Introduction to about the company, and our plans for the future.
Stronghold Global Finance is a world class boutique investment bank and project development platform. The Stronghold business model leans primarily on its fundamental value propositions, sustainable project development, delivery and project finance. Stronghold is a specialist in originating and executing large impactful infrastructure, real estate developments, manufacturing and natural resources projects. Our disciplines are centred on an environmentally and socially-responsible and integrated approach, which enables us to Originate, Structure, Fund and Realise.
Stronghold boasts a world class team of investment professionals with significant experience in the development and investment of mid size to mega projects in emerging markets. We are a top tier financial institution with project development and delivery capabilities, tailored to bridge the foreign direct investment deficit in emerging markets globally. Stronghold Global Finance was founded to harness the generations of experience and success of its founders in the Middle East region to successfully ensure the deployment of capital resources for well structured and bankable opportunities.
Letter from the Chairman
Stronghold Global Finance is one of the leading emerging markets investment groups with a formidable, unique and increasingly international platform operating in both financial and non-financial businesses. With founding roots in the Middle East that span a number of generations in investment, construction and development, Stronghold will become a forefront runner of economic development in emerging markets with a focus on the MEA region.
We take pride in our diversity and scale, agility and tenacity which has enabled us to establish a strong network of world class operations in the EMEA and beyond. During a period of increasing global complexity, our businesses are solid and sustainably positioned to capture opportunities created by the economic transition to mature growth and the increasingly interconnected world. In the years ahead, we will continue to be driven by the same values that have defined us with a long-term vision.
H.E Sheikh Tarek M. Bin Laden
Board of Directors
Sheikh Tarek M. Bin Laden
Sheikh Tarek M. Bin Laden
Sheikh Tarek Mohammad Bin Laden was born in 1947 in the well known and one of the most respected business families of the Middle East. Being one of the eldest sons of his father, the late Sh. Muhammad Awad Bin Laden, the founder of the Bin Laden Business Empire, he ventured into the family business since 1966 at the age of 19 years, and since then he has actively been involved in the dynamic growth of the group’s multifaceted activities which have helped to define the skyline and infrastructure backbone of the Middle East and other emerging nations for decades.
Sheikh Tarek possesses more than 42 years of hands on business exposure in the Development, Construction, Management and investment of real assets. Sheikh Tarek is a pioneer in economic development and has been responsible for many mega projects responsible for the significant economic growth of many nations.
Sheikh Tarek’s decades of experience in the implementation and investment of various Real Estate and Infrastructure projects which include Residential Buildings, Hospitals, Shopping Complexes as well as master development projects, transportation infrastructure, natural resources, petrochemicals and smart cities are designed to transform the nations that host them.
Sheikh Tarek has played a major role as a member of the Saudi Bin Laden Group and the ultimate success of its over 700 subsidiaries globally.
Tohib Iyiola, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Stronghold Global Finance, British born and a serial entrepreneur. Tohib has considerable experience in the investment and development cycle of real assets especially in emerging markets. He was the CEO of Citigate International Limited in the United Arab Emirates, he also held board positions in its portfolio companies as well as various senior roles in the natural resources, energy and infrastructure sector.
Tohib has gained considerable experience in capital markets, he is well grounded in structured finance, Islamic finance and the overall private markets investment space, he has been responsible for many cross border M&A transactions, private placements, investment fund placements and the issuance of various fixed income securities (conventional & Islamic).
Tohib, as Chief Executive Officer of Stronghold Global Finance has worked to develop the organisation globally and has continually deployed strategies to enhance the brand. Right from its inception he has been central to the leadership and appointment of its management team and has promoted the companies various initiatives in emerging markets.
He has built businesses in the GCC, Asia, Africa and Europe from their inception until achieving multimillion dollar valuations. Tohib is well versed in Public Private Partnerships, sovereign engagements, corporate governance, regulatory frameworks and financial services.
Tohib is a member of the London Institute of Directors and is an Alumnus of the Said Business School, Oxford University.
Corporate Finance professional with over 25 years working in the Trade & Export Finance; Asset Finance & Asset Based Lending sectors. Co-Founding MD of GMAC (UK) Asset Finance and Landsbanki Equipment Finance. Co-founding director of Ex-Works Capital’s London office, specialising in working capital bridges.
Experience in International Asset Finance & ABL funding of Corporate assets; Structured & Leverage Finance; Trade & Export Finance facilities, including non-domestic Receivables funding and Supply Chain Finance; Restructure Finance; Corporate Auctioneering; Valuation & Asset repatriation & Disposals. Experience in the establishment and management of corporate finance businesses and building their sales portfolios through transacting in the UK, US, EMEA, and Far Eastern regions, with extensive senior-level relationships in the banking and industrial sectors. Track record of sales & management positions within respected global banks, financial institutions, and industrial groups in the UK, Europe, US, and Australia. Non-Exec director of a Swiss industrial conglomerate.
Member of the Turnaround Management Association; Institute of Export; British Exporters Association and the British Venture Capital Association.
Finance & Leasing Degree from London City University.
Matthew is a multi-skilled Australian National based in London with over 25 years leadership experience in profit driven businesses including but not limited to finance houses, investment banks and conventional and Islamic banks. Matthews experience is in the transactions, operational, governance & advisory space within UK, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and Australia. Prior to moving to the UK he lived and worked for 12 years in the Gulf region in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.
Matthew has worked in the big 4 Accounting/advisory services organisations as well as banks, family offices, Government Ministries and Sovereign Wealth Funds. Matthew was appointed by the Minister of Finance of Bahrain in 2007 to spearhead the establishment of the Bahrain Sovereign Wealth Fund Mumtalakat Holding.
He has worked in many roles in the banking and finance space including senior positions in BankWest (Australia), Khaleeji Commercial Bank – Islamic (Bahrain), Alubaf Arab International Bank (Bahrain), the Bahrain Sovereign Wealth Fund (Mumtalakat) and provided strategic advisory in the establishment of REEF Bank – Islamic (Bahrain) and QInvest (Qatar).
He holds undergraduate and graduate qualifications in geography, economics, business law and corporate governance from the University of Western Australia and Curtin University. Matthew is qualified as a Company Secretary (ACIS) with the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland.
Tobias Wagner is a Banking professional with over 20 years of experience in the Financial services industry. Founder and CEO of Multi Family Office Calliopa Capital AG and a Chairman of the Board of Goldstream Global PTE Ltd. He was an Associate at international consulting firm Oliver Wyman as well as Managing Director heading up Northern Europe for Credit Suisse Group AG, Mr Wagner was also an Executive Committee Member of Societe Generale Private Banking Switzerland SA and the CEO of their Zurich operations.
Tobias has extensive experience in multi-jurisdiction, multi regulatory regime environments, international expansion of financial services entities, including establishment of on- and offshore businesses. Portfolio Management including Asset & Liability analysis, Strategic Asset Allocation, Credit & Financing Structures, Alternative Investments including Real Estate, Private Equity and Hedge Funds. Risk & Compliance Management.
Mr Wagner has achieved an outstanding track record and numerous awards in both the establishment and turnaround management, re-organization and -structuring of financial services organisations including full-banking licensed entities covering target markets EMEA incl. UK and Asia.
Tobias is a Jury member and speaker at multiple Wealth Management Conferences and Awards. Lecturer and examiner for University MBA program. With a Masters in International Business Studies from University of Maastricht/The Netherlands, Entrepreneurship Development Program at MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology/USA.
Frances Walsh is an Associate Director within the Debt Capital Markets and Structured Finance Division of Stronghold Global Finance UK.
Frances began her financial career at London Forfaiting Company in 1993 and is a highly experienced structured trade financier with comprehensive knowledge of and extensive practical experience in providing financing solutions within the international trade sector. This experience is complemented by a strong legal background and many years’ exposure to the international banking and finance markets.
Over the last 25 years, Frances has amassed detailed knowledge of international legal jurisdictions,foreign exchange considerations, cross border risk management and logistics, complemented by strong credit risk due diligence, financial analysis and experience in the drafting of legal documentation for complex structured finance solutions. More recently, Frances has been involved in the design and implementation of trade finance portfolios within boutique London finance offices to provide access to liquidity for global clients and secure returns for international investors.
Frances holds an LLB (Hons) law degree and adds French and Spanish to her portfolio of trade finance skills.
Katerina is an Associate within the Debt Capital Markets Division (DCM) of Stronghold Global Finance. With over six years of experience in the investment banking industry she was attracted to SGF’s entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity to build out the DCM platform globally. Katerina was previously a New Business Associate within Nomura International Plc in the City of London with a particular focus in transactions in Acquisitions and Leveraged Finance as well as in Financing Solutions for Sponsors and for Corporate Clients operating in various sectors and geographies. Katerina displays also a risk management background in investment and market risk within major financial institutions with credit portfolios and started her career at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg as a market risk analyst overlooking the loan portfolio. Katerina holds a Master’s degree in Finance from Cass Business School in the City University of London and a BSc in Banking and Financial Management. Katerina has also undertaken executive education courses in Project Finance and Infrastructure at ESCP Europe and Oxford Universities.
Tayo is an Associate within the Equity Capital Markets Division (ECM) of Stronghold Global Finance. Having worked within the group from its earlier days, the opportunity to replicate the successful strategy and aggressive approach to markets demonstrated in the Middle East, Africa and now to other emerging markets is what excites Tayo about Stronghold Global Finance. Tayo previously worked as an Investment Analyst within Citigate International and its predecessor which is now CGMG Holdings with a particular focus on equity and M&A transactions in the Natural Resources and Infrastructure sectors of Sub-Saharan Africa. Experience working on early-stage Green Field projects to Mergers and acquisitions with AIM and TSX listed entities, Tayo has acquired the knowledge and ability to provide complex solutions in challenging markets. Tayo also boasts a proficiency in project finance, demonstrated in the execution of national infrastructure projects in the West African Sub-region. Tayo Holds a BSc in Economics from The University of East Anglia.
A visionary with strong values, Helinä Piik specializes in managing demanding projects and high-level relationships in her Global Business Development role at Stronghold Global Finance. Her background is in communications, PR and international event management, from where she progressed to contributing to impact investing and sustainable finance by building blended finance models, structuring cross-border partnerships and raising capital. As an entrepreneur, Helinä previously founded three companies and launched multiple initiatives in Europe, Asia and Africa. She thrives in a world of innovative, collaborative approaches to problem-solving, contributing to sustainable thinking and long-term value creation.
Global Advisory Board
- Extensive 35 years of experience as Chairman/NED/Interim/Executive
- Significant experience in structuring and executing targeted strategies to support change leadership, strategic visioning and implementation
- Led IPO, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Divestments, Capital Raising and implementation of major strategies and programmes
- Successfully worked with Boards advising on their strategy and led the capital raising requirements where required
- Former speaker at World Economic Forum in Davos and both Oxford and Geneva Banking forums, as well as UNESCO in France along with World-renowned leaders (President Bill Clinton, Senator Gary Hart, Lord Lamont, Governor of the New York Stock Exchange and Governor of Bank of Malaysia).
- She sits on various panels in relationship to Leadership, Strategic Advisory both in UK, Ireland and Europe.
A former senior Commercial and Investment Banker, Aidan’s career spans extensive practical
experience of building up or repositioning commercial lending and structured lending businesses
for Financial Services in the UK, Europe and Asia as well as Management Consulting and Advisory
to banks, corporates and SMEs.
Consulting assignments have covered Strategy, Risk, Operations, Financial Management, Internationalisation, and Organisational Change and have benefitted from Aidan’s holistic approach to analysis and delivery of sustainable solutions.
Banking roles have seen him emerge from being a general practitioner through operational experience to front line experience and eventually to leading regional and global banking businesses. His last banking role combined the CRO and COO functions as Global Head of Operations & Risk for HSBC’s new Commodity & Structured Trade Finance proposition, having primary responsibility for a loan portfolio in excess of $35Bn which was mostly asset-backed by commodities or their receivables.
Aidan presently offers management consulting, training and advisory to the Trade and Financial Services industry promoting best practice Risk and Operations Management and seeking to ensure that lending businesses are well equipped to deliver on their goals. Aidan’s role in Stronghold Global Finance is in an independent capacity as an Independent Risk Advisor and Chairman of the Credit Committee. He achieved a Securities Institute Certificate in Corporate Finance (2004) and an MBA with distinction from Warwick Business School (2002).
- Entrepreneurial with broad managerial experiences within both the financial and IT sectors
- Founded several companies before joining banking in 2001.
- Established businesses in real-time financial data delivery via satellite and private equity with a focus on biotech and IT.
- Over 20 years experience in managing and structuring client portfolios, defining and implementing client investment objectives and constraints
- Built two successful companies, and created and executed acquisitions strategies for four private banks.
- Previously held roles at organisations such as Rothschild Bank, Lloyds TSB, Coutts, and Société Générale.
- Degrees in Economics and Finance from Bentley University, Boston, Massachusetts