Zar Wardak is FINCA Impact Finance’s Vice President & Regional Director for the Middle East & South Asia (MESA) region, where she leads the network’s operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Jordan. Based in Kabul, she oversees a loan portfolio of more than $170 million, providing more than 660,000 clients with loans, savings products, insurance and payments services.
Under Zar’s leadership, FINCA’s operations in the MESA region have expanded to cover two full-service microfinance institutions and one bank, each of which now has more than 25,000 clients. FINCA Impact Finance has also become a catalyst for women’s economic empowerment in the MESA region—61% of FINCA Afghanistan clients are women; in Jordan, that number is 92%. Most recently, Zar helped introduce SimSim, an e-wallet now being used by over 100,000 previously unbanked or underbanked users in Pakistan. SimSim launched in 2016 and has contributed to financial inclusion in Pakistan while keeping FINCA at the forefront of Fintech innovation.
Prior to becoming Regional Director in 2012, Zar served as CEO of FINCA Afghanistan. Under her leadership, the company was able to achieve sustainability within three years. She implemented profitable microfinance solutions designed for local conditions—notably, FINCA Afghanistan was the first microfinance institution in the country to offer Islamic banking services. FINCA Afghanistan now serves more than 25,000 clients from 21 branches across the country, largely due to Zar’s successful stint as CEO.
Prior to joining FINCA, Zar worked as a financial services industry consultant in Afghanistan and served as Regional Sales Integration Director for Citibank in Texas before that. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Southwestern College in Kansas and a Master of Science in Peace Operations from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
In addition to serving as Chair of the Board for FINCA Kosovo, Zar serves as Chair of the Afghanistan Microfinance Association and Chair of the Board for FINCA Impact Finance’s MESA subsidiaries.
Volker Renner has over 20 years of senior management experience in microfinance in four continents. From 2004 to 2016 he served FINCA International as Vice President for Credit and Savings, Global COO and Regional Director for FINCA Eurasia. Prior to joining FINCA Volker held positions as CEO of ProCredit Bank (Ukraine) and advisor to banks in Russia and Ukraine. Volker has served as board chairman, board member and audit committee member in numerous microfinance institutions and banks.
Chikako Kuno has 30 years of experience working in emerging markets in Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Africa and Latin America. Before joining FINCA, Ms. Kuno led the Small Business Finance team as a director in the Financial Institutions Group at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. During her IFI and commercial banking career, Ms. Kuno led teams in investments, project finance, portfolio management, capital markets and syndications.
Ms. Kuno also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile and Honduras. She holds a Master’s Degree in international economics from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Saddiq has over 20 years of progressive experience in providing business transformation services andstrategy consulting for public and private sector
organizations. He has an excellent track record of providing advisory services at the top leadership including board level on matters of business transformation and project management services with an objective of growing the bottom line via spearheading operational improvements to drive productivity and reduce costs. Saddiq’s skill set and competencies include effective client management, creative thinking, interpretation and analysis of problems, solution assessment and the implementation of change. Saddiq is the immediate past Director with PwC (Rwanda) in charge of client advisory services to organisations in Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. He is also the immediate past Executive Chairman of Atlantis Microfinance Limited, a central bank regulated deposit-taking microfinance (DTM) in Rwanda as well as a Board Member of Focus Energy Uganda Limited. Saddiq runs Inka Consulting Associates Limited, a boutique advisory firm dedicated to providing business transformation consulting, strategy advisory and project management services to the public and private sector.
FINCA Kosovo Management Team
Our management team brings vast experience, professional skills and expertise from various industry backgrounds
Ardian Kastrati came to FINCA Kosovo from ProCredit Bank, bringing 18 years of financial experience.
He first began working for ProCredit Bank Kosovo in 2000 as a loan officer, later serving in multiple product and management positions at the company. He was crucial in building ProCredit’s agricultural lending business in Kosovo and served as the Lending Manager for Agricultural and Micro Loans. Ardian served as Branch Manager for Peja region as well as a Credit Division Manager. Later, he served as Manager of the Corporate Banking Division for more than five years, with responsibility for client acquisition, customer service, documentary business, product development, portfolio and deposit performance of the medium-sized and corporate client base. Ardian also served as ProCredit’s Regional Corporate Manager for developing services for medium-sized and corporate clients in Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo.
Ardian graduated from the International Senior Management Program, part of the Executive MBA Program at IEDC – Bled School of Management, Slovenia. He also holds a BA in Management and Economics from Business College (Kolegji i Biznesit) in Prishtina, graduated in Banking and Finance at the ProCredit Bank Academy in in Germany, as well as studied at the branch of Agriculture at the University of Prishtina, Kosovo.
Ardian is fluent in Albanian, English, Serbian and Croatian and also has working knowledge of Russian, Macedonian and Bulgarian.
Mrs. Kotorri – Krasniqi was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of FINCA Kosovo in May 2020.
Mrs. Kotorri Krasniqi joined FINCA Kosovo in 2013 as Head of the Business Department, becoming Human Resources Manager two years later. In November 2017, Mrs. Kotorii Krasniqi became a Board Member and Chief Operations Officer of FINCA Kosovo.
Her banking sector career began in 1999 at ProCredit Bank Kosovo. Her responsibilities were diverse, including Head of Business Customers Division, Head of the Business Department and Head of the Business Division, among others. She was also the Head of Electronic Banking Business and cards, where she contributed to increasing efficiency via building alternative distribution channels such as an e-banking platform, card business, mobile banking and mobile solutions through SMS services.
Mrs. Kotorri Krasniqi completed her studies in 1999 at the University of Tirana, Albania in the Faculty of Economics and Finance; the diploma is equivalent to a Master’s Degree in Science (MS). She also took part in the banking program at the ProCredit Bank Academy in Frankfurt, and recently was certified with a Post University degree in Digital Business in 2019 by EMERITUS Institute, a collaboration between MIT Executive Education and Columbia Business School.
Fisnik Këpuska joined FINCA Kosovo with 14 years of experience in the banking sector in Kosovo.
He initially worked for Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo, first as a Loan Officer before being promoted to Branch Manager. He later became Operational and Market Risk Manager and was eventually promoted to Head of Internal Audit.
Fisnik has also worked as the Director of Internal Audit Sector in the Slovenian-owned bank NLB Banka in Prishtina. Fisnik also served as Deputy CEO responsible for supervision of Operation and International Transfers Department, IT, Procurement, Risk Management and Security Department at Banka Ekonomike.
Other work experience includes working as a Teaching Assistant in Marketing at the University of Prishtina (2002-2003), Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Kosovo Banking Association (2007-2009 and Consultant for the USAID project KBS. Since 2009, he has served as a consultant for the CEED consulting company for young entrepreneurs preparing business plans. Recently, he was Chair of the Board of Directors at the public-owned waste management company Cabrati from 2015-2016.
Fisnik has a Master of Science (MSc) degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2000. Prior to that he earned a Bachelor degree from the Faculty of Economics in University of Prishtina in 1997.
Fisnik speaks fluent Albanian, English, Serbian and Croatian.
Auberon Kelmendi first joined FINCA Kosovo in 2011 as a translator and an Executive Assistant before leaving in 2014 to work for the EU project Fight against Homophobia and Transphobia. He returned in 2016 as a Compliance Officer for AML/FT and Special Project Manager, before being promoted to General Counsel later that year. Auberon joined the Management Board of FINCA Kosovo in 2018.
Auberon is a law graduate from Prishtina Public University. He also has experience working with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, UNDP projects on return and reintegration in Kosovo, Access to Justice and various EU Twinning Projects in various capacities.
Auberon is fluent in Albanian, English, Serbian and Croatian.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
ACTING CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER
FINCA Impact Finance Global Leadership
The FINCA Impact Finance global management team manages a global organization of more than 12,000 employees
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