MENA Fintech Association launches with KPMG among founders

27 June 2019 3 min. read

A number of organisations have come to together to launch the MENA Fintech Association – with KPMG among the corporate founding members.

Fintech industry support body the MENA Fintech Association (MFTA) has officially launched with an event attended by 22 financial regulators from across the Middle East and North Africa. Described as an inclusive, not for profit organisation that aims at fostering an open dialogue for the MENA fintech community, MFTA counts professional services firm KPMG among its corporate founders.

“I would like to congratulate the MENA Fintech Association on its official launch and applaud the founding team for stepping up to lead this important effort,” said Richard Teng, CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Market. “As the fintech ecosystem in the region grows, the community needs to collaborate more closely for a common effective voice to interact with the likes of regulators, policy makers and institutions.

MENA Fintech Association

Bringing together numerous corporates and supporting partners, including Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), MFTA will seek to work with and bring together a wide range of industry stake-holders who share a common interest in driving sector growth, including start-ups and entrepreneurs, academia, financial institutions, investors and accelerators, regulatory authorities and policy makers.

Such government representatives were in attendance at the MFTA’s formal launch this week (held at the ADGM), together with regional financial regulators, industry professionals, and global and regional enterprises. During the event, which included a panel discussion, presentations, and the signing of further alliances, the MFTA highlighted its work to date – such as having already established 46 country bridges worldwide.

“We are delighted to officially launch this Association which is a first-of-its-kind in the region, uniting organisations and stakeholders from across the fintech community and advocating their interests, fostering collaboration, the development of industry standards and enabling industry discussion in a concrete way,” said Nameer Khan, Chairman and founding MFTA Board Member.

Khan, who is also a faculty member at PwC’s Academy Middle East, continued; “The journey of making this a big success wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts of our founding board members,” which include Nihal Abughattas and Irina Heaver from TEMENOS and Bolton Holdings, Kokila Alagh from KARM), Etisalat’s Altaf Ahmed, and Umair Hameed from KPMG.

The latter, Umair Hameed, is a Partner in KPMG Lower Gulf’s financial services division, heading up the firm’s fintech and reg-tech practice. He has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services consultancy domain, including a decade spent between Deloitte and Deloitte Monitor, and is one of the spearheads behind the FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge, hosted by ADGM and KPMG. 

The Middle East is quickly establishing a reputation as one of the world’s leading regional hubs for fintech, with numerous new initiatives launched over the past year or so and the consulting world along for the ride; Roland Berger as a founding member of Bahrain Fintech Bay; the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority teaming up with Deloitte; and Accenture’s collaboration with the Dubai International Finance Centre as just some of the examples.