This site uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, gather site analytics and activity, track shopping cart contents, and deliver relevant marketing information.
View our privacy policy and manage your settings here. By using our site you agree to these terms.
For Immediate Release
January 16, 2018
BAFT Media Contact: Blair Bernstein
(202) 663-5468
Follow us on Twitter: @BAFT_Global

BAFT Announces Future Leaders Program Class of 2018


WASHINGTON – BAFT, an international financial services association, announced today its Future Leaders program class of 2018. The program – now in its third year – recognizes upcoming leaders in the transaction banking industry.  

Nominated by their respective institutions, the class of 2018 includes 31 individuals from 16 countries and a variety of disciplines within transaction banking. This year’s group will be divided into four project teams to address current industry issues such as correspondent banking relationships, cybersecurity threats and defense, artificial intelligence, and transaction banking recruitment. 

“We launched this program in 2016 to identify and develop the next generation of leadership in transaction banking,” said Tod Burwell, president and CEO of BAFT. “We have since seen program graduates advance important industry issues both within their own organizations and through BAFT. We look forward to the contributions from the class of 2018.”

The class of 2018 will begin the program at the BAFT Global Annual Meeting (Europe) in London, and will conclude at the annual BAFT North America Conference​ in Florida in May. Several class of 2017 program alumni will support the current class as mentors, joining BAFT board members who will again serve as project sponsors.  

BAFT congratulates the following individuals who were selected to this year’s program:
  • ​Adam Hanke – Natwest/RBS
  • Adriaan Bellaart – ING Bank NV
  • Allison Vara – JPMorgan
  • Andrew Smart – Scotiabank
  • Aoun Al Aoun – Arab Bank Plc
  • Agharza Bakhshiyev – Kapital Bank 
  • Beatrice E. Lee – HSBC Bank 
  • Bret Berta – Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS)
  • Charlotte Kissmeyer – Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB)
  • Cristina Thome Certucha – Société Generale
  • Dario J. Sanchez – Fulton Financial Corporation
  • Elie Medlege – Banque Libano-Française
  • Hiren Shah – Pelican 
  • Janice Durisin – Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP
  • Janna Webskowski – US Bank NA
  • Joëlle Schmidt – Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB)
  • Karen Sabioni Oliveira – BNP Paribas SA
  • Karen Veslemøy Hveem – Danske Bank
  • Kerim Yebari – Deutsche Bank AG
  • Kit Lin – Barclays 
  • Kristin Francis – PNC Bank
  • Marcus Jacobsson – Swedbank AB
  • Melissa Gomes – Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Mónica Couret – BBVA
  • Nimesh Avantha – Standard Chartered Bank
  • Ozgur Akdeniz – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
  • Pani Oritis – Santander UK
  • Poppy Biswal – KeyBank National Association
  • Renny Narvaez – BNY Mellon
  • Steve Darnell – BMO Capital Markets
  • William M. Santoro – IBM

Learn more about BAFT's Future Leader Program here.

About BAFT
BAFT, the leading global financial services association for international transaction banking, helps bridge solutions across financial institutions, service providers and the regulatory community that promote sound financial practices enabling innovation, efficiency, and commercial growth. BAFT engages on a wide range of topics affecting transaction banking, including trade finance, payments, and compliance. The association website is