An impassioned advocate of increased responsible investment in developing countries, Gavin has been a prominent writer, broadcaster and commentator on the frontiers of finance for over two decades. His book, Frontier, was acclaimed as a “must read” by the Financial Times. Gavin’s work leading Bloomberg’s teams of journalists uncovering the world of derivatives that triggered the global financial crisis won him the Society of American Business Editors & Writers’ Best in Business Award and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Deadline Club Award.
Subsequently creating and leading Bloomberg’s Emerging Markets team, Gavin founded Frontier Funds in 2015 to help increase understanding of the challenges and opportunities in frontier and emerging markets through his own writing, and through constant and proactive dialogue with the most influential journalists, investors and leaders. He regularly organizes and chairs key global forums, including the recent African Agri Investment Indaba, Bloomberg Frontier Forum and SuperReturn Asia and Africa conferences. Gavin has advised Singapore’s President, Prime Minister and sovereign wealth fund; impact investors including LeapFrog Investments, one of five companies listed by Fortune magazine as changing the world for the better; emerging market investment banks including Exotix Capital; and country risk analysis firms including PRS Group.
Dr Stephen Pax Leonard
Dr Stephen Pax Leonard is a multi-lingual former Eurobond trader at Credit Suisse and ECM Emerging Market specialist at HSBC who has subsequently completed a doctorate at Oxford University, held academic positions with the most prestigious funding bodies at both Oxford and Cambridge, and published five books and several television documentaries. A frequent commentator on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ Programme, Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’ and Deutsche Welle, Stephen’s interests span Latin America, Africa and Russia/Ukraine as well as shipping, tankers and green bond initiatives. As an emerging market debt specialist as well as an academic ethnographer, Stephen believes beta can be best gained from living and travelling in under-researched frontier markets.
Former Financial Times foreign correspondent, Mail on Sunday Special Correspondent and Reuters and Dow Jones journalist, Edna is also a celebrated author and the co-Founder of Beyond Conflict, the mental health charity for conflict zones. Edna has led thought-leading documents, including Britain's 2015 Peace Commission report on regenerating the UK’s regional economy, Morgan Stanley’s 2016 report on Iran, and a series on India's super-wealthy for a major private investment group in 2017. Edna is the author of Holy Warriors, The Last Jews of Kerala and The Hollow Kingdom: ISIS and the Cult of Jihad.
An experienced journalist from Pakistan, Kaswar's stories are published widely by domestic media such as The Nation and overseas by the Los Angles Times, the Daily Mail, Axel Springer, The Straits Times, South China Morning Post, Xinhua and many more. During 13 years in journalism, Kaswar was based in India for eight years as a reporter for India Today, one of Asia's biggest media groups, and subsequently worked as a broadcaster and commentator for the English-language India Today TV and the Hindi news channel Aaj Tak as the Pakistan correspondent.
During his 20 years as a journalist, Cyril has worked for Zimbabwe's leading newspapers including The Zimbabwe Independent and The Financial Gazette as well as regional trade journals published by the Kenya-based Group Media Publishers. The Harare-based writer features regularly in a number of international publications such as TRT World and Fair Planet, and has provided research for organisations including Insight TWI.
A compelling storyteller with over 15 years experience covering international news for NBC News digital and broadcast platforms in New York and London, Petra has a knack for producing stories that resonate with readers. A former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Cote d’Ivoire, she has traveled extensively in sub-Saharan Africa and has a Master’s in International Relations from New York University. She is keen to tell more of the untold stories of frontier and emerging markets.
Simply Google “custard shortage” for a taste of Jules’s inimitable campaign style: her tongue-in-cheek rant about the lack of custard in her home town set off a chain of media articles from the Guardian to the front-page of London’s Metro and even inspired a book from Penguin: “Whitstable Mum in Custard Shortage.’’ It also marked the start of local businesses grouping to defend their livelihoods against out-of-town superstores. Jules retains deep relationships in media built up over 15 years spent running her own PR agency, hosting radio shows for the BBC and Channel Radio, and writing and editing business columns. She is also a consummate networker as the founder of “Slope Off Friday” and instigator of Tweetups.
A top-ranked Internet of Things (IoT) expert and the second most-followed Chief Marketing Officer on Twitter worldwide, Ken Herron hosted the award-winning Social Solutions show and is a popular author and frequent speaker on digital transformation and leveraging new technologies to emotionally connect companies to their customers. Ken's experience includes roles as CMO of Unified Artificial Intelligence leader Unified Inbox Pte. Ltd. (UIB), co-founder of software company SocialGrow, CMO for Online Buddies and VP of Interactive Strategies at Realogy. Ken spent 17 years with AT&T/Lucent Technologies/Avaya, where he managed a 200+ person global team. He serves as a member of the advisory board of digital health company TraveDoc. Ken earned his Executive M.M.P. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Masters of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics and German from Drew University’s College of Liberal Arts.
Marc's media career began at UK publishing, networking and events giant EMAP, where he held key global roles in London, Geneva and Chicago in B2B, consumer and media markets. In 2001, Marc established his PR consultancy specialising in exchange trading, energy, commodities and fintech, New Journey Group. He has handled successful media and investor campaigns for the world’s leading stock markets, exchanges and financial services providers including the European Energy Exchange, Barclays and Cleartrade. Marc has a BA Honours degree in Strategic Marketing and European Law.
Talib has applied experience of complex debt and equity transactions at the biggest investment banks and consultancy firms to deepen understanding of risk and reward in frontier and emerging markets. Talib developed the investment approaches from Gavin Serkin’s book, Frontier, to create an investment index that has consistently outperformed the MSCI Frontier Markets Index. Talib, whose career spans roles at Barclays, Credit Suisse, Citi and Ernst & Young, dealing with derivatives and ETFs among other areas in corporate finance, is also active in building fintech and insuretech platforms.
An experienced investment banker in New York, London and Tokyo, Simon has been involved in multiple successful start-up businesses including Credit Market Analysis (CMA), the derivatives data company acquired by CME Group. He has numerous non-executive roles and is Chairman of the External Oversight Committee for Octopus Investments, which manages over $7 billion in assets. In 2015, Simon founded Camscorp, an international commodity trading, advisory and investment business focused on building long-term sustainable raw commodity export businesses in Africa through ownership of the supply chain.
Charles has experience in a diverse range of corporate environments from start-ups and SMEs to large multinational organisations, and has specialised in complex markets such as EU carbon trading. Charles has focused on exchanges and fintech markets as account manager at New Journey Group since 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Business Studies in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
Andy Poulastides & Martin Beney
With a first-class honours degree in media and a Royal Television Society award, Andy’s flair for all things video is expertly combined with Martin’s head for business and finance to convert even the most complex corporate messages into compelling viewing. Leading a fully equipped and crewed media production team, Andy and Martin enjoy close relationships with clients from fintech startups to leading financial services companies.
Karen Brooks has expertise working with top executives and business owners across a wide range of industries from FTSE listed banks to publishers and startups, improving efficiency and adding value through administration and credit control.