Founder, Executive Chairman
Mr. Michael began his career at CIBC World Markets, in Toronto, where he established and successfully managed the firm’s first commodity and foreign exchange proprietary trading desk. Subsequently, he held senior commodity and foreign exchange trading positions at Lehman Brothers, Standard Bank and Graham Capital Management. More recently, Mr. Michael acted as Chairman and CEO of a DIFC based investment banking firm. Mr. Michael has successfully founded and managed both investment firms and traditional companies. Mr. Michael holds an Honors in Business Administration (HBA) degree from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Shahin has 25+ years experience in the global physical and financial precious metals markets. He began his career at CIBC World markets in Toronto on the spot gold desk before moving to Republic National Bank (RNB) in New York as Chief Dealer; at the time, RNB had the largest gold desk in the world. Mr. Shahin then held a similar position at Lehman Brothers in New York prior to joining Rudolf Wolff and Co, in London, a founding member of the London Metal Exchange. In 2000, Mr. Shahin moved to Dubai with ARY Traders where his strong governance polices, risk management programs and hedging/trading strategies enabled ARY to become one of the major physical gold trading firms in the region. Mr. Shahin served on the DMCC Gold Advisory Board, 2002-2007; and holds a BSc. in Civil Engineering from University of Texas at Austin.
Chief Financial Officer
David is Professor of Finance at New York University School of Engineering. Previously, he was Director of the Treasury and Risk Support Business Unit at Novantas, Inc., and Managing Director of NewOak Capital LLC. He was also co-founder and president of Risk Capital Management Partners LLC (acquired by Towers Perrin), Principal and Head, Risk Management Advisory at Bankers Trust Corporation (acquired by Deutsche Bank), and Vice President, Head of Risk Management Research at J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. He was Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Southern California and Senior Lecturer of Finance at Harvard Business School from 2000 to 2004. Mr. Shimko holds a PhD in Management Economics and Finance and a degree in Economics from Northwestern University.
Chief Compliance Officer
Global Head of Client Services
Mr. Courtright is a 20-year veteran of the financial services industry. He began his career at Accenture, a global management consulting and technology services company, as a Senior Program Manager. Mr. Courtright then joined St. Croix Asset Management as a Principal responsible for domestic and international hedge fund operations. Most recently, Mr. Courtright was President of a commodity pool operator/commodity trading advisor firm and President of a registered investment advisor firm. He has launched several investment funds including a gold bullion fund and a gold/silver mutual fund.
Global Head of Technical Services
Mr. Alasmar began his career in the gold jewelry industry in Kuwait 30+ years ago after completing his metallurgical studies in Spain. Mr. Alasmar has extensive technical and regional experience in the gold trade developed while working in several middle-eastern countries. In 2000, Mr. Alasmar joined ARY Gold Testing Laboratory as Co–Founder and Chief Technician. Mr. Alasmar is an expert on regional regulations and legal requirements for establishing gold testing laboratories. He has set-up and operated the first ISO 9001 certified laboratory in Dubai.
Founding Partner (Asia)
Mr. King is a 25+ year veteran of the real estate industry with over 10 years of corporate finance and financial engineering experience. Mr. King began his career in real estate brokerage in the U.S. before returning to China in 2003 to advise Lehman Brothers on its first real estate development project in Shanghai. In 2005, he joined Willie International where he became a Managing Director and led numerous M&A transactions. Mr. King also served as an independent director for Glory Future Group and assisted with the takeover of Tack Fat Holdings where he served as Executive Director. Mr. King holds a B.A. Economics from Santa Clara University and M.S. International Finance from the University of San Francisco.
Founding Partner (UAE)
Mr. Zaman has over 30 years of experience in the international banking industry. He began his career at ANZ Grindlays Bank (now merged with Standard Chartered Bank) and held various senior-level positions at Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI), RAK Bank, Mashreq Bank and Finance House. While at Mashreq Bank, Mr. Zaman pioneered bank financing for the UAE jewelry trade. In 2006, Mr. Zaman joined Damas Jewellery as CEO where he lead the company’s IPO and gained further insight into the jewelry and bullion trade in the Gulf. Mr. Zaman later joined Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank as the Head of Corporate Credit and most recently oversaw the bank’s credit risk management.
Managing Partner (Peru)
Mr. Hays began his career in the gold mining industry at Aruntani Mining Company in Lima, Peru, where he oversaw project finance and process optimization for large open pit mines. After several years of working on large mining projects, Mr. Hays opened his own small mining company, which successfully operated a few placer projects and as well as two hard rock mines. Mr. Hays has gained valuable experience in all aspects of the mining industry – from financing large multi-million dollar open pit projects, to the day-to-day running of smaller placer and hard rock mines, to helping artisanal miners optimize their production and work within environmental and international guidelines.
Managing Partner (Colombia)
Mr. Checa began his mining career as Finance and Administration Manager for Cumbrex Exploraciones, a mineral exploration company, where he oversaw project finance. Mr. Checa was responsible for managing and leading drilling campaigns, implementing new controls, optimizing processes, and increasing the efficiency of the company. Mr. Checa subsequently opened a logistics and operations consultancy where he offered outsourcing services to small and medium-sized miners, investors, international and national mining companies, other consultancies, and geological scientists. Mr. Checa holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and International Relations from the University of Queensland, Australia, and a Master’s degree in Business Development from the University of Sussex, England.
Managing Director (West Africa)
Mr. Shahin has 25 years of management experience in the petroleum, steel, and manufacturing industries. In particular, Mr. Shahin has significant expertise with regard to physical commodities in Middle Eastern and African markets. In his most recent position, Mr. Shahin managed a Sudan-based multimillion dollar petroleum company, where he turned around the company and brought it to profitability in less than two years. As General Manager, Mr. Shahin introduced professional management protocols, efficiently restructured the managerial team, and implemented new Finance department processes and controls. Previously, Mr. Shahin established, developed and managed a multimillion dollar steel company in Sudan and worked in various senior Sales and Finance management roles for a manufacturing firm in Jordan.
Yahya Al Mokhtar
Managing Partner (Mauritania)
Mr. Al Mokhtar is a talented entrepreneur with over 30 years of professional experience in artisanal gold mining, wholesale jewelry, non-gold mineral mining, and commercial real estate and has spent most of his career in Mauritania and the United Arab Emirates (“U.A.E.”). Mr. Al Mokhtar began his career in the wholesale jewelry trade, exporting jewelry from Dubai to Mauritania. Mr. Al Mokhtar then founded a business importing mining equipment into Mauritania and subsequently set up his own gold mining company. Mr. Al Mokhtar is very familiar with the local dore market in Mauritania and the U.A.E. and has gained deep and extensive knowledge in the field of gold artisanal mining.
Elizabeth Sanchez Chung
Deputy Compliance Officer
Ms. Sanchez is an accounting, finance and compliance professional with over 20 years of experience. She is an expert at supporting strong corporate governance by providing expertise in auditing, internal controls, finance, accounting, information technology and risk management. Ms. Sanchez began her professional career in 1996 with Deloitte & Touche, a premier global service firm, where she provided consulting and external audit services. More recently, Ms. Sanchez was named Regional Finance Controller for Manuchar NV with responsibilities for five (5) countries in the region. Ms. Sanchez graduated from Ricardo Palma University (Peru), with a degree in Accounting. She also obtained a degree in Taxation from Lima University (Peru) and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University Of Piura (Peru).