Speakers Profiles - Public Sector
First Vice President and Head of Client Services, EBRD
Jurgen Rigterink is a First Vice President and Head of Client Services Group of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He oversees the Client Services Group which is comprised of the Banking and Policy & Partnerships departments. He has overall responsibility for implementation of Banking and Policy objectives, ensuring that EBRD investments, policy engagement and advisory services deliver the maximum transition impact in EBRD’s countries of operations.
Mr. Rigterink chairs the Operations Committee which reviews all investment proposals before consideration by the Board of Directors and oversees the formulation of the Bank’s strategy to effectively and efficiently promote the transition of the countries of operations where the EBRD invests.
Before he came to the EBRD in 2018, Mr Rigterink was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of FMO, the Dutch Development Bank. Before his time at FMO, he worked in the private sector at ABN AMRO where he ran the company’s activities in Kazakhstan and held a number of senior positions including Sector Head of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
State Secretary, Ministry of Economy, Croatia
Zdenko Lucić is the State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts of the Republic of Croatia.
Throughout his professional career, both in private and in the public sector, Mr. Lucić has been actively involved in the development of investment projects. His private professional career was in sectors of retail, hotel development and marketing. After his internship in the United States, he established a marketing company. He continued his career at the public sector at the Agency for Promotion of Trade and Investments and later in the Ministry of Economy, where he actively participated in the development of investment projects and made a significant contribution to the drafting of regulations related to the area of investment.
In 2012, Mr. Lucić was appointed as the Acting Director of the newly constituted Agency for Investments and Competitiveness, and his chief task was to set up the Agency. After formal establishment of the Agency, he continued working there as the Director of Sector for Investments, in charge of co-formulating strategic goals and implementing activities for attracting new investments as well as for supporting investment projects during their development in Croatia. In March 2017, Mr. Lucić became the new Managing Director of the Agency.
In January 2019, Mr. Lucić was appointed as the State Secretary, Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Republic of Croatia.
He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, USA in 2005 and completed his MBA studies at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb in 2017.
President of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency, Hungary
Róbert Ésik is an economist and a finance & investment analysis expert. He graduated at the Corvinus University of Budapest and earned a master’s degree at the Université Panthéon Assas in Paris.
He spent almost 15 years in various positions at the largest ICT companies of the world, such as Alcatel, Siemens, Nokia and Amazon. As the country director of Nokia Solutions and Networks he played a key role in the Hungarian subsidiary becoming one of Nokia’s most important technology development centres.
Since October 2014 he has been directing the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA: www.hipa.hu).
Róbert’s professional, as well as personal ambition is to further promote his homeland as a favourable investment location and by so doing contribute to Hungary’s economic and social development.
Head, Representative Office in the UK, Investment and Development Agency, Latvia
By heading Investment and Development Agency of Latvia Representative Offices in key markets such as Sweden and the United Kingdom, Guntis has orchestrated full lifecycle of projects ranging in size, value, and complexity – collaborating with businesses and policymakers from a wide range of industries.
His core competencies lay with facilitation of revenue streams for various businesses and industries, as well as market share growth via establishing productive platforms for partnerships, contracts, promotions, and sponsorships.
Recently he enrolled for Executive MBA at ESCP Europe Business School.
CFO, Solidarity Transport Hub, Poland
Michał Wrona is Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Management Board in Solidarity Transport Hub. Michał Wrona is a senior manager with over 12 years of experience in investment banking with a strong focus on equity capital markets, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and financing of investment projects. He was responsible for managing over 30 strategic projects for a wide range of clients including Polish entrepreneurs, leading PE houses and the Polish State Treasury in privatisation transactions. They led to secure additional financing for many large and medium-sized Polish and international companies and their shareholders with a total value of over PLN 25 billion as new capital (capital increase), bonds or long-term debt.
He held the position of Director in Pekao Investment Banking – the leading brokerage house with solid expertise in corporate finance and equity capital advisory services in Poland.
Michał Wrona graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics with the MSc in Finance and Banking. He also participated in the Aviation Management Professional Program at Stanford University in cooperation with IATA. In addition, Michał Wrona holds a diploma from HEC Paris - Le Master International de Management et d'Economie. He also studied in Canada at HEC Montréal.
He is a true fan of aviation, sport (tennis and skiing) and history of art.
Head of business, Go Vilnius, Lithuania
Karolis Zemaitis is the Head of Business at Go Vilnius, leading the team responsible for the economic competitiveness of the city. Prior to joining Go Vilnius, Mr. Zemaitis worked as the Project Manager of Institute of Europe, led by former EU Ambassador to Russia and Afghanistan Mr. Vygaudas Usackas. Previously Karolis worked in Invest Lithuania and various pan-European advocacy platforms working with European Union and Council of Europe.
Go Vilnius is the Official Business and Tourism Development Agency of the City of Vilnius, Lithuania. Go Vilnius promotes international business, talent, and tourism attraction to the city, helps companies and individuals establish themselves in Vilnius, and promotes the international tourism and meetings industry in Vilnius. Official website of the Agency - http://www.govilnius.lt/
Senior Adviser, Ministry for Business Environment,
Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Romania
Horia Mintas is Senior Adviser in Foreign Investment Department in the Ministry for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. In 2012 he entered the public administration at the City Hall of Bucharest and in 2014 became personal adviser to the Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship dealing with the business environment, foreign investments and foreign affairs. For a brief period of time, in 2016, he founded and managed a start up in food industry, but in 2017 he decided to return as personal adviser to the Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship dealing with foreign investments and foreign affairs. In late 2017, Horia Mintas became Director of the Foreign Investment Department in the Ministry for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, and since August 2018 he is a Senior Advisor in the same department.
Born in Oradea and brought up in a family involved in the business sector since the early ‘90, he became familiar with the business environment and have started to experience the mentality of leadership and dealing with people from the age of 15. He graduated from various schools of economics and attended courses in Spain and Singapore. During university years, he founded, together with a few friends, the Romanian Association of Young Entrepreneurs and held the position of Vice President of the European Association of Young Entrepreneurs.
Senior Consultant, The Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO), Slovakia
During his career at SARIO Miroslav has advised dozens of companies interested in setting up or expanding a facility in Slovakia. He specializes on various kinds of projects, from the manufacturing facilities to the shared services, IT and R&D centres. The main focus is set on attracting and supporting projects that embody innovation and higher added value.
Slovakia as a part of the CEE region is very well known for being an attractive investment location. Miroslav and his colleagues at SARIO are eager to support potential investors and guide them throughout the project implementation. SARIO is a one stop shop providing wide range of critical services to new as well as already established investors.
Partner PRK Partners Prague, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Jakub Lichnovský is a recognised specialist in industrial development projects, development and investment projects in general. His experience and understanding of the complex procedures required to develop a new manufacturing or commercial property and to place investments have generally helped guide both individual investors and large multinationals in making their investments in the Central European region.
Jakub graduated from the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague and has been working at PRK Partners for over ten years. He became a partner in 2009.
Jakub has managed to successfully conclude numerous major development projects in the Czech Republic, including the development of a large greenfield industrial campus that involved a state subsidy for innovation, job creation and investment placement. He provided legal advice on the construction of a multi-building logistics site that involved complex issues relating to easement structure, brownfield redevelopment for an integrated automotive parts manufacturer and numerous other shopping-centre, residential and commercial projects, including the development of strategic industrial zones and the handling of environmental and construction law issues.
Jakub is fluent in Czech and English, and is an attorney at law of the Czech Bar Association and International Bar Association (IBA). He is also a member of the managing board of Randa’s Foundation and a steering committee member of Association for Foreign Investment (AFI).
Head of Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Department, SPIRIT Slovenia, Slovenia
Vid Habjan is Head of Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Department at SPIRIT Slovenia, which is Slovenian Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalisation Foreign Investment and Technology. SPIRIT Slovenia is entrusted with the regulatory, expert and development tasks serving to increase competitiveness of Slovenia's economy in the area of entrepreneurship, internationalisation, foreign investment, and technology. Operating as “one-stop-shop” for potential investors, InvestSlovenia Team maintains data bases with public and private investment projects and land for commercial and industrial purposes in all sectors of the economy. Information is provided free-of-charge to meet investors’ specific needs and budgets. Support and facilitation of services for investors include:
• Information on industries, legislation, taxes and incentive
• Information on industrial sites and local suppliers
• Links with industry and local authorities
• Organisation of fact-finding missions, business and investment conferences and trade shows
Former Head of Estonian Investment Agency, Estonia
Kristi Tiivas is a former banking executive and economic advisor to the Prime Minister of Estonia. She started her career at the Tallinn Stock Exchange and saw through the mergers with three Nordic exhanges, until the group was acquired by Nasdaq group. Tiivas continued in London at Deutsche Börse, later moving on to head the Scandinavian business operations of Brown Brothers Harriman bank. In 2010, she moved back to Estonia to head the government investment agency, later serving as the economic advisor to the Prime Minister. She is currently advising private clients on technology investments.
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology, Poland
Appointed as Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Development in November 2015. In 1999–2002, worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. In 2009, became the Director of the Museum of Polish People’s Republic (PRL) in Kraków. Is a councillor in the regional assembly of Małopolskie Voivodeship and Vice-Chair of the Commission for the Innovation and Modern Technologies.
Jadwiga Emilewicz is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies at the Jagiellonian University. She has begun doctoral studies at the Jagiellonian University’s Department of International and Political Studies. She is a holder of Oxford University scholarship, as well as scholarship granted under the American Council on Germany programme by Dräger Foundation, ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. She has been associated with Tischner European University in Kraków since 2003. A social worker, the author of numerous scientific publications. The former President of the Better Poland Foundation.
Speakers Profiles - Private Sector
Commercial Director, GA Drilling, Slovakia
Karl started his professional career in heavy fabrication of offshore and onshore Drilling modules within the UK oil and gas sector, studying a 4-year traditional trade apprenticeship in Mechanical Construction Engineering.
By his mid-twenties, Karl was supervising large construction projects within the onshore and offshore industry as a Construction Manager, Project Coordinator following a natural transition to Project, Commissioning and Operations Management. Naturally he has a vast understanding of Project delivery risk and requirements through a multitude of industrial sectors both onshore and offshore. This has enabled him to evaluate more effectively consequences for actions and develop and adopt more effective strategies for delivery and quickly gain the respect of those around him for successful implementation and execution.
Karl’s core expertise over a 30 years career is underpinned by his entrepreneurial can do attitude, as a co-founder of the PETROTEC Management Consultancy Company a leading Project Management, Commissioning and Operations Consultancy executing over 50 projects within a period of 8 years undertaking expert witness services for companies such as BP, Chevron, PDVSA, Exxon, Nippon Oil, Petronas, Pemex, Petrobras, Shell, Statoil, Total, Technip to name a few. Karl held position of Companies CEO responsible for strategy and business growth within the oilfield services environment. Karl is extremely commercially astute, a strong personal character in client relations, extremely risk adverse, whilst delivering on expectations and driving the core values of Corporate Ethics and Health Safety.
Karl has written several International White Papers, Magazine articles and subject matter Key Note Speaker, Session Moderator at many internationally recognized events covering project delivery risk, local content, regulatory compliance, contracting and commercial risk within the Oil and Gas upstream environment.
Researcher and Project Manager, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
Marko Grobelnik has been affiliated with the Jožef Stefan Institute (https://www.ijs.si), the leading research institution for natural sciences in Slovenia, since 1996. He is currently co-leading the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (http://ailab.ijs.si/), which is composed of approx. 40 researchers as one of the largest European research groups working in the areas of machine learning, data mining, language technologies, semantic technologies and sensor networks. The key research direction of the group is combining modern statistical data analytic techniques with more semantic/logic based knowledge representations and reasoning techniques for with the purpose to progress in solving complex problems such as text understanding, large scale probabilistic reasoning, building broad coverage knowledge bases and dealing with scale. Marko is the author of several books and numerous scientific papers, including publications in JCR-listed journals like the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, AI Magazine, ACM Transactions on Information Systems, Semantic Web, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence Review and Decision Support Systems. He is also the W3C AC representative for JSI, CEO of the company Quintelligence, CTO of the company Qlector and co-founder of the company Cycorp Europe. Marko also served as a program chair for the European Machine Learning conference (ECMLPKDD 2009) and for the European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2011 and 2017). In terms of project experience, Marko served as the technical coordinator for the projects FP6 IST-World and FP7 VIDI and as scientific coordinator for the FP7 project X-LIKE; he was a member of the project management board in several FP6 and FP7 Projects (SEKT, NEON, ACTIVE and COIN). In 2018, Marko was named a member of the OECD Expert group on AI (AIGO).
Managing Director, QUALITANCE, Romania
A serial awarded entrepreneur, Remus has built 8 businesses. After graduating Technology Entrepreneurship MSc from UCL, he joined a family office helping on digital transformation, M&As and go to market strategies. Since 2018 he led Wayra London, Telefonica's tech accelerator, and joined QUALITANCE investing in and building tech products for high growing start-ups.
Head of innovation and E-Mobility, Rafako, Poland
A graduate of the University of Economics in Poznań (Poland) and MBA studies at Aalto University (Finland). He started his career in the investor relations and capital markets department in a company from WIG20 index on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (the largest companies in Poland). Currently, he is responsible for managing the innovation department in the RAFAKO Group.
Project leader of the first Polish electric bus with batteries in the chassis - RAFAKO E-BUS. Working closely on a day-to-day basis with InnoEnergy. Expert in H2020 at EASME. He supports start-ups in Europe in the energy and electromobility sector. He actively participates in the activities of the European Battery Alliance under the wings of the European Commission. Recently involved in the venture capital market, especially in shaping the VC market in Poland. http://e-bus.rafako.com.pl/en/home-en/
CEO, Vingd, Croatia
Engineer and entrepreneur with a focus in building emotionally intelligent AI technology that can improve people’s lives.
An AI enthusiast since he was a child, Mislav was obsessed with the idea to first understand what makes a human human and then to replicate that through technology. He believes that the basis for human intelligence is not access to vast amounts of available data but our ability to pass and improve knowledge from generation to generation. As kids we are taught thinking models and then we adapt them over time through our life experiences. At Vingd, Mislav and his team are focused on copying brains of leading human experts from different fields in order to provide a good starting point for their adaptive AI solutions.
Our world today moves very fast and in general doesn’t have enough time and resources to provide a thoughtful and attentive service at the scale we need it and at the quality we deserve. Mislav is on a mission to address this with AI and help everyone, be it a chronic GVHD patient, an athlete going through rehabilitation or a bank or telco customer. AI can help us treat each other with a deserved amount of respect and love while still making it economically feasible.
At Vingd, Mislav is bringing together different minds of original thinkers and working side by side to develop a unique expertise in understanding and modeling knowledge and intelligence. Mislav and his team are discovering new successful methodologies developed at Vingd for the purpose of creating AI solutions capable of providing human-level care and attention.
Before starting Vingd, Mislav was working as a research assistant at the Ruđer Bošković Institute on decision support systems in medicine.
CCO, Apply company, Latvia
“Vismands Menjoks is CCO at the Latvia-based company Apply that offers custom AI Computer Vision, Machine learning solutions in various industries, making them more efficient and competitive.
Vismands has over 10 years’ experience in sales and business development and he is passionate about entrepreneurship, having established numerous start-ups.
Vismands is an active advocate for AI technologies and contributes regularly as a speaker and consultant to government organizations, think-tanks, and discussions on topics like Industry 4.0, Smart Cities and AI technologies. He also currently serves as a Member at the Commission of Ethics at the Federation of Security and Defence Industry in Latvia (FSDI Latvia).
Vismands holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management from RISEBA University and has graduated the Professional MBA summer program in Business Administration at the Cambridge Judge Business School in the UK.”
Co-founder and CEO, Adeo Web, Lithuania
Paulius has spent 10 years working with more than 200 clients in Europe, North America and RSA equipping them with the tools, processes, and mindset to generate significant returns from their digital innovation. In 2009 he founded Adeo Web company, which is deeply focused on B2B, B2C E-commerce solutions. Paulius is truly passionate about all things digital and is able to use his business, technical and strategic expertise, combined with his 'can do' attitude to overcome complex challenges as well as develop disruptive digital propositions. Paulius is a keen road cyclist and terrible soccer player. Official website of the enterprise - https://www.adeoweb.biz/
Partner, Mayer Brown, United Kingdom
Rachel Speight is a partner in the Banking & Finance practice of the London office. She represents banks and sponsors in international structured and project financings. She particularly focuses on the mining finance sector and has experience in infrastructure finance in areas including the road, rail and healthcare sectors, including work on PPP projects.
Rachel joined Mayer Brown in 1999 and has spent some time on secondment to both the Royal Bank of Scotland and WestLB. Consistently recommended and ranked as a key individual by the legal directories, Rachel is "highly regarded for her advice to banks and sponsors in large project financings across the globe" (Chambers UK 2018). Chambers UK 2017 commends Rachel for being "balanced, dedicated, extremely technical, very commercial and knowledgeable ". She is "commended for her impressive experience on the African continent " by Chambers Global 2018. "A key partner in the mining practice " (Legal 500 2017), Rachel is "a very thorough and commercially-minded lawyer with a deep understanding of the mining sector" (Chambers UK 2018).
Rachel has been selected for inclusion in the Legal 500 Private Practice Powerlist: African Specialists 2019. She was also listed in The 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining 2013 and The International Who's Who of Mining Lawyers 2013 to 2019, and was named as one of the Hot 100 lawyers by the Lawyer (2015).
SVP and Chief Revenue Officer, Avast, Czech Republic
Peter Turner joined Avast (www.avast.com) in 2016 and is the SVP and Chief Revenue Officer, Consumer.
Prior to this position, Mr. Turner was General Manager, Consumer for AVG which he joined in September 2015. He has a successful track record in growing consumer businesses and before AVG was Managing Director, Consumer Services at Experian plc and held commercial roles in a variety of other consumer organizations including Orange, Freeserve, Sainsbury’s, Dixons, and GE.
He holds an HND in Business and Finance and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing.
Head of Europe and Trade Policy, Institute of Directors
Allie Renison is the Institute of Directors’ Head of Europe and Trade Policy, she leads on devising recommendations and representing the voice of members on EU policy matters both to Westminster and Whitehall and with European institutions. She provides the link between business and Government on increasing international trade and has authored a number of reports on trends in both trade and trade policy, as well as running a number of trade missions for IoD members around the world every year. She also routinely provides advocacy for the IoD on a range of regulatory issues in Brussels.
Allie joined the IoD in April 2014. Prior to this, she was Research Director at Business for Britain, the campaign focused on renegotiating the UK's relationship with the EU. Allie has previously advised a number of parliamentarians in both Houses on EU legislative issues, with particular focus on trade and employment policy areas.
Allie holds a Masters Degree in the political economy of emerging economies in the post-Soviet space.
Deputy Editor, fDi Magazine, Financial Times Group
Jacopo Dettoni is the deputy editor of fDi Magazine, a foreign investment monitor and magazine by the Financial Times. In his role he covers investment- and foreign investment- related issues for title’s print magazine and online platform.
Throughtout his career, Jacopo has specialised in on-the-ground reporting from some of the fastest growing economies in Asia, Europe and Latin America. His works have been published in different Nikkei publications such as fDi Magazine, FT.com, Nikkei Asian Review.
Jacopo is a frequent speaker at events focusing on investment-related topics, where he also chairs sessions and moderates panel discussions.
Partner, Mayer Brown
James West is a partner in the Private Equity practice of the London office. He advises on a wide range of matters including venture and development capital, mid-market buyouts, corporate M&A as well as working with both investors and management teams on buy-and-build strategies.
His client base includes private equity firms, hedge funds, management teams, joint ventures and both institutional and minority investors. In addition, James regularly acts on both the buy and sell-side of transactions.
Managing Director, ING Corporate Investments
Artur is a Managing Director at the ING Corporate Investments (part of ING Group N.V) responsible for international markets exc NL and Belgium. In his role Artur covers; an ordination, underwrite and management of subordinated debt investments emerging in connection with “Unusual Events” that involve ING Bank’s Core Clients. Funding Events include; MBOs / Minority Equity Exits, Restructurings / Capex projects / Equity Put-calls / Assets Swaps.
During his 11years at ING, Artur was also a senior member of ING RE&O – an internal restructuring team, responsible for strategic review and / or divestments of various operations of ING Group globally. ING RE&A has dealt with the repercussions of the GFC. Various ING operations have been successfully restructured, inc IB, Equipment Lease, RE IM, Defaulted Credit, Infrastructure Fund, in the following countries; Australia, Belgium, Canada, UK, Poland, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and Ukraine.
For many years, Artur was member of the Board of Directors of Welcome Break Ltd – 2nd largest UK Motorways Services Stations company. Before ING, Artur worked almost a decade at; Deutsche Bank M&A Team and JLL CF in London.