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FT Iran Summit 2016

Exploring Opportunity and Risk in a Potential Economic Powerhouse

London |
Speakers include:
H. E. Mohammad  Nahavandian

H. E. Mohammad Nahavandian

Islamic Republic of Iran

The Rt Hon Sajid  Javid

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid

Peyman  Ghorbani Aghilabadi

Peyman Ghorbani Aghilabadi

Central Bank of Iran


The Financial Times will host an exclusive summit examining the opportunities and challenges surrounding Iran’s reintegration into the global economy. Bringing the political and commercial leadership of Iran together with major international investors, corporations and civil society organisations, the FT Iran Summit will explore Iran’s potential as an economic powerhouse as well as the political, geo-political and cultural forces shaping its future.

Iran is undoubtedly a blessed country. In addition to its vast reserves of natural resources, its vibrant culture makes it so much more than just another resource-rich developing economy. Its young, technologically savvy and highly educated population has the potential to propel this country into a brave, new era. Greater demand and much needed reform of key sectors will also open up new investor opportunities. However, despite the nuclear accord agreed with world powers, Iran remains a challenging state for international corporations to do business, due to high levels of state control, bureaucracy and lack of transparency. As international sanctions are lifted, and economic conditions improve, what steps should investors take as they navigate through a changing business landscape?

fallback Add to my Calendar 03/09/2016 08:00:0003/09/2016 18:30:00trueFT Iran Summit 2016The Financial Times will host an exclusive summit examining the opportunities and challenges surrounding Iran’s reintegration into the global economy. Bringing the political and commercial leadership of Iran together with major international investors, corporations and civil society organisations, the FT Iran Summit will explore Iran’s potential as an economic powerhouse as well as the political, geo-political and cultural forces shaping its future.Iran is undoubtedly a blessed country. In addition to its vast reserves of natural resources, its vibrant culture makes it so much more than just another resource-rich developing economy. Its young, technologically savvy and highly educated population has the potential to propel this country into a brave, new era. Greater demand and much needed reform of key sectors will also open up new investor opportunities. However, despite the nuclear accord agreed with world powers, Iran remains a challenging state for international corporations to do business, due to high levels of state control, bureaucracy and lack of transparency. As international sanctions are lifted, and economic conditions improve, what steps should investors take as they navigate through a changing business landscape?FT-Iran-Summit-20169298889b004a9bd43a6771067352a998MM/DD/YYYY

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Speakers (24)

H. E. Mohammad  Nahavandian

H. E. Mohammad Nahavandian

Head of the Presidential Office and Chief of Staff
Islamic Republic of Iran

Mohammad Nahavandian is Head of the Presidential Office and Chief of Staff since 2013. Before that he was President of the ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a Member of the World Chambers Federation General Council (2011 - 2013), President of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, Chairman of the ICC-IRAN, and Member of the Monetary and Credit Council, Central Bank of Iran Supervising Body for the monetary and banking policies (2007 – 2013); and President of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines (2006 – 2007). Dr Nahavandian is Chairman of the Islamic Chamber of Research and Information Center (ICRIC), affiliated to the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, since 2005. Previous roles include Vice President, Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries and Mines (2001 – 2003); Chairman, WTO Commission, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines (2006 – 2007); Chairman, Economy, Bank and Insurance Commission of Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries and Mines (2004- 2006); President, National Center for Globalization (2002-2006); Consultant, Commercial Macro-Economy and Administerial Commission, The Expediency Discernment Council (1999- 2001); Member, Planning Council of CEFACT, Geneva (1996- 2004) and an Iranian Trade Representative (1996 – 2001).

Dr Nahavandian holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Economics, from George Washington University, Washington D.C. -USA (1992), was Winner of the First Annual Hsieh Prize in Economics, USA in 1987, when he obtained a Master of Philosophy (MPHIL), Economics, from George Washington University, USA. He graduated with a B.A. in Economics, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran in 1977.

The Rt Hon Sajid  Javid

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid

Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove, President of the Board of Trade and UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP was appointed Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on 11 May 2015. He was elected Conservative MP for Bromsgrove in 2010.

Mr Javid was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from April 2014 to May 2015. Previously he was both the Economic and Financial Secretary to the Treasury. He was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee from June to November 2010.

Before being elected MP, he worked in business and finance. Aged 25, he became a Vice President at Chase Manhattan Bank. He later moved to Deutsche Bank in London to help build its business in emerging market countries. Mr Javid left Deutsche Bank as a senior Managing Director in the summer of 2009 to give something back through politics.

Peyman  Ghorbani Aghilabadi

Peyman Ghorbani Aghilabadi

Vice Governor, Economic Affairs
Central Bank of Iran

Peyman Ghorbani Aghilabadi started his career in the Management and Planning Organization (Department for Macroeconomic Affairs) in 1996. In 1997 he joined the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) as an economic researcher in the Economic Research and Policy Department. Having been granted a scholarship from the CBI, he participated in the PhD program in the Department of Economics at the University of Essex in UK, submitting his PhD thesis “Modelling Monetary Transmission Mechanism, Inflation, and Inflation Uncertainty (The Case of Iran)”. During 2005-2006, he had a lecturer position at the Department of Economics of the University of Essex. After obtaining his PhD and rejoining the CBI in 2006, he started his job as Division Chief (Monetary and Banking Division) and was promoted to the Director of Economic Research and Policy Department in 2011. Since 2014 he has been the vice governor for economic affairs. He has also held teaching positions in the Iran Banking Institute, Mofid University and Sharif University of Technology since his return to Iran in 2006. Dr Ghorbani Aghilabadi obtained his undergraduate and MSC degrees in economics from the University of Tehran.

The Rt Hon Lord  Lamont of Lerwick

The Rt Hon Lord Lamont of Lerwick

UK Trade Envoy to Iran and Chairman
British Iranian Chamber of Commerce

Norman Lamont was a Cabinet Minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and a member of the House of Commons for twenty-five years. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1990 to 1993. Sir Alan Walters, Economic Advisor to Lady Thatcher, described Norman Lamont "to be not only the most effective but also the bravest Chancellor since the War". Many economists have attributed the economic stability and growth enjoyed by Britain in the ‘90s and thereafter to the tough policies introduced by him.

Lord Lamont was Britain’s Chief Negotiator at the Maastricht Treaty and negotiated Britain’s non-membership of the euro, of which he remains a strong opponent and critic.

When he was Chancellor, Lord Lamont’s political advisor was David Cameron and his Parliamentary Private Secretary, William Hague. In 2008, David Cameron asked Lord Lamont with other former Chancellors to be part of a team to advise him on Britain’s financial problems. As well as being a working Peer, he is a director of a number of financial companies.

He has, in the past, been a director of two companies trading with Iran and is currently the Chairman of the British Iranian Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Advisory Board of the Iran Heritage Foundation, a body promoting Iranian culture and art. In 2016, he was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iran. He is an Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

Neil  Bush

Neil Bush

Head of the Arabian Peninsula and Iran Department, Middle East & North Africa Directorate
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Neil Bush is Head of the Arabian Peninsula and Iran Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He previously worked for the Bank of England, the World Bank (as Deputy Country Manager for Kosovo), in private consultancy, and in the Department for Energy and Climate Change. In his current role, Mr Bush is responsible for covering Iran, the Gulf and Yemen.

Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell


Sir Martin Sorrell is the entrepreneurial founder/CEO of WPP plc, the world’s largest provider of advertising and marketing communications services.  A FTSE 100 company, WPP currently has a market capitalisation of £20.5 billion.

WPP companies, which include some of the most eminent agencies in the business, provide clients with advertising; media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity, healthcare; direct, digital, promotional & relationship marketing and specialist communications.

Collectively, WPP employs over 190,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices in 112 countries.  The Group’s worldwide companies include J Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, Y&R, Grey, GroupM, Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, Kantar (including  Millward Brown and TNS), OgilvyOne Worldwide, Wunderman, Burson-Marsteller, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Landor, Brand Union, AKQA and WPP Digital (including POSSIBLE). Clients include 344 of the Fortune Global 500, all 30 of the Dow Jones 30 and 69 of the NASDAQ 100.  In 2014, WPP had revenues of $19 billion and billings of $76 billion.

Sir Martin actively supports the advancement of international business schools, advising Harvard, IESE, the London Business School, the Indian School of Business, the China Europe International Business School and Fundação Dom Cabral Business School in Brazil. In 2007 he received the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award.  He was awarded the 2014 Hugo Shong Lifetime Achievement Award in Communication by Boston University’s College of Communications. In October 2015, Sir Martin was named the fifth best-performing CEO by Harvard Business Review.   

Stan  Bharti

Stan Bharti

Founder and Executive Chairman
Forbes & Manhattan

Stan Bharti is the founder and Executive Chairman of Forbes&Manhattan, an international merchant bank and one of the premier energy and mining houses in Canada with operations in over 30 countries. Forbes is recognized around the world as a leader in discovering, financing and building projects through to completion.  Forbes has over one thousand professional staff that include engineers and geologists, investment bankers and financiers. 

Mr. Bharti has developed projects and financed them though both his private capital and public markets.  Over the last ten years, he has invested and raised over $10 billion for projects as diverse as gold, base metals, oil & gas, agriculture, telecommunications and on-line gaming. He is a recognized financier in Canada and has listed over 50 companies on different stock markets including Toronto, London and New York.

Mr. Bharti is a major contributor to charities around the globe.  In 2010, he set up the Bharti Charitable Foundation, which provides funding for nature, children and wildlife in  developing countries.  In 2012, Mr. Bharti founded the Bharti School of Engineering in collaboration with Laurentian University, based in Sudbury, Canada, to encourage students to study engineering and work abroad.  

Parviz  Aghili

Parviz Aghili

Managing Director and Vice‐Chairman
Khavarmianeh (Middle East) Bank

Parviz Aghili has been a promoter of privately-owned banks in Iran. He established and was the CEO of Karafarinnan Credit Institution which became the first operating private bank in Iran. After eleven years and building Karafarin as one of the most respected bank in Iran, he decided to establish Middle East Bank (Khavarmianeh) a more focused institution serving corporate clients domestic and internationally. Parviz has worked in Iran, UAE, Nigeria, US and Canada. He has taught banking and international finance in the US, Canada and Iran. He has a Ph.D in finance/economics from University of Wisconsin in the US. 

Bashar  Al Natoor

Bashar Al Natoor

Global Head of Islamic Finance
Fitch Ratings

Bashar Al Natoor is Fitch Ratings’ Global Head Islamic Finance. Mr Al Natoor is responsible for coordinating all Islamic Finance activities across Fitch’s Sovereign, Financial Institutions, Corporate, Structured Finance, Infrastructure and Insurance teams, bringing together dedicated analytical and industry expertise into a centralised and focused Islamic finance group.

Mr Al Natoor has more than 14 years' experience in the Islamic Finance market. Since joining Fitch in 2007, he has overseen Fitch's Sukuk criteria and Islamic Finance practices, undertaken research and written numerous published articles on Islamic Finance. Mr Al Natoor joined Fitch as a director in the EMEA Corporates group based in Dubai. He was responsible for analysing EMEA issuers, with focus on Middle East and Turkish issuers in the construction, property and Telecommunication sectors. Prior to joining Fitch, Mr. Al Natoor spent seven years at the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in key roles including Investment Officer in the Treasury Department, a Senior Credit Analyst in Risk Management and Senior Technical Assistant to the Vice President of Finance & Administration. Before working with IDB, Mr Al Natoor was a senior auditor for four years in Arthur Andersen.

Mr Al Natoor graduated with an MSc in banking and financial studies from the Arab Academy for Finance and Banking Science and a BS in finance and banking from Amman University. Bashar is also a Certified Bank Auditor (CBA), a Certified Risk Professional (CRP), a Chartered Market Analyst (FAD-CMA), and a Certified Risk Analyst (CRA).

Hamid Biglari

Hamid Biglari

Managing Partner
TGG Group

Dr. Hamid Biglari is a Managing Partner in TGG Group, a private partnership that advises the world’s top companies on the transformative applications of behavioral science and big data analytics. He also advised emerging market family conglomerates on corporate restructuring and governance.

Until 2013, Dr. Biglari was Vice-Chairman and Head of Emerging Markets at Citigroup, one of the world’s largest banks. He was a member of Citigroup’s Operating Committee and held various senior management roles throughout his tenure at the institution between 2000 and 2013.

Prior to joining Citigroup, Dr. Biglari was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, the premier management consulting firm in the world. In that role, he advised CEOs at many global financial institutions around the world. His experience base spans the entire spectrum of financial services.

Prior to that, Dr. Biglari was a theoretical nuclear physicist at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, the nation’s leading center for controlled thermonuclear fusion research.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as a Trustee of Asia Society. While at Citigroup, Dr. Biglari was a member of the US-China Business Council and also served on then-Prime Minister Erdogan’s International Advisory Council. An Iranian-American, Dr. Biglari has advocated greater economic engagement between Iran and the West. In 2009, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, given for outstanding contributions to the United States by immigrants.

Dr. Biglari holds a Ph.D. degree in nuclear physics from Princeton University.

Nazanin Daneshvar

Nazanin Daneshvar

CEO and Founder

Nazanin Daneshvar is the most highly acclaimed female Iranian Internet entrepreneur known to date. She is the founder and CEO of Takhfifan, Iran's first and leading group-buying website. In addition, she is the founder of Tarinan, a popular local reviews website and mobile phone application. Apart from her professional role, she is an active supporter of the Iranian start-up movement, where she strongly encourages leadership among women. She has been a speaker at numerous conferences, acted as mentor at many prominent start-up and technology events, and has been featured in the international media. She was covered by magazines like The Financial Times1 , Forbes2 , Washington Post3 , Der Spiegel4 , and The Guardian5 among others. Prior to Takhfifan, she has worked at numerous e-commerce companies and startups as a software developer in Iran, the UK and Germany.

Reza  Fateh

Reza Fateh

Pars Online

Reza Fateh joined Pars Online in 2000; one of the first dial-up internet service providers in Iran, founded by Abdollah Fateh in 1999. He started his career as a network field technician and by 2004 became the companies first Chief Technology and Information Officer and held that position until 2013. During this period, Pars Online expanded its portfolio by providing national ADSL Broadband Services, Satellite Services, Managed Network Solutions, Carrier Voice Services and Data Centre Services.

In 2013, Mr Fateh became the Managing Director of Pars Online Group's Fixed Broadband Company. Just recently, Pars Online has been issued a license to build its own national fibre infrastructure to deploy FTTx, Metro Wifi, IPTV, Fixed Telephony and have received preliminary approval to become an MVNO.
Mr Fateh obtained his degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University in 1998. Upon his return, he entered the family construction business, Kandovan Construction Company. He holds 16 Cisco certifications, 4 TMforum certifications and is an ITIL Service Manager alongside multiple other specialized certifications.

Ramin  Hariri

Ramin Hariri


Ramin Hariri is a partner attorney of Dentons Paris, who assists large energy, oil, gas, mining and construction/infrastructure companies as well as governments, and speaks fluent French, English and Farsi.

Mr Hariri has a wealth of experience in M&A transactions and due diligence, project management, cross-border contracts, joint ventures, and corporate structuring. He also intervenes on infrastructure projects and their financing, public-private partnerships and foreign investments regulation.

Seyed Hamid  Hosseini

Seyed Hamid Hosseini

Founder and Chairman of Meraat International Group and Member of the Board
Iranian Oil, Gas & Petrochemical Products Exporters' Union

Dr. S.H Hosseini is the Founder and Chairman of Meraat International Group, an international company founded in 1986, with specialisation in petrochemical and oil products trade. He has over 25 years of managerial experience in Iran's downstream petroleum sector development, with a niche expertise in petrochemical and refinery investment and operation. He is the CEO of Soroosh Oil Refinery in Iran.

Dr. Hosseini spent four years as the President of Iran's Oil Products Export Union. He was also the Vice President of Tehran Chamber of Commerce and the Head of the Chamber's Energy Commission.

Aasim M.  Husain

Aasim M. Husain

Deputy Director in the Middle East and Central Asia Department (MCD)

Aasim M. Husain is currently Deputy Director in the Middle East and Central Asia Department (MCD) of the IMF, where he supervises the department’s regional work on Middle Eastern economies and the GCC, and on several countries in the region. Prior to joining MCD in March 2015, Mr. Husain served in the European Department—where he supervised work on several Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European countries—and in the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, where he led the Fund’s policy development work on capital flows and reviewed country work on many of the large emerging market economies. Previously, Mr. Husain served as IMF mission chief for Italy, Egypt, Jordan, and Kazakhstan, and headed the Fund’s work on commodity and energy issues. Mr. Husain is from Pakistan. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Mathematical Sciences from Rice University and his Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the IMF in 1990.

Peyman  Kargar

Peyman Kargar

Vice President - Renault AMI Region and CEO Renault Pars / Chairman ACI Pars
Groupe Renault

Peyman Kargar is Managing Director of Renault Pars, Chairman of ACI Pars and Vice-President Africa-Middle East-India Region for Renault Group

He was appointed Vice-President of Africa Middle-East India Region in 2014, a territory covering nearly 45% of the world car market with around 80 countries, including Iran.

In 2013, he took up the position of Renault Middle East Managing Director. This division includes 14 countries (U.A.E, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan). 

In 2012, he was given the “Leader of the Year” Award from Renault-Nissan’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn.

In 2010, he was appointed Renault Iran Managing Director, taking charge of Iranian operations covering Renault Pars Joint-Venture, ACI Pars JV and CBU Business activities. Starting from 30,000 vehicles sold in 2010, thanks to his ability to understand the difficult context, he achieved more than 100,000 unit sales in Iran in 2012. He dedicated his efforts to reinforce several commercial and industrial partnerships building a global vision for the company.

In 2008, he was selected to run a specific mission for Renault’s CEO, to improve the Renault Group’s support function performance. 

Mr Kargar started his career with Renault SAS 20 years ago. He graduated from INSA (Engineering School). Over the past few years, he has had the opportunity to work with more than 6 0 countries. He has extensive experience covering all the fields of the automotive industry: Engineering, Manufacturing, Project Management, Quality, Sales & Marketing and Business Development.

Geoffrey Scott  Moore

Geoffrey Scott Moore

Chief Operating Officer
Forbes & Manhattan

Geoffrey Scott Moore is currently the chief operating officer of Forbes and Manhattan, a global focused merchant bank.  He is an experienced capital markets professional specializing in the natural resource sector with over 25 years experience in over 20 countries across South America and Africa. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern.

Ferial  Mostofi

Ferial Mostofi

Member of the Board of Representatives and Chairman of the Investment Commission
Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA)

Ferial Mostofi is Member of the Board of Representatives and Chairman of the Investment Commission at the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA) and Chairman of K.D.D. Group. Ms Mostofi's areas of expertise include the management and implementation of industrial and mining projects at national level (with over 12 successful implemented and under progress projects - both downstream and upstream - within the steel industry), establishing business cooperation and friendly relationships with domestic and foreign corporations including but not limited to clients, suppliers and financial institutions with the principle of customer first, honoring contracts, keeping business reputation and mutual benefits, and finally, trading.

Other positions that Ms Mostofi holds include Member of the Board of Representatives of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA), Member of the Board of Representatives of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (TCCIMA), Member of the Board of Iran China Chamber of Commerce (ICCCI), Chairman of the Investment Commission of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture, Chairman of the Foreign Investment Committee of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture and Chairman of the Investment Commission of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce.

Ms Mostofi holds a Masters degree in Economics from the UK and has teaching experience. 

Farbod  Nasserabadi

Farbod Nasserabadi

Managing Director and Founder
MCG Mena

Farbod Nasserabadi (MD) is a medical doctor, entrepreneur and marketing communications expert, based in Tehran-Iran. While a student at the medical school, Dr Nasserabadi co-founded Eama Advertising Agency in 1998, a company which later became one of Iran’s pioneering companies in modern Marketing Communications. Upon graduation in 2002 as a medical doctor, he decided, together with his partner, Dr. Farzad Rezajouie, to pursue a career in advertising, a field that stimulated his creative nature and was an underdeveloped and unappreciated industry in Iran at the time. He grew the company and expanded its services to make it one of the most admired full-blown ad agencies in Iran, with some of the biggest companies and best local and international brands as clients. Throughout the years, Dr Nasserabadi has been mainly involved in the strategic thinking of both the agency and the clients’ businesses, developing solutions in Iran’s challenging advertising scene.

He has also taken an active role in promoting the post-sanctions opportunities in Iran, speaking at various conferences and events. Hi mission remains to contribute to modernization of Iran’s advertising and communications industries.

Rouzbeh Pirouz

Rouzbeh Pirouz

Turquoise Partners Group

Rouzbeh Pirouz is the Executive Chairman of Turquoise Partners, the leading Iranian asset management and corporate finance firm, which manages over 80% of foreign investment funds on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE). Previously, he was Founder and CEO of Mondus, an innovative technology business in Europe, leading to a share sale to Seat Pagine Gialle which was part of the Telecom Italia Group. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) and is also the Chairman of the Iranian Business School (IBS) which is a philanthropically-motivated project aimed at creating a world-class business school in Iran. Mr. Pirouz received his Bachelor's degree from Stanford University, a Master's degree from Harvard University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.  

Said  Rahmani

Said Rahmani

Founder and CEO

Said Rahmani is a global serial entrepreneur. He started his entrepreneurship journey when he left the big blue (IBM) in mid 90s to start his first startup, Pathlight Technology in NY. Mr Rahmani founded Sarava, the first technology VC fund in Iran, focused on investment in Internet and Ecommerce and incubation of technology startups in early 2012. Prior to this he was regional general manager and country representative of Naspers in the Middle East. In this role he was responsible for business strategy, market development, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, regional investments, mergers and acquisitions and country operations.

Mr Rahmani joined Xyratex in UK in 2004, as Senior Vice President responsible for Storage Networks Groups’ products, business development and strategy with a global team in the States, Europe and Asia. Prior to that, he was Executive VP and CTO of Advanced Digital Information Corporation in Seattle, a mid-cap NASDAQ company, leading worldwide product development and business strategy. He founded Pathlight Technology Inc. in 1994, a technology start up in New York pioneering the field of storage networking and took the company public through a successful M&A in 2000. Before founding Pathlight, he had gained extensive experience in product development and management at IBM Corporation. Mr Rahmani also co-founded an industry association, in the States, to promote best practices, education, training, and collaboration across Storage and Networking industries.

A. Cyrus  Razzaghi

A. Cyrus Razzaghi

ARA Enterprise

Amir Cyrus Razzaghi is a scholar, business advisor and entrepreneur with a 25-year international career spanning 3 continents and more than 10 countries. After serving as the European General Manager for one of the world’s largest software companies, he left London in 2003 to explore opportunities in his native country, Iran. While building Ara Enterprise and launching several successful technology ventures and e-Commerce companies in the region and the US, he did extensive research on Iran’s economy and political economy, the topic of his PhD candidacy.

During the past 12 years, he has helped many global brands enter and/or expand into the Iranian market. Creating cooperation frameworks including JVs for Fortune 500 global companies has been one of his key focuses. He has also advised many governmental agencies, NGOs and international organizations to help them get a better understanding of Iran’s political, social and economic issues and dynamics. He has written numerous articles and research papers and regularly presents at various universities and Chambers of Commerce around the world on general or industry-specific topics related to Iran.

He holds business degrees including EMBA, MBA, B. Comm. and International Management Degree from Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), London School of Economics (LSE)/New York University (NYU) and University of British Columbia (UBC).

John Whittaker

John Whittaker

Clyde & Co

John Whittaker specialises in trading disputes, international economic sanctions and advisory work in relation to a wide range of international trading issues including anti-bribery, corruption, anti-money laundering and compliance. Having worked in this area for over 15 years, he regularly leads internal corporate investigations which arise where potential violations have occurred or where violations are alleged. He also acts for and against Governments in relation to contractual issues, investment disputes and sovereign immunity.

Mr Whittaker has handled cases before Courts in the UK and abroad, including a number of cases in Eastern Europe and the Far East where he has extensive experience, having spent part of his career there. More recently he has been involved in advising clients in connection with Iranian business. He regularly speaks at conferences, particularly on anti-money laundering, bribery and sanctions.

Majid  Zamani

Majid Zamani

Kardan Investment Bank

Majid Zamani is founding partner and CEO of Kardan Investment Bank. Under his leadership Kardan has become a full-fledged investment bank managing 3 mutual funds, including Iran’s only All Shares Index ETF, with AUM of $350M, and issuing $200M of corporate and municipality bonds. Mr. Zamani has been involved in several merger and acquisition deals. As an investment banker he helped found Sarava in 2012 and since has had an integral role in growing it to be the largest VC fund in Iran. Majid serves as a member of the board of directors as well as investment committee at Sarava. 

A previous consultant to the World Bank, Mr. Zamani also worked for AIG in New York and Petroleum Finance Corporation in Washington, DC. He earned an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2004) and an MPA from Columbia University (2006). He is a graduate of University of Tehran in Electrical Engineering (1997). 


Chaired by (6)

Lionel Barber

Lionel Barber

Financial Times

Lionel Barber is the editor of the Financial Times. Since his appointment in 2005, Mr Barber has helped solidify the FT’s position as one of the first publishers to successfully transform itself into a multichannel news organisation. During his tenure, the FT has won numerous global prizes for its journalism, including Newspaper of the Year, Overseas Press Club, Gerald Loeb and Society of Publishers in Asia awards. He has co-written several books and has lectured widely on foreign policy, transatlantic relations, European security and monetary union in the US and Europe and appears regularly on TV and radio around the world. As editor, he has interviewed many of the world’s leaders in business and politics, including: former US President Barack Obama, sitting US president Donald Trump, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani.

Mr Barber has received several distinguished awards, including the St George Society medal of honour and the Legion d’Honneur and in February 2018, the Media Society’s annual award for his outstanding contribution to journalism. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is Chairman of the Tate.

Roula  Khalaf

Roula Khalaf

Deputy Editor
Financial Times

Roula Khalaf is the Deputy Editor of the Financial Times. In this role she provides strategic direction for the FT’s editorial coverage and its large global network of foreign correspondents. An award-winning journalist, she also writes a weekly column on international affairs. Prior to this role, she served as the FT’s Foreign Editor and Assistant Editor, responsible for overseeing the FT’s editorial coverage of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the management of the FT’s international network. Her promotion to Foreign Editor came after she served for more than a decade as the FT's Middle East Editor, overseeing the launch of the FT's Middle East edition and leading coverage of the financial crisis in the Gulf and later the Arab spring. Ms Khalaf joined the FT in 1995 as North Africa correspondent and before that she was a staff writer for Forbes magazine in New York, where she focused on corporate reporting accounting. She holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. Ms Khalaf's series on Qatar won the Foreign Press Association’s Feature story of the year in 2013 and she was named foreign commentator of the year at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards in 2016. She appears regularly on national and international TV and radio.

Martin Arnold

Martin Arnold

Deputy Companies Editor
Financial Times

Martin Arnold is the Deputy Companies Editor, prior to which he was the FT’s Banking Editor from 2014 to 2018 during which time he led the global coverage of banks and oversaw the financial services reporting team. His two previous jobs were Deputy Companies Editor, helping to oversee corporate coverage, and Private Equity Correspondent, when he won the BVCA award the BVCA award for “Private Equity Correspondent of the Year” in 2007. Before that, he spent five years as Paris Correspondent, covering the French political scene, the presidential elections, and several industry sectors including finance. Early on in his career he covered technology for in London, and worked in New York covering consumer industries during the dotcom boom and bust of 1999-2000.

David Gardner

David Gardner

International Affairs Editor
Financial Times

David Gardner was born in Brussels, educated at St John’s College, Oxford, and he lives in Beirut. He is international affairs editor and associate editor at the Financial Times, which he joined in 1978, and has worked mainly as a foreign correspondent and writer on international affairs, reporting from more than 50 countries.

His assignments have included: Spain correspondent, Mexico & Central America correspondent, European Union correspondent, Middle East editor, South Asia bureau chief. He was the FT’s Chief Leader Writer from 2006 until 2010. In 2003 he won the David Watt political journalism prize for his writing on the Arab world. He is the author of “Last Chance: the Middle East in the Balance” (2009, I .B. Tauris, updated edition 2012), which was long-listed for the 2010 George Orwell book prize.

He was made a Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, Oxford in 2008. David Gardner has been a speaker at think-tanks and universities in Europe, the Middle East and the US. He is president of the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), an independent global NGO based in Barcelona, devoted to supporting domestically-led transitions in countries emerging from conflict or dictatorship.

Gideon Rachman

Gideon Rachman

Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator
Financial Times

Gideon Rachman became Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator for the Financial Times in 2006. He speaks authoritatively about economics, politics, and globalisation as they apply to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and more, and writes a weekly column on international politics as well as feature articles. Mr Rachman joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. Mr Rachman’s book, Zero-Sum World, about the future of international relations was published in the UK in 2010. He was named as foreign affairs commentator of the year in the UK Comment Awards for 2010. He is a regular broadcaster for — amongst others — the BBC, CNN and NPR, and also a regular public speaker before both academic and business audiences. Mr Rachman is a graduate of Caius College, Cambridge and has been a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Najmeh Bozorgmehr

Najmeh Bozorgmehr

Tehran Correspondent
Financial Times

Based in Tehran, Najmeh Bozorgmehr is the Financial Times’ Iran correspondent. She joined the FT fifteen years ago after working for The Iran Daily. Ms Bozorgmehr is an acclaimed journalist who isn’t afraid to tackle the biggest political issues facing the Middle East. Most recently she has covered the Iranian elections and the removal of international trade sanctions on Iran.  


Agenda - 9th Mar

  • 8:00am
    Registration and refreshments
  • 9:00am
    Chair’s opening remarks

    Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:10am
    Opening keynote

    The Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove, UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills and President of the Board of Trade

    10 minute introduction followed by interview with: Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:30am
    Keynote address

    H. E. Mohammad Nahavandian, Head of the Presidential Office and Chief of Staff, Islamic Republic of Iran

  • 9:50am
    Panel discussion: Geopolitical and economic Outlook for Iran

    For the first time in decades, the pieces are in place for a more cooperative relationship between Iran and the West. With the signing of the nuclear accord, Tehran can look forward to a gradual return to the international community and an improvement in its economic prospects. Europe, which recognises the necessity of greater cooperation with an oil and gas-rich leading Middle East nation, will take a lead role in Iran's rehabilitation. The outlook for the Islamic Republic, however, hinges on geopolitics as much as internal political dynamics. On this first panel, experts and officials will explore Iran's prospects as an emerging market, the complex forces that will shape the economy and relations with the west and the geopolitical implications for the region.

    Neil Bush, Head of the Arabian Peninsula and Iran Department, Middle East & North Africa Directorate, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

    Hamid Biglari, Managing Partner, TGG Group

    Aasim M. Husain, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund 

    Ferial Mostofi, Member of the Board of Representatives and Chairman of the Investment Commission, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA)

    Moderator: Roula Khalaf, Deputy Editor, Financial Times

  • 10:40am
    Networking break
  • 11:00am
    Sanctions and the order of relief

    More important than knowing when Iranian sanctions are going to be lifted is knowing the order in which they will be removed. Certain key sanctions, such as those imposed on Iranian financial services and the banking sector, will lead to the greatest changes in the Iranian economy. This spotlight session will focus on the order of sanctions relief (which will go, which will stay, and when?), the likely sectors that will benefit, and the government and legal system changes that are required to minimise perceived obstacles to investors during or after sanction lifting.

    John Whittaker, Partner, Clyde & Co.
    Interviewed by: Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator, Financial Times

  • 11:20am
    Panel discussion: Iranian financial services - reform is crucial

    The Iranian banking sector and stock market will be fundamentally important vehicles to channel the funds of international investors into the real Iranian economy. But two key challenges still surround the state controlled sector. The rate of non-performing loans (NPLs) is high and rising, drawing question marks around past lending decisions. And the availability of credit for future lending seems to be scarce.

    Can government efforts to create a “bad bank” structure to deal with NPLs solve the problem?

    • Will Iranian banks be put under similar capital adequacy tests than Europe?
    • How can the Iranian banking sector nurture a new, more entrepreneurial culture?
    • What financing prospects exist through debt and equity?
    • What risks surround the Iranian stock market as sanctions are lowered? Is Iran ready for the expected foreign capital inflows?

    Parviz Aghili, Managing Director and Vice‐Chairman, Khavarmianeh (Middle East) Bank

    Bashar Al Natoor, Global Head of Islamic Finance, Fitch Ratings

    Majid Zamani, Chief Executive Officer, Kardan Investment Bank

    Moderator: Martin Arnold, Banking Editor, Financial Times

  • 12:10pm
    In conversation with:

    The Rt Hon Lord Lamont of Lerwick, Chairman, British Iranian Chamber of Commerce and UK Trade Envoy to Iran
    Interviewed by: Roula Khalaf, Deputy Editor, Financial Times

  • 12:30pm
    An investment strategy for the last great frontier market

    Any investor approaching Iran will be faced with a series of tough decisions:

    • Do you invest directly in different companies or do you funnel investments through banks, insurance companies and other financial service providers?
    • Should investors make joint ventures and partnerships with companies on the ground? If so, how can you ensure that you avoid partnering with entities remaining under sanctions or which could create a reputational risk for the firm?
    • What are the regulatory and legal risks surrounding the Iranian economy?

    Peyman Kargar, Vice President - Renault AMI Region and CEO Renault Pars / Chairman ACI Pars, Groupe Renault
    Rouzbeh Pirouz, Chairman, Turquoise Partners Group
    Moderator: David Gardner, International Affairs Editor, Financial Times

  • 1:00pm
    Networking lunch
  • 2:00pm
    Panel discussion: Iranian natural resources - can they compete on the global stage?

    Iran is undoubtedly sitting on vast reserves of oil and gas. Current production of oil in Iran stands at 2.7 million barrels per day. However it could be as much as 700,000 extra barrels per day, if reforms are passed and implemented. On top of the oil and gas, Iran also possesses a huge and abundant variety of minerals and other natural resources, including gold, copper, cobalt and gypsum.

    • Will government measures to bring more energy, mining and metals companies to Iran prove fruitful?
    • Can they compete with other rapidly expanding producers such as Iraq, Abu Dhabi and Mexico?
    • What direction will future oil production take: overall priority and strategy for the sector, the investment contracts to incentivise international companies, infrastructure requirements, and application of Western know-how and innovation?
    • What are the opportunities for expanding the extraction of metals and minerals?

    Ramin Hariri, Partner, Dentons
    Seyed Hamid Hosseini, Founder and Chairman of Meraat International Group and Member of the Board, Iranian Oil, Gas & Petrochemical Products Exporters' Union
    Geoffrey Scott Moore, Chief Operating Officer, Forbes & Manhattan 
    Moderator: Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator, Financial Times

  • 3:00pm
    In conversation with:

    Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer, WPP
    Interviewed by: David Gardner, International Affairs Editor, Financial Times

  • 3:20pm
    Consumer culture in Iran

    As digital technologies such as the mobile phone and the internet import new ideas and products into Iranian society, it is creating a new consumer culture. However Iranian attitudes to products will likely be different to those in any other country.  This session will explore the forces driving the emergence of a consumer culture in Iran and the tastes, aspirations and purchasing decisions of the Iranian consumer.

    A. Cyrus Razzaghi, President, ARA Enterprise 

    Farbod Nasserabadi, Managing Director and Founder, MCG Mena 

    Interviewed by:Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Tehran Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 3:40pm
    Networking break
  • 4:00pm
    Panel discussion: Can Iran innovate? The emergence of Tehran Tech

    It might be tempting to assume that a country with a conservative culture would be ill-prepared to succeed in innovation. However Iran seems to challenge these established notions. The country has a large number of highly skilled and creative entrepreneurs and technologists. An exciting range of technology start-ups are springing up across the country. How can Iran leverage its young population, making up 60% of its 80 million strong population, through education and innovation-focused employment / start-up initiatives?

    Nazanin Daneshvar, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Takhfifan
    Reza Fateh, CIO and CTO, Pars Online
    Said Rahmani, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sarava
    Moderator: Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Tehran Correspondent, Financial Times


  • 4:50pm
    Closing keynote address

    Peyman Ghorbani Aghilabadi, Vice Governor, Economic Affairs, Central Bank of Iran

  • 5:10pm
    Chair’s closing remarks

    Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

  • 5:20pm
    Networking evening, with special welcome remarks from

    Stan Bharti, Founder and Executive Chairman, Forbes & Manhattan


The Landmark Hotel
222 Marylebone Road
London NW1 6JQ

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7631 8000


Why Attend

  • Explore the economic, geo-political and other pressures shaping the relations between Iran and the West, and the country’s future economic outlook
  • Gain insights on the sectors that will benefit first from sanctions lifting, and the obstacles that still remain, from key experts
  • Determine the practicalities and the best courses of action when implementing an investment strategy into Iran
  • Network with key Iranian stakeholders and peers


Standard Booking Rate


Discounts: Discounts are available when registering multiple delegates and for FT and subscribers. For more details email 


Who Attends

The Iran Summit 2016 will be attended by:

  • Chairmen, CEOs and COOs;
  • CFOs and Finance Directors;
  • Chief Strategy Officers or Global Strategy Directors;
  • Managing Directors and Managing Partners;
  • Head of Middle East/EMEA;
  • SVP, Head, VP, or Director of International Operations/Development/Country Risk
  • Director of International Affairs
  • Sanctions Advisors;
  • Government; and
  • Academia

from global corporations, embassies and trade organisations, chambers of commerce, think tanks, academia, consultants, lawyers, investment banks/companies, private equity, and asset management.



We have put together a unique HotelMap that shows hotel deals at the venue and nearby hotels. To view, click here


Iran Summit 2016 Highlights

Highlights of the FT Iran Summit 2016:

FT Iran Summit 2016   Flickr   Photo Sharing


In association with (1)

Forbes & Manhattan is a private merchant bank with a global focus on the resource-based sectors.F&M is based in Toronto, Canada, with offices, operations and assets across the globe. F&M incubates, finances and manages junior resource companies and creates shareholder value by combining world-class assets with top-notch management, access to capital and investor and marketing support. We have a proven track record of identifying assets that have often struggled under other management and advanced these assets from discovery through to production. Our goal is to unlock the value in resource assets over a 3 to 6 year time horizon. F&M’s founder is Stan Bharti, a professional mining engineer, business consultant, international financier, and seasoned entrepreneur. He has more than 30 years' professional experience in business, finance, markets, operations and more. His focus has been the mining, agriculture and energy sectors. He has amassed over $3 billion worth of investment capital for the junior resource companies that he has worked with, and for their share-holders.

Sponsors (3)

Fitch Ratings is a leading provider of credit ratings, commentary and research. Dedicated to providing value beyond the rating through independent and prospective credit opinions, Fitch Ratings offers global perspectives shaped by strong local market experience and credit market expertise. The additional context, perspective and insights we provide help investors to make important credit judgements with confidence.

Fitch Group is a global leader in financial information services with operations in more than 30 countries. In addition to Fitch Ratings, the group includes Fitch Solutions, a leading provider of credit market data, analytical tools and risk services; Fitch Learning, a provider of learning and development solutions for the global financial services industry; and BMI Research, a provider of country risk and industry analysis specializing in emerging and frontier markets. Fitch Group is majority-owned by Hearst.

Clyde & Co is a leading global law firm with a pre-eminent reputation in all aspects of international trade and commodities. With over 1,800 lawyers operating from 50+ offices and across 6 continents, our international reach means we can provide specialist knowledge in multiple jurisdictions and we have a leading reputation for our work in new and challenging markets. With a full service offering in the main regional trading hubs, we are able to serve our clients’ needs in all time-zones, at any time of the day. We are internationally recognised as market leaders in the commodities sector and ranked as the top commodities law firm in legal directories. Our end to end supply chain experience gives our advice a particular depth of understanding and this is underpinned by our legal knowledge across our contentious and non-contentious practices. Our commitment to the commodities sector and our deep understanding of our clients’ businesses across their value chain means we can provide unique perspectives grounded in real experience.

Dentons Europe LLP advises a vast array of clients across a wide region, working out of 20 offices in 16 countries from Western Europe to Central Asia. In Europe, around 1000 legal professionals including 200 partners act as trusted business and legal advisors on business projects and legal challenges, both within and across the region’s jurisdictions and abroad.

With a team of Persian speaking lawyers, including two members in Tehran with an unbroken track record in Iran-related matters, Dentons Europe LLP is uniquely positioned to support international investors looking to enter the Iranian market. Cooperating with leading Iranian lawyers, our lawyers will guide you through a wide spectrum of issues relating to the investment process, including government relations, corporate vehicles, employment, tax and real estate.

Exhibitors (1)

DAMAC Properties was established in 2002 as a luxury real estate developer providing unrivalled living experiences in Dubai, UAE.

The Company has since grown to become one of the world’s foremost luxury developers with projects spanning the GCC, wider Middle East and the United Kingdom.

DAMAC Properties now develops multi-million square-foot golf course communities, high-end and high-rise private apartment towers, ‘limited edition’ living experiences with global brands such as Versace, FENDI and Bugatti, as well as operating and managing serviced hotel apartments and fully-fledged five star hotels in collaboration with Paramount Hotels & Resorts.

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Financial Times
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