About Andrew Cunningham

Andrew Cunningham advises clients on bank risk and regulation and on corporate governance. He has experience in both developed and emerging economies, and he has particular knowledge of Middle Eastern and Shari’ah-compliant finance.

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In the governance field, Andrew’s clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); CDC, the British development finance agency; and DEG, the German Development Finance Agency. Most of this work entails conducting corporate governance assessments of banks and companies in whom the client is considering an investment.

For example, in 2018, Andrew was asked by DEG to make recommendations for how a Lebanese telecommunications company could strengthen its governance. After presenting his report, Andrew entered into a new contract to help the company implement his recommendations. Since the completion of that contract, the company has approached Andrew directly for help in strengthening its risk management practices.

In 2020, Andrew was part of a CDC Due Diligence Team that was considering whether to make an investment in an Asian micro-finance bank. Andrew worked alongside the deal team to provide a specialist assessment of the bank’s corporate governance strengths and weaknesses.

Andrew has recently been working with a major Development Finance Institution to update its methodology for benchmarking corporate governance within State Owned Enterprises. He also provides training for directors as part of the IFC’s Director Certification Programme.

Much of Andrew’s work on bank risk and regulation is done through the London Institute of Banking and Finance, where he is now a Visiting Professor, but he has for many years been training staff at EBRD on bank analysis and on advanced bank regulatory capital. From 2014 to 2018, Andrew delivered courses on Bank Analysis and Advanced Bank Analysis at the European Investment Bank (EIB). He was then asked to develop courses on Capital Consumption and Planning for EIB’s Operations staff and on Banking Best Practices for EIB’s Internal Audit Department.

Andrew has worked extensively on Islamic Finance. He is currently working on a project funded by the Islamic Development Bank to enhance women’s financial inclusion through greater use of Islamic finance, and he is also advising the United Nations Development Programme on the creation of a state-sponsored Zakat programme in Mauritania. He has written ‘Briefing’ papers on Risk Management and Compliance for Islamic Banks, and on Corporate Governance for Islamic Banks for the General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, and two Guidance Notes for the Islamic Financial Services Board.

In September 2013, Andrew re-launched Arab Banker, the annual magazine of the London Arab Bankers Association and he continued as Editor until September 2021.

Andrew Cunningham began his career as a journalist, writing about Middle East banking and finance for Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) and then for Middle East Economic Survey (MEES). He then spent nine years with Moody’s, the credit rating agency, both as a credit analysist, assigning ratings to Middle Eastern and large Western European banks, and as the European manager of its Rating Assessment Service and as a member of the firm’s global Liquidity Risk Assessment Committee.

In 2004, Andrew moved to Cairo to establish and manage the Egyptian and broader regional operations of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC), a New York-based NGO that provided consulting advance to central banks, capital market regulators, and commercial banks. In 2006, he moved to the firm’s head office to manage the entire Middle East franchise that, under his leadership, expanded to account for two thirds of the firm’s revenues and activities.

Andrew is proficient in French and Arabic: he can (and does) conduct business meetings in both these languages and he can read documents with ease. He has a good working knowledge of Greek.

Andrew lives in London with his wife and daughter.


CONTACT ANDREW CUNNINGHAM

andrew@darienanalytics.com
 He Tweets as @ACunningham29