Welcome to WAM UK!

Welcome to our Blog!

Please let us introduce ourselves. We’re WAM UK.

WAM UK is a unique network advancing and supporting women engaged in financial inclusion and microfinance through education, networking and promoting leadership and volunteering opportunities.

Established in 2011, we are one of 14 chapters of WAM International, the only global network for the advancement of women in the microfinance industry, with a special focus on financial inclusion in the UK.

The network is run by 9 professional women based in London and we’re always looking out for great ideas to progress financial inclusion internationally and in the UK. Please reach out to us at wam.ukchapter@gmail.com if you have any questions and inspirations!

To give you a better idea of who you are please find our bios here – better yet, come to one of our events and meet us!

WAM UK Steering Committee

Outreach & Strategy: Sophia Velissaratou (Moody’s), Safiye Ozuygun (Citi Microfinance), Maria Largey (CDC), Hajar Barbach (Clifford Chance)

Treasurer & Operations: Marjolaine Chaintreau (Citi Microfinance)

Communications & Blogger: Lisa Wong (Nikko Asset Management)

Marketing & External Partnerships: Carole Seignovert (Lloyds & Entrepreneur), Anna Brown (Citi)

Membership Manager: Fatima Iqbal (Citi)

WAM UK Bios (by alphabetical order)

Hajar Barbach (Outreach & Strategy) is a lawyer at Clifford Chance in the banking and finance group, specialising in emerging markets. Hajar is also running the Clifford Chance Microfinance Group. Hajar studied at the London School of Economics, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris) and Universite Paris I Panthon-Sorbonne. Hajar is also a trustee of the microfinance organisation Entrepreneurs Du Monde UK.

Anna Brown (Marketing & External Partnerships) is an Associate at Citi in the Global Industrials Corporate Banking team covering names in the Transport and Industrials sector. Anna studied Law at the University of Liverpool and before joining Citi spent a year working for Birnberg Peirce & Partners solicitors and completed a one year internship in New York as part of the Mountbatten Programme. Anna is also a Trustee of the microfinance organization, Entrepreneurs Du Monde.

Marjolaine Chaintreau (Treasurer & Operations) is currently Vice President at Citi Microfinance with a special focus financial inclusion in Latin America and Africa. Working across Citi’s businesses, product groups and geographies, Citi Microfinance serves more than 100 microfinance institutions (MFIs), networks and investors as clients and partners in over 40 countries to expand access to financial services for the underserved. Prior to joining Citi, Marjolaine graduated from a Master of Corporate Finance and Strategy from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris) and worked for a microfinance institution in South India in their finance and product research departments. Marjolaine is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Fatima Iqbal (Membership Manager) currently works in the global pitch & proposal management team in Citi Transaction Services.  She took part in the graduate analyst program in the same division and spent one year training in Istanbul, Turkey.  She completed her undergraduate degree at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London with a Bsc in Development Economics.

Maria Largey (Outreach & Strategy) is the Microfinance Investment Manager at CDC, the UK’s Development Finance Institution. Prior to this, she worked for Opportunity International and Agora Microfinance Partners. Before joining the development sector, Maria worked at JPMorgan Asset Management in both London and New York City. Maria holds a BS in Biological Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has taken International Finance courses at New York University.

Safiye Ozuygun (Outreach & Strategy) is a Business Director responsible from Institutional Relationships for Citi Microfinance based in London, U.K. Safiye joined Citibank Istanbul Turkey in 1994 and has worked in various areas of Citi such as corporate bank and internal audit. She has 20 years of international banking experience 18 years of which were at Citigroup divided between Istanbul, Turkey and London, U.K. (12 years). Safiye is the co-chair of Citi internal Women’s Network and co-founder of WAM UK Chapter.

Carole Seignovert (Marketing & External Partnerships) has been managing a Community Investment project from Lloyds Banking Group around financial education for a year and a half and  is now starting her own business/social enterprise. Prior to this, Carole started her career at BNP Paribas investment banking in South America. She then worked at TechnoServe in Chile where she advised social entrepreneurs, worked with Wal Mart on supply chain issues and looked for private sponsors for an education project. Carole holds a Master in Management from E.M. Lyon business school. She speaks fluently English, French and Spanish and has a working knowledge of German and Portuguese.

Sophia Velissaratou (Outreach & Strategy) is an Analyst at Moody’s Investor Services and co-founder of WAM UK. Sophia’s prior jobs include freelance microfinance risk consultant in London and risk researcher at ING’s Corporate credit Risk in Amsterdam. Throughout her career Sophia has volunteered in various microfinance initiatives and in 2009 she attended the Boulder Microfinance Training in Turin. Sophia has studied at the University of Athens and University of Amsterdam.

Lisa Wong (Communications & Blogger) is a writer and economist, covering Latin America and social and environmental investments across emerging markets at Nikko Asset Management (Nikko AM).  Previously, she was at Citi in the global Microfinance group. Aside from managing the WAM UK blog, she is also a contributing blogger for Business Fights Poverty and columnist for the International Museum of Women on the topics of financial inclusion and inclusive business. She holds a dual-degree Master of Public Administration (MPA) from both Columbia University and the London School of Economics in international finance and public policy respectively and a MA(Cantab) in English Literature from the University of Cambridge.


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