Our People

Our People


Stewart is a regulatory lawyer by background with more than 30 years of experience. He has worked in many jurisdictions in developed and developing countries advising both the public and private sectors in fixed, mobile and satellite. He was the founding Group Public Policy Director of Vodafone Group plc (where he was known as Vodafone’s “Foreign Minister”), and has been a director of many Vodafone operating companies and more recently a director of Etisalat’s Nigerian operation.

He was the lead legal advisor on a number of World Bank projects in the Middle East including the privatisations of operators and creation of regulatory authorities in Jordan, Palestine and Oman. He was an advisor to the Australian Government regarding the creation of the NBN, including separation undertakings of Telstra, and other NGN related projects including in Kuwait and Qatar.

He has been an expert to the European Commission, an advisor to four Secretaries General of the ITU, and was Head of Telecoms for KPMG in Middle East and South Asia between 2010 and 2012. He founded Akhet Consulting in June 2012 and is resident in the UAE.

At Akhet, he has recently advised Oman Broadband Company on its commercial contracts with the fixed operators.

He is currently advising a Central Bank in the region on the creation of a regulatory regime to foster a national digital payment system. This connects with his work on m-commerce; e/mGovernment and SMART Cities.

He is an associate of MFX.

You have done an excellent job as the Project Leader. At all times I have found you to be reliable and hard-working, and I am sure it has been one of main success factors for our workshops and for the final report. I really appreciate your work organization skills and your multi-national experience in Regulatory area. It was clearly seen in your contribution to the Project final deliverables success - the final presentations and the final report were well received and appreciated. I hope to have the opportunity to cooperate with you on other projects in future. A GCC Regulator

Ross is a competition and regulatory lawyer by background, with twenty five years of extensive industry experience in competition law and the regulation of telecommunications. He was New Zealand's Telecommunications Commissioner from 2007 to 2012. In this role Ross was responsible for the implementation of the telecommunications reforms of 2006 and 2011, including the functional separation of the incumbent, Telecom New Zealand, in 2008, followed by structural separation in 2011. He also oversaw the introduction of local loop & bitstream access regulation, accounting separation, and mobile termination, roaming and co-location. Prior to his term as Telecommunications Commissioner, he was a partner at Minter Ellison Lawyers in Auckland and Sydney, where he headed the competition and regulatory practice. His principal areas of expertise include all aspects of competition law, telecommunications law, and competition policy initiatives. He has a PhD in competition law, and has regularly published articles on competition and telecommunications issues.
Dr Patterson has played a significant and important leadership role in the vital structural changes which occurred in the New Zealand telecommunications sector during his tenure. Throughout his appointment he retained the confidence and respect of the telecommunications companies who appreciated his open and transparent style, his approachability and even-handedness in dealing with complex issues. The telecommunications market has been transformed thanks to his vision and guidance. A New Zealand network operator
Ross has advised on strategic and regulatory issues arising from a proposed National Broadband Network implementation, the impact of the convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting and internet services on regulatory structure, regulatory regimes and business models, the implications of the development of over-the-top services for telecommunications regulation and business models, and demand side strategies for NBN implementations.  

Senior Consultants

Dr Mohammed Ali Al-Wahaibi is currently an Independent Consultant on ICT. He was the Undersecretary for Communications at the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Oman from March 2009-Oct 2011. Currently he is the the President of the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization. The Organization (www.aicto.org), a Board Director at Arabsat ( www.arabsat.com). Previously he was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Oman Telecommunications Company (www.Omantel.om) from 2002-2009. He posses strong background in the ICT field and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Oman Mobile Telecommunications Company from 2004- 2007, Chairman of Worldcall Telecom Pakistan from 2008- 2009, Chairman and founder of South Asia, Middle East, & North Africa Telecommunications Council (SAMENA) www.samenacouncil.org from 2006-2008, Director at the Information Technology Authority www.ita.gov.om, Deputy Chairman of the Arab Regional Group and Chairman of the Affiliated Infrastructure Investment and Services Group, Chairman of the Board of Oman Fiber Optic Company (OFO) www.omanfiber.com from 2002-2006, a member of the Executive Committee of Arab Business Forum for ICT, a member of Bank Muscat Investment Fund Steering committee from 2002-2005, a director on the Oman Olympic Committee from 2002-2004, Chairman of the Sports Marketing Committee from 2002-2004, a member of the Oman IT Executive Committee from 2002-2005, a member of the Oman IT Task Force from 2000-2002 and a Director on the Board of Muscat Securities Market (MSM). Dr Mohammed Al-Wahaibi has been named among the 20 most influential CEOs in 2005 in the Gulf Region by Amwal magazine. He attained his PhD in Information Technology from the University of Sunderland, UK in 2006, his Masters of Science in Telecommunications from the University of Pittsburgh, USA in 1994, and his BS Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Toledo, USA in 1989.  
Andy has advised regulators, governments, and operators for more than 30 years throughout Asia, North America and Europe on telecommunications policy development, regulation, strategy, analysis, planning, forecasting, and process management. From 2000 until 2010 he served the Singapore’s industry regulator, the Infocomm Development Authority as its Deputy Director-General (Telecoms & Post). As Singapore’s telecoms regulator he implemented Singapore’s liberalization and competition framework, created the organization that regulated the sector, oversaw the governance model for the country’s National Broadband Network, structured and managed spectrum policy, and developed and implemented the framework that opened up undersea and space segment capacity. Subsequently he worked in Ireland as the head of Corporate Affairs (a role that included Regulatory Affairs, Government Affairs, Public Relations and Social Responsibilities) for eircom, Ireland’s incumbent and largest telecom provider.
His groundbreaking work designing Singapore’s market and regulatory framework starting in 2000 and lasting for a decade was based on a deep understanding of what makes this industry function successfully. Much of that experience was gained from having worked in various corners of the world both as a regulator and for a major global telco. His understanding of the structural nature of the industry offered a solid stepping stone for the market to thrive competitively, and eventually allowing it to transition toward Singapore’s much watched National Broadband Plan. His style, based on transparency, fairness and accessibility, earned him respect among both government officials and private sector leaders alike. An Asian network operator
Bojan Mati is a goal oriented professional with 16 years of work experience, out of which over 8 years in middle and top management positions. Currently, he is focused on business development in areas of ITC, Engineering and Medicine for Genius Solutions LLC in Muscat, Oman. He has had opportunities to lead startup companies from their beginnings to mature stages, as well to participate and lead mid and large scales projects in large international companies. With large experience in telecom and media business, had chance to get deep insight in different areas of business – strategy, sales, controlling & finance and general management. Focused on building sustainable value for shareholders and end-customers.  
Bob has had a long and distinguished career in the communications field initially with the carrier, Telecom Australia in the Research Labs and later as Director of Industry Strategy for the organization. He took up involvement in regulation with the first independent regulator, AUSTEL in Australia, and was Deputy Chair and then Chair of its successor, the Australian Communications Authority, overseeing many exciting developments at the cutting edge of regulatory development. He was also a Board Member of the Australian Broadcasting Authority. In Australia he was voted ATUG Communicator of the Year, 1993, SPAN Architect of Competition, 2005 and recognized with the CTN award for services to consumers, in 2005. He is well known in international regulatory circles, and as a private consultant has advised many governments in the Asia Pacific region on regulatory matters, in both telecommunications and radiocommunications, and contributed to significant activities in the ITU and APT. He is currently a Board Member of NICTA, the regulatory body of PNG, a consultant to Intelsat and Inmarsat, and Ambassador for the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation.  
Fifteen years at a senior level, globally and nationally, in the promotion and implementation of telecommunications regulation. His work has focused especially on safeguarding consumers from the adverse effects of substantial market power in a network industry environment, and ensuring that the practical experience of consumers in the market is factored into the regulatory and legislative decisions. In particular his twelve years at a senior level in the International Telecommunications Users Group, part of that as Chairman, has given him a global perspective of the issues important to residential and business users of telecommunications across 25 countries.  
Paul Ryan has over 20 years experience in telecoms developing strategies then maximising commercial opportunities through creating strong relationships between business and external stakeholders including political leaders and policy makers. He has proven operational experience particularly in challenging/contentious environments and on thorny public policy issues. He has both public and private sector experience and has lived and worked in Europe and Africa. Paul a qualified solicitor and a trained media professional, has been Strategy Director and External Affairs Director at Vodafone businesses, was a strategic advisor at Ofcom and currently advises on government affairs to a Fortune 500 company that designs, develops & sells consumer electronics, computer software and personal computers. Paul's experience encompasses licensing, spectrum awards, fibre, satellite, TV, interconnection, towers portfolio management, next generation strategy and product development, pricing, security, wholesale, crisis management, reputation and regulatory risk management.
Stefan has wide ranging experience of telecom finance, privatisation, reform, fibre access, submarine cable, mobile and cable TV strategy, financing (investment banking), valuation and economics. This includes working on a number of telecom M&A deals, privatisations and spectrum auctions. He also has a long track record in the economics of telecom regulation having (in 1993) initiated local loop unbundling in Europe. Operationally he has been on the board of various telecom companies, has run a niche voice service provider and was Head of Spectrum and New Licences at NMT in Scandinavia. Stefan has a high level of integrity and is known in the business for “telling it like it is” and providing clear advice. He founded and then took a consulting Finance Practice to leadership in European fixed telco financing due diligence based on this approach which was highly valued by clients.  
From the year 2007 until 2013, Dr Yury G. Grin was the Deputy to the Director and Chief of Administration and Operations Coordination Department of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland. In this capacity he was heavily involved in providing assistance to developing countries in all fields of modern ICT/Telecommunications, including migration from analog to digital broadcasting, frequency management, cybersecurity, deployment of NGNs, mobile and e-applications like e-health, m-payments etc. He joined ITU in 2006. Prior to joining the ITU, from 1994 to 2006, he worked in the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry for Information Technologies and Communications of the Russian Federation, first as Deputy Head and then as Director of the Department. As Deputy Director General and from 2000 as Director General, he was responsible for all relationships of the Ministry with ITU, UPU and other International Organizations like Intelsat, EUTELSAT, INTERSPUTNIK and others, foreign companies - both operators and manufacturers, as well as Intergovernmental Commissions/Committees, chaired by his Minister. During that period he was also the Vice-Chairman of the ITU Council in the year 2000 and Chairman of the ITU Council in the year 2001. From 2001-2006 he was the Chairman of ITU Council Working Group on preparation to the World Summit on Information Society. From the year 2002 -2005 he was also the Member of UN ICT Task Force, representing Russia in this body. Dr. Grin is a PhD in physics and mathematics at Lomonosov Moscow State University, from which he had graduated in 1974 with specialization in Radio physics. Dr. Grin is the author of more than 80 scientific and technical publications and holds more than 20 copyrights on inventions in the field of communications and information technologies. He is a member of the International Academy of Communications and a member of the Moscow Scientific Society.  
Dr Essam Mitwally, formerly General Advisor Technology & Regulatory Strategic Studies, Regulatory Affairs of STC, joined Akhet as a Senior Consultant on 9th April 2015. Dr Essam is a very well-known and respected regulatory and strategic adviser with over 30 years of experience in Telecommunications Engineering, Design, Operation, R&D and Regulations. He has been a key advisor enabling strategic corporate decisions on major technology and regulatory projects. He drafted Reference Interconnection Offers, as well as Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and National Roaming Agreements. He conducted strategic studies on regulatory topics pertaining to new technologies and services such as M2M, Net Neutrality, OTTs, Broadband, Infrastructure Sharing and Smart Cities. He has many conference papers and magazine publications to his credit and has conducted numerous training workshops and tutorials. Through his long tenure at STC he made significant contributions to the commercial success of STC. He was key in the introduction of new networks and services, as well as the establishment of R&D Department of STC. His studies and advices lead to the introduction of the first and most advanced MNP system in MENA by CITC back in 2006. He was also key in the winning of one of the most complex disputes with another Operator worth around $120 million. He is currently based out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  
Eileen Maher, is a Telecoms and Regulatory expert with over 30 years experience in both Fixed and Mobile Telecommunications Industry. In addition, she was one of the top 200 executives in the Vodafone Worldwide Group for more than 5 years. More recently worked in Vodafone as the Director of Strategy and External affairs’ responsible for legal, regulatory, strategy, PR, External Relations, CSR (including Vodafone Foundation), Wholesale, planning and execution of companywide Strategic initiatives. Full P&L responsibility for €180M wholesale revenues. Oversaw all inputs on national and EU telecoms policy and legislation including research and drafting of opinions. Managed relationships with Government and the National Regulator. Responsible for the legal and regulatory affairs of the company, ensuring that all necessary legal and regulatory services are provided to the standard required and fully compliant. Foreseeing and managing the complexities facing Vodafone and the broader economy and managing these challenges and opportunities for the organisation. Responsible for all M&A activates including the most recent Joint Venture with the ESB to rollout fibre to every home in Ireland.  
Tom Hogarty, a Programme Consultant, with a background in software development that has matured into Project and Programme Management. He has delivered projects internationally (Germany, Canada, California, Jamaica and Ireland) in Telecoms, IT and Financial Services sectors over more than 20 years. Working to a range of project methodologies, Tom bridges the gap between strategic planning and operational implementation. In short and medium term projects and working with diverse teams, his experience includes projects in infrastructure, compliance and business process change programmes. Tom founded the www.NewIrishArt.com website in 2000 that operates as an Open Platform and has provided a basis from which he has gained an insight into website management and is now one of the most extensive cultural websites in Ireland. His academic record includes an MSc. in Management of Information Systems [2005], a BSc in Information Systems [2001] and A Diploma in Advanced Computer Programing [1986], all earned at Trinity College Dublin.  

GregReeveGreg has been responsible for large at-scale public and private sector systems covering Financial Services, Machine to Machine, Telecommunications, Travel and Criminal Justice. He has worked globally for most of his career with specific experience in Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe. Greg started working with Mobile Payments when he led M-Pesa Globally for Vodafone from 2009-2013.

Recently Greg had P&L responsibility for the MFS operations for Millicom across 11 markets in both Latin America and Africa. As world leaders with 10% of the world’s mobile wallets, in Mobile Financial Services, Millicom helps millions by providing a convenient, safe, and secure means of transferring money and paying bills with a handset, bringing financial inclusion to large numbers of people.

Greg has been a board member for Milvik (Bima), which provides an end-to-end mobile insurance solution for mobile operators in emerging markets, Circulo Payment, a joint venture between Millicom and Kalixa to develop a payments service provider to operate in Africa and Latin America, and Rswitch, the national payments switch in Rwanda. He also provides advisory services for other fintech businesses.

He is a partner of MFX.


Christopher Blackburn

Chris formed part of the executive team that launched Vodacom M-pesa in Tanzania in 2008. He had the key role of Managing Executive of Prepaid Distribution building outlets from 70 to over 10,500.

Chris has subsequently led the full program for M-Pesa in Albania, from establishment of Regulation, subsequent licensing and finally to go live for Vodafone.

Chris has worked exclusively in telecoms in sales and distribution roles. Following on from the M-pesa operational launch in Albania Chris joined Millicom in 2014 to head up Sales and Distribution for Mobile Financials Services in the African Markets. Chris has consulted on Sales and Distribution to a number of markets in Africa, Asia and Latin American Markets.

He is a partner of MFX.

Lesley-Ann Vaughan

Lesley-Ann is one of the creators of M-PESA as one of the team of five consultants who delivered the M-PESA platform for Vodafone from concept to launched service, working as Product Management lead. She was Chief Product Officer for a MFS Financial Platform startup with clients globally. She has been operating as an independent consultant in the MFS sector since 2012.

Lesley-Ann has deep subject matter expertise in MFS initiatives, both telco-led & bank-led, including essential elements such as Risk Management, AML Compliance, Agent Management, Customer Service. Her expertise spans assessment, requirements development, technical delivery and operational implementation of MFS programs; Lesley-Ann has spent considerable time helping clients to move from concept to a growing business with business processes & systems that are transparent & can scale.

Lesley-Ann was instrumental in the functional designs & roadmap prioritization behind Safaricom’s API initiatives for the development community, and the design of the supporting business processes and use case thinking. This detailed design effort has formed part of the Vodafone “Generation-2” Platform strategy.

She is a partner of MFX.


Gareth Pateman

Gareth has played a central role in the technical evolution of Digital Financial Services across Africa, Asia and Latin America since 2007, having led the M-Pesa Technology Centre of Excellence for Vodafone.

Gareth followed on his key role with Vodafone, becoming the Chief Technology and Information Officer for Mobile Financial Services in Millicom. Whilst at Vodafone, Gareth commissioned and led the design of the second generation M-Pesa technology platform which is now marketed by Huawei. This platform marked a significant shift from the original closed loop design of M-Pesa to an open API-centric system.

Gareth has also been responsible for a number of mobile platform migrations both in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. Ensuring the safe migration of millions of accounts between systems.

He is a partner of MFX.

Dylan Lennox

Dylan Lennox is an experienced Executive having demonstrated success in launching and managing Mobile Money operations in Tanzania (2008) and Mozambique (2013) with Vodacom M-Pesa. Until December 2015 Dylan was the Managing Director of M-Pesa in Mozambique, with complete P&L ownership and responsibility for the strategy, execution and general management of the sales, distribution, marketing, business development, product development, finance, customer operations, compliance and risk management functions.

Previously he was responsible for starting up and running the commercial operations of Vodacom M-Pesa in Tanzania as Managing Executive: New Technologies and later Chief Officer: M-Commerce, from June 2007 until he left in September 2012. Tanzania is widely recognized as one of the leading mobile money markets in the world with Vodacom M-Pesa the leader in a highly competitive environment with greater than 6 million monthly active customers.

Dylan is a Chartered Accountant (SA) who also has significant experience and expertise in starting up and leading telecoms revenue assurance, billing integrity and product development functions in South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique.

He is a partner of MFX.


Nishali Shaikh has 4 years’ experience conducting and providing data, research & analysis for telecom related projects. Nishali previously worked with KPMG in the UAE as a Senior Telecoms Associate. Her previous experience involves working with ictQATAR on the benchmarking it against other regulatory authorities in GCC and elsewhere, conducting interviews with internal stakeholders & also providing extensive research in the team. Nishali has also been actively involved in and supported the Etisalat UAE regulatory team and KPMG on the 2011 regulatory market review carried out by the TRA UAE. Nishali is currently pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst program and also has BBA in Finance from the Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. Nishali is currently providing strategic advice, research & market analysis for consulting projects and also supporting business development activities to the CEO of Akhet.  
Patrick Crowley, has 10 years’ experience working as a regulatory policy specialist and economist with Vodafone Ireland. In that capacity he provided competition policy and regulatory economics policy support and advice to senior management and contributed to, or led the preparation of, policy papers and consultation submissions for Vodafone Ireland on a wide variety of telecoms regulatory issues, including the regulation of mobile termination rates and Next Generation Broadband Access network pricing principles including accounting separation (e.g. principles of allocation of costs across business units and product categories, regulatory asset lives, appropriate economic depreciation methodologies, determination of weighed average cost of capital). As a consultant, Patrick has also provided economic input into negotiations on wholesale mobile access agreements with new entrant carriers for national roaming and for MVNO access.  

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