Recent projects

Advising an Albanian Bank on Good Governance Practices

Skanderberg Tirana AlbaniaIn mid-2021, Andrew was asked by a Development Finance Institution to conduct a review of governance practices at an Albanian bank and to provide recommendations for how current practices could be improved. Andrew hired a Tirana-based law firm to help him understand the legal and regulatory framework around bank governance in Albania and then interviewed all the bank’s Directors and senior managers, and reviewed the Board package from recent Board meetings. Andrew presented a diagnosis report and 14 recommendations, with guidance on why each recommendation was important and how the bank could begin to implement it. In early 2022, Andrew prepared a final report in which he detailed the extent to which his recommendations had been implemented, and whether there were any remaining gaps.

Using Islamic Finance to Advance Women’s Financial Inclusion

Middle Eastern womenSince mid-2021, Andrew has been working with the German consulting firm IPC on a project to use Islamic finance to advance women’s financial inclusion. The client is a major development finance institution that is based in the Middle East. Andrew’s role is to be the Islamic Finance expert, explaining recent trends in Islamic finance and how they are relevant to ethical finance and financial inclusion, and explaining the technical aspects of Shari’ah-compliant products. He is working alongside another expert who specialises in women’s financial inclusion. Together, they will combine their expertise to make specific recommendations on how particular Shari’ah-compliant products could be used to address the challenges related to women’s financial inclusion in emerging markets.

Creating Anti-Corruption Policies for a North African Construction Company

In mid-2017, Andrew was asked by institutional investors to prepare a Corporate Governance Action Plan for a North African construction company in which they were planning to invest. In early 2018, the company asked Andrew for help in implementing two of the Action Plan’s recommendations to which the investors were attaching particular importance: succession planning for the owner/CEO, and policies to give assurance that the company was not engaged in any corrupt practices. Andrew brought in the specialist anti-corruption firm Beta4change and then spent three days with the company identifying the areas where it was most at risk from corrupt practices. He wrote policies and drafted internal procedures that would enable the company to give assurance to investors. In mid-2018, Andrew was asked by one of the investors to return to the company and ‘audit’ their implementation of his recommendations.

Developing a government-sponsored Zakat programme in Mauritania

Nouakchott MauritaniaIn early 2021, Andrew was hired by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to advise on the creation of a government-sponsored Zakat programme in Mauritania. Andrew’s work has included writing briefing papers on the legal and organisational structure of existing Zakat organisations; identifying and explaining the rules and best practices for collecting and distributing Zakat; providing commentary on draft laws and regulations; and explaining his work to the technical committee created by the Mauritanian Minister of Finance. Much of this work has been conducted in French, and all original documents use either French or Arabic.

Writing a Corporate Governance Action Plan for a Bangladeshi Company, and then helping them implement it.

In the spring of 2017, DEG asked Andrew to conduct a corporate governance assessment of a Bangladeshi company in which they had invested. As part of a new facility to the company, DEG required the company to implement key recommendations from the report. DEG and the company signed a contract with Andrew’s company, Darien Analytics Ltd, under which Andrew would work with the Bangladeshi company’s CEO and CFO to help them to implement his recommendations within an agreed timeframe. Specifically, Andrew helped the company to understand the various paths that they could take, he gave examples of how other companies had addressed the challenges that the Bangladeshi company was facing at that time, and he drafted policies and procedures that the company could adopt.

Visiting Professor at the London Institute of Banking and Finance

LIBF logoIn December 2021, Andrew was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the London Institute of Banking and Finance. The appointment reflected the work that Andrew has been undertaking as Chairman of the Editorial Board of LIBF’s recently created Centre for Governance, Risk & Regulation and his work on other projects such as those in Tunisia (see below).

Designing and Delivering Seminars in French for Bank Directors and Finance Officials in Tunisia

During the spring and summer of 2020, Andrew worked as part of a London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF) team to design and deliver a two month programme for Directors of banks in Tunisia and officials in Tunisia’s Ministry of Finance and Capital Markets regulator. Andrew prepared and delivered all his material in French. His main focus was on governance, trends in bank regulation, and internal controls, with a particular focus on how these areas were being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Andrew also prepared specialised seminars on Banks and Financial Crime and on Credit Rating Agencies, all in French. The course was delivered over Zoom.

Designing and Delivering Training Courses on Bank Risk and Regulatory Capital

Since 2014 Andrew has been training analysts at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on bank risk and on advanced regulatory capital analysis. He began this work as subcontractor to the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) but after GARP withdrew from training courses, EBRD approached Andrew directly and the work is now conducted through Andrew’s own company, Darien Analytics. Andrew has trained analysts at the European Investment Bank on Bank Analysis and Advanced Bank Analysis and, in 2017 and 2018, he was asked by the bank to develop and deliver training courses on Banking Best Practices for its risk management division. Andrew has recently joined a team at the London Institute of Banking & Finance to help deliver high-level training in French to government officials and senior bankers in Tunisia.

Training Directors on Best Governance Practices

Working for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Andrew has taught modules of the IFC’s Director Certification Programmes in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Specifically, he has taught the IFC’s modules on the Role of the Board Audit Committee, the Role of the Board in Risk Management, Succession Planning, the Role of the Board in Selecting a CEO, and Best Practices for Family Governance. The programme is designed for financial and non-financial institutions. Andrew has also taught on behalf of the IFC in Saudi Arabia, and he has taught modules of an SME governance programme in Egypt.

Conducting interviews in Baghdad for the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index

Under his contract with the International Finance Corporate to work on corporate governance in the Middle East, Andrew was asked by the World Bank to work on the Iraq entry in its Ease of Doing Business Index. Specifically, Andrew was asked to compile the section related to the treatment of minority shareholders under Iraqi laws and regulations. In early 2017, Andrew conducted a series of meetings in Baghdad with government officials, financial regulators, bankers and businessmen. Most of the meetings were in Arabic. He then wrote up a report that described the legal protections for minority investors and made policy recommendations for World Bank staff to take forward with the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office.