Zar Wardak is FINCA Impact Finance’s Vice President & Regional Director for the Middle East & South Asia (MESA) region, where she leads the network’s operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Jordan. Based in Kabul, she oversees a loan portfolio of more than $170 million, providing more than 660,000 clients with loans, savings products, insurance and payments services.
Under Zar’s leadership, FINCA’s operations in the MESA region have expanded to cover two full-service microfinance institutions and one bank, each of which now has more than 25,000 clients. FINCA Impact Finance has also become a catalyst for women’s economic empowerment in the MESA region—61% of FINCA Afghanistan clients are women; in Jordan, that number is 92%. Most recently, Zar helped introduce SimSim, an e-wallet now being used by over 100,000 previously unbanked or underbanked users in Pakistan. SimSim launched in 2016 and has contributed to financial inclusion in Pakistan while keeping FINCA at the forefront of Fintech innovation.
Prior to becoming Regional Director in 2012, Zar served as CEO of FINCA Afghanistan. Under her leadership, the company was able to achieve sustainability within three years. She implemented profitable microfinance solutions designed for local conditions—notably, FINCA Afghanistan was the first microfinance institution in the country to offer Islamic banking services. FINCA Afghanistan now serves more than 25,000 clients from 21 branches across the country, largely due to Zar’s successful stint as CEO.
Prior to joining FINCA, Zar worked as a financial services industry consultant in Afghanistan and served as Regional Sales Integration Director for Citibank in Texas before that. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Southwestern College in Kansas and a Master of Science in Peace Operations from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Zar also serves as Chairperson of the Afghanistan Microfinance Association and Chairperson of the Board for FINCA Impact Finance’s MESA subsidiaries as well as for Kosovo.
Volker Renner has over 20 years of senior executive experience in responsible finance in the Eurasia, Africa, Latin America and Asia regions. From 2004 to 2016 he served FINCA International as Vice President for Credit and Savings, Global COO, and Regional Director for FINCA Eurasia. Prior to joining FINCA, Volker held positions as CEO of ProCredit Bank (Ukraine) and advisor to banks in Russia and Ukraine. Since 2016, Volker has focused his work on governance and consulting roles, serving as board director and member of Audit, Risk, ALCO, Digital Financial Services, and Credit committees in financial institutions on three continents.
Jeffrey Smith serves as Vice President, Global Chief Auditor And Chief Risk And Compliance Officer at FINCA Impact Finance. He has nearly 40 years of experience in auditing, finance, accounting, risk management, internal control and regulatory compliance. He has led many restructuring efforts of global audit, risk management and compliance departments, as well as, many global efforts implementing effective risk controls and compliance monitoring systems.
Mr. Smith has worked in both the public and private sectors, and has been an independent consultant and held global positions at Citibank and Ford Motor Company. Most recently, he was the Chief Auditor at Rotary International.
Mr. Smith is a Certified Risk Professional and earned a Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan, USA) and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA).
Mr. Mitov is a senior member of CMG at FINCA Impact Finance, where his responsibilities include raising and negotiating loan funding, reviewing and evaluating financial plans, assisting CEOs and CFOs in developing funding strategy for the subsidiaries, assisting in developing new financial structures and instruments and preparing investment proposals.
Before joining FINCA Impact Finance he worked for MicroVest Capital Management for four years as as investment manager and senior investment associate. Prior to MicroVest Capital Management, Mr. Mitov carried out different duties in different organizations such as Express Finance SA, CHF International, Imake Consulting Inc., Pacific Western Mortgage and Investment.
Radoil Mitov graduated from American University majoring in Finance and International Economics. He also earned a MA in International Trade and Investment Policy and MBA in International Finance at George Washington University, USA.
Youssef Laban is currently a freelance executive consultant who helps financial institutions and Fin-tech start-ups streamline their operational and financial processes.
He is an experienced banker who served for more than 30 years with many international banks in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa in senior executive and non-executive positions. His roles included among others Chief Executive Officer of the regional hub of Arab Bank in Dubai, Group Chief Operating Officer of alkaliji bank in Doha, Chief Operating Officer of Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh, Information Systems Group Head at Credit Lyonnais in Paris, Head of Retail in La Banque Postale in Paris, Payment Systems department Head at Credit Agricole in Paris.
Mr. Laban executive responsibilities involved Operations, IT, Human Resources, Procurement, Premises, Digital Banking, Retail, Marketing and Strategy.
Youssef Laban holds an engineering diploma from Supelec, Paris and studied at CESB Management – Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de Banque, Paris.
Freshta Zuhal Rahman is a practicing attorney and partner at Rosenstock Legal Services, a leading full-service legal and tax consultancy firm in Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in a range of corporate, banking, tax, procurement, employment, and civil matters, including acting as an Afghan law expert with international firms in foreign litigation matters.
Freshta is a registered member of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association, where she serves as a member of the newly established External Relations Committee. She also currently serves as Chair of the Commercial Law and Practice Commission of the Afghanistan branch of the International Chamber of Commerce, and as Adjunct Professor of Law at the American University of Afghanistan.
In addition to teaching and her service to professional communities, Freshta has been a pioneer of institutional arbitration practice in Afghanistan. She has arbitrated the very first arbitration case registered with the Afghanistan Centre for Commercial Dispute Resolution (“ACDR”), where she acts as a commercial arbitrator.
Freshta’s work experience includes working for the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), where she mentored prosecutors at the Attorney General’s Office in Kabul, working as a consultant with one of the leading human rights law firms based in London, and as a consultant to the World Bank Group in Kabul.
Freshta has an LLM in Corporate and Commercial Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an LLM in Law and Development from Emory University School of Law, and an LLB from Kabul University Faculty of Law and Political Science.
Sayed Muhammad Ali Rawnaq began his microfinance career with reputable organizations ARMP and FMFB-A, starting as a branch manager and advancing to head of operation. Mr. Rawnaq joined FINCA Afghanistan in April 2014 in the capacity of Deputy Chief Operating Officer and, after six months, was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In March 2018, Mr. Rawnaq was promoted to the position of Acting Chief Executive officer (A/CEO) of FINCA Afghanistan and was announced as CEO of FINCA Afghanistan in 2019.
Mr. Rawnaq holds a Bachelor in Science and Finance from UMEF University and an MBA in Leadership & Sustainability from Cambria University. Simultaneously he has participated in a number of national and international trainings delivered by the ITC-ILO, IFAD, CGAP, Central Bank and World Bank covering various subjects including Finance, Operation, Risk, Savings Mobilization, Product Development, Leadership and Management.
Khurram joined FINCA Afghanistan’s Management Board as Chief Financial Officer in July 2020. He is an experienced finance professional and has previously served in the commercial banking sector as CFO duly approved by the Central Bank of Afghanistan. Prior to joining FINCA, Khurram worked with Bank Alfalah, owned and operated by the Abu Dhabi Group and International Finance Corporation of the World Bank. He has also worked with Pakistan’s largest bank HBL and managed the finance function during the crucial stage of closing out operations in Afghanistan.
Khurram’s diversified professional experience also encompasses several years at Grant Thornton in Auditing and Management Consulting with a prominent portfolio of clients such as the United Nations Development Programme, The Asia Foundation, different commercial banks, and Compliance Review of Afghanistan’s first-ever Exploration & Production Sharing Contract.
Khurram is a Full Member at the Institute of Public Accountants (Australia), has a Master’s degree in Business Studies and a Certificate in Accounting & Finance from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.
Ajmal Manawi has recently joined FINCA Afghanistan Management Board, as Head of Legal and Corporate Secretary. He is a well-known lawyer in Afghanistan and has received his license from the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in 2011. He became the Leadership Council Member of AIBA through the General Assembly of lawyers in 2018 which is held every three years.
He received his bachelor’s degree in Sharia Law from Kabul University in 2010 and has studied his practical Stage program of lawyers in Paris, France in 2014. Further, he obtained his Master’s degree in International Trade and Economics Laws from the Osmania University of India in 2016. Furthermore, he has the membership of the International Chamber of Commerce and International Bar Association.
He has ten years of professional experience, mainly in the legal sector, and has obtained good knowledge and experience in areas of HR, Finance, Administration, and Leadership. He has worked with GIZ Role of Law project, Bayat Group, Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA), and taught law in the private universities and the BAR Association’s Practical Stage
Mr. Sultan Hameed Qarar joined FINCA Afghanistan in November 2015 as Corporate Audit Manager. Previously he worked with Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) as the Senior Auditor for five years. Before joining the Audit Department, he worked with the Payment & Settlement Department of AIB where he handled all SWIFT and Domestic Transfers.
Mr. Qarar is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) – USA, holds Bachelor degree in business management economics from TABISH University & Banking Leadership Certificate from National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF) – Pakistan. He has many years of experience in Internal Audit, Fraud Investigation and Internal Controls in commercial banking and microfinance. He is serving as a Supervisory Board Member in commercial banks including roles as Vice President/board member of TheIIA (The Institute of Internal Auditors) chapter (information) in Afghanistan. He has also participated in a number of national and international trainings arranged by ACFE – USA, MIS Training Institute – Dubai & USA, NIBAF – Pakistan, AIBF & USAID covering various subjects including Internal Audit, Credit Audit, Banking Leadership, IT Audit & Fraud Investigation. In 2013, he was awarded the “Best Performance” certificate during the “Banking Leadership” training course by National Institute of Banking & Finance (NIBAF) of Pakistan.
Mustafa Haand is working as Deputy Chief Operation Officer (D/COO) of FINCA Afghanistan, where he has devoted his 16 years of experience in handling key roles in many departments such as Finance, Administration, Logistics, Procurement, Security and Operations.
Mustafa Haand joined FINCA Afghanistan on 28 Dec 2005, and continued his career in the capacity of Senior Accountant, Accounts Manager, Administration & logistic Manager and currently working as Deputy Chief Operation Officer since July 15, 2016.
Mustafa Haand holds a Bachelor Degree in Arts from Kardan University and has achieved a Diploma in Managerial Accounting from AIBF/Kmpala University of Tanzania. Before Joining FINCA Afghanistan, Mustafa Haand was working as Finance Officer with Afghanistan Government Ministry (Ministry of Power & Water irrigation in Kabul Afghanistan).
Mustafa Haand is one of the most dedicated, loyal, honest & responsible employee of FINCA Afghanistan and his 13 years of activity with FINCA has played a vital role in the expansion & success of the Institution.
Mr. Shujauddin Jalali holds 3 master degree from reputed universities; an MBA from Newport`s Institute Pakistan, an MBA General Management from ISBM India and an M. Com from University of Mysore, India. He has got international certification courses; Certified Expert in SME Finance and Certified Expert in Digital Finance from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany in 2019 and also completed Certified Islamic Microfinance Manager course from Alhuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economic Pakistan in 2015.
Mr. Shujauddin Jalali, began his professional career as Administration Assistant in Bank Al-Habib, Pakistan in 2009 and later on joined as SME Loan Officer in First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan from 2011 to 2014. He Joined FINCA Afghanistan as Branch Manager in 2014 and based on achievements, hard work and commitment with span of nearly 2 years, he has been promoted to Regional Manager Mazer-e-Sharif till 2018 and then rotated as Regional Manager for Kabul-2. Shujauddin Jalali has nearly 10 years of experience in banking and microfinance.
Based on his continued professional progress and commitment, FINCA Afghanistan promoted him as Project Manager in PMO Department where he handles all DFS and BUA project activities since Feb, 2020.
Mr. Shakar Muhammad Joya is a highly qualified and experienced team member of FINCA Afghanistan’s Operation Department working as Head of its Herat Region. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Balkh University and brings a variety of experiences in different fields from a number of local and international organizations.
Shakar Muhammad Joya is responsible for Herat region in the position of regional manager since 2018. He has many years of experience in the microfinance sector. Joya joined FINCA Afghanistan in 2013 and has worked in many positions such as credit officer, credit supervisor, branch manager and currently as regional manager. He has worked in the position of teachers’ trainer with the Ministry of Education in Math, Chemistry, English and Computer Science with Azgheer, Bahar, Azeraksh and Afghani IT institutes in Balkh and Badakhshan provinces.
Joya has a bachelor of science degree from Balkh University in Afghanistan and has participated in various trainings in the microfinance sector such as Portfolio Management, People Management, Delinquency Management, Business analysis, Prioritization and Time management, Leadership and Customer Experience. Shakar Joya has received many appreciation letters and awards including the award of being the best Branch Manager of a quarter and trainer of the year.
Abdul Majeed Nadeem
Admin & Security Manager
Acting IT Manager
Sayed Iraj Sayedi
Internal Control & Risk Manager
FINCA Impact Finance Leadership
The FINCA Impact Finance leadership team manages a global organization of more than 12,000 employees.