Central and Eastern European Mortgage Finance
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SEE Conference

The Urban Institute

Institute for Market Economics (IME)


Speaker Biographies


Ms. Judith Hardt
Secretary General, European Mortgage Federation

Judith Hardt is Secretary General of the European Mortgage Federation. The Federation is the leading association representing the mortgage industry at European level. Its members grant 70% Europe's outstanding mortgage loans. Ms. Hardt joined the Federation in 1987 and was appointed Secretary General in 1993. She has extensive knowledge of the EU regulatory framework and the European mortgage markets. She has written numerous articles on housing finance and is a regular speaker at conferences. She is also member of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Housing Finance.

Mr. Kilian Kleinschmidt
Executive Secretary - Steering Committee on Refugee Matters, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe

Mr. Kilian Kleinschmidt held the position of Executive Secretary to the Stability Pact Regional Return Initiative (RRI) from 1/2001-12/2002. The RRI has now merged with the Asylum and Migration Initiative (MAI), to become MARRI - chaired by Mr. Soren Jessen-Petersen. Based within the Office of the Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact in Brussels, he continues to manage the operations in regard to Displacement & Solutions in SEE, pending the final establishment of the new Secretariat. He has coordinated the development of the "Agenda for Regional Action" (AREA) in 2001 and its update in 2002.

Mr. Kleinschmidt provides policy and strategy advice to the participants in the Initiative and through his office, ensures building of contacts and synergies amongst all concerned parties. Mr. Kleinschmidt has been an official of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 1992 and served in various functions in Central and East Africa, Asia and former Yugoslavia before being seconded to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe in 2001.


Mr. Thomas Higgins
Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director, Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund

Mr. Higgins is Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund (BAEF). He joined the BAEF in 1993 and is an Executive Director and board member of the Bulgarian American Credit Bank, a wholly owned BAEF subsidiary.

Mr. Higgins previously worked as a Manager in Mortgage Finance for Equitable Life in New York and Atlanta. He graduated summa cum laude in Business Administration from the University at Albany, where he was a recipient of the Wall Street Award. Mr. Higgins has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.

Mr. Krassimir Katev
Deputy Minister of Finance, Bulgaria

Mr. Katev is First Deputy Minister of Finance of Bulgaria and Head of Asset-Liability Management. He is also Alternative Governor of the IMF and is in charge of relationships with IFIs within the Ministry of Finance (IMF, WB, EBRD, EIB, etc.). He is member of the Board of the Council of Europe Development Bank and a Board Member of the Bank Consolidation Company.

Prior to joining Ministry of Finance Mr. Katev was Vice-President, Asset Management Group of the AIG International Trading Ltd., London. In 1997-2000 he worked as Director of Emerging Markets Proprietary Trading, Structured Finance Division at Daiwa Europe Limited, London. In 1994-1995 Mr. Katev was a trader at Paribas Capital Markets, New York. Later he became Head of East European Local Markets Trading at Paribas Capital Markets, London.

Mr. Katev has B.Sc. in Economics from Budapest University and a B.Sc. in Finance and Accounting from the State University of New York.

Ms. Sylvia Kirilova
Legal Counsel, Bulgarian American Credit Bank

Ms. Kirilova has been Legal Counsel to the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank and the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund since 2001. She is attorney-at-law admitted to the Sofia Bar Association. She previously worked as a Manager - Executive Office of International Commercial Bank (Bulgaria) AD (a subsidiary of Commercial Bank of Greece where shareholder is also EBRD). Previous to this she worked as Manager - Legal and Corporate Affairs of Interlease AD (international leasing company with equity investment of IFC and other big international shareholders). She graduated the Law Faculty of the Sofia University as Master of Law and also has got an LLM in International Business Law from the Central European University, Budapest, accredited from the University of the New York State.

Mr. Roderick Moore
Deputy Chief of Mission, American Embassy, Bulgaria

Mr. Moore has been serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria since August 2000.Immediately prior to his arrival in Sofia, he was the U.S. Department of State's representative at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he taught U.S. policy toward the former Yugoslavia (1999-2000).

Early in his career, Mr. Moore held a series of positions at American embassies in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (1988 - 1989) and Sofia (1990 - 1992), and also served in the Department of State's Operations Center (1992). From 1992 - 1993, he was the Department of State's representative in Skopje, Macedonia, running a de facto one-man diplomatic mission to a country then unrecognized by the United States. He also has served as Political-Military Officer in charge of the states of Central and Eastern Europe in the Department of State (1993 - 1995); Senior Political Adviser on political and economic issues in the Office of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, B-H (1996); and as Political-Economic Counsellor at the American Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia (1996 - 1999). Mr. Moore attended Brown University where he received his B.A. in Russian Studies and International Relations in 1986, and an M.A. in Slavic Linguistics in 1987.

Mr. Athanassios Petropoulos
Executive Director, Post Bank, Bulgaria

Mr. Petropoulos is an Executive Director and Member of the Management Board of the Post Bank, Bulgaria.

Mr. Petropoulos's career in banking began with the executive training program of ABN AMRO Bank, where he was involved with their Shipping Finance and Credit Risk. Subsequently, he joined the Corporate Banking Department of National Westminster Bank, Athens. In 1999 he joined the EFG group in Athens with a view to developing and expanding their corporate banking activities. He joined Bulgarian Post Bank in 2000 to work on expanding the Bank's wholesale activity. The bank is now ranked the third largest in corporate lending in Bulgaria, has been involved in the forefront of investment banking, is a market maker in the BGN money market, and is expanding rapidly in retail banking. The bank successfully issued a BGN 12M mortgaged backed bond in '2002 in the country.

Mr. Petropoulos was born in Athens and competed his secondary education in Greece. He has taken masters courses at the University of Birmingham, UK, and UMIST, UK. In collaboration with London Business School, London, he researched modern portfolio theories and their applicability in the Dry Bulk and Tanker shipping markets, lecturing on the same subject.

Mr. Philippe Rombaut
Capital Market Expert

Mr. Rombaut is Executive Director of Acid & Fertilizers LLC, USA and Executive Director and Member of the Board of Directors of the largest fertilizer manufacturer in Bulgaria Agropolychim AD. He also is Member of the Board of Solideal Ltd., Hong Kong, an important industrial tyres and wheels and tracks manufacturer with plants in Sri Lanka, Serbia and Canada. In 2000-2002 he was Senior Regional Executive of the Sofia based 150 mio USD fund Soros Southeast Europe Equity Fund. Prior to joining the Fund Mr. Rombaut was Executive Director Union Minière Pirdop Copper, Bulgaria (formerly MDK). In 1995-1997 he was Business Development Senior Executive at Union Miniere (now UMICORE), Belgium. In 1994-1995 Mr. Rombaut was President of Altenberg Gitterrost GmbH, Esen, Germany. Prior to this he worked as Head of Corporate Finance UM Group, Belgium, Assistant Corporate Finance Officer and Assistant to the Head of the International Representations Department at SociétéGénérale de Belgique at Brussels, Belgium. Mr. Rombaut holds B.A. in Economics from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and MBA from Keio University.

Mr. Krassen Stanchev
Executive Director, Institute for Market Economics

Dr Krassen Stanchev is the Executive Director of the Institute for Market Economics (since 1993), former member of parliament in the Constitutional Assembly (1990-1991), one of the most quoted Bulgarian observers, best individual country analyst award for 1996 by Euromoney, initiator of the Balkan Network and the European Emerging Economies Network, rich experience in the region, Central Europe and the FSU.

Mr. Stanchev promoted IME, the first Bulgaria's independent economic think thank, as one of the most respected public policy institute in the emerging European democracies. In the last twelve years, he more than hundred and fifty articles and interviews in the local and foreign press and media on issues related to the Bulgarian and Central-East European transition to market economy and democracy.

IME has collaborated with the Urban Institute and USAID to design and manage this Conference. In addition, IME is helping develop a Working Group to explore the potential for follow-on activities in mortgage finance and a regional approach to the next steps. Mr. Stanchev will chair the Working Group.

Mr. Stojan Toshev
Chief Investment Officer, Doverie Pension Fund

Mr. Toshev is Chief Executive Officer of TBI Asset Management. He is Member of the Supervisory Board of the Insurance and Reinsurance Company "Bulstrad". For the period 1995- 2002 he was first Investment Manager and later Chief Investment Officer at the Pension Insurance Company "Doverie". Mr. Toshev was Member of the Management Board of the Insurance and Reinsurance Company "Bulstrad". In 1984-1994 he was Assistant Professor, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Mr. Toshev graduated at University of Sofia. He has got a PhD degree at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He is also CFA® charterholder. Mr. Toshev is Chairman of the Managing Board of the Association of Financial Analysts, Bulgaria and Member of the Association for Investment Management and Research, USA.

Mr. Milen Velchev
Minister of Finance, Bulgaria

Mr. Velchev has been Minister of Finance since 2001. He is Governor of the World Bank on behalf of Bulgaria, Governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on behalf of Bulgaria, Chairman of the board of directors of the Bank Consolidation Company, Chairman of the Monetary Council, Chairman of the Council for Internal Financial Control, Chairman of the Tax Policy Advisory Council, National EU Aid Coordinator. From 1999 to 2001 he was the Emerging Markets Vice President at Merrill Lynch (UK) where he previously was (1995-1999) an associate with Investment Banking in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Department.

In 1990-1992 he was an attaché at the International Organizations Division and desk officer for political matters at the UN at Bulgaria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has a Master's Degree in Business Management from the University of Rochester, New York (1992-1993) and in Financial Engineering from the Technological Institute of Massachusetts, Cambridge, USA (1993-1995). He was awarded Global Leader for Tomorrow for 2003, World Economic Forum and Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year in 2002.


Mr. Mislav Blazic
Executive Director of Product Development, Privredna Banka Zagreb

Mr. Blazic is Executive Director of Product Development Division at Privredna Banka Zagreb d.d. (PBZ) since September 2001. Prior to this he worked first as a senior analyst and later as an Assistant Executive Director in Corporate Finance Division, and from April 2000 Executive Director of the Division. Mr. Blazic also worked at Trgovacka Banka d.d. Zagreb in Commerce Department as a credit officer and at Investmentbank Austria (IB Austria d.o.o.)/Creditanstalt Investment Bank (CAIB d.d.) as an equity analyst. Since 2000 Mr. Blazic is President of the Supervisory Board of Medjimurska banka d.d. Cakovec. He is member of the Supervisory Board of Riadria banka d.d. Rijeka and member of the Editorial Board of the business magazine "Accounting and Finance".

Mr. Zoran Bohacek
Managing Director, Croatian Bankers Association

After obtaining his Ph.D. in Operations Research, Mr. Bohacek began his focus on applying optimization in the credit risk management field. As the director of the Southern European of Fair, Issac and Co., he worked in this specialty and was responsible for production, marketing, sales and administration of credit scoring and other risk management tools for the world pioneering company in financial decision systems. After eight years, he continued as a consultant, assisting major banks and financial institutions in designing and implementing those systems as well as improving their decisions using statistical analysis and data mining techniques. He returned to Croatia to lead a project to establish a credit information company, and in October 1999 founded and became the first managing director of Croatian Banking Association.

Ms. Leslie Sulenta
Bank Supervision Consultant, USAID Croatia/Bearing Point, Inc.

Ms. Sulenta is a former U.S. bank regulatory official who has been working in Central and Eastern Europe since 1994 as a banking consultant. She advises and assists banks, bank supervisory authorities, and international organizations with risk management matters and implementation of international standards for bank supervision. She has lived and worked in Croatia for more than five years and is an expert on Croatian banking and financial markets. Ms. Sulenta has served both as USAID's and the IMF's advisor to the Croatian National Bank on bank supervision matters and is currently chief of party for USAID at the central bank on behalf of BearingPoint, Inc. In 2001 she conducted a study of Croatian banks' housing lending practices and the mortgage lending market for another USAID-sponsored project. She carried out onsite examinations of Russian banks in 1997-98 for a World Bank-EBRD financial sector development project in Moscow, and has advised banks and bank regulators in several other countries.

Her U.S. experience was with the FDIC as a supervisor of banks and savings & loan associations during the period of the real-estate related banking crisis of the 1980's. Ms. Sulenta studied business administration in the U.S. and is married with three small children.


Mr. Tim Lassen
Lawyer, German Mortgage Bankers' Association

Mr. Lassen is lawyer at Association of German Mortgage Banks. He is Consultant to parliaments, ministries, banking supervision authorities and banks in Central and Eastern European countries in transition on capital markets, Pfandbriefe (mortgage bonds), mortgage banking, real estate finance, mortgage law and land register law. He contributed to the interpretation and further development of the German Mortgage Bank Act. Mr. Lassen studied law at Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel/Germany and Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk/Russia. He also has practical legal education in Lübeck/Germany and Moscow/Russia.


Mr. Bill Schaub
Chief Operating Officer, Baltic American Enterprise Fund

Bill Schaub is the Chief Operating Officer of the Baltic-American Enterprise Fund Mortgage Program. He oversees the Fund's residential lending program in all three Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia). Capitalized with a grant from the U.S. government, the Fund is providing technical assistance to the Baltic States by investing in home-ownership, businesses and real estate. The Fund was the first mortgage lender and is currently one of the largest mortgage lenders in the Baltics and is active in both completing the primary market development as well as secondary market development.

Prior to joining the Fund, Mr. Schaub was the Senior Vice President of Financial and Credit Risk Management at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Credit Corporation overseeing Secondary Marketing, Underwriting, Planning, Training Policies and Procedures and Quality Assurance. Prior to that he was the Vice President of Secondary Marketing for Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation. He has held positions with L.J. Hooker International, Merrill Lynch Commercial Real Estate, Merrill Lynch Realty Inc., and Ernst and Young.


Mr. Jacek Laszek
Housing Advisor to the President of the National Bank, National Bank of Poland

Dr Jacek Laszek is a housing finance economist with domestic and international experience. Since 1994, starting as a Project Manager of the Housing Finance Project of the Polish Government and the World Bank, he has worked with developers, banks, and construction companies in the Polish housing sector. Dr Laszek has conducted studies on the housing finance systems in Poland and in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

In 1990 - 92, as an advisor of deputy premier L. Balcerowicz, Dr Laszek worked on transformation of the Polish housing finance system. From 1998 - 2001, he was a senior advisor for ING Group in Poland, where he worked on Mortgage Bank and Savings and Loan Projects. Since 2001, he has advised the President of the National Bank of Poland. Dr. Jacek Laszek is a lecturer in Warsaw School of Economy (university of economy) and works as a consultant for domestic and foreign institutions.

Mr. Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz and Mr. Michal Wydra
Polish Banks Association

Mr. Pietraszkiewicz is General Director of the Polish Bank Association. He graduated from the University of Wroclaw in Poland, Warsaw School of Economics and undertook graduate work at IBSS Melbourne. Mr. Pietraszkiewicz is Chairman of Supervisory Board of Bank PKO BP S.A., and Chairman of Supervisory Board of Credit Information Bureau. He is member of a number of Organization Committees: for establishing the National Clearing House, for Telbank (a banking telecomunication enterprise), for the Warsaw Institute of Banking, and the Central European Centre for Ratings and Analysis. In the period 1989 - 1991 Mr. Pietraszkiewicz was Director of the Office of the Minister-Chief of the Bureau of the Council of Ministers. Prior to this he was Director of the Office of the Minister-Member of the Council of Ministers and Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister in Social Welfare and Health Care.

Michael Wydra is the Secretary of the Committee for Financing Housing Construction of the Polish Banks Association. He presented the remarks prepared by Mr. Pietraszkiewicz and the Conference.


Mr. Sergiu Oprescu
Vice President, Alpha Bank

Mr. Oprescu is Vice President of Alpha Bank Romania. From 1995-2000, he was Director and CEO of Alpha Finance Romania. Prior to this he was a Department Head at Romanian Bank for Foreign Trade and also a Project Manager for Alpha Bank Romania (former Banca Bucuresti S.A). From 1987-1993, he was Aviation Engineer at Aviatia Utilitara SA.

Since January 2001, Mr. Oprescu has served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Bucharest Stock Exchange. He has also served as President of the Listing Committee of Rasdaq market (1998 - 2000) and Chairman of Alpha Leasing Romania (1998 - 2000).

Mr. Oprescu graduated Aeronautical Faculty and School of Banking, University of Colorado.

Ms. Carmen Retegan
Director of Secondary Market Development, Romanian American Enterprise Fund (RAEF)

Carmen Retegan is Director Secondary Market Development at RAEF- Mortgage Program. She has worked at setting-up the first Romanian non-banking mortgage institution with the objective of developing the primary mortgage market and establishing a secondary mortgage market in Romania. She made a significant contribution to structuring the financial prospects for the institution, and also in designing and arranging the debt financing. At the same time, she was involved with legal and regulatory framework assessment and improvement for mortgage non-banking institutions.

Prior to joining RAEF, Ms. Retegan was Equity Market Director at Creditanstalt Investment Bank Romania and undertook investment banking operations. She also has experience in pricing mortgage backed securities and hedging and managing MBS portfolio, expertise built up while working with Seattle Northwest Securities, Mortgage Department as MBS and CMOs portfolio structuring coordinator. Carmen holds an MBA degree from Canadian MBA program set- by Quebec and McGill Universities, followed by a 1 year specialization in finance within the MBA program of the University of Rochester, William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, US.

Arin Stanescu
Partner, Calin Zamfirescu & Asociattii

Mr. Stanescu is a senior partner at the Calin Andrei Zamfirescu & Partners law firm. He is also vice president of the board of directors of the Romanian Association of Liquidation Practitioners and a member of the American Institute of Bankruptcy. Previously, he was a member of the U.S.A. - Romania Action Commission and served as team leader for development of the collaterals law and set-up of a pledge central registry in Romania. He is a specialist in commercial and insolvency law and has published a number of studies and articles on privatisation and insolvency law.

Mr. James Stewart
Vice-President, Raiffeisen Bank SA

Mr. Stewart has been Vice-President of Raiffeisen Bank S.A, Romania since June 2000. He is currently coordinating all the Treasury and Capital Markets activities within Raiffeisen Bank S.A.

Prior to working in the Raiffeisen Group, he worked for the US Department of Treasury as a Resident Advisor to the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance and Bulgarian National Bank - Sofia, Bulgaria (From May 1998 to May 2000), responsible for assisting the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance and National Bank in improving the framework for the sale of its domestic government securities and the restructuring of its portfolio of domestic and external debt with the goal of reducing risk and lowering its cost.

He also worked as Senior Vice-President, Manager - Primary Dealer Department at Yamaichi International (America), Inc., where he was responsible for the overall management for the firm's US primary dealer activities. He also was Vice-President and Manager (1990 to 1996) within the US Government Securities Trading Department, NatWest Financial Markets Group, having overall management responsibility for the firm's global US Government and Federal Agency securities trading operations.


Mr. Matej More
Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Finance, Slovenia

Mr. More is the State Under Secretary at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Slovenia. In this capacity, he heads the Financial System Department and is responsible for the nationwide financial services sector. He is also the head of the project Housing Finance and Reform of Mortgage Banking in Slovenia, a current project with the goal of drafting appropriate legislation for the development of mortgage banking.

Before joining Ministry of Finance, he was senior research fellow at the Institute for International Cooperation in Ljubljana and Assistant director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in Ljubljana. Mr. More graduated from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and holds master degree in economics.

United Kingdom

Mr. Peter Champness
Secretary General, The European Group of Valuers' Association

Mr. Champness is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. His professional focus has been on the financial, investment and valuation aspects of property. He is Secretary General of the European Group of Valuers' Associations (TEGoVA) and has extensive experience of real estate valuation and appraisal worldwide.

Peter is also a director of consultants and valuers LCS International Consulting Limited. In essence LCS are buy-side analysts who carry out commercial due diligence, valuations and associated advice for major financial institutions, operational companies, and Government Agencies. He is the author of the third edition of the Approved European Property Valuation Standards and Chairman of the Editorial Board responsible for the fourth and fifth editions of European Valuation Standards. He has contributed articles on real estate valuation, as well as speaking on radio and television, in the UK and internationally.

Mr. Peter Stredder
Senior Banker for Financial Institutions, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Peter Stredder is a Senior Banker in the Financial Institutions Group at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He is Mortgage Coordinator as well as responsible for the Bank's Donor Supported Private Equity Fund Programme. Before developing, and then implementing, the Donor Supported Private Equity Funds Programme, Mr. Stredder worked in the EBRD's Privatization Team, which helped advise governments in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union on their privatization programmes.

Prior to joining the EBRD in 1992, Peter Stredder was a Director of Barclays de Zoete Wedd (BZW), the investment banking arm of the Barclays Bank Group. There he worked on a variety of privatization advisory assignments in the UK, Turkey and Hungary. Prior to joining BZW in 1988 he was a permanent official in the British Civil Service, working as adviser on Housing and Local Government the Prime Minister's office, in Housing Finance at the UK Treasury (Ministry of Finance) arid in various positions in the Department of Trade and Industry. He is a member of the Governing Board of London & Quadrant Housing Trust and the Chairman of L&Q Bexley Homes. He has an MA degree in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Warwick.

Ms. Stella Tansengco
Credit Suisse First Boston

Ms. Tansengco is Director of the Asset Finance, Credit Suisse First Boston, London. She has worked in the asset backed area since 1990 in New York and since 1993 in London. Her early securitization experience included traditional existing asset securitizations in the U.S. She currently focuses on a number of European securitization markets and on emerging market asset backed opportunities in Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa. CSFB successfully completed transactions in South Africa and Turkey and is currently executing a number of transactions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Ms. Tansengco has an MBA from The Wharton School in Philadelphia, PA.

United States

Ms. Lydia Borgatta
Senior Vice President, AG Edwards (USA)

Lydia S. Borgatta, Senior Vice President, Investments, has been with A.G. Edwards since 1994 and in the financial services industry for twenty years. Ms. Borgatta leads a group providing services to corporations, concentrating on benefit plan investment selection and management, participant plan services, cash management and related banking activities.

A.G. Edwards' clients for these services include Fortune 1000 service and manufacturing firms, large privately held U.S. firms, international global banks and trade unions. For over five years, Ms. Borgatta has been a member of the U.S. delegation to the O.E.C.D. (Organization for Economic Cooperation Development) and helps represent U.S. interests in international pension reform as this issue relates to improving trade relationships for the U.S. financial services industry.

Prior to A.G. Edwards, Ms. Borgatta held positions of similar responsibility at Bankers Trust and NYNEX/AGS Financial Services, specifically concentrating on corporate trust and master trust service provision to corporate retirement plans and specializing in implementation of multi-currency accounting and risk management tools as part of pension master trust accounting. Ms. Borgatta is also a member of the Board Advisory Council of the American Benefits Council (ABC) and in this capacity, participates in discussions and activities of the organization that explain the issues of both U.S. employers and employees regarding benefit plans to U.S. federal legislators and regulators. Ms. Borgatta holds a Bachelor of Science from The City College of New York and a Master of Science from Pratt Institute, in addition to an Associates Degree from New York University School of Tax, Law and Finance and is a native speaker in the French language.

Ms. Debra Erb
Director of Housing Programs, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

Debra Erb is Director of Housing Programs for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a U.S. government corporation focused on supporting U.S. investment in developing markets. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing programs using OPIC's primary product lines to benefit the housing sector, marketing those programs, and providing client support during the application process.

Previously, she was President of Mortgage Finance International, a boutique consulting company that works with all aspects of mortgage finance in emerging markets. She was also Chairman of the Board of Societas - International Institute for Real Estate Finance, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. Ms. Erb served at the Mortgage Bankers Association of America as Senior Director - MBA International, responsible for international membership development and liaison between international and U.S. mortgage banking companies and organizations. In addition, she managed MBA's international conference operations and the International Mortgage Institute. Ms. Erb has managed or worked on projects in Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Algeria, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Poland and China. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration (International Non-Profit Management) from George Mason University, and a B.A. in International Business Communications from the same university.

Mr. Scott Horton
Partner, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler

Scott Horton is a partner with the law firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP, responsible for the firm's practice in the transition states. He is an adjunct professor of law at Columbia University School of Law, where he teaches legal issues relating to investment in emerging markets, including real property, with a particular focus on the nations in transition. He studied law at the Universities of Mainz and Munich in Germany and obtained his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Scott is the author of over 100 articles and monographs on law reform in the former Soviet Union and other socialist and formerly socialist states, with an emphasis on the commercial sector. His practice focuses on representation of commercial investors and multilateral investment banks. He has been heavily involved in projects in the Caspian and Central Asian regions in the last ten years and last year represented 32 national partnerships of Arthur Andersen (throughout Central and Eastern Europe and parts of Asia) in their combination with other accounting firms.

Mr. Horton is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an advisor to its Center on Preventive Action, chairs the advisory board of the EurasiaGroup, a think-tank working in the Eurasian region, and was the founding trustee of the American University in Central Asia, a higher education project launched by the U.S. Government and the Soros Foundation. He is also a life-long human rights advocate who served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among others. Scott has also served as an occasional consultant to the U.S. State and Justice Departments on NIS legal issues since 1997.

Ms. Pamela Lamoreaux
Manager of the Housing Finance Group, International Finance Corporation

Ms. Lamoreaux is the Manager of the Housing Finance Group within the Global Financial Markets at IFC. This group helps to formulate strategies in regards to investments related to housing finance and the capital markets for the Corporation, and to process investments related to primary mortgage markets, secondary mortgage markets, securitization and other capital market development. Prior to that Ms. Lamoreaux spent one-year as part of the Countrywide International Consulting Services team, as a resident advisor to KoMoCo (IFC is one of the shareholders), a newly created secondary market corporation in Korea on setting up their operations.

Ms. Lamoreaux spent 4-years to help create the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation (HKMC). In September 1998 she was appointed Chief Operating Officer where she was responsible for supervising the day-to-day running of the HKMC's operation and assisting in the development of the business strategy for the corporation. The HKMC initiated a successful private mortgage insurance scheme, the first pass-through securitization, and new mortgage products for the market. Prior to joining the HKMC, Ms. Lamoreaux was the Director of International Housing Finance Services for Fannie Mae where she was responsible for directing and managing the international consulting activities. Fannie Mae, the largest mortgage corporation in the world, has provided technical assistance to many countries in support of their efforts to develop their housing finance systems. Ms. Lamoreaux spent 12 years at Fannie Mae in a number of positions.

Jean R. Lange
Senior Financial Sector Advisor, Office of Economic Growth. Bureau for Europe and Eurasia USAID/Washington

Jean Lange is the Senior Financial Sector Advisor in the Office of Economic Growth, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia. Since 1994, Ms. Lange has been providing technical support to missions covering all aspects of banking sector reform and development, focusing on bank supervision, related legal and regulatory reform, and bank restructuring and privatization. Most recently, she has begun working on regional programs to increase mortgage finance and to harmonize laws and practices based on international standards. She represents the EE Bureau and USAID in intra-agency and inter-agency working groups related to banking sector reform in the region as well as Balkan economic and assistance strategies. Ms. Lange has designed, implemented and managed a $20 million annual portfolio of financial sector assistance project for approximately 12 countries in Europe and Eurasia.

Ms. Lange's international economic and development experience includes 2 years at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Financial Affairs Division, providing policy advice and other technical assistance to Hungary, Poland and then Czechoslovakia on bank privatization, restructuring and supervision. Prior to joining the OECD, Ms. Lange spent 10 years in the International Affairs Division of U.S. Treasury as an economic/financial analyst of both industrial and emerging economies. Ms. Lange has also worked at the World Bank and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Mr. Ken Lanza
Director, Office of Economic Growth, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, USAID/Washington

Mr. Kenneth Lanza is a US Foreign Service Officer serving in a senior management position in the US Agency for International Development (USAID) based in Washington, D.C. He joined the US Government in 1984 and currently oversees the development and implementation of the USAID's $2.3 billion Economic Growth programs in Europe and Eurasia as the Director of the Office of Economic Growth.

During the past 18 years, Mr. Lanza has served in several management and technical capacities in Washington and abroad for USAID. He has lived and worked in developing countries for over 26 years. Mr. Lanza's professional experiences have included management and support of the economic growth and private sector development portfolios for countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and Eurasia for the Agency. Prior to joining the US Government, Mr. Lanza held the executive position of Marketing Coordinator for Latin America for CBS, Inc. He also worked as an executive for Burroughs Corporation based in Miami, Florida and as the General Manager for O.H.S. Transport Ltd., based in Rainham, Essex, England. Mr. Lanza serves on the Board of Directors of Lafayette Federal Credit Union, (Kensington, Maryland) and is a Board Director for Cardel Hotel Development Corporation, L.C. (Miami, Florida). He has earned a M.A. in International Development Policy (Duke), an M.B.A. in Finance (U. of Miami) and an A.B. in Russian History (Colgate University).

Ms. Alicia Malecka
President, Malecka Capital Management

Alicia Malecka is a globally recognized financial, fund management, risk management and investment expert with extensive operational experience in Central Europe. She established Malecka Capital Formations, Inc. in 2001 to provide strategic advisory, transactional and project development services in the financial services sector in transition economies.

Within Malecka Capital Formations, Inc. framework, Ms. Malecka has initiated and developed business concepts to establish a mortgage securitisation conduit in Poland including design of the necessary legislative framework for the currently pending legislative enactment. In parallel she has also been active as Senior Advisor on different projects working for PWC (IBM) and Deloitte Touche on securitization in Philippines, NPD structure in Slovakia, capital market assessment in Armenia and Pension Fund reform in Macedonia, as well as a number of smaller private business assignments in Poland and the U.S.

In 1991, Ms. Malecka established the Polish operations of the Boston based Pioneer Group, launching the first mutual fund in post-communist Central Europe. She built Pioneer Poland into the premier mutual fund business in the region, reaching profitability in the first full year of operation and returning $18 million in dividends over five years on and investment of $1.2 million, while expanding operations in a very unstable economic environment. She initiated a similar mutual fund development process in the Czech Republic and reorganized Pioneer's asset management operations in Russia after the 1998 financial crisis. In 1998, Ms. Malecka launched a universal pension fund under Poland's Pension Fund Reform Act and then tripled the pension fund company's capital value by acquiring a strategic partner, a large US insurance company.

Ms. Malecka is a widely respected authority on the development of financial markets in Central Europe and has served as a US Department of Treasury advisor to the Polish Minister of Finance to design and launch its first two Treasury bond programs.

Ms. Malecka holds an MBA in International Finance from DePaul University, in Chicago, an undergraduate degree in Economics from State University of New York at Stony Brook and a BS in International Trade from the Main School of Planning, Warsaw, Poland. She is a member of several international finance and business associations and is fluent in Polish, French and Russian and speaks basic Japanese.

Ms. Sally Merrill
Senior Associate, Urban Institute

Sally Merrill, a Senior Associate at the Urban Institute, is an economist specializing in housing finance and housing market policy. She has over 25 years experience in domestic and international policy development. She is currently managing this Conference on behalf of USAID.

Dr. Merrill has extensive experience in Central and Easter Europe, beginning in 1991 in Poland. She managed USAID's Poland Housing Finance Program, a comprehensive development project that took place from 1996 - 2000. The Project's counterparts -- the Polish Banks Association (PBA), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the Inspectorate General of the Central Bank (GINB), and the Foundation for Mortgage Credit requested assistance across a very broad range of housing finance issues, including legal framework, mortgage products, and demand for mortgage credit.

Dr. Merrill has also managed housing and housing finance projects in Romania, Slovakia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Bulgaria. In Kazakhstan, Ms. Merrill is currently addressing development of a market-based housing finance sector, including establishment of mortgage default insurance. Ms. Merrill has also worked in Asia (Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines), in Africa (South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Algeria and Egypt), and in Jamaica. She is currently project director for a two year program of housing market and housing finance assistance in South Africa, supported by USAID, which has a resident director and staff, and is responding to requests for assistance in housing finance and housing policy from a large and diverse group of government, NGO, banks, and other private groups. Ms. Merrill has numerous recent publications on housing and housing finance. She recently served as guest editor for the March 2001 edition of Housing Finance International.

Ms. Soula Proxenos
Director of International Housing Finance Services, Fannie Mae

Soula Proxenos is Director of International Housing Financial Services at Fannie Mae's corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C. She manages the international advisory services used by over 30 countries around the globe. IHFS offers advisory services to institutions and governments to identify opportunities for strengthening primary mortgage markets, help assess market readiness for secondary marketing conduits, and implementation of housing finance operations.

Before joining Fannie Mae in 1999, she was Director at the Council on Financial Competition at the Corporate Executive Board, Washington, D.C., and was responsible for syndicated research and member education. Her book on branch banking strategies, Next Generation Network Management, was published by the CEB in 1999.

Ms. Proxenos has extensive experience in international finance. She has managed international marketing and sales teams, developed strategic alliances, and opened new markets for the international divisions of South African and European financial services companies. She has a B. A. in Philosophy from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and an M. B. A. from the University of Stellenbosch, also in South Africa.

Ms. Carol Rabenhorst
Senior Legal Advisor, Urban Institute

A real estate lawyer with over 22 years of experience, Carol Rabenhorst has worked throughout Central and Eastern Europe to reform the legal framework relating to real property rights, mortgage lending, and development of real estate markets. She has acquired a thorough understanding of problems impeding development of real estate finance systems and markets, and broad experience with practical approaches to their solution. Her experience has emphasized drafting and advising on loan recovery laws and procedures, including those relating to foreclosure and eviction, clarifying property rights, improving property registration laws and procedures, reforming policies on land use, and developing programs for effective privatization and management of real property.

Prior to her international work for the Urban Institute, Ms. Rabenhorst was engaged in the private practice of law for 14 years. A partner in Washington, D.C. law firm, she specialized in real estate law and commercial and residential property development.

Mr. Paul Sacks
President, Multi-National Systems Advisors

Paul Sacks, President of MNS, has been actively involved in emerging markets since the late 1970s. Since 1990 he has focused his work on sovereign advisory mandates in Central and Eastern Europe, related principally to privatization and capital markets. During that period he has carried out assignments for more than 17 sovereigns. Dr. Sacks acted as principal advisor to the Czech Ministry of Privatization in all sales involving foreign partners. In addition, he has designed and established MNS' privatization advisory and capital markets projects in Albania, Romania, Estonia, and various Newly Independent States.

During 1999-2000, Dr. Sacks co-led an MNS team which formed the first OPIC sponsored private equity fund for South East Europe, managed by Soros Fund Management. In 2001-2, Dr. Sacks and Mr. Rick Petree were principals of Hampshire Partners, a joint venture between MNS and the law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, which served as sovereign debt advisor to the Yugoslav, Ukrainian and Georgian governments and was successful in achieving significant debt reductions for those sovereigns in negotiations with the Paris Club. Dr. Sacks holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from the University California, Los Angeles, and an A.B. from the University of Rochester. Dr. Sacks serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where he conducts graduate seminars on Eastern European Capital Markets.

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