Keiichi Aritomo succeeds Jennifer Reynolds as the Chair of the WAIFC's Board of Directors, and Lamia Merzouki becomes WAIFC’s first Vice Chair
The General Meeting of the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) has unanimously elected Keiichi Aritomo, Executive Director of FinCity.Tokyo, as its new chair following the two-year term of Jennifer Reynolds coming to an end. He is the first Chair from an Asian financial center and is joined by Lamia Merzouki, Deputy General Manager at Casablanca Financial Center, as Vice Chair.
This becomes the first Chair and Vice Chair pairing since the organization was founded in 2018 and demonstrates the opportunities that exist for collaboration across financial centers and a strong pipeline of activity ahead.
With a growing member base, both see the potential and value of engagement with other centers globally. Keiichi’ and Lamia both commended Jennifer for her tenure, which spanned a hugely challenging time with the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, inflation, and the fallout of cryptocurrencies. Keiichi’s ambitions center around engaging with financial centers from new geographies, forming alliances with various industry bodies, and fostering the Green Transformation through the supply chains.
On his appointment Keiichi Aritomo, Chair of the WAIFC Board, stated:
“Following Jennifer’s successful management of the organization in the past two years, which required pivoting and adaptability, I am keen to kick off my tenure, keeping the momentum up. We have just completed our first AGM in Africa and with trips to the UK and US planned for 2023 as well as COP28 in the UAE, opportunities for financial centers to exchange and share best practices are forthcoming.
I am keen to give our members a platform to demonstrate the great work they are doing regionally and to learn more from other regions by increasing cross-border collaboration. I am honored to take over the leadership role with Lamia and work towards realizing my ambitions to the benefit of all our members and their communities.”
Lamia Merzouki, Vice Chair of the WAIFC Board, added:
“I am truly honored to be elected as Vice-Chair of a network I am very much familiar with since Casablanca was a founding member of the WAIFC. I am also delighted to be representing and providing an African perspective on the Executive Committee.
Facilitating cooperation between financial centers and exchanging best practices remains at the heart of our mission. We also aim at launching impactful initiatives, which would tackle topics of interest to our community, enlarging the geographical scope of our membership, and raising awareness about our work at the network.
Finally, I am looking forward to sharing this journey with my colleague Keiichi Aritomo. I am sure our different but complementary perspectives will have a great added value to the network.”
By electing board members from East Asia and Africa, the Board also emphasized WAIFC's commitment to geographical diversity after having Chairs from European and North American centers.
All board members thanked Jennifer Reynolds for her successful tenure and leadership through challenging times.
Keiichi Aritomo is the Executive Director of FinCity.Tokyo, which is to continuously promote Tokyo as a leading global financial city. He is also a co-founder and Board Director of JIAM (the Consortium for Japan International Asset Management Center). Keiichi used to be a Partner at McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, and PwC, where he specialized in the financial services industry and technology strategies across North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Japan. He has co-authored several books, including “Single View of Customer for Financial Institutions,” published by Kinzai and Shanghai Communication University Press in Japanese and Mandarin, respectively. He earned his MBA from the University of Executive Director, Warwick, in the UK, and his MSc from Nagoya Institute of Technology, majoring in Urban Transportation Planning.
Lamia Merzouki is the Deputy GM at Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA) and co-chair of UNDP-FC4S. Before that, Lamia was part of AKWA Group, the largest private group in Morocco, within which she held the position of Director of Strategy and Organization for 7 years. She was also a member of the executive committee and board member of 2 listed companies (Afriquia Gaz). Lamia worked on the Green Morocco Plan within the Ministry of Agriculture and on the development of the Souss-Massa-Draa region. Lamia is a graduate of ESSEC Business School and Harvard Business School. She started her career at Arthur Andersen in Paris as a banking, insurance, and industry consultant. With a keen interest in green finance and sustainability, Lamia was appointed in 2020 as co-chair of FC4S. She is also a board member of the 4C. Lamia is an executive coach, a member of the Choiseul 100 Africa and the co-lead of the Africa CEO Network in Morocco and the North African cluster of the Women Working for Change network, president of the We4She Morocco association, member of the CFA and recently Deputy General Manager, nominated for the “Best Woman Leader in Africa” Award by the Africa Investments Forum and Awards.
The World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) is a non-profit association registered in Belgium, representing 26 leading international financial centers on five continents. WAIFC members are government agencies, associations, and similar institutions developing and promoting their financial centers. WAIFC facilitates cooperation between its members, the exchange of best practices, and communication with the general public.