Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation
Partner, PwC Malta - Head of Business Development
Joe is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England Wales (FCA), a Fellow of the Malta Institute of Accountants (FIA) and a Certified Public Accountant and warranted auditor (CPA). He joined Price Waterhouse, London in 1980 as a student trainee Chartered Accountant and was admitted to the partnership in July 1994. He is in charge of a wide and varied portfolio of audit clients, and his industry specialism is in the financial services sector, mainly in asset management. He is the asset management leader in Malta and was the lead audit engagement partner on most of Malta’s primary listed and domiciled collective investments schemes. He also assisted in the drafting of amendments to the local investment services legislation, both with respect to fiscal amendments as well as regulatory issues. Joe has also acted in an advisory capacity to various audit and non-audit clients, including the privatisation of several local banks and companies. He is also author of various articles that appeared in the PwC publications and was a speaker at two seminars held in New York and Boston on Malta as a Financial Services Centre. Joe brings with him nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services sector, particularly in asset management and private equity.
Partner, PwC Malta - Advisory Services
Bonavent joined the firm in 2000 after obtaining a first class degree in Bachelor of Accountancy at the University or Malta. Prior to joining Advisory, Bonavent spent five years in the firm’s Assurance practice. Bonavent specialises in corporate finance and strategic business advisory. He assists clients in business planning, valuations, feasibility studies, mergers and business recovery. His portfolio includes companies in a wide range of industries including telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, energy and financial services. Bonavent leads the team, which prepares independent expert valuations and provides assistance to clients in the MFSA application process for investment services and financial institution licences. He has a special interest in the valuation of complex financial instruments and hard to value assets and over the past two years has carried out a number of engagements and delivered various training sessions in relation to this subject. Bonavent is an accredited PwC trainer and has delivered various training sessions to PwC staff both in Malta and overseas. In 2009, he graduated from Warwick Business School with distinction obtaining a Master in Business Administration.
Paro Capital Ltd
Stephen Rees has 25 years of experience in venture capital and general management, most of which in the technology sector. After various executive roles at Siemens, he successfully founded and built-up Astron Group, a microelectronics business with 2,500 employees in China and Hong Kong, was executive board member at Flextronics, a $20 billion NASDAQ listed technology group with over 50,000 employees and then founded Atila Ventures in 2000, a technology venture business with focus on microelectronics, data communications and software. Stephen founded TRP in 2003, a technology research company involved in M&A transactions and IPOs and recently founded Paro Capital, a Malta based corporate finance and private equity firm. Stephen Rees holds both Austrian and British citizenship, has a degree in Production Engineering from the HTL St. Pölten in Austria, a degree in Finance from the City of London Business School and is a resident of Malta.
Country Manager, Microsoft Malta
Panayiotis Ioannou is the Country Manager for the Microsoft Malta subsidiary within Central and Eastern Europe. He is directly responsible for the overall success of Microsoft’s business and partner relationships in the country. Panayiotis is a seasoned professional with a 10-year career at Microsoft where he first began in Cyprus, in 2006 in the capacity of Partner Account Manager for both Cyprus and Malta subsidiaries. In 2008 he moved to the position Small Solutions & Partners Lead for Cyprus, where he was responsible for the Small & Medium Business customers and the Partner ecosystem for the subsidiary. Since becoming a Country Manager for Malta in 2015, he has been focusing on leveraging Microsoft’s strategic partnership with the Maltese Government by executing 5-year strategic agreement, and emphasising on accelerating digital transformation in the cloud with Microsoft partners. Panayiotis is part of the HiPo program and since he joined Microsoft has been awarded with numerous precious honours such as the Microsoft Platinum Club Award, two times Microsoft Gold Club Award, along with a Worldwide Top Developed Small Subsidiary Award for Cyprus & Malta in 2012. Panayiotis received his Bachelor’s and Masters’ Mechanical Engineering degree from The Catholic University of America, Washington DC, in 2000. Initially he worked as a project engineer and then as a project manager in Washington DC District, where acted as the primary on-site leader for execution of commercial and industrial engineering projects. Panayiotis is originally from Cyprus and is single. Outside working hours, he loves cooking and enjoying time with family and friends.
Prof. Alfred J. Vella
Rector, University of Malta
Professor Alfred J. Vella is the Rector of the University of Malta as from July 2016. He was born in Bormla in November 1950. He graduated B.Sc. in 1971 and M.Sc. in 1975 from the University of Malta and Ph.D. in organic geochemistry in 1984 from Colorado School of Mines. Professor Vella joined the University of Malta in 1987 and mainly teaches and researches the area of environmental chemistry. He has published papers in international journals in environmental and pollution science and petroleum geochemistry, among others. Professor Vella served for many years as Head of Department of Chemistry and during 1997 and 2007 he was also Dean of the Faculty of Science. He has served as Pro-Rector for Academic Affairs between July 2006 and June 2016. Professor Vella serves on the board of the Environment and Resources Authority. He also directs the National Authority of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Managing Director, Allied Newspapers Limited
Mr Michel Rizzo joined the Allied Group of companies in January 2005 as Chief Executive Officer, and later Managing Director, of MediaMaker Limited, an integrated communications company dedicated to the production of high-quality magazines, primarily for insertion in the Group’s newspaper products. In 2013, he was appointed Managing Director of Progress Press Company Limited, one of Malta’s oldest commercial printing companies. In February 2017, Mr Rizzo took on the role of Managing Director of Allied Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Times of Malta and The Sunday Times of Malta. Directly prior to his employment with the Allied Group, Michel spent 13 years at BPC International, one of Malta’s largest and most established marketing communications agencies. There, he occupied the role of Client Services Director and his client portfolio included some of Malta’s top advertising clients such as HSBC Bank Malta plc, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, Vodafone Malta and the Unilever Group.
Advisory Partner, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 7091