Corporate Finance

11 financial leaders from emerging countries

Leaders League has identified 11 financial leaders from emerging countries. No matter their age, gender or experience, they all demonstrate remarkable leadership in having a great impact on the organization under their responsibility, even on the whole country and beyond.

Leaders League has identified 11 financial leaders from emerging countries. No matter their age, gender or experience, they all demonstrate remarkable leadership in having a great impact on the organization under their responsibility, even on the whole country and beyond.


Junjie Ge,

Vice President, BRIGHT FOOD

In charge of M&A, internationalization strategy, investment and food safety at Bright Food since 2006, Ge led several of its high-profile overseas acquisitions, including Tnuva (Israel), Salov (Italy), Weetabix (UK) and Diva Bordeaux (France), and was reported to be working on an acquisition in Europe earlier this year.



Johan van Zyl,

Former Group CEO, SANLAM

Thanks to businessmen like this South-African born, intra-African M&As are on the rise! As he pointed out, “the real opportunity lies outside of our borders to the north.” South Africa’s biggest insurer announced earlier this year it was working on acquisitions in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in other emerging countries.



Atif Ahmed Abdulmalik,


The Bahrain-born CEO, who founded the Islamic bank known as Arcapita and was awarded the “Proficiency Medal First Class” by the King in acknowledgment of his contribution to the Kingdom of Bahrain, has had a very ambitious acquisition strategy. The group already operating in Bahrain, Atlanta, London and Singapore is still actively developing its global deal pipeline.



Selçuk Yorganc?o?lu,

Regional Head for Turkey and Central Asia, THE ABRAAJ GROUP

* Yorganc?o?lu focused Abraaj’s activities on European emerging markets

According to Selçuk Yorganc?o?lu, Turkey is a market with huge opportunities. Around 80 million inhabitants, of an average age of 29 years, a well-regulated financial market, very healthy banking system and easy access to education makes Turkey a very attractive destination to doing business. As head of Abraaj in Turkey, Selçuk Yorganc?o?lu has led the acquisition and the exit of four recent Turkish investments, including Acibadem Healthcare.

Furthermore, the Dubai-based private equity house has bought a majority stake in Yörsan Group, Turkey’s fourth largest dairy company.

Through Yorganc?o?lu’s knowledge of the Turkish market, the firm has been investing in industries which are, traditionally, close to consumers such as food, logistics and healthcare.



Luis Javier Castro,

Managing Partner, MESOAMERICA

* He launched Mesoamerica Structured Investment (MSI) in order to introduce a more flexible financing system

Luis Javier Castro is a pioneer. He was the founding partner of the first Private Equity fund in Central America. He started his career working for Bain & Company handling strategic cases for the largest companies of the region. He is the president and founder of Mesoamerica, a firm aimed to transform businesses in the Central American and Andean regions by creating value for investors and society, focusing on strategic planning and consulting. Luis Javier Castro is also director of several companies in Mesoamerica’s portofolio, such as Café OMA, Mesoamerica Andino Colombia, and Mesopower, among others. He devotes a significant amount of time to pro-bono activities through several foundations, education institutions and associations.



Dilip Shanghvi,

Founder and Managing Director, SUN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES

* 5 products, 5 persons to start his pharma company

Known as one of the richest men in India, Shanghvi came up with his first company while helping in his father’s wholesale generic drug business. The self-made billionaire who holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of Calcutta - and no formal science background -has not always chosen the safest and most conventional path to success. Recognized for his smart acquisitions, he also serves as managing director and chairman of Sun Pharmaceutical Advanced Research Company, the first ever pure-R&D Company enlisted with Indian stock exchanges. Still shining on the M&A scene, the billionaire has realized the biggest deal in 2015’s first quarter in India. Leading a consortium, he acquired 23% stake in wind turbine manufacturer, Suzlon Energy, for $3.1 billion.



Christian Adovelande,


* Previously managing director of Cauris Management & Cauris Investissement

* Renewed terms of office by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) zone council of ministers on June 28, 2014

The Benin-born banker started his second term as President of the WADB in June of last year, where he began his career after military service. His initial ambition? To be a doctor. Adovelande eventually graduated in Banking and Finance from Dakar’s “Centre Ouest Africain d’Etudes Financières” in 1977 and became a fervent activist of regional integration.

As he puts it, the regional capital market “constitutes a privileged area to mobilize resources for the WADB.” The West African institution is the first non-sovereign issuer in the WAEMU zone. The President, former Secretary General of the Africa Private Investment Guarantee Fund, still serves at various prestigious boards, such as Ecobank and the Green Climate fund.



Liqun Jin,

Secretary General of the Multilateral Interim Secretariat, ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK (AIIB)

Hot favorite to become the inaugural president of the Beijing-led AIIB, Jin has an outstanding leadership record, including serving as Vice Minister of Finance and China’s representative in major multilateral institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, as well as chairman of China International Capital Corporation.



Jorge Fergie,

Managing Director, Head of Brazil and Latin America, KKR

A pioneer in establishing partnerships throughout Latin America and Brazil, Jorge Fergie joined KKR’s global investment firm with plans to expand in ventures with Monterra Energy to develop the vision of midstream projects and assets in Mexico, including but not limited to employing 10,000 locals.



Francis Leung,

Managing Partner and Chairman of Greater China, CVC CAPITAL PARTNERS

Regarded as one of the most influential financiers in Asia and the “Father of red chips,” Leung co-founded the prestigious investment bank legacy. Peregrine, led the successful IPO in Hong Kong for a large number of mainland China companies, as well as invested in a series of Internet companies as an individual angel investor.



Wei Wu,


* After spending 15 years at KPMG, Wu joined Alibaba in 2007

* Her investment strategy: “We execute a focused growth strategy and invest in new initiatives.”

Wu first served as the CFO of During her term of office, she led the institution of the company’s financial systems, promoted its IPO in Hong Kong in 2007, and then co-led its privatization in 2012. Wu was promoted to the deputy CFO of the Group in 2011, and then CFO two years later to oversee Alibaba’s complex financial structure, a veritable maze of interlacing businesses. During the Group’s IPO road show in the US in 2014, she co-headed a team of bankers and investors to meet potential investors, fielded their tough questions and broke down the Group’s business model and growth strategy. Her efforts paid off: Alibaba finally raised $25 billion, to reach the largest IPO in the world.



This article is dedicated to our fortnightly newsletter “Leaders Wisdom Journal”. To Subscribe.


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Ted Sarandos: the number-cruncher directing your viewing habits

Using certainty in persuasion: manipulation or leadership?

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Derek Sivers: How to start a movement (TED Video)



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