The Team

Our Philosophy

Team GRIP consists of diverse professionals from across the continents who have come together as one, to build and redefine the provision of financial services through effective use of technology.

We embrace and cherish diversity across our thought processes and in our quest to further our raison d’être.

Our CEO

V. Gowribalan

CHIEF EXCUTIVE OFFICER

Gowri is the Chief Executive Officer of GRIP (DIFC) Ltd., Managing Director of GRIP Horizon Sàrl and Founding Shareholder of GRIP Investments.

Gowri’s career within Investment Banking and Investment Management began as a Bond Trader and spans over 20 years. Prior to founding GRIP, Gowri established and led the Asset Management Division (AMD) of a MENA banking group, managed assets of Oman National Investment Corporation (ONIC), handled assets of Pension Funds, Mutual Funds and High-networth investor portfolios at the Financial Corporation (FinCorp) and proprietary portfolios and group pension funds at HNB Securities.

His cross-asset investment management track-record encompasses managing assets across global and regional (GCC), listed equities, debt securities, commodity ETFs, managing direct private equity investments into financial services and industrial sectors, within the GCC and real estate investments across Western Europe and the GCC region.

Furthermore Gowri has expertise and experience across launching funds, structuring wealth management products, executing acquisitions, handling initial public offerings (IPOs), debt issuances and raising investment capital in excess of USD 1.5 billion across asset-classes and risk-thresholds.

Gowri is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – U.K. (FCMA), Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment – U.K. (MCSI), Certified Practising Accountant (CPA Aust.), Chartered Global Management Accountant – (CGMA) and UAE Chartered Accountant (UAECA). He has a First-Class Honours Degree in Applied Accounting (BSc. Hons.) and holds an International Certificate in Wealth & Investment Management (ICWIM).

Board of Directors

Tony Pettipiece

Chairman

Tony is the Chairman of GRIP (DIFC) Ltd. and GRIP Horizon Sàrl.

Tony has over 35 years of experience within the finance industry having held leadership roles in electronic trading across the global markets, including design and development of trading platform software, exchange protocols and infrastructure. He has worked with major international exchanges, broker-dealers and vendors in the space and has held senior roles in JP Morgan, Swiss Bank/O’Connor and UBS, and has also managed all aspects of risk, compliance and trading operations across the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan.

He is a blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiast, trader, advisor and investor. He is committed to supporting blockchain technology to make the markets for capital, goods, and services more efficient for consumers and producers through the development of the next generation of digital markets.

Tony’s other roles include;

  • Founding member and Director at the Global Digital Asset and CryptoCurrency Association (https://global-dca.org/), a global self-regulatory association for the digital asset & cryptocurrency industry,
  • Partner at Token Capital Management, an Australian cryptocurrency hedge fund,
  • Private Consultant at a data aggregation and analysis company that focuses on providing forensic analysis of the global crypto markets to its trading clients, crypto exchanges and the US regulators,
  • and is involved with Chicago FinTank, Chicago Blockchain Project, and the Digital Assets Working Group.

Sh.Mohamed Al Saadi

Vice Chairman

Mohamed is the Vice Chairman of GRIP (DIFC) Ltd. and GRIP Horizon Sàrl.

Mohamed was the first Trade Diplomat from the GCC and Arab Region to have chaired the State Trading Enterprises committee since the establishment of WTO in 1995.

As an experienced Commercial Diplomat in international economic policy formulation, particularly from a developing country perspective, he has a demonstrated history of working at both national and international levels, in the areas of international trade negotiations, cross-border investments, FDI and establishing linkages and liaison across the private sector and research institutions.

Mohamed is a Member of the Board of Directors at Oman Investment and Finance Co. (OIFC) a listed Investment and Services Company specialising in Billing, Collection & Debt Factoring for Electricity, Water and Telecom Services in Oman.

Current and previous positions also include experiences within the Oil & Gas, Energy, Renewables and Mining sectors.

Mohamed holds an Executive MBA from St. Gallen University focused on European and International Business Law, Advanced Diploma in Trade Policy from WTO and B.A. (Hons.) in Business Administration and Accounting from Bedfordshire University.

Adeel Sarfraz

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Adeel is the Chief Operating Officer of GRIP (DIFC) Ltd. and Investment Director of GRIP Horizon Sàrl.

Adeel has built his career across Investment Management and Corporate Finance over the past 18+ years and his experience and expertise includes leading asset management divisions, managing assets, launching funds, structuring wealth management products, executing acquisitions, handling initial public offerings (IPOs), debt issuances and raising investment capital across asset-classes, conducting business valuations, financial due diligence, strategy studies, and financing real estate projects.

As an Investment Manager, Adeel has handled mandates for government ministries and institutions, publicly listed companies, leading family business groups, financial institutions and investment companies and high networth investors.

Adeel is a Fellow of the Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan – (FCMA), Associate member (AIPFM) of Institute of Professional Financial Managers UK, Associate member (APA) of Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants, has a Masters degree in Economics, First-Class Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (B.Com) and holds an International Certificate in Wealth & Investment Management (ICWIM).

Nic Della Bona

CTO/ Director

Nic is the Chief Technology Officer and Director of GRIP (DIFC) Ltd. and Co-Founder of GRIP Investments.

A multilingual software project manager and developer, with 18 years diversified experience in the creation, delivery, deployment, marketing and support of technology solutions and services. 

Nic Spent 5 years at Nielsen Online, focusing on Data Mining and audience analytics for Southern Europe.

A further 10 years experience as a consultant service provider on governance and management of technology for businesses from SME to enterprise scales in the context of E-commerce and delivery of web products to mass markets across three continents with primary focus across the travel, tourism and retail shopping sectors, as well as in the NGO sector.

As Co-founder of GRIP, and CTO, Nic was responsible for the creation and development of GRIP’s dual link-blockchain system and subsequently has been in charge of platform integrations and deployment across the entire GRIP ecosystem: from execution trading platforms to issuance of structured notes and Banking solutions.

Nic holds a BSc Hons. in Business Information Systems, an European Business Studies HND and is W3C affiliated as well as being a Penta-Linguist.

Prem Rajaram

Director of Partnerships

Prem is the Director of Partnerships at GRIP (DIFC) Ltd.

Prem is a Certified Enterprise Risk Actuary and has worked within the Financial Services Industry over the past 26 years.

He began his career as a runner on the Amsterdam Options Exchange at the age of 18, progressed to become a Series 7 and 63 licensed broker working in New York and later went on to become a Certified Actuary working for the likes of KPMG Advisory, Mercer, EY and other Insurers in Europe, India and UAE where he has spent the last 12 years.

Prem has been involved with Blockchain Technology from 2016 and has been educating people on the use cases for Blockchain and on the ever evolving regulations and with a focus on Digital Securities. He is also an ardent believer of AI and is part of the AI for good movement.


Prem holds a Master’s Degree in Empirical Statistical Econometrics and Actuarial Sciences from the University of Amsterdam and is Certified by the Actuarial Institute of the Netherlands.

Harshana Jayaweera

Independent Director

Harshana is an Independent Director of GRIP (DIFC) Ltd. with 21 years of experience garnered across corporate and investment banking within leading international banks across Switzerland, the GCC region and Sri Lanka. 

He currently serves as the Chief Business Officer at Acuity Partners, an investment firm offering a suite of products and services across Fixed Income Securities, Stock Brokering, Corporate Finance, Margin Trading, Asset Management, Fund Management and Venture Capital.

Harshana’s previous roles included:

  • Director of InvestmentBanking at Abu Dhabi Securities (ADSS) Group
  • Vice President at Credit Suisse AG (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Country Head – UAE for Bank ABC (formerly known as Arab Banking Corporation)
  • and roles within BNP Paribas S.A., Emirates NBD, Nations Trust Bank and Sampath Bank

 

Harshana’s academic and professional credentials include a MBA (with Merit) from the University of Leicester, Executive Management Program in International Management conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business (USA) and National University of Singapore Business School, Fellow Member of the Chartered Management Institute (UK)

Certificate in Marketing of Financial Services, Banking & Finance from Institute of Bankers Sri Lanka and Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK) respectively and certification from Harvard Business School in FinTech, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies.

Advisors

Maan El-Reyes

Sales & Strategy Advisor

Maan has 22 years of ICT and telecom experience including tenures with Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, in major accounts in Brazil, Korea, Japan, ASEAN, South Africa and some of the largest mobile operators in the MENA region, as well as experience guiding CxOs in major operations through their Go-To-Market strategies, investment choices, and technology roadmaps.
Entrepreneur and angel investor with hands-on experience with Venture Capitalists, Private Equity, and the investing arms of ICTs.

Telecommunication and Robotics engineer by training and holds a B.Eng (1996) and Mgmt Minor (1996) from McGill University, and an Executive MBA from INSEAD.

Strategic Business Unit Partners

Shabbir Jivanjee

Partner - GRIP FAMILY OFFICE

Brian Bernard

Partner - GRIP ASSURANCE

Theodore Kanzaki

Partner - GRIP Capital

Backbone

S Kalyan

Compliance Officer - MLRO

George Gvazava

Lead Credit Analysis

Smriti Ravichandran

Legal and Compliance

Yash Kapoor

Analyst

Rad Lleva

Wealth Coordinator

Michelle Opao

Office Coordinator