Accomplished Business People

Comprising C-suite professionals and partners from various sectors, all established and successful, with key insight on business building, the committee will drive thoughtful, cutting edge and practical discussions, marrying past experiences and future ideas.

Committee Objectives

Leading high-level dialogues with senior leaders in a safe environment, resulting in recommendations to help transform the business landscape. Creating a culture for dynamic leadership and shared knowledge.

Committee members

Jan Bladen

(Committee Chair) Managing Partner - Governance Creed

Jan played an instrumental role in the founding of the UAE’s two financial hubs; He spearheaded the launch of Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) and co-led the establishment of the DIFC as the founding Chief Operating Officer of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). Previously, Jan spent nine years with PwC based in both Geneva and Dubai and carries a wealth of experience in Corporate Leadership across the MENA Region. Raised across the region as a child, Jan’s spouse is an Arab and his children speak Arabic at home. Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Jan obtained an MBA (Summa Cum Laude) from Lausanne and holds both British and Swiss Nationalities.

Jan qualified as the 1st accredited Non-Executive Board Member with the Institute of Directors in Dubai, attended Harvard Business School’s “Making Corporate Boards More Effective” and is an accredited global “Trainer of Trainers” in the Corporate Governance Board Leadership Program of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank.

Recognised as a thought leader in Corporate Governance, he now sits on numerous Boards, including assuming the roles of Chairman of a FinTech, a Non-Executive Director of a Swiss Assets Management Firm and a NRC Board Committee Member of a leading Private Equity Firm in KSA.

Matthew Lewis

Managing Director - Russell Reynolds Associates

Matthew Lewis, is Managing Director and Head of the Middle East office for Russell Reynolds Associates. He is trusted board advisor and thought leader with 25 years global talent & executive coaching expertise. Interviewed and assessed over 6,000+ C level executives worldwide. Hired into 45 countries across EMEA, Asia & US for over 600 leading private, listed and government organisations and an expert on leadership in emerging markets. Resident in Dubai since 2007.  

Andrew Mortimer

Managing Director - Barclays Bank

Coming Soon

Thomas Paoletti

Managing Partner - Paoletti Legal Consultant

Graduated in law from the University of Rome, Italy, (La Sapienza) in 1994 after having prepared his final dissertation in comparative law at Yale Law School (Connecticut, USA) as a visiting scholar. Registered with the Bar Council of Rome, he began his practice at Studio Legale Paoletti in Rome as a Partner in 1997. He became experienced in assisting clients to both domestic litigation cases and international cases in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Oman. In 2006 he obtained Magna cum Laude in Master in Public Affairs, Lobbying and Institutional Relations from the University of Rome (LUMSA). In 2008 he moved to Dubai and joined Al Bahar & Associates as a legal consultant, and he has acquired specific expertise in the Gulf States, assisting Italian companies in terms of overseas investment and internationalisation in the Middle East, offering legal support, commercial contracts, corporate law and as well as in real estate. 2014 - Established his practice Law Firm, and today he is the Managing Partner of Paoletti Legal Consultants LLP registered in ADGM, with offices in Dubai, Rome and Shanghai,  assisting domestic and international companies in cross boarding business transactions. Board Member and President of the Italian Business Council of Dubai & Northern Emirates and Vice President of Italian Social Club of Dubai.

Tariq Qureishy

CEO & Co-Founder at Xponential

A futurist, global keynote speaker, corporate CEO, entrepreneur, finance, tech & media professional & humanitarian. Founder and CEO of Xponential & MAD Group, focused on future transformation & readiness, leadership for  the future & optimising through innovation & abundance mindset, both for companies and top executives.  Over 25 years in top leadership positions, as Regional Director EMEA, Dow Jones Markets, Publisher & CEO, Times/Sunday Times, MEA, Advisor & Media Representative MEA, Bloomberg Media, and now as CEO of Xponential, a future foresight, transformation & leadership platform ( Tariq has a degree in Economics and Harvard Business School, 1998 alum. Creator of the “Voices of the Future” podcast platform (

Ray Everett

Senior Partner - Human Capital Solutions at Aon

Ray Everett is a Senior Partner in our Human Capital and Reward Solutions business, based in Dubai. In addition to being an authority in executive compensation, Ray counsels Boards, Remuneration Committees, CEOs, government leaders and senior executives worldwide. His clients include leading Sovereign Wealth Funds, Private Equity firms, Banks and Technology firms. Ray has completed two successful decades with Aon demonstrating the group’s commitment towards raising human capital value, starting from within. His diverse career with the firm includes experience in Asia-Pacific, North America and the Middle East - he established the McLagan business (an Aon company) in the Middle East over a dozen years ago and the McLagan business in Asia Pacific over twenty years ago. Ray's experience as a global executive earned him a nomination to the Forbes Top 50 CEOs in the Middle East. The majority of Ray’s career has been spent working in Emerging Markets in Asia and the Middle East. He has held a number of leadership positions in the United States, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East serving as Global President of McLagan and CEO of our Reward Solutions business in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Before joining Aon, Ray was a senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson and Ernst & Young and worked in Asia and Canada. Ray holds an MA from Carleton University, Canada, and a BA from the University of Victoria, Canada.  He is also a Certified Professional Director (IOD) and a Certified Management Consultant.

Aparna Verma

CEO - Scholars International Group

Aparna Verma, the CEO of Scholars International Group, has committed her life to providing quality education for the youth of the UAE. Scholars International Group is the owner and operator of three schools in the UAE: Dubai Scholars, Scholars International Academy and her newest school, Clarion School. Since taking over Dubai Scholars in 1984, Aparna has lived her life facing challenges, taking risks and being an outlier. She has followed her passion for endowing younger generations with the skills of grit, perseverance and confidence. This desire originates from her own personal experiences requiring strength and skills to survive as a woman and succeed with the courage to make things happen, take on a challenge and beat the odds. The organization began as a villa school originally opened by her mother, an educator herself. From those first 100 students to the over 3000 current students across the three schools, Aparna is passionate about providing high performing schools for all students entrusted to her for their education. At Dubai Scholars, the first Scholars International Group school, the students have achieved some of the highest results in the middle east on the Acer International Benchmarking Test, IGCSE’s and gone on to universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and in the US, the University of Pennsylvania, John Hopkins and NYU. Aparna encourages her students to follow her example of setting high standards for themselves with honesty, integrity, and humility to give back to the lesser privileged. She started Scholars International Academy in Sharjah as she felt that there was a need for a good quality British education. Today, SIA is recognized as a top British school in Sharjah being accredited by BSO and BSME. One of the only two schools in the Emirate. It is also one of only two schools to take on the HPL- High Performance Learning Program. Aparna’s vision for SIA is to be an outstanding school in the emirate giving its students the best possible education. Her latest venture, Clarion School, is the first and only progressive school in the middle east and has come from her own philosophy on life and the future. Her commitment to the youth of tomorrow is to ensure they are equipped with the skills to survive the world of tomorrow. She is determined that Clarion School’s progressive curriculum will set new standards for the education provision in Dubai. Ms. Verma holds a BSc. degree from Georgetown University and has continued her education attending the Principals Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education She has also studied interior architecture at New York’s Parsons School of Design. She has received the Arabian Business Woman CEO of the Year.

Content Library

Accomplished Businesspeople - Committee Introduction

The Accomplished Businesspeople Committee is passionate about the UAE and the evolution of the country’s economic growth. They strive to have the right conversation in conjunction with the ability to...

Building a bridge between the private sector and the government

  The UAE Minister of Economy, H.E Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri outlines how the Capital Club Dubai is bridging the gap between the private sector and the government by providing a...

Summary Report: The Business of Music and Complexity of Copyrights

  Background According to the UAE government’s portal on Intellectual Property Rights, it states, “Under the Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 on Copyrights and related rights, an intellectual work...

Teaser: Economic Outlook for 2021

Sarwant Singh on what to expect at the economic outlook for 2021 and beyond.

Insights: The Impact of AI in Society

Potentially, in about 30 years from now, we will be able to upload our minds to the cloud and participate collectively to steer decision-making for the human race. Some might...

Teaser: Sustainable Strategies - Circular Economy

The world is extracting more and reusing less — taking resources 1.75x faster than the planet can regenerate with only 8.6% reused. A global transformation is needed focused on supply...