Non Executive Directors
ExperienceRené Leclézio is the Chief Executive Officer of Promotion and Development Ltd., (PAD) a post that he has held since 1988. PAD is a publicly listed investment company involved in real estate and equity investments.
As CEO, he is responsible for the management of a portfolio of property and equity investments in a number of sectors of the Mauritian economy. PAD promoted the Caudan Waterfront property development which comprises of shops, restaurants, cinemas, offices, a casino and a luxury hotel.
Prior to joining PAD, René was an Assistant Manager of Lloyds Merchant Bank Limited within the Project and Export Finance Department, responsible for specialist lending. In that capacity, he was involved in the structuring of limited recourse lending on a project basis, risk analysis, industry research, and cash flow modeling. He participated in a diverse range of deals, including new venture start-ups, property, combined heat and power and the off-balance sheet financing of a sugar trading contract.
EducationRené holds a Bsc (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from the Imperial College and a Master in Business Administration from the London Business School.
AssociationsHe currently serves on a number of Boards in Mauritius.
ExperienceWilliam Knight is an alternative asset investment advisor who has spent almost his entire career in the financial services sector, originally at Lazards and then in the Lloyds Bank group based in London, Hong Kong and Portugal and since 1991 as an independent based in London.
Over his career he has specialized in financing major capital projects in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa at Lazard Brothers and for 18 years within the Lloyds Bank group, where he was head of investment banking activities for Asia based in Hong Kong; in charge of the bank’s long-established Portuguese operations and a founding director of Lloyds Merchant Bank where he became Managing Director of Lloyds Bank Fund Management. In this latter capacity, he pioneered one of the earliest London-based fund management units to specialize in arranging investment funds for emerging markets.
His advisory assignments have included: the Asian Development Bank, the government of Mauritius, the British government Know-How fund, Aureos Capital ,CDC and Clearwater Capital (investors in and restructuring specialists of Asian debt). Current on-going advisory positions include Campbell Lutyens, the private equity fund placement specialists. Since 1992, he has served on the boards of 13 specialist investment funds aggregating over USD 4 billion in value.
Amongst his various board positions, he currently is a director of Axis Private Equity, a subsidiary of Axis Bank, private equity fund investors in Indian infrastructure; Abingworth Bio Ventures II, an early stage biotechnology investment company; the JP Morgan Chinese Investment Trust, where he chairs the Audit Committee; the Fidelity Asian Values Trust, where he is the senior independent director; the LG India Fund Ltd and the Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust Plc. His other interests include the Greater China Corporation, Emerisque Brands and the Premier Chinea Opportunities Fund.
He has been involved with the development and promotion of the Mauritius Financial Services sector for more than 30 years, raising of the first syndicated loan for the government of Mauritius in the late 1970’s and in 1991 conceiving the Mauritius Fund, the first international investment fund established exclusively to invest in Mauritius. He served on the Board of that Fund for ten years.
AssociationsHe is a regular member of City of London missions around the globe and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of World Traders.
Assad AbdullatiffManaging Director
ExperienceAssad counts eleven years experience in trust management and the financial services sector in Mauritius. He was also the Assistant Director and the Head of the Financial Services Cluster at the Board of Investment of Mauritius prior to joining Axis.
EducationUniversity of Wolverhampton, LLB (Hons), 1997
University of Hertfordshire, LLM in Business Law, 1998
Admissions and Certifications2004 - Admitted as a barrister in Mauritius
AssociationsSociety of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) – Chairman of the Mauritius Branch for 2009/2010.
International Fiscal Association (IFA)
Mauritius Compliance and Risk Association - Founding Member
Nigaar Abubaker-EsmaelCompany Secretary
ExperienceNigaar Abubaker-Esmael counts 15 years in the global business sector in Mauritius, having worked for more than 10 years at Kross Border Trust Services, offshoot of KPMG Mauritius, where her last position was Assistant Departmental Manager and Company Secretary. More recently she worked as Company Secretary and Head of Compliance of the COPEX Group, an international financial services company.
She also occupied the position of Secretary on the local Association of Management Companies for several years. She is currently the Assistant Company Secretary of the Mauritian branch of the ICSA.
EducationNigaar is a qualified company secretary and is an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators- ICSA (UK).
Hema NaeckHead of Administration and HR
ExperienceHema joined the Financial services sector in 2000. She started her career with MOBAA (the former regulatory body for the financial services industry), the FSPA (the previous governmental promotional agency for the non-financial services industry) and the BOI. She joined Axis in 2008.
EducationBA Hons Business Management & MBA - UK
Jean Claude PermalManager - Operations
ExperienceJean Claude joined the financial services sector in 2004 after spending eighteen years in the manufacturing, construction and retail (import, export and sales) industries working in Mauritius and in the eastern part of Africa. He joined Axis in February 2011 after working for a credit institution and subsequently an international financial services company.
EducationMBA Surrey University
Currently completing the ICSA professional qualification
Zyad KhodabocusManager - Client Accounting
ExperiencePrior to joining Axis, Zyad has worked at Deutsche bank for 6 years, and during this period, he was actively involved in the setting up and managing the Amsterdam accounting and structured finance desk (back office to the London team).He has an excellent knowledge of the offshore financial industry, taxation and International Accounting Standards having worked previously for one of the big 4 Accounting firms in Mauritius.
Currently completing the ICSA professional qualification