AAB third Conference “Banks for Sustainable Development”

About the conference

The conference will be organized by the AAB on the occasion of its 20 th anniversary. This event will aim to ensure the participation of reputable international institutions and national policymakers and financial institutions to discuss recent developments on a broad array of topics on sustainable development. In the framework of the awareness of society and banking industries for a sustainable development at the conference, are invited and members of the regional banking associations are invited to participate.

The first session of the conference features keynote speeches /presentations.
The second session of the conference has presentations of banking associations, discussant comments and general discussion on the pre-defined topics.

Banking Project Coordinator

Puleng has been involved in developing the Principles for Responsible Banking, and works with the Founding Banks and various stakeholders to drive the Principles for Responsible Banking initiative. She started her career as a commercial law attorney. She left practice to work in the legal departments of Investec and then Standard Bank. She spent four years in Standard Bank’s Real Estate Legal department, working on property development transactions. Thereafter, she moved to Standard Bank’s Regulatory Advocacy team, where she worked with a broad range of stakeholders on policy issues. This role involved engaging with policy makers and regulators to provide feedback and input on policies and legislation that they were developing. Puleng has obtained a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, and Master’s degree in Public Policy from Wits University. She is passionate about economic development, and working towards achieving the objectives of the SDGs in order to realize an equitable and sustainable future for all.

Principal Economist

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.

Chief Policy Officer

Sébastien de Brouwer is Chief Policy Officer at the European Banking Federation (EBF). He is a member of the EBF Management Committee. He is supervising all EBF policy areas as well as horizontal functions such as Legal affairs. As part of his activities, Sébastien is also Board member of the European Payment Council (EPC), Member of the Advisory Committee of fTLD Registry Services, LLC and member of various Expert Groups at EU level. He is also member of the editorial Board of the Revue de Droit Bancaire et Financier. He is a Belgian national with a Law Degree from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve and a postgraduate in International law (University of Leiden) and in Business Studies
(London School of Economics and Political Science).   Sébastien joined the EBF in 2006. Before joining the EBF, Sébastien was Head of European Affairs and Member of the Executive Committee with Febelfin, the Belgian Federation of the
financial industry (including banks) and previously legal adviser. Prior to that Sébastien also worked in an International bank (Custodian) and an Insurance Company (management of important claims)

Representative for Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia

Alessandro Bragonzi is the new EIB representative in Albania. He has been working at EIB since 2010 where it was responsible for lending operations with international financial institutions across CSEE (Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey), and, previously, in the management and establishment of EU-funded financial instruments in different EU Member States cooperating with national authorities, the EIF, the European Commission, and local financial intermediaries. Alessandro brings along an extensive and practical experience with the full set of EIB financing products and structures dedicated to sub-sovereigns, banks, and public sector operations.

Associate Partner

Milan is an Associate Partner in the McKinsey Company’s Adriatic office.  He is an expert in Digital and Distribution topics with focus on banking and insurance industry. Milan holds an Executive MBA degree from the London Business School and prior to McKinsey he spent  7 years as the CEO of an SME in Croatia.

CEO & Board Member
Banka Kombëtare Tregtare (BKT)

Mr Mehmet Seyhan Pencabligil has been the Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of Banka Kombetare Tregtare (BKT), since 2000. Under his management, the Bank has grown to be the largest bank in Albania, with US$3.9 billion in assets, US$435 million in equity, and 29 per cent market share. Mr Pencabligil also established BKT-Kosova in 2007. 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 also an alternate Member of the Board of Directors of the World Savings Banks’ Institute (WSBI). Mr Pencabligil is the Honorary Consul of Pakistan in Albania and has been awarded with the title of “Doctor Honoris Causa” by Aleksandër Moisiu University.

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. He speaks
Turkish and English, and has knowledge of Albanian and Persian. He is married, with five children.

Head of International Relationship
ABI (Italy)

Pierfrancesco Gaggi works in Rome at Associazione Bancaria Italiana – ABI, where heads
the Unit dedicated to International Relations. Following an experience in BNL (now BNP BNL), he joined in 1985 the Research Department at ABI. In 1991 he entered the field of Payment Systems, with a specific focus on the economics and marketing of payment instruments. In the ‘90s he contributed to launch the Italian debit card scheme BANCOMAT and the Italian payment initiation scheme between banks and corporates (CBI, bank-to-business payment initiation). As from 1997, he headed the Department dedicated to Payment Systems and afterwards (2009) the Division dedicated to Payment Systems, Markets’ Infrastructures, Physical and IT Security and Technology. After a long period serving as Chair of the Payment Systems Committee of the European Banking Federation and member of the European Payments Council Plenary and Coordination Committee, in 2011, ABI appointed him as head of the International Relations Department, maintaining the role of Chairman of Consortium ABILab, the think tank of ABI on cybersecurity and innovation, and of the Association of Italian banks participating to the SWIFT community. As from 2011 he is Member of the Executive Committee of the European Banking Federation and Board Member of the European Money Markets Institute – EMMI.

Secretary General
Association of Serbian Banks

Mr Vladimir Vasić has over 15 years of professional experience in the financial and private sectors, including the managing positions he has held in several banks, insurance companies, as well as in an investment fund management company. He graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Belgrade, Department of Banking, Finance and Insurance, and during his professional development he attended numerous courses in both domestic and international environment on the topics of planning and strategic decision-making, credit and other risks in the operations of banks, as well as from the domain of managing projects, teams, quality, changes, etc.

During his career in banking, Mr Vasić was, inter alia, professionally engaged in general business related operational support; he dealt with tasks related to coordination and control of branch office operations; he worked on strategic planning and project management; he was a member of the risk committee, a member of the due diligence team, was authorized and responsible for managing project portfolios, and dealing with key changes. In addition, he carried out activities related to operational risks and activities concerning anti money laundering and compliance, managing projects for growth of competition, performance and quality of the bank’s operations, and carried out advisory activities aimed at the strategic improvement of financial performance.

Secretary General
Hellenic Bank Association

Professor Charikleia Apalagaki, born in Crete in 1959, holds, since March 2017, the position of the Secretary General of the Hellenic Bank Association. She is also full Professor in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki since 2004, and Member of the Thessaloniki Bar Association since 1984. Professor Apalagaki joined Piraeus Bank in 2001, and hold the following positions: Management Consultant in Legal Issues, Chief Legal Counsel, Non-Executive Member of the Board of Directors, Member of the Audit Committee, Executive Member of the Board of Directors, and interim Chairperson. Her studies in law (Civil, Commercial, Banking, European Financial, and Criminal) were undertaken at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where she was awarded her PhD in Civil Procedure Law. She has intensive course and longer research stay in Germany (Hannover Law Faculty) for a period of three years and she still cooperates with the German law Faculty, as well with other European Law Faculties (Erasmus teaching programs).

Mrs. Apalagaki is specialized in enforcement law (and in insolvency proceedings) and has also extensive legislative drafting experience, as she was Member of two Ministry of Justice Committees on the modifications of the Code of Civil Procedure, voted into Law 4334/2015, and Rapporteur on the Ministry of Finance Committee on the introduction of the order of payment in Administrative Procedure.

AAB Chairman
CEO, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania

Mr. Silvio Pedrazzi has been appointed as CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania in October 2013. Since then he has driven the profound evolution of the Bank with a particular focus on innovation and Digital Banking, while implementing all the policies and standards of Intesa Sanpaolo Group.

During this journey Intesa Sanpaolo Albania has achieved high appreciation in the Country being recognized as a frontrunner in the fields of Economic Sustainable Development, Corporate Governance as well as Corporate Social Responsibility.  Under his leadership, the Bank has developed an intensive cooperation with all the State Institutions aimed to an effective development of the most promising economic activities in Albania like Energy Sector, Tourism, IT Services as well as Agriculture. Apart of his office duties, in Albania, Mr. Pedrazzi currently serves as Chairman of the Association of Albanian Banks (AAB), Board member of AIDA (Albanian Investment Development Agency), Board Member of Confindustria Albania, member of the National Labor Council as well as National Economic Council. In the recent past he was Chairman and then Board Member of FIAA (Foreign Investors Association of Albania) and Board Member of Camera di Commercio Italo-Albanese. Mr. Pedrazzi cooperates on regular basis with the most reputable International Financial Institutions, among which, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Silvio Pedrazzi started working in the Banking Industry in 1978 reaching his first Top Manager position in 1996 when he was appointed Director General of Cassa di Risparmio di Spoleto Spa. Afterward, within the Banking Group, he moved to Cassa di Risparmio di Ascoli Piceno again as Director General. In 2006 Silvio Pedrazzi started his journey abroad being appointed as First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board in Banca Intesa Beograd; in 2008 he moved to Ukraine as Chairman of the Supervisory Board in Pravex Bank. Before joining Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania he covered as well  the position of Area Manager (within International Subsidiary Banks Division of Intesa Sanpaolo) for Ukraine, Russian Federation and Egypt and served as Board  Member and Chairman of the Audit Committee in Bank of Alexandria. He completed his studies in Italy were he got the University Degree in Economics and a Master Degree in Economic Sciences.

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.


Registration & Coffee


Welcome remarks

• Silvio Pedrazzi, Chairman of AAB
• Gent Sejko, Governor of Bank of Albania


Photo of the Day 

Sesioni I:         

The role and responsibilities for a sustainable future
Moderator: Seyhan Pencabligil, CEO & Board Member, BKT


Puleng Tumelo Ndjwili-Potele, Banking Project Coordinator, UNEP FI – Principles for Responsible Banking

A vehicle for driving lending that contributes to sustainable development

Dejan Vasiljev, Principal Economist, EBRD – Sustainable Finance and Growth

Sebastien de Brouwer, Chief Policy Officer, EBF – The Role for banks in Sustainable Finance – The European perspective

Alessandro Bragonzi, Representative for Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia, EIB – Mobilising private capital to support sustainable finance – how the EIB Group finances a sustainable future

Milan Mirjanic, Associate Partner of McKinsey – Banks in the Changing World of Financial Intermediation


Networking Coffee

Sesioni II:         

Banking challenges in the Region
Moderator: Sebastien de Brouwer, Chief Policy Officer, EBF


Pierfrancesco Gaggi, Head of International Relationship, ABI (Italy) –
An evolving banking sector to reinforce the recovery

Vladimir Vasic, Secretary General, Association of Serbian Banks – NPL market and credit growth

Charikleia Apalagaki, Secretary General, Hellenic Bank Association – Sustainable Finance.
Governance Considerations. The balance between effectiveness and safety.

Silvio Pedrazzi, AAB Chairman – Albanian Banking Consolidation


Questions & Discussion


Closure and Remarks of the conference from the AAB Chairman


Networking Lunch

On 14 May, 2019, the AAB organized the conference on “Banks for Sustainable Development”. This conference was attended by representatives from member banks. In addition, 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 proceedings were opened by Mr. Silvio Pedrazzi, Chairman of AAB and CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania. Also in the opening session of the conference participants were welcomed by the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Gent Sejko.

The Governor of the Bank of Albania, Gent Sejko, during his speech, while highlighting, on the one hand, the progress made insofar, pointed out that the banking sector’s development – and of the financial system in general – has not been a linear: it has constantly faced challenges of different forms and types. These challenges have required prudence as well as active, intelligent and courageous decision-making. He said that is confident that the combined experience may and will help in future decisions.

The conference was organized in two panels. The first panel was moderated by Mr. Seyhan Pencabligil, CEO and Board Member, Banka Kombetare Tregtare, and focused on the role and responsibilities for a sustainable future. Mrs. Puleng Tumelo Ndjwili-Potele, Banking Project Coordinator, UNEP FI introduced the “Principles for Responsible Banking: A vehicle for driving lending that contributes to sustainable development”. Mr. Dejan Vasiljev, principal economist, EBRD, focused on sustainable finance and growth.

Mr. Sebastien de Brouwer, Chief Policy Officer, European Banking Federation, EBF, spoke on the role of banks in sustainable finance and the European perspective. Mr. Alessandro Bragonzi, EIB representative for Albania, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia, brought the experience of how the EIB group finances a sustainable future. Banks in the challenging world of financial intermediation was introduced by Mr. Milan Mirjanic, Associate Partner of McKinsey

Participants in the second panel of the conference addressed the banking challenges in the region under the moderation of Mr. Sebastien de Brouwer, Chief Policy Officer, European Banking Federation, EBF. More concretely, Mr. Pierfrancesco Gaggi, Head of International Relationship, Italian Association of Banks, ABI, presented the development of the banking sector for strengthening the recovery. Mr. Vladimir Vasic, Secretary General of the Association of Serbian Banks, brought Serbia’s experience on the NPL market and increased lending, and Mrs. Charikleia Apalagaki, Secretary General of the Hellenic Bank Association, presented the view on governance and the balance between effectiveness and security in Greece. The consolidation of the Albanian banking sector was introduced by Mr. Silvio Pedrazzi, Chairman of AAB and CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania, who closed the proceedings of this conference.