Russell Duke is a global financial executive bringing two decades of international finance, leadership, and economic advisory expertise to National Standard. Mr. Duke is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of National Standard, and is a member of the company’s Management and Investment Committees. Mr. Duke officially joined National Standard in 2008 and was later promoted to Chief Executive Officer.
He brings highly skilled experience in structured finance, credit structuring, sovereign debt, infrastructure finance, political risk management/insurance and asset-based lease finance. He brings almost twenty years of experience in the international finance industry and economic/infrastructure public and private expertise to National Standard.
Mr. Duke is a leading authority in the areas of international infrastructure financing and international public finance for Sovereigns and public sector markets. He is widely recognized as an industry leader in the use of private sector capital to achieve public policy objectives related to economic development and infrastructure development by the public sector internationally across developed and emerging markets.
Mr. Duke is a seasoned long-term financial executive and hands-on CEO, active in the company’s most important transactions, assignments and client relationships. During his tenure at National Standard, he has developed proprietary financial products that have helped the company become a participant in global sovereign and infrastructure debt finance.
Mr. Duke has authored dozens of published articles in major media outlets such as Bloomberg, The Guardian and other global news sources. Mr. Duke has also been the subject of numerous interviews on economic, banking and infrastructure matters and is a regular speaker at public and private sector conferences and events globally.
Robert Lavin is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer at NSF and is a member and Director of the Management Committee. As such, Mr. Lavin is responsible for the day to day financial administration and treasury functions of the firm including managing all functions related to financial and credit structuring, transaction servicing and administration, pricing, investor relations with institutional investors, commercial banks, and investment banks.
His experience includes 25 years working on Wall Street in senior banking positions at CIBC, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley, advising global institutions and corporations on fixed income strategies and financial solutions.
Mr. Lavin holds an MBA from University of Chicago in Finance, Accounting, and Marketing and a BS in Chemical Engineering from University of Virginia.
Elizabeth Ivy brings 28 years of financial industry experience and management acumen to NSF and is responsible for day to day operational, compliance and corporate governance of the firm.
Ms. Ivy’s responsibilities at NSF involve her participation in all aspects of our organizations day to day operating activities which include designing and implementing business operations and strategies, firm management, new client on-boarding and KYC and establishing policies that promote company culture and vision and overseeing operations of the company and its affiliates and team members.
Ms. Ivy is involved both locally and abroad in National Standard’s operational success. She brings 28 years of diversified executive experience in banking, lending and development, credit underwriting and asset management in both equities and debt to NSF.
Ms. Ivy began her career almost 30 years ago at a large U.S. bank serving as Vice President where she successfully worked as a banker and investment advisor. After many years working on the asset side of the bank she diversified her experience by moving to the debt side, creatively structuring business and real estate/asset based debt for 10 years. She was involved in joint ventures with real estate developers and investors, she founded her own real estate company in 2008, serving as President. Ms. Ivy as also President and Principal of a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm providing wealth and asset management services with a concentration on women and women owned businesses.
Ms. Ivy’s entrepreneurial spirit and two decades of executive experience in lending, wealth management and real estate in highly regulated industries from the United States provides invaluable senior leadership capabilities to daily management and vision at NSF.
She holds a B.A. in Communications, has previously held a series 65 securities license and broker-in-charge real estate license in the United States.
Matt Garver is Managing Director of the infrastructure asset class at National Standard. Mr. Garver advises clients in matters of private capital, asset privatization, geopolitical and economic policy and infrastructure finance. Mr. Garver works with private sector project sponsors, developers and financiers of global infrastructure assets. His extensive international privatization and infrastructure finance experience stems, in part, from his considerable work in the U.S., UK and EU member states.
Mr. Garver’s market segment focus is public private partnerships in security infrastructure, transportation systems such as marine ports, social infrastructure criminal justice, energy production, transmission, underfunded pension liabilities and environmental services. Matt most recently was co-owner and Chairman of one of the largest and most respected integrated O&M, facility management, engineering, planning and development companies focused on the criminal justice sector completing more than US $5 Billion of criminal justice projects, prior to the company being sold in 2013.
Mathew most recently served as a Senior Advisor at Patton Boggs LLP one of the world’s largest law firms based in Washington D.C. where he advised the firm’s public and private sector clients on infrastructure development and finance, public policy matters and private capital for public authorities. Before joining National Standard in his respective role, Mr. Garver served as the Secretary to the Global Infrastructure Steering Committee at the world’s largest global law firm DLA Piper, where he specialized in private equity and project finance for public private infrastructure projects in North America and Europe.
Formerly, he was a principal with a leading private equity banking firm, where he specialized in growth equity, LBO, MBO and recapitalization transactions for larger middle-market companies. He also served as the director of corporate development and managed investor relations for one of the most sizeable lottery systems providers listed on the NYSE.
He is a graduate of Michigan State University, Saïd Business School at Oxford University and Fellow at Harvard University. He is an author of numerous articles and publications on alternative assets, privatization, concession and infrastructure finance.
Carlos Ortiz is Group Manager of Latin America operations at National Standard. Mr. Ortiz is responsible for operations, business and market development for National Standard in Latin America.
Mr. Ortiz is knowledgeable and highly experienced in all facets of infrastructure and industrial project development, construction and financing. He previously taught finance and economics at the university level in Mexico as a Professor. Mr. Ortiz has a sound understanding of government administration and policy making in Latin America.
Mr. Ortiz has been a consultant and adviser to multiple Latin America governments and international companies for large infrastructure projects and capital programs in his career. During the past fifteen years, Carlos has started and built companies in construction, mining, technology and financial industries, which has been conglomerated in CAXXOR GROUP, a corporation specializing in infrastructure development, project planning and capital projects, currently the company has been expanded from Mexico to more than twenty countries with more of $40 Billion dollars in projects under mandate for development across infrastructure, real estate and industrial asset classes.
Mr. Ortiz has two undergraduate degrees and several postgraduate studies related to economics and international finance. Mr. Ortiz is located in Mexico City, Mexico and manages Latin America for the company from the Latin America hub of National Standard in Mexico City.
Dr. Nahed Taher is Group Executive and senior advisor for the GCC region of National Standard Finance. Dr. Taher also serves as Co-Chief Economist at National Standard. Dr. Taher is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
In this role, Dr. Taher represents National Standard to GCC, African and other Middle East governments, banks and the regions largest corporations and policy makers. National Standard was the first international company to introduce credit financing techniques in the GCC. Dr. Taher is a pioneer and visionary in the Saudi and GCC banking markets as the first female CEO of a bank in the region and an expert in Islamic Finance.
Dr. Taher has been ranked by Forbes magazine as number 72 of the 100 most powerful women in the world. She was also ranked by the Financial Times as no. 25, 24, and 23 respectively of the top 50 businesswomen in the world in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Dr. Taher also received the award of Businesswoman of the year 2006 by HH Prince Hamid Al-Nihayyan, In addition, she received the award of “Saudi Businesswoman of the year 2007” by HRH Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. Lately in September 2009, Dr. Taher was ranked as no. 25, 24, then 23 among the top 50 business women in the World by Financial Times in 2009, 2010 and 2011 consecutively, and among the top 100 women of Finance and Leadership in Crisis by Dow Jones in 2009.
Dr. Nahed M. Taher holds dual Masters Degrees in Financial Economics and a PhD in Monetary Economics from Lancaster University in the UK. Recently she was awarded an honor professorial degree from Lancaster university for her contribution banking and finance in the world.
Dr. Taher is the prior founder and a Board of Directors member Gulf One Investment Bank. Since 2005, Dr. Taher served as the CEO of the bank until stepping down in 2017 to join National Standard Finance. By holding this position, she is the first female CEO of a Gulf based investment bank. Prior to that Dr. Taher was a Managing Partner of Compass Consulting, a financial advisory company in Saudi Arabia and was the first female to get a financial advisory license in Saudi Arabia. Prior to Compass, she was Chief Economist and Chairman of Risk and Portfolio Management Committee at the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Jeddah, where she was the first female to be hired in a senior management position among 4,000 men in the bank.
Dr. Taher has represented the Saudi Arabia government, the private sector, and Saudi Arabia Chamber of Commerce in many high level international business and banking events.
Dr. Taher served as a professor and head of the Economics Department at King Abdul Aziz University (KAAU). She was also a co-owner and a financial advisor to various private companies in the Kingdom.
Dr. Nahed is a board member in a number of Saudi private companies and committees including:
Chairman of Moya Water Company
Chairman of Alafaq Insurance Company, KSA
Board member of Jasarah home health care company
Member of the Supreme Committee of Environment in Saudi
Member of the foundation board of IMD University in Switzerland
Member of the international Advisory board of Lancaster University , UK
Member of the international Advisory board of King Abdulaziz University
Member of the Board in the OECD-MENA region Financial group
International Board member of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center of Energy (KAPSARC)
Member of Young President Organization (YPO)
A board member in the Saudi German business group
Michael Couper is Managing Director located in Melbourne, Australia and is responsible for day to day operational and financial management of the firms activities across Australia and Asia Pacific. Mr. Couper has extensive experience successfully managing and building one of Australia’s largest and most successful renewable energy and solar finance companies as their Director and CFO prior to joining NSF.
Michael has vast experience in infrastructure, energy and real estate finance in Australia and the surrounding APAC markets. At NSF, Mr. Couper is tasked with growing and managing NSF’s client base and portfolio of investments in its expansion into the APAC market.
Steven Grant is a Managing Director located in Melbourne, Australia and is responsible for business and corporate development in the Asia Pacific region with a focus on Australia in the specialized areas of government and infrastructure finance, including affordable social housing, transportation, industrial projects, oil and gas, healthcare and energy asset classes.
Steven joins the NSF leadership coming from a strong background in business development and client relations in the private equity and asset management sector across Australia and New Zealand combining both strong financial technical skills with relationship and client management acumen.
Steven Co-founded one of the leading renewables financiers in the APAC region. With a strong market share Steven moved on to sovereign and infrastructure finance relationships across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
Steven sits on multiple corporate boards in the renewables and energy sectors focusing on sustainability and promotion of emerging renewable technology.
Manuel Pérez is Managing Director of corporate development at National Standard and has been a Global Project Manager and Vice President with Caxxor Group, an affiliate infrastructure development company of National Standard. At National Standard, Mr. Perez orchestrates economic and foreign direct investment initiatives and corporate development of National Standard globally including Europe, Africa and Latin America.
Manuel Pérez has worked mainly with government and private financing with International Funds and investment-equity with International Capital Funds. He has participated collaborating with International Reimbursable and Non-Refundable Cooperation Agencies.
It has also made collaborations with other Institutions and International Organizations.
Manuel Pérez collaborates with the World Bank in “The Benchmarking Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Procurement 2014 to 2017 and next years. Participation in the publication of scientific publications on governance in the African countries of the Africa 21 agency. Portal Nazca of COP21, promoting the participation of companies and government institutions. Collaborating with UN promoting sustainable development goals, ODSManuel has collaborated with some governments facilitating non-reimbursable cooperation. Manuel has been a partner in USAID for a long time Collaborate within the directory of some NGOs promoting social and economic development.
Manuel Pérez has been Managing Partner in JGCC. He has directed as Port Manager and Technical Manager in Shopping Centers. Manuel has managed several own companies such as Constructec Systems, SL and was Inspector of aid of the European Union in the cotton factories during several years.
Manuel studied Engineering and Management and Business Administration and continues to update his profile with different courses from international institutions and new professional studies.
Michael Tichareva is the Managing Director and Principal of National Standard Finance Africa and manages the South Africa office since having co-founded and formalized the South Africa operations in 2014. He is responsible for the Africa strategy and the strategic day to day operational management. In addition, he is involved in the origination and structuring of sovereign, sub-sovereign and private sector infrastructure, project finance and real estate deals across Africa with a strong focus on developmental finance to improve quality of lives of people and is constantly involved in a number of such initiatives.
Michael has recently been focusing on developing financing and insurance solutions to facilitate mining production, agricultural production as well as the associated commodities trading in mining and agricultural commodities in Africa given the richness of the continent in mining and agricultural resources that can be developed to improve the quality of lives of its people. Emphasis is on both primary production and value addition industries to process the raw commodities to create value for export. Michael has also been involved in renewable energy and low-cost housing development insurance and financing initiatives and continues to seek opportunities for involvement in these areas creating impact investment initiatives.
Michael has extensive relationships in both the public and private sectors in Africa and is responsible for building strategic networks and relationships in different parts of the World to progress National Standard Finance’s initiatives in Africa. Michael believes in developing solutions that are suitable for Africa within the global framework and he is currently leading initiatives that he believes will lead to accelerating Africa’s infrastructure development so that Africa can compete more confidently in the global economy. One of the solutions involve promoting the increased use of credit enhancement techniques in infrastructure finance in Africa, a structured finance solution that combines elements of banking and insurance solutions. Michael has performed coverage roles where he has been involved in deal origination and client relationship management since 2005 at Old Mutual and Nedbank in South Africa and currently at National Standard for the rest of Africa and globally.
Michael worked as a senior banker at Nedbank, one of South Africa’s largest banks, where he was involved in real estate finance deal origination and structuring as well as on-going client service and relationship management. In this role, he had exposure to both the Debt Capital Markets and the Equity Capital Markets and he has extensive knowledge of investment banking products. He also served as a Trustee of the NedGroup Retirement Funds and was a member of the Investment Committee and the Communication Committee. He also served on the Management Committee of the NedGroup Disability Scheme. Michael served as Deputy Chair of the Employment Equity Forum of the Property Finance Division. Michael is an investment and banking professional who has worked in various senior roles within the UK at AON Hewitt, South Africa at Alexander Forbes and Old Mutual, and Zimbabwe at Old Mutual for the past 20 years.
On actuarial practice, Michael is a banking actuary who leads a team of actuarial professionals in delivering banking consulting assignments that include among others IFRS 9 expected credit loss modelling and credit scorecard development for banks. Michael is looking to engage in a wide range of banking related assignments as he works to expand actuarial practice in banking. He currently leads at a global level in developing banking practice for actuaries and continues to present at various international platforms on the involvement of actuaries in banking practice.
Michael is a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (FASSA) having qualified in 2004 through the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries (UK) in 2004. He holds an Honours degree in Actuarial Science from National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (1999). Michael also holds an MBA from Wits Business School (South Africa) (2012) and attended some of his electives at Fuqua School of Business, Duke University (USA) (2010) majoring in Investment Banking and Finance related subjects. He did his MBA research project on a banking related subject entitled “Analysis of Risk Adjusted Performance Measures in a Property Finance Business” where he gained in depth understanding of banking risk management frameworks, risk adjusted performance measurement frameworks and the economic capital management of banking institutions.
Michael is a former member of Council of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and he is a former Chairperson of the Education Board of the Actuarial Society. He is also a former Chairperson of the Banking Committee for the Actuarial Profession in South Africa, a position he held for 8 years to 31 December 2017. He holds other various roles within the Actuarial Society and has led a number of key initiatives over the past few years. Most notably, Michael led the development of the first ever banking qualifying subject for actuaries over a 5 year period that was finally launched by the Actuarial Society of South Africa in 2015. This banking initiative for actuarial practice, a first in the World, has received great international attention within the global actuarial profession. Michael is the current Chairperson of the recently established Banking Working Group of the International Actuarial Association (“IAA”). Michael has been an external examiner of Actuarial Science Honours degree research projects at the University of Pretoria in South Africa since 2012, and continues to lecture actuarial students taking the banking fellowship and investment fellowship subjects for the Actuarial Society of South Africa.