Faisel Rahman OBE
Faisel has worked in the field of financial exclusion for nearly 20 years. Initially with the Grameen and World Bank in Bangladesh, for the last 17 years he focused his work in the UK and Europe.
In 2000 he set up the first microcredit program in London’s east end, and in 2005 launched Fair Finance, a social enterprise tackling financial exclusion in the UK.
Faisel was the elected President of the European Microfinance Network (2010-15) and writes an occasional column for the Guardian Newspaper on issues around financial exclusion.
In 2007 he was elected an Ashoka Fellows and in 2009 was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2014 he was awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to Community Finance. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of East London
Faisel is a member of the Finance, Money Advice, Staffing and Operations Committees.
Matthew joined the Board of Fair Finance, and became Chair, in 2016.
He was previously CEO of UK, Middle East and Africa at Dentons, a global law firm, and was also a member of the firm’s Global Board and Global Management Committee. Before that, he practised as a solicitor in the City for more than 20 years, during which time he held various other senior positions at the firm in addition to his role as a partner specialising in banking and project finance.
Matt Elsom is the Head of Business Development for TruNarrative, a company whose purpose is to reduce fraud and make safe commerce simpler.
Matt has been working in credit risk and fraud services companies for the past 18 years, both in the UK and abroad. Taking a career break to work for an aid organization in Nicaragua, Matt first saw the acute need for affordable finance and how access to ethical financial services can transform lives.
Matt is a member of the Finance Committee.
Emma Squire is a member of the Senior Civil Service and has held a variety of posts at the Department for Business (BIS) and HM Treasury.
Until October 2011, Emma was head of the small business finance team at BIS, responsible for policy to support viable entrepreneurs access the finance they need to start, survive, and grow. The team is responsible for analysis and advice to Government Ministers on microfinance, bank lending and venture capital; it administers a tax relief for community investment; and funds various schemes to finance small firms, notably a debt guarantee scheme worth £600m p.a. and a portfolio of venture capital funds.
Outside of work, Emma is a volunteer business advisor for Young Enterprise, working with young people to inspire and equip them to succeed through enterprise.
Emma is a member of the Operations Committee.
Vice Chair – Rasmus qualified as a lawyer with Linklaters in 2006, specialising in Employment and Incentives Law. Rasmus has worked for Linklaters since 2004 having spent time in both London and New York.
Rasmus has a Danish and UK law degree (LLB) and a Masters (LLM) in Corporate and Commercial Law from King’s College London. In 2007, Rasmus qualified as a Certified Equity Professional from Santa Clara University, California. Rasmus also holds a Certificate in Employee Share Plans from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Accountants.
Rasmus is a member of the Staffing Committee.
Graham is a management consultant who works with businesses involved in social housing development including housing associations, local authorities and private developers.
He is currently at Altair Ltd where he focuses on supporting housing associations with strategy development, business planning and organisational change.
Prior to that Graham worked extensively in Local Government for over 20 years where he held a variety of posts working on the first wave of Housing PFI schemes, the Housing Association development programme and a range of complex regeneration schemes. He subsequently held a number of senior management roles in Housing, Customer Services, Revenues and Housing Benefits.
Graham is a member of the Operations Committee.
Vijay Bharadia is a qualified chartered accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. He is the International Chief Financial Officer of Blackstone since 2009.
Vijay has a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) degree from the Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine.
Vijay is a member of the Finance Committee.
Andrew joined the Board of Fair Finance in March 2017.
He was previously CFO for Bupa in Australia and prior to that CFO for the Bupa UK business. He has had a 30 year career covering all aspects of finance holding senior executive positions in Unilever, Cadbury Schweppes, Premier Foods and Bupa.
Fair Money Advice Board Members
Rachel Bentley joined the Fair Money Advice Board in 2016.
Rachel is a director at PwC in London specialising in assisting international private clients. She joined PwC in Tokyo, Japan in 2002 and has worked with the firm successfully for 15 years in Tokyo, London, Honolulu and New York. She also focuses on building PwC’s private client practice in Africa with a particular focus on Nigeria and South Africa.
Outside of her professional commitments, Rachel is passionate about social justice and has volunteered and supported charitable boards in various capacities throughout the world. Most recently in addition to her role with FMA, she is lead facilitator at PwC Classroom, a programme which provides sixth former’s in London from disadvantaged backgrounds with business and financial skills. She is also a female leader on PwC’s Women in Business Shadowing programme for female students. Rachel speaks at events on various topics including but not limited to Women in Business and broader gender issues, US tax technical matters and the Tax Morality debate. She also regularly attends professional networking and charitable functions in both her personal and professional capacity. She is a graduate of the University of Warwick and also holds a Masters in Law from Nagoya University in Japan.
In her spare time, Rachel enjoys travelling, horse-riding, hiking, reading and the Arts.
Erik has spent the majority of his career in retail banking with firms such as Citi and Barclays. He has worked in various operational roles with his primary speciality in credit operations and collections. Erik’s career has allowed him to work in many international markets including the USA, UK, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He has had the opportunity to work with many different organisations in recent years as an independent consultant. Erik is also the Head of Adult and Industry Programmes for The Money Charity.
In his free time, Erik enjoys running and travelling and volunteering with the Southwark Foodbank.
Erik has been on the board of Fair Money Advice since Spring 2016.
Shalini works with Generation Investment Management, a sustainability-focused investment firm founded in 2004 by Al Gore and David Blood. Prior to Generation, Shalini worked with J.P. Morgan in the firm’s sustainable finance and corporate responsibility division.
Shalini holds a BA degree from Harvard University, where she was a Harvard College Scholar, and is currently pursuing an MSc in Finance at the London School of Economics. While at Harvard, Shalini’s research into social movements focused on housing equality received awards from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and Harvard’s Institute of Politics. From 2012, Shalini served as a research fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.
Shalini has been on the Board of Fair Money Advice since spring 2016.
Alex began her career as a solicitor at Linklaters, where she has worked in both the litigation and financial regulation groups for six years. During that time, she spent six months on secondment to the Mary Ward Legal Centre’s debt advice team and continues to volunteer there on a monthly basis. She moves to the FSA’s retail enforcement team in 2013.
Alex has a combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degree (BA/LLB) from the University of Sydney and is qualified as a lawyer in both the United Kingdom and Wales, and Australia.
Alex is a member of the Money Advice Committee.
Independent Committee Members
Julian started his career as a credit analyst for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Barclays Global Investors, specialising in the analysis of European banks. He then became a portfolio manager at Dresdner Bank, before joining Lehman Brothers Asset Management in 2007 – which was subsequently renamed Neuberger Berman – where he is responsible for managing European credit portfolios and analysing European banks.
Julian holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Accounting from the University of Bristol and is a CFA Charterholder.
Julian is a member of the Finance Committee.
Nabeel works for the Mayor of London’s Regeneration team. He manages a team of officers who are responsible for delivering a number of business support programmes and promote economic growth that works for all Londoners. On behalf of City Hall, he also manages a public-private venture capital fund that provides equity finance to early stage growth companies in London and is currently developing alternative financing mechanisms, such as Social Impact Bonds and Community Shares, to further leverage additional investment that can help towards the delivery of public services.
An alumnus of the University of London and Warwick Business School, he sits on a number of academic committees and project steering boards across London, providing advice on a variety of issues, including commercialising technology, accessing European research funding for project delivery and prototyping innovative public service delivery models.
Nabeel is a member of the Finance Committee.
James is a service designer and product advisor living in Dalston. Today he’s the Head of Design at VEON, a mobile operator serving Central and South Asia. A human-centred designer, James has spent over a decade listening to people and observing their lives, in order to create products that feel simple, empowering, and delightful.
James is a member of the Staffing Committee.