Second AAB Conference “Banks for Growth in Albania”

About the conference

The conference will be organized by the Albanian Association of Banks. It will ensure the participation of actors with direct, hands-on experience and will therefore make a contribution to fostering dialogue between industry and policy-makers to understand the challenges that Albanian banking and financial system faces towards further development and economic growth.

While credit growth in Albania remains weak, on account of both subdued credit demand and tight credit supply its all parties mission to improve the credit environment and reviving credit growth in the future. Concretely, a successful outcome can only reflect determined action from all the stakeholders. The high representative’s contribution and international and local expertise, part of our sessions, will bring an added value to the activity.

High-level speakers from Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, Ministry of Justice, Bank of Albania, World Bank, EBRD, EIB, Finance in Motion GmbH (Advisor to EFSE), McKinsey, banks, etc.

Chairman of AAB
CEO of Alpha Bank Albania

Mr. Periklis Drougkas is the Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Bank Albania since 2012. His career with Alpha Bank began in March 2008 as the Retail Banking Business Unit Manager and as a member of the Executive Board at Alpha Bank Serbia. He has a long experience in the Banking Sector starting since 1992 and held managerial positions in Citibank, ABG, ING Bank, Egnatia Bank and EFG Eurobank.He is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce, the Albanian British Chamber of Commerce, the Foreign Investors Association in Albania, the Hellenic Business Association of Albania and the Albanian Association of Banks. Mr. Drougkas graduated from the University of Economics and Business in Athens. He speaks English and Italian language.

Advisor Finance and Markets Global Practice
World Bank

After ten years as a US Federal bank supervisor and liquidator, in 1991 Mike was appointed co-director of an intervened bank’s first US $1 billion package sale of non-performing loans and real estate holdings. He relocated to the Baltics at end-1994 to establish a new problem bank unit within the central bank, where he was responsible for improving supervision of capital deficient banks and the administration of closed banks; in a subsequent country assignment, he then focused on the resolution of failing banks in former Yugoslavia.

Upon joining the World Bank in 1998, Mike was posted to Southeast Asia at the height of the financial crises. In close collaboration with the IMF and AsDB, he was responsible for helping define and advance the World Bank’s financial sector policy dialogue, strategic reforms and technical inputs, inter alia, on failing bank recapitalizations, state-owned bank restructuring and governance reforms, banking supervision and asset disposition related issues.

Since 2003 Mike has been responsible for the leading the World Bank’s financial sector reform policy dialogue in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa regions. Effective September 2016 he was appointed Advisor to the Senior Director, Finance and Markets Global Practice.

Principal Economist,Financial Institutions (Central and South-Eastern Europe)

Dejan Vasiljev is the Principal Economist for financial institutions in EBRD, covering markets and transactions in Central- and South-Eastern Europe. He has a central banking background, having spent over 7 years with the National Bank of Serbia, where he headed the financial stability department. His career involves stints in the private sector, including as a head of a financial analysis department in a commercial bank and fund manager in an investment fund company. Dejan holds an M.A. in Economics from Humboldt University in Berlin, and is CFA charter holder.

Project Manager

Mr. Alin Dumitrescu-Dragan is a project manager in the McKinsey Banking Practice and has focused most of his work on digital transformations in banking in Europe, Middle East and North America. Alin holds an MBA degree from London Business School with concentrations in Strategy and Change Management. He also earned a M.Sc. degree in Management with Cum Laude from the Rotterdam School of Management. Currently, Alin is developing a new, digitally enabled, service model for small and mid-sized banks.

Head of Monetary Policy Department
Bank of Albania

Mr Erald Themeli joined the Bank of Albania in 2000. After earning a Bachelor Degree in Finance and Banking from the University of Tirana, he completed subsequently an MSc in European Economic Studies from the University of Tirana and an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of Exeter.

Throughout his employment at the BoA, Erald has worked at various positions in the Monetary Policy Department. From October 2008, he serves as Director of the Monetary Policy Department. Erald is a member of the Advisory and Implementation Committee of Monetary Policy, the FX Reserves Investment Committee, the joint BoA-MoF Debt and Liquidity Management Committee, etc. His research interests are in the area of monetary economics, monetary policy instruments and macroeconomic projections and forecasting.

CEO at Optimize to Manage

Stjepan Anić is regionally renowned and respected expert in the area of risk management in financial institutions. Recently he decided to start a private firm – Optom – which specializes in customizable consulting projects and tailor-made training programs for banks, insurances and other financial firms. Stjepan started his professional career in Privredna Banka Zagreb (Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo) in 2002. He has worked for Erste & Steinermarkische Bank as the Senior Analyst / Basel II Project Manager, and as the Head of Quantitative Research Department. After that he joined Kreditna Banka Zagreb as Management Board Member responsible for Bank’s risk management and control functions (CRO). Afterwards. In 2012, he joined Centar Banka as Executive Advisor to the Management Board. In addition to that, Stjepan chaired Croatian Chamber of Commerce’s Banking Risk Committee and lectured banking and insurance risk management all over the SEE and CEE regions. Stjepan has MS degree in Engineering Physics from Zagreb’s University.

CEO & Board Member of Banka Kombëtare Tregtare (BKT)

Mehmet Seyhan Pencabligil has been the Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of Banka Kombëtare Tregtare (BKT), since 2000. Mr Pencabligil also established BKT-Kosova in 2007, which now commands a market share of approximately 10%. Mr Pencabligil is the Honorary Chairman of the National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the Albanian Leasing Company; and Chairman of the Albanian and Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is an alternate Member of the Board of Directors of the World Savings Banks’ Institute (WSBI). Mr Pencabligil has B.A. in business administration and M.A. in general management from Bosphorus University in Turkey; and M.Sc. in finance from Lancaster University in the UK. He has done doctoral studies in philosophy at Sofia University in Bulgaria. Born in 1969 in Istanbul, Mr Pencabligil has Turkish and Albanian nationalities.

Minister of Finance and Economy

Mr. Arben Ahmetaj was born on June 28, 1969 in the city of Gjirokastra. He holds the title of Doctor of Science in the field of Energy Security, graduated in 2009 at the University of Bucharest, Romania. Graduated previously in International Finance, International Financial Markets at Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He has completed Master’s degree in International Trade and Diplomacy at Patterson School of International Trade and Diplomacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Mr. Ahmetaj has a range of professional qualifications and internships in a variety of fields such as the “Development Policy”, awarded by the Center for International Development at Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University; “Technology Economics”, Harvard Kennedy School’s Kokkalis Program at Harvard University, etc.

Mr. Ahmetaj has held the post of the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Albania; Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship and previously the post of Deputy Minister in the Ministry of European Integration, and that of the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Energy and Industry.

Head of PPP Department
Ministry of Development, Turkey

Sedef Yavuz Noyan is the Head of PPP Department in the Ministry of Development, where the assessment of PPP Projects from sectoral, financial and legal aspects and their compliance with the national macroeconomic and sectoral priorities are run for government approval. She and her team are responsible for formulating PPP policies for the government via National Development Plans and Medium Term and Annual Programs. She is also acting as a Bureau Member of UNECE PPP Team of Specialists. Prior to her post as the Head of PPP Department, Sedef worked as a Senior Transport Specialist in maritime sector in the Ministry of Development where she was responsible for the public investment stock in maritime transport sector. She was also the coordinator of the Program of “Transformation from Transportation to Logistics” which is run under the 10th Development Plan. Sedef Yavuz Noyan is a Civil Engineer with an MBA and a MSc in European Politics and Governance.

Deputy Mayor, City of Tirana, Albania

Arbjan Mazniku is deputy mayor of Tirana, in office since September 2015. Previously, he served two years as Deputy Minister of Education and Sport. Before taking over these duties, Mr. Mazniku was Executive Director of AGENDA Institute, an organization in Tirana that deals with the research and analysis of public policy in Albania, especially in the area of governance, European integration and economic and social development. In January 2008 he worked for MJAFT!, Albania’s most successful civil movement, which supported the involvement of young people on various issues of social policy. From the years 2005-2007, he was Director of internal policies for MJAFT and from 2003-2005 his role was Director of Communications. Before MJAFT, Arbjan led the International Association of Debate in Albania for 3 years, coordinating the debate programs for high schools and universities. He studied Journalism at the University of Tirana and holds a Master’s degree in Political Communication from Sheffield University in the UK.

Country Manager for Albania and FYROM
European Investment Bank

Mr. Weller graduated in Economics at University of Passau, Germany. He has worked for EIB since 2006, including positions of: Loan officer for Public and Private Sector transactions; Head of EIB’s Berlin Office; Country Manager for Albania and FYROM. From the years 1998-2006 he was responsible Inter alia project finance deals for KfW.

Member of AAB Executive Committee
CEO of Tirana Bank

Mr. Mustafa joined Tirana Bank on December 2014 as Deputy Managing Director and was appointed as Acting CEO on January 2015, taking over the responsibility of the Chairman of the Executive Committee, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tirana Bank and member of the Board of Directors of Tirana Leasing. As of November 2016, Mr. Mustafa is assigned the duty of Chief Executive Officer of Tirana Bank. He has a banking experience since 1995 working in banks like BKT, NBG and Credit Agricole, mostly on managerial positions, including the position of Deputy General Director since 2004. Mr. Mustafa is a graduate from the University of Tirana in Business Administration and holds an MBA degree from International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki.

Regional Director
Finance in Motion GmbH

Ms. Juzbašić Bajgorić manages the Southeast European investment and technical assistance portfolios of the European Fund for Southeast Europe and the Green for Growth Fund. Ms. Juzbašić Bajgorić has more than 17 years of experience in banking and microfinance in Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, and the Middle East and North Africa, and she also oversees operations at the Finance in Motion office in Sarajevo. Before joining Finance in Motion, Ms. Juzbašić Bajgorić was a Senior Auditor for Deloitte, and she previously worked on the restructuring and sale of the Privredna Banka Sarajevo Group, a project led by International Finance Corporation and the Bank Privatization Unit in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She holds an MA in Economics from Bowling Green State University, and a BA in Business Administration from Bluffton College, both of which are based in the United States of America.

Vice Chairman of AAB
CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania

Mr. Pedrazzi took office as Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania on 1st October 2013. Mr. Pedrazzi was previously the Head of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) & South Mediterranean Area Department of Intesa Sanpaolo, in charge to coordinate the Subsidiaries located in the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Egypt. He started his career in the banking sector in 1978 working in different Italian savings banks and he joined Intesa Sanpaolo Group in 2000. In Italy, he held the duty of General Manager of Cassa di Risparmio di Spoleto and of Cassa di Risparmio di Ascoli Piceno. In 2006 he was appointed First Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Banca Intesa Beograd (Serbia) and in 2008 as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Pravex-Bank (Ukraine).

Apart from working for Intesa Sanpaolo Group, he is actively involved in the following key associations: President of Foreign Investors Association of Albania (FIAA); Deputy Chairman of Albanian Association of Banks (AAB); Board Member of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Albania; Board Member of Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA)

Deputy General Manager / Business Banking Division Manager
Societe Generale Albania

Mr. Antonije Marinoski, a Macedonian national, is an Economics and Organization graduate of University St. Kliment Ohridski Bitola in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia, and he holds a Master Degree in Business Administration from University American College in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. He has worked in the banking industry for 24 years and has held several managerial positions in the Republic of Macedonia at the Societe Generale Group, one of the largest financial groups in the world. He has extensive knowledge of financial market and business environment.

In 2010, he was elected Member of the Board of Directors of Ohirdska Banka, Societe Generale Group, responsible for Commercial and Investment Banking Division. From November 2013 to March 2015 he was nominated Vice-President of the Board of Directors. Since March 2015, he has joined Banka Societe Generale Albania as Deputy General Manager, in charge of Business Banking Divisions.

Director of Business
ProCredit Bank

Mr. Olsi Gjeta was born in 15.02.1982. He joined ProCredit Bank in August 2004 as Credit Analyst. Later in 2006 he was appointed to the position of Micro Loan Coordinator. In October 2008 he was appointed to the position of Branch Manager in Tirana. In 2012 he was appointed to the position of Head of Medium Business Unit. He graduated from the University of Tirana, in the Faculty of Economics, Business Administration, and was successfully graduated at the Regional ProCredit Academy, Macedonia, and at the ProCredit Academy in Fürth, Germany.

Head of Distressed Asset Investments, Europe & Central Asia, IFC

Jonathan is responsible for IFC’s Distressed Asset Investment business in Europe & Central Asia. He has 20 years experience in the Banking industry, of which the past 10 years has been focused on distressed asset resolution. Jonathan has been a key protagonist in the development of the distressed asset market in Eastern Europe over the past five years, having advised on or invested in over 20 NPL portfolio transactions amounting to in excess of EUR 10 billion in face value. Prior to joining IFC, Jonathan led PwC’s Financial Services Deals business in Eastern Europe, and spent 8 years at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, both in London and New York, where he was responsible for the divestment of non-core assets and businesses across its Global Banking & Markets division.

Advisor to the Minister of Justice.

He has a diverse experience working as a lawyer with international organizations, financial services institutions and private practice. Besmir has extensive experience in assessing legislation compliance with EU directives and regulations. He has drafted/commented on several pieces of legislation prior to their enactment by the Assembly. Most recently he has been involved with the justice sector reform and is currently following its implementation process.

Member of AAB Executive Committee
CEO of American Bank of Investments

Mr. Ballta has a long experience in the banking sector in the USA and Europe. Mr. Ballta was responsible for investment opportunities in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo, and Montenegro. During this time, he led the acquisitions of and managed a regional portfolio of prime shorefront land for development in Greece and the Western Balkans. In July 2014, his primary-focus shifted to the management and growth of NCH’s regional debt purchase, collection, and financing company, Tranzit. Prior to joining NCH, Mr. Ballta worked for seven years with Israel Discount Bank in New York and Miami as Senior Vice President-Head of Sponsored and Syndicated Financing. In this role, he managed a buy side team for high-yield loans, sourcing business, structuring, evaluating credit and trading in both the primary and secondary market. During the mid-1990s in Albania, Mr. Ballta assisted small and medium-sized enterprises in the privatization process and in facilitating direct investment in the country.  Mr. Ballta received his B.S. in Business Administration from the State University of Tirana and a MBA from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.

Director of the Supervision Department
Bank of Albania

Mr. Deralla is the Director of the Supervision Department at Bank of Albania, since February 2015. His previous responsibility had been as head of Credit Division at Credins Bank; Director of Business Development and Head of Internal Audit at Opportunity Albania (actually NOA), assistant manager at KPMG Albania. Since 2015, he is a FRM Candidate. Mr Deralla received his Degree in Finance at University of Tirana, Faculty of Economic Sciences and the degree in Mechanical Engineering at Polytechnic University of Tirana. Professional Memberships & Publications of Mr. Deralla included “Credit Portfolio Management – the Inescapable Change” – 10th Annual CEE Credit Risk Management Conference, Vienna, Austria; “Internal Audit Policy and Guidelines” – Opportunity International Network; “NGO Management -Manual for Albania”-collaboration- Ed. by ORT DemNet USAID, Tirana, Albania.

Representatives from member banks, representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Bank of Albania, World Bank, UNEP FI, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank, European Banking Federation, regional bank associations, representatives of non-profit organizations, academic circles and the media attended the conference.

The Conference is sponsored by EFSE Development Facility (EFSE DF).

14 October 2017 – The Albanian Association of Banks for the second time organised the conference entitled: “Banks and the Economic Growth in Albania”. The conference was attended by the Prime Minister of Albania H.E. Mr. Edi Rama, the Minister of Finance and Economy Mr. Arben Ahmetaj, the Governor of the Bank of Albania Mr. Gent Sejko. Vice Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Mr. Enis Aliko and the advisor of the Minister of Justice were part of the panel of discussions. There were also present representatives from the Bank of Albania, Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority, non-bank institutions, bank executives and high representatives of the banking sector. The conference was also attended by representatives from international financial institutions IMF, World Bank, EBRD, and representatives from EFSE development Facility (EFSE DF-which was the main sponsor of the conference). The activity was monitored by the media during the opening session.

The conference sessions opened with the greeting speech of the chairman of the Albanian Association of Banks, Mr. Periklis Drougkas; Governor of the Bank of Albania Mr. Gent Sejko, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania H.E.Mr. Edi Rama.

The full speech of the Chairman of AAB Mr. Periklis Drougkas;

The full speech of Governor Sejko;

The full speech of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania H.E.Mr. Edi Rama.

The threes sessions were successfully chaired by Mr. Periklis Drougkas, AAB Chairman and CEO of Alpha Bank Albania; Mr. Seyhan Pencabligil, CEO of BKT bord member; Mr. Dritan Mustafa CEO of Tirana Bank and Mr. Jonathan Wheatley of IFC.

The first session of the conference was dedicated to the banks contribution on economic growth. Mr. Mike Edwards advisor for Global Financial Practices and Markets in the World Bank, brought for the audience a global view on the bank contributions to the economy. Mr. Dejan Vasiljev, one of the most important economist in the Financial Institution Sector (Central and Southeast Europe), EBRD, addressed the role and contribution of banks in the region by making comparison of the situation with the Albanian banking sector. Mr Alin Dumitrescu-Dragan, Project Manager, McKinsey&Company, carried out a presentation of the topic: “The future of banking activity”. A macro picture of 5 years and short-term growth outlook over the long-term was introduced by Mr. Erald Themeli, Director of Monetary Policy Department at the Bank of Albania. Mr. Stjepan Anić, Chief executive of Op2M company introduced to the audience the findings and recommendations from the study.

During the second session, the discussions were focused in the establishment of synergy for collaboration and financing of the Albanian economy. The Minister of Finances and Economy, Mr. Arben Ahmetaj, introduced the importance of public budget contributing in the growth of economy. Mrs. Sedef Yavuz Noyan, head of PPP department in the Ministry of Development of Turkey, shared the experience of public and private partnership in her country.

The third session addressed the revival of loan increase. Main targets were: focusing on small and medium enterprises for Albania’s economic and social development; SME banking as a broad and unique segment and social development; understanding of different needs and objectives; creating access and use of connections, finding solution and developing experience in support of the business; opportunities to boost business by differentiating new products and effective sale channels, etc;

The NPL market in Albania and the introduction of best practices were at the focus of the last panel of discussions at the conference. The discussions mainly focused on legal and regulatory framework of NPLs; challenges that derived from the tax legislation; the Albanian real estate market and enforcement procedures, etc.

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Contribution of Banks in the Economy_A global Overview_by Mr. Mike Edwards, World Bank

Role and Contribution of Banks in the Region_ Comparison to Albanian Banking Sector, Mr. Dejan Vasiljev, EBRD

Short term VS long-term growth _A macro 5-year overview, Mr. Erald Themeli, Bank of Albania

Banks for Growth Albania-PPP Experience of Turkey-CR

The Future of Banking_Mr. Alin Dumitrescu-Dragan, Project Manager, McKinsey & Company