations for G7 and G20 finance minister and central bank governor meetings, formulated US positions at the IMF, and coordinated Treasury and regulatory agencies’ work in the Financial Stability Board.
Mark founded the US/EU Financial Market Regulatory Dialogue and chaired an international group of private and official sovereign debt experts that developed enhanced collective action clauses for sovereign debt restructuring. He managed the $100bn-plus Treasury Exchange Stabilization Fund and played a key role in US foreign exchange policy including coordinating the Treasury’s semi-annual foreign exchange report on China and other countries.
Patricia Haas Cleveland
Patricia Haas Cleveland is President, US Operations at OMFIF. She has had a decades-long career in international finance, spanning roles in the government, multilateral development banks and Wall Street.
Patricia began her career as an international economist at the US Treasury in Washington, where she served as Treasury’s China economist and helped to establish the US-China Joint Economic Committee. She subsequently joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London where she headed budget, financial policy and strategic planning, and served on the president's task force under Jacques de Larosière, to propose a turn-around strategy and operational priorities for the Bank.
Patricia later joined Lehman Brothers in London as head of the European corporate advisory division, and then moved to New York where she established and headed Lehman Brothers’ capital markets prime services strategic advisory group for hedge fund clients. After Lehman Brothers, Patricia was a consultant for cross-border Chinese investment before joining Citigroup as a managing director in the institutional clients group, focused on the public sector and development banks. She later served as financial adviser to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing during its pre-launch stage.
Finance and Administration
Afroditi Argyropoulou is Human Resources Manager at OMFIF.
Previously, she worked in education and as a research assistant. Before that, she interned at Reload Greece, where she supported the directors in communicating the aims of the charity, edited content and worked on the website. She was also responsible for reaching out to potential stakeholders for donations and events.
Afroditi holds a BSc degree in Psychology from the University of Kent and an MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology from the London School of Economics. She is fluent in Greek.
Assistant Financial Accountant
Ruby Brogan is Assistant Financial Accountant at OMFIF and plays a key role in the day to day running of the finance department, supporting business needs. Her responsibilities include cash management, financial planning, reporting and controls and assisting the Head of Finance with month end and year end processes.
Prior to joining OMFIF, Ruby worked in the Financial Planning and Analysis team for the underwriting division of one the world’s leading insurance intermediary groups.
Ruby is currently a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and is actively studying.
Marketing and Communications
Stefan Berci is Communications Manager at OMFIF, responsible for all external communications across the OMFIF network. Stefan leads all press and media relations, and oversees marketing campaign strategies. He is responsible for web and social media development, as well as company CRM.
Stefan has more than 10 years of experience in the media, with deep knowledge of media relations and technology having worked in both television broadcasting and public relations. Prior to OMFIF, he worked in the UK rail sector as a public relations and marketing manager and oversaw a wide range of communication strategies – public, membership and media relations, community outreach, branding, advertising and events – from development to implementation.
Stefan holds a BA in Political Science and Journalism from Transylvanian Babeș-Bolyai University.
James Fitzgerald is Marketing Manager at OMFIF. He is responsible for optimising and executing the company’s marketing and communications activities.
James worked in marketing for a major magazine publishing house prior to joining OMFIF. His major focus was on marketing to both mass consumer markets and small business owners to ranging across both traditional print and digital platforms.
James holds a BA in Political Economy and Management from the University of Sydney.
Programmes Manager, Sustainable Policy Institute
Emma is Programmes Manager, Sustainable Policy. She is responsible for researching trends, developing relationships and programming meetings for the Sustainable Policy Institute.
Prior to joining OMFIF, Emma worked for several years as a conference producer, developing and running international conferences in the tech, legal and finance sectors, leading on content, research and building key industry relationships. Before this, she was a team leader for a local community development project based in Kenya.
Emma has a MSc in International Development from the University of Amsterdam, and a BSc in History and American Studies from Sussex University.
Programmes Manager, Americas
Saul Chambers is Programmes Manager, Americas at OMFIF. He is responsible for researching trends, building relationships and creating programmes throughout the Americas.
Prior to joining OMFIF, he worked at a financial media house for three years, leading on content and member engagement, alongside running the conference team. Before this, he worked as a conference director for an independent conference organiser, overseeing their fintech portfolio.
Saul has a BSc in Economics from the University of Plymouth.
Diana Berbece is Programmes Coordinator at OMFIF. Her responsibilities include setting up the podcast strategy, organising meetings and assisting with logistics.
Prior to joining OMFIF, she worked at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, where she helped organise conferences, webinars and graduation ceremonies. Prior to that, she lived in Brussels where she worked as an events and projects manager at STELLA Consulting, an environmental consultancy.
Diana holds an MSc in Communication Studies from Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium and an MA in European Union studies from Leiden University, the Netherlands.
Sasha Stileman is Logistics Coordinator at OMFIF. Prior to joining OMFIF, she worked at an events venue, organising a wide range of private and corporate events. Before that, she was an events assistant at a law firm.
Sasha holds a BA in International Hospitality Management from NHL Stenden Hogeschool in the Netherlands. As part of her degree, she studied Events Management in Bali and Bangkok. Sasha also undertook a corporate internship at Hilton Worldwide prior to graduating.
Deputy Head of Programming and Europe Manager
Ellie is Deputy Head of Programming and Europe Manager. She is responsible for researching trends, developing relationships and programming meetings throughout Europe.
Prior to joining OMFIF she worked at Chatham House, designing and managing a busy events calendar covering all aspects of foreign affairs. Before this she worked in the UK Parliament as a researcher for a shadow minister covering justice policy, and has worked for a non-governmental organisation in Botswana.
She has a BSc in Politics from the University of Bristol.
Head of Logistics
Ben Rands is Head of Logistics at OMFIF, responsible for organising a range of meetings across Europe and wider areas.
He undertook a year’s industry placement at OMFIF and, in recognition of his successes, was invited back to join the team permanently. Prior to joining OMFIF, his experience included organising and managing charity events across Lincolnshire, as well as working at a historic venue in Eastbourne in an event management role.
He holds a BA in International Event Management from the University of Brighton.
Head of Programming
Marcin Stepan is Head of Programming at OMFIF. He is responsible for managing the relationships with central banks, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds in Europe, as well as programming a busy annual schedule of OMFIF Meetings throughout the region.
Prior to joining OMFIF, Marcin’s experience has been in conference and training production specialising in the finance and energy sectors. He has also worked as a teacher and translator in Poland, Russia and France.
Marcin holds a BA in History from the University of Warwick. He speaks English, Polish, French and Russian.
Programmes Manager, Fintech and Emerging Markets
Katie-Ann Wilson is Programmes Manager, Fintech and Emerging Markets at OMFIF. She is responsible for supporting the programming division in researching and organising meetings as well as maintaining relationships with central banks, public pension funds and sovereign funds.
Prior to joining OMFIF, she worked at King’s College London, supporting the social science and public policy faculty on research submissions to higher education funding bodies. Before this, she worked as a grant writer for a non-governmental organisation in Israel.
Katie-Ann holds an MA in International Political Economy from King’s College London and a BA (Hons) in International Relations from the University of Leeds.
Membership and Commercial Partnerships
Mitchell Hoverd is Commercial Executive at OMFIF, responsible for managing and developing relationships with central banks and public institutions.
Prior to joining OMFIF, Mitchell worked for Buckinghamshire council in a business support role. He has also worked for extended periods of time in the US, as a sports coach and tutor.
He holds a BA in Intercultural Communication and Business Management from the University of East Anglia.
Relationship Manager, US
Folusho Olutosin is Relationship Manager, US at OMFIF. Her responsibilities include recognising new partnership opportunities and developing and maintaining relationships with global public and private financial institutions.
Prior to joining OMFIF, Folusho spent two years in the US, developing and overseeing the sales execution for the North American conference division at Marcus Evans.
Folusho holds an LLB (Hons) in Law from Nottingham Law School and an LLM in Professional Legal Practice from the University of Law.
Lead Relationship Director, Macro-economic coverage
Jamie Bulgin is Lead Relationship Director, Macro-economic coverage, with overall responsibility for relations with all financial institutions worldwide, ranging from central banks and sovereign wealth funds to debt management offices and treasuries.
Bulgin re-joined OMFIF in February 2014, having been involved in its inception in 2009/10. In the intervening period he spent four years at OMFIF’s sister company Lafferty Group, including a spell managing operations at the International Academy of Retail Banking – a new academy launched to improve standards in retail banking.
Bulgin is fluent in German, and holds a BA in German from the University of Sheffield and specialises in German-British cultural relations. He has built strong relations with London-based German bodies, including the Embassy of Germany and the German-British Chamber of Commerce.
Commercial Director, Fintech and Private Markets
Julia is Commercial Director, Fintech and Private Markets at OMFIF. Julia started her career as a credit analyst at a Russian bank, where she was responsible for the management and assessment of credit risks and recommendations for more quality lending. Later, she joined a commodity trader. She completed a comprehensive analysis of oil prices and their effect on the market for mergers and acquisitions.
In 2013, Julia joined a single family office in London. Julia was responsible for marketing and analysis of funds and hedge funds, before moving to the investor relations department. Here she was responsible for fundraising and marketing for project finance, private equity and venture capital co-investments. Julia has developed a number of significant relationships with family offices, sovereign funds and international commercial and development banks in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Julia worked with entrepreneurs and founders to create and build businesses that aligned with the company’s philosophy and strategy.
Julia holds a BA (Hons) from EBS London in International Business. She speaks Russian, English, German and Arabic and is part IMC qualified.
Head of OMFIF US
Sofia Melis is Head of OMFIF US. Melis looks after OMFIF’s relationships with global public and private financial institutions such as central banks, sovereign funds, pensions funds, hedge funds and asset managers.
Prior to working at OMFIF Melis was Member Journey Manager for The Chartered Quality Institute, where she was responsible for the engagement and retention of around 20,000 members.
Melis holds a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cagliari in Italy and a postgraduate diploma in International Management from the University of London.
Commercial Director, Sustainability and Asset Class Coverage
Mingiyan Shalkhakov is Commercial Director, Sustainability and Asset Class Coverage at OMFIF. He is responsible for managing and developing relationships with global financial institutions, including central banks, sovereign funds, pension funds, asset managers and other organisations within both the public and private sectors.
Shalkhakov was previously involved in new business development at Capital Economics and Invest Global Consulting in London. He speaks fluent Russian and English, and holds a BA in Economics and Politics and MSc in International Business Economics from the University of the West of England.
Research and Editorial
Sarah is Subeditor at OMFIF. She is responsible for editing and proofing a range of OMFIF publications, both online and in print.
She joined OMFIF from Argus Media, an energy price reporting company, where she was a production editor. Prior to this she spent three years as editor with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors where she was responsible for editing, typesetting and proofing a wide range of technical and legal material.
Sarah has a BA in English Literature and American Studies and an MA in Modern Literature, both from the University of Leicester.
Natalia Ospina is Research Assistant at OMFIF. In this capacity, she works on the organisation’s research and analysis on a wide range of subjects relevant to central banks and sovereign funds. Her specialist research interests include capital markets, financial regulation, and the economic structure and environment of Latin America and Africa.
Prior to joining OMFIF, she worked on financial regulation at the Colombian Financial Superintendence, the government authority in charge of the supervision and regulation of the financial system and the capital markets. She also worked as a trial lawyer at that same entity.
She completed the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government of the University of Oxford. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in law with a minor in economics from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia.
Fergus McKeown is Subeditor at OMFIF. He is responsible for editing and proofing copy for OMFIF’s print and online publications.
He was editor at Mogul News prior to joining OMFIF, where he oversaw the news content for the start-up’s website and app. He has previously worked for Palgrave MacMillan, as both production editor and production assistant.
He holds a BA from Trinity College, Dublin in Ancient and Medieval History and Culture.
Assistant Production Editor
Will Coningsby-Brown is Assistant Production Editor at OMFIF. His responsibilities include assisting with the production of a portfolio of print and digital products. He has a specialist knowledge in trade book publishing, having played a key role in publishing recent titles for OMFIF Press.
Prior to joining OMFIF, he was an Editorial Assistant at a sports newspaper, where he was responsible for the transition to, and effective running of, its new website. He has also undertaken various internships in the book publishing industry.
He holds a BA in Politics from Keele University.
Simon Hadley is Director, Production at OMFIF. He is responsible for the design and production of OMFIF’s publications, including liaising with suppliers such as printers, paper merchants and illustrators on a daily basis to ensure timely production of our titles.
His previous roles have resulted in more than 30 years’ experience in the publishing industry including stints on daily newspapers and financial b2b magazines such as Money Marketing and Fund Strategy for Centaur Media.
An experienced, prize-winning photographer, he also contributes pictures to OMFIF publications.
Pierre Ortlieb is Economist at OMFIF. He contributes to a range of research projects on a wide variety of subjects relevant to central banks and sovereign funds. Prior to joining OMFIF, Pierre gained experience through various roles at think tanks and as a speechwriter at the European Central Bank.
He completed his bachelor’s degree at Yale College, followed by an MSc in International Political Economy at the London School of Economics. He speaks German and French fluently.
Senior Economist & Head of Fintech Research
Bhavin Patel is Senior Economist & Head of Fintech Research at OMFIF. In this capacity, he works on the organisation’s research and analysis on a wide range of subjects relevant to central banks, sovereign funds and public pension funds.
His specialist research interests include the economic structure and environment of the Middle East, financial market development in emerging markets, Islamic finance, and the digital economy including fintech and central bank digital currencies. Prior to joining OMFIF his research interests focused on issues around the choice of exchange rate regimes and models of currency and financial crises.
He holds a BSc in Financial Economics with Econometrics and an MSc in Economics and Finance with Distinction, both from the University of Kent.
Deputy Head of Research
Kat Usita is Deputy Head of Research at OMFIF. In this capacity, she works on the organisation’s research and analysis on a wide range of subjects relevant to central banks, sovereign funds and public pension funds. Her specialist research interests include infrastructure investment and gender diversity in public investment institutions.
Previously, she was part of the Philippine civil service, monitoring the development of airports, railways and other infrastructure projects under the Department of Transportation. She also worked in Philippine politics, handling research for a national electoral campaign.
She completed the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government of the University of Oxford. While earning her degree she helped promote studying in the UK as a student ambassador for the British Council Philippines. She also holds a BSc in Economics from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.