The Montreal Group (TMG) is a not-for-profit incorporated association with a modern governance structure that is light and flexible with cost-efficient operations. The bodies of the Corporation are the General Assembly, the Board of Directors, the Secretariat, and the Committees formed by the Board of Directors.

TMG’s activities are managed by the Secretariat’s team, supported by the Board of Directors, organ responsible for setting policy direction and ensuring sound financial management.

During the Annual General Meeting, The Montreal Group’s operational plan and financial accounts are approved. The operational plan determines the main activities to be carried out throughout the year and key topics of common interest.

The Board of Directors is also appointed during the AGM. It is responsible for setting the policy direction of the organization and ensuring sound financial management. 

Annual General Meeting

Before the pandemic, members used to meet in person at the Annual General Assembly, which was hosted by alternating member countries of The Montreal Group. Having pivoted to virtual mode during the pandemic, it was determined that the AGM would continue to be held virtually each year on a fixed date at the end of March, starting in 2023.

Members will continue to meet in person at least once a year to discuss specific issues, visit leading organizations, and attend other international events of interest.

In 2023, the first TMG Summit will take place in Cartagena, Colombia between the 3rd and the 6th of September. During this time, TMG members will also participate in the Finance in Common Summit.

The Montreal Group Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is composed of one representative per member bank. Directors are appointed every year during the Annual General Meeting and act as the main point of contact between each member institution and the Secretariat.

For 2022-2023, the Board is composed of the following member representatives:

Mr. Jean-Pierre Di Bartoloméo   |   Co-Chair

Jean-Pierre Di Bartolomeo is Chairman of the Board of Directors of SOWALFIN, BVA Board Member since 2005 and BVA Chairman during 2013-2014. His activities on behalf of the Walloon Government (e.g. he is in charge of the Guarantee Fund for the Walloon Region) contribute to his expertise in the field of SMEs’ financing solutions. Mr. Di Bartolomeo’s professional background includes management and financial consulting (DELOITTE & TOUCH – PRICE WATERHOUSE COOPERS), loan activities at the FWPMI (SRIW Group), creation and management of the SIAW (loans to SMEs in the Agricultural-and-Food Industry), management of holding companies at the SOCIETE EUROPEENNE DE BANQUE (COMIT Group, Luxembourg). Mr. Di Bartolomeo graduated from the University of Liège (Finance) and holds a master’s degree in SME financing (DURHAM UNIVERSITY Business School, UK). He was appointed co-chair of The Montreal Group for 2022-2023

Ms. Isabelle Bébéar   |   Co-Chair

Director of International and European Affairs
Bpifrance, France

Isabelle Bébéar is Director of International and European Affairs at Bpifrance since 2001. She oversees the relations with European and international institutions and the partnerships with sovereign wealth funds and long-term investors. Ms. Bébéar accompanies foreign governments in the development of their entrepreneurial ecosystems and connects innovative companies with business opportunities and international investors. She also manages Averroès Africa, a fund of funds dedicated to investing in African companies. She is a director of Proparco (Agence Française de Développement Group) and a member of its Audit and Risk Committee. She is also Vice President of the Board of Directors of HDBI, the Hellenic Development Bank for Investments, President of the Board of Directors of the Euromed Capital association, and a director of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF).

Ms. Bébéar is Co-Chair of The Montreal Groupe.

Mr. Abdulaziz Al Zaid   |   Vice-Chair

Advisor to CEO
Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), Saudi Arabia

Abdulaziz Al Zaid, Executive Committee Member and CEO Advisor represents the CEO of SIDF in several committees within the industrial ecosystem. He also represents SIDF in relevant international coordinating councils and manages SIDF memberships in international organizations and global development banks. Al Zaid’s experience extends to over 16 years. Most of his industrial experience in APICORP was in petrochemicals, refining, shipping, offshore oil services, upstream/field development, LNG liquefaction, fertilizers, crude oil refined products. He also led the efforts of SIDF to join and chair the D20 and obtain membership in the World Economic Forum. He joined SIDF in 2018 and was an important member in the transformation journey of the fund since then.

Al Zaid holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration majoring in Finance from George Mason University in the United States, a Master’s degree from the School of Business at George Washington University in the United States, and finally received the Advanced Management Program for Executives from Columbia Business School in New York City.

Mr. Al Zaid is Vice-chair of The Montreal Group.

Mr. Jérôme Nycz   |   Treasurer

Executive Vice President, BDC Capital
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Canada

Jérôme Nycz was appointed Executive Vice President, BDC Capital, the investment arm of the bank that offers venture capital and growth equity to Canadian businesses, in 2013. In this role, he oversees the deployment of the Venture Capital Action Plan and the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative and he is responsible for driving strategies and initiatives forward to enhance Canada’s venture capital and start-up community. Mr. Nycz has more than 20 years of experience in the financial and public sectors. Before joining BDC in 2002, Mr. Nycz began his career with the federal government. He is a board member of Finance Montreal and Fondation de l’ICM. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from Concordia University, an IMBA from Hartford University and the Corporate Director (ICD.D) designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Mr. Nycz is Treasurer of The Montreal Group.

Mr. Juuso Heinilä   |   Director

Executive Vice President, SME Financing
Finnvera, Finland

Juuso Heinilä is Executive Vice President, SME Financing at Finnvera. Previously, he was Regional Director of Northern Finland for Finnvera. He has more than 15 years of experience from management, financing and investments. In 2000-2004 he worked in several positions at Nokia Networks. After Nokia, Juuso worked for OP Financial Group for over ten years. He worked as Sales Director from 2005 to 2010 and then as Director of Sales and Customer Relations in 2010-2016. Juuso joined Finnvera as Regional Director in 2016. Juuso graduated from the University of Oulu and received his M.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering in 2003 and M.Sc. in Economics in 2005.

Mr. Heiniliä is a Director at The Montreal Group.

Mr. Iván Cornejo   |   Director

Director, International Financial Institutions
Nacional Financiera (NAFIN), Mexico

Iván Cornejo is Director, International Financial Institutions at NAFIN. He previously worked as at NAFIN. He joined the Institution in 2008, and has worked at the Direction of International Financial Institutions since 2010 occupying different positions. Before becoming Director, Ivan was in charge of implementing priority programmes and projects that are in line with NAFIN’s mission, as well as identifying technical assistance needs that allow the exchange and adoption of international best practices among development banks.

He has experience in negotiating long-term credit lines with international institutions, and his work on the past years has been mainly focused on funding for renewable energy, energy efficiency, cogeneration and geothermal energy programmes.

Ivan also worked on NAFIN’s accreditation process as National Implementing Entity of the Green Climate Fund.

M. Cornejo is Director at The Montreal Group.

Mr. Xie Zhijun   |   Director

General Manager, Planning & Administration Department
China Development Bank (CDB), China

Xie Zhijun is the General Manager of the Rural Vitalization Department at China Development Bank, responsible for Poverty Alleviation, SMEs Loans and Inclusive Finance.

Mr. Xie joined CDB in 1998 and held a variety of positions during his career within CDB, including General Manager and Deputy General Manager in Guangxi Province Branch, as well as Director and Deputy Director in Treasury & Financial Market Department. He also used to take a temporary post as assistant to the Mayor in Xining, Qinghai Province from 2003 to 2004. Before joining CDB, he worked for China Investment Bank.

Mr. Xie holds a Ph.D in Economics from the Graduate School of the People’s Bank of China.

Mr. Xie is a Director at The Montreal Group.

Mr. Gabriel Ervilha   |   Director

Head of Investors Relations
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), Brazil

Gabriel Ervilha is currently the Head of Investors Relations Department at BNDES. Previously, he had a passage as Director of Promotion of Infrastructure at the Ministry of Infrastructure, being responsible for running the Mercantile Navy and the Civil Aviation Funds as well as the privatization efforts of the Ministry. Earlier at BNDES, Gabriel worked at the Debt in Capital Markets division. where he was in charge of managing a portfolio of infrastructure debentures and also structuring PPPs and Privatization projects in various segments, including logistics/transportation, waste management and energy.

He holds a Bsc. and a Msc. in Economics (University of Brasilia, UnB) and a MBA (IESE Business School).

Mr. Ervilha is a Director at The Montreal Group.

Mr. Hicham Zanati Serghini   |   Director

Director General
Tamwilcom, Morocco

Hicham Zanati Serghini is Director General of Tamwilcom (previously the CCG). Before being appointed Director General at the head of CCG in 2014, Hicham had been the Secretary-General since 2007. Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Public-Private Investment Fund SME Growth, Vice President of the Professional Association of Guarantee Institutions of Africa (APIGA), Hicham Zanati Serghini is also a member of the High-Level Committee on Guarantee Systems in the countries around the Mediterranean. Prior to joining the CGC, Hicham Serghini began his career with the Treasury and External Finance Branch at the Department of Finance, where he worked on various government files and programs: Supporting Young Promoters, Mutual Fund Legislation in capital, financing the upgrading of industrial enterprises as well as the overhaul of the national guarantee system.

Mr. Zanati is Director at The Montreal Group.

Mr. Tony Okpanachi   |   Director

Managing Director / CEO
Development Bank of Nigeria Plc (DBN), Nigeria

Mr. Tony Okpanachi was appointed Managing Director/CEO of Development Bank of Nigeria Plc (DBN) in January 2017. He is a seasoned banker with over 30 years’ experience. Before his appointment as Managing Director/CEO of DBN, he was the Deputy Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria Limited since April 2013. Prior to that, he was the Managing Director, Ecobank Kenya and Cluster Managing Director for East Africa (comprising Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Ethiopia). He was also at various times Managing Director of Ecobank Malawi and Regional Coordinator for Lagos and South West of Ecobank Nigeria. Earlier in his professional career, he managed various portfolios including Treasury Management, Retail Business Development, Corporate Finance, Corporate Services, Branch Management and Relationship Management. Tony Okpanachi holds a Master degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Manchester Business School UK, a Master of Science degree in Economics from University of Lagos and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. He has attended several Executive Management Development Programmes on Leadership, Corporate Governance, Credit and Risk-Management in leading institutions.

Mr. Okanachi is Director at The Montreal Group.

Mr. Sudatta Mandal   |   Director

Deputy Managing Director
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), India

Shri Sudatta Mandal was appointed in May 2021 as the Deputy Managing Director of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the principal financial institution engaged in the promotion, financing and development of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The appointment is for a period of 3 years. Prior to this, Shri Mandal was the Chief General Manager of EXIM Bank.

Shri Mandal has professional experience of more than 25 years in international trade and investment finance, project finance, structured lending, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) lending including cluster financing, and trade finance. He is a B-Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management with specialisation in Finance from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

M. Mandal is Director at The Montreal Group.

Ms. Shanika Amarasekara   |   Director

Chief Impact Officer
British Business Bank (BBB), United Kingdom

Shanika is the Chief Impact Officer at British Business Bank with responsibility for the Insight & Impact team which incorporates Economics, ESG, Policy, Public Affairs and Strategy teams. Shanika joined the Bank in June 2014 as General Counsel and Company Secretary. Shanika has also recently led on the creation and launch of the Future Fund as part of the Chancellor’s response to the Covid crisis.

Prior to joining the Bank, she worked as General Counsel at an institution established by a number of central banks to promote financial stability and economic development. Shanika is also a Board member at London Legacy Development Corporation and E20 Stadium. Shanika previously worked at RBS as a Director and prior to that was a Senior Associate in the Capital Markets team at Allen & Overy. Shanika was also awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to business and the economy.

Ms. Amarasekara is Director at The Montreal Group.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is comprised of four representatives of the Board who work closely with the Secretariat and provide strategic advice on a variety of matters.

For 2023-2024, the elected representatives are: