BBS Alumni Board Biographies

Alex Sinclair – USA, California

Executive MBA 2019

Director, Content Development and Media Asset Management at Universal Images Group

Alex currently works for San Francisco based Universal Images Group where he oversees all aspects of its digital assets from licensing, financial reporting to distribution management.
In less than six months, he developed a kingmaker platform with net profits of $1 million Year on Year and 12 million users. Alex is skilled in Strategic & Business Development, Media distribution, and Content licensing.

 

 

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Amanda Abraham – Dubai

Executive MBA 2020

Learning and Talent Development Manager at Grant Thornton – UAE

Amanda is the Learning and Talent Development Manager at Grant Thornton UAE. Her previous experience includes corporate training, instructional design and developing learning strategies across PwC and BCG. She identifies training needs and design appropriate learning interventions for overall growth and development of staff.

Amanda’s experience spans more than eight years in instructional design across one of the Big Four Financial Services firms and BCG ME. She has been a corporate trainer for over six years and have delivered both technical chartered accountancy training and soft skills training.

Amanda’s specialities include Instructional Design; Learning and Development; Learning Professional; Corporate Training; Employability Training and is an NLP Coach and Practitioner.

amanda-abraham

Amshika Amar – USA, Washington

MSc Development Economics 2007 and MPhil in Economics 2012

Consultant at the World Bank

After earning her MPhil in Economics from University of Birmingham in Theoretical Economics, Amshika moved to New Delhi, India to pursue a career in public policy. She worked with the United Nations and Planning Commission, Government of India.

This move made Amshika realise that she had a strong passion for public policy and helped her to understand how good economics can help design effective government policies. This led her to pursue a Master in Public Policy at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. Upon graduation, Amshika has been working with the World Bank Group. In her current role she evaluates the impact that World Bank assistance has on developing countries. She leads country missions to various countries, meeting government and other stakeholders to understand the impact and recommend effective policies accordingly.

Her research experience at UoB has contributed in how she approaches development problems and come up with solutions to the same. 

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Eason (Yizheng) Zhou – China, Shanghai

BSc Money, Banking and Finance 2019

Assurance associate at PwC

Following his undergraduate with Birmingham Business School, Eason obtained a Master’s degree of Sustainable Resources (Environmental Economics) at University College London in 2020.

Eason has provided equity financing for an electronic company in a regional investment bank, which was listed in 2021. He joined PwC China in October 2020, providing audit and financial advisory service in banking and capital market line. Provided serviced for a large A-share listed commercial bank (equivalent 280 billion GBP assets) in credit analysis, IFRS9 modelling and related regulatory compliance control.

 

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Faraaz Peerbhai - India

BSc Business Management 2013

Marketing and Partnerships Lead at Oriserve

Faraaz started his professional journey in retail, where he helped to set-up and scale a retail venture. Over the span of a year, he grew the retail business to multiple supermarkets across Bangalore. After this Faraaz moved on to a role at Onspon.com, where he helped 350+ brands solve brand challenges through event and content partnerships, digital + on-ground campaigns, sports collaborations, sponsorships and influencer campaigns. At Onspun he managed a team of eight members across three cities, helping grow the business from 150 clients to 350 clients and scaling the events registered on the platform from 8,000 to 40,000+ and increasing revenues by 25% Year on Year. After six years at Onspun Faraaz moved onto his next challenge at Mihuru, a FinTech start-up with a focus on lay-by products to promote responsible financial decisions. He has since moved back into the B2B SaaS space and currently works as a Marketing and Partnerships lead at Oriserve.com, a start-up in the Martech and conversational AI space.

Faraaz also undertakes freelance projects, helping brands with growth, brand strategy, lead generation and content. He also volunteers as a football coach with an NGO, Enabling Leadership where he teaches underprivileged kids football and life skills through the medium of sport. 

faraaz-peerbhai

Felix Strauss – EU, Austria

BSc Business Management and Communications 2015

Corporate Responsibility Consultant at ALDI SOUTH Group

Felix is a corporate responsibility professional in the ALDI SOUTH Group's international corporate responsibility department. He graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BSc in Business Management with Communications in 2015 and then moved on to complete a MSc in Business and Development Studies at Copenhagen Business School. After an internship and consultancy position at UNIDO's Institute for Capacity Development, he joined the Austrian Development Agency's Private Sector & Development team as junior professional. Since 2019, Felix has worked for the ALDI SOUTH Group, with a key focus on upholding human rights in tropical fruit supply chains. His main responsibilities include the development and implementation of an evaluation of ALDI's business partners based on CR metrics as well as understanding tropical fruit farm workers’ current earnings and how these compare to living wage benchmarks in order to work towards practical solutions to remove barriers and close living wage gaps.

felix-strauss

Hari Chandan Patnaik – Singapore

MSc International Business 2020

Senior Operations Analyst at Accenture

Hari is a Masters graduate in International Business, and also a BGA (Business Graduates Association) Future Leaders Finalist in 2021. He has worked as a Technical Consultant for four years in multinational consulting firm, Capgemini, where he served clients from Banking, Payment Card, Financial and Tech sectors. Hari is currently working with Accenture for Health & Public Service sector in Singapore, helping clients in their strategic planning and overall performance improvement. He loves to understand the hidden patterns in clients’ strategy requirements and building analytical models to optimise their operations.

Hari aspires to make the world better by understanding the business risks and opportunities that sustainability issues pose, and how best to apply those within existing company structures and strategies. He hopes to gain more skills in assessing ESG risks and implementing sustainable solutions to maximise long-term corporate value creation while decreasing their environmental footprint.

hari-chandan

Jackie (Xiang) Yue – China, Bejing

MSc Investments 2015

Plug and Play Tech Center, Corporate Innovation, Program Lead

Jackie graduated from the University of Birmingham with MSC of Investments and is currently working for Plug and Play Tech Center, which is one of global largest technology acceleration platforms. As a founding team member of Plug and Play China Jackie is; dedicated to cultivating an open eco-innovation platform, committed to energising technology innovation for large enterprises and startups and has devoted himself to cutting-edge investment.

Whilst working at Plug and Play China, Jackie has been a consultant for Fortune Global 500 listed corporates regarding the innovations’ needs, define concrete application scenarios, precise matchmaking between corporates and startups, support the steering and monitoring of the POC (prove of concept) landing process. He has also worked together with top corporates including China EVERBRIGHT Bank, SPD Bank, Bank of Communications, BNP Paribas, VISA, Daimler, WANDA, WANKE, etc.

Jackie has a deep understanding of, and focus on cutting-edge investment in field of FinTech, Mobility, IoT and AI.

jackie-yue

Mari Asakura - Japan

MBA Global Banking and Finance 2017

Senior General Manager, Global Regulation Office at Japan Securities Dealers Association

Mari holds a BA in Economics from Chiba University in Japan, and an MBA in Global Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham in the UK. She has been a Senior General Manager of the Global Regulation Office at the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) since June 2019. Mari leads the team to conduct research about the regulations of jurisdictions across the globe and international standard setting bodies. She concurrently serves as an observer of IOSCO’s Committee 8, a body within IOSCO whose mandate is to conduct policy work on retail investor education and financial literacy.

Prior to this role, Mari worked for the JSDA as a manager of the International Affairs Division and the SDGs Promotion Office. Before that, she had been in charge of self-regulatory rules regarding OTC derivatives and securitized products. Mari facilitated dialogue between regulators and the industry during the domestic implementation phase of OTC derivative rules responding to the global financial crisis. She was also involved with establishing some self-regulatory rules including those relating to binary options for retail investors. Mari started her career at the JSDA in 2007 as an Assistant Manager of the Disciplinary Examination Division, where she handled the inspection and provision of penalties for offenders of securities-related rules and regulations.  

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Oscar Xing – China

MSc Money, Banking Finance 2013

Chairman Assistant, IMILAB Technology Co. Ltd

Oscar’s professional experience lies within management consulting, start-up and high-tech companies. He has a deep understanding of business analysis, strategic planning, corporate management and reorganisation.

From May 2019, Oscar has been working with Shanghai IMILAB Technology Co Ltd (as IMILAB below) as Special Assistant to Chairman, contributing to business strategy and capital operation related matters. IMILAB is one of the largest XIAOMI eco-chain companies, which is dedicated to R&D of smart home products, especially the indoor & outdoor smart camera category. In 2021, he helped the company to secure 200 million CNY (over 20 million GBP) Series B fund-raising.

Before joining IMILAB, Oscar started his professional life in 2014 with an Italian boutique consulting firm and then a Swiss consulting firm as Senior Consultant and Project Manager. He was key contributor in supporting dozens of European companies and family offices with their Chinese market penetration and expansion strategy. Later in June 2018, Oscar joined InVault.io, a blockchain start-up invested by Matrix Partners. He took on the role of Strategic Development Director and worked closely with the founder overseeing the corporate strategy and market study team.

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Riri (Afriani) Ritassetyana – Malaysia & Indonesia

MBA Global Banking and Finance 2016

Senior Vice President for Enterprise Risk Management, PermataBank

Afriani is a Chevening Scholar and who graduated from MBA Global Banking and Finance University of Birmingham in 2016. Currently she is a Senior Vice President for Enterprise Risk Management in one of The Top 10 Banks in Indonesia. Her career spans more than a decade in banking risk management, including in the biggest state-owned bank and also several foreign-owned banks. Riri lives in Indonesia and enjoys travelling around the world, and in her spare time, she tries to cook and bake recipes that she has collected from her travels.  

 

 

afriani-ritassetyana

Ruskiyat Badmus – Nigeria

MBA Global Banking and Finance 2015

Agricultural Finance Expert at AFC Agriculture and Finance Consultants

Ruskiyat is a financial sector specialist, with over 13+ years’ experience working with and linking agri-SMEs, smallholder farmers and MSMEs to finance in Nigeria. A specialist in lending (agriculture, MSMEs, Renewable Energy, Micro-housing), product development and inclusion of women and the financially excluded. Ruskiyat is the founder of “Her Impact Fund”, an initiative she launched to facilitate access to finance for women led business. She holds an MBA in Global Banking & Finance from the University of Birmingham and is certified in SME financing and Microfinance by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

 

 

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Ryan Makuku - UK

BSc Accountancy and Finance 2018

Assistant Vice President, Barclays’ Asset & Liability Management

Ryan is an Assistant Vice President at Barclays’ Asset & Liability Management team where he is responsible for managing interest rate risk on the banking book. Ryan currently co-chairs Inspire, Barclays’ new social mobility employee resource group and previously sat on Barclays’ Black Professionals Forum leadership team. Elsewhere, he is an ambassador and previous board member of EY Foundation's Youth Advisory Board where he advised on the charity's strategic decisions. He is also a One Young World ambassador.   

Ryan graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2018 with a degree in Accounting & Finance. Whilst at Birmingham, Ryan founded BuddyMe, a mentoring scheme for first-year students, was a recipient of Targetjobs’ Future CFO Award (2018) and was a nominee for the PSA Student of the Year award (2017). 

Ryan Makuku