Outstanding leadership & world-class advisors

“The credibility of the ECO is attested to by the outstanding quality of the economic, political and business minds that have contributed to its creation. Collectively, they have achieved a real breakthrough – an inclusive and more trustworthy money.”

Patrick Low, Global trade expert and former Chief Economist at the World Trade Organisation

Meet the executive team

Introducing The Executive Team

The ECO Capacity Exchange team includes its Board of Directors and its Executive Leadership. Their combined knowledge encompasses governance, business management, new venture development, exchange trading and clearinghouse management, non-monetary trading, private equity investing, finance and accounting, marketing and sales, business development, legal affairs, investor relations, communications, and more.

James Fierro

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Director

Mr. James Fierro is an international businessman and social entrepreneur. He founded HomeGrocer.com, the first company in the world to provide fully integrated Internet grocery shopping, warehouse and delivery services. HomeGrocer was sold three years' later in a merger transaction for approximately $1.2 billion. Mr. Fierro has been involved in the identification, development and financing of emerging growth companies. He has over thirty years' experience as the Founder and CEO to a range of start-up ventures and is the visionary behind industry innovators in RFID technology, Strategic Planning, Event Marketing, Internet Commerce, Electronic Trading Systems, Online Travel, and Life Safety. Mr. Fierro began his career as a planning and business strategist, consulting to leading companies in the packaged goods sector including Kraft General Foods, H.J. Heinz, Nabisco, Nestle and Campbell Soup. Mr. Fierro was a long-standing active member of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization and served as both the President of the Vancouver Chapter and a member of its Board of Directors.

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Phillip Straley

President, ECO World Alliance & Regional Head, Asia Pacific

Mr. Phillip Straley joined the company after a 25-year career in management consulting focused on the financial services industry. He was most recently a Partner of PwC where he led the firm’s Risk Management and Regulatory Consulting practice across Asia Pacific. Mr. Straley was previously a regional Managing Partner of both EY and Accenture - having led risk, regulatory, finance/CFO function and analytics consulting practices. Mr. Straley has particular expertise in financial institution capital management, trading risk management, financial regulation, Board risk oversight and operational risk management. He has been based in Asia-Pacific for the last 20 years, having been based in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. He has worked across all the major Asian economies with financial regulators, and with leading global and regionally based financial institutions. Mr. Straley has an LLM in International Financial and Commercial Law from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Economics and History from the College of William & Mary, Wiliamsburg, Virginia.

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Adrian Saunders


Mr. Adrian Saunders has had 30 years' experience as a global sales and services leader in the IT industry. His most recent appointments have focused on Cloud, Big Data and Application Software solutions for the Enterprise / Corporate sector as Senior Regional Director with EMC Corporation, and previously as Global VP for Professional Services and Channels with Micro Focus. Cumulatively, Mr Saunders has managed sales and revenue targets in excess of $3 billion. Mr. Saunders began his career with IBM where he spent 10 years' in Business Management and Sales. He went on to run a number of global sales & services teams as Vice President at BT Global Services and then Managing Director at Colt Technology Services. His industry verticals knowledge includes Financial Services, Oil & Gas, Automotive, Pharma/Life Sciences and Telecommunications. Mr. Saunders has worked across Asia Pacific, South America, North America, South Africa and Europe. He holds an Honours Degree in English Literature & History and an MBA from Warwick Business School.

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Eliana Angelova

Managing Director, Strategy & Growth

Mrs Eliana Angelova was previously Director of Global Business Development for Avios (part of British Airways and IAG) where she was responsible for leading a team to drive and execute Avios’ strategic growth plans through creating and establishing new non-airline collection partnerships across Avios programmes and markets. These included the British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus as well as the Avios Travel Rewards Programmes in the UK and South Africa. Mrs Angelova was also tasked with spearheading new revenue streams and partnership categories for the Avios digital currency. Prior to Avios, Mrs Angelova held the position of Director of Business Development and Global Sales at MergerID (now part of Intralinks Holdings, Inc.), the online deal sourcing platform for the mergers and acquisitions industry. There, she was responsible for global growth strategy, revenue generation and geographical market expansion. Mrs Angelova was instrumental in taking the platform’s aggregate deal value to $60 billion and expanding its membership base to 80 countries. Prior to this, Mrs Angelova worked in investment banking in Canada and the UK. Mrs Angelova earned a BSc in Business Administration from University Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, France and an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands. She also holds an executive education diploma in Strategic Negotiations from Harvard Business School.

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Michael Cheng

Managing Director, Shanghai

Mr. Michael Cheng has over 17 year experience in venture capital, leading early stage investments and working with private companies in China. Prior to Recipco, he was a private investor and served as Director on the Board of a number of companies, mostly in China. Most notably of these was Red Octane, the inventor of the Guitar Hero game, where he was a first round investor. Red Octane was sold to Activision Blizzard for over 30 times return. Recently, Mr. Cheng was a partner at Fidelity Ventures, a proprietary fund of the Fidelity Investments Group. He worked at Fidelity from 1996 to 2005 and was primarily responsible for looking at early stage companies in China in the communications, Internet, IT software, media and healthcare sectors. Investments made by Mr. Cheng at this time were almost all first round fundraisings in which Fidelity led the round. In 2003, he was sent to Shanghai to open an office for Fidelity Ventures, where he has been ever since. Mr. Cheng was one of the earliest venture capitalists looking at ventures in China and was fortunate to have worked on one of the first venture success stories in China, AsiaInfo. During his time there, the fund also invested in leading entrepreneurial companies in China such as Hurray! and Wuxi Pharmatech that had successful IPOs. One investment, Alibaba Group, completed its initial public offering on the NYSE on September 1, 2014 and is the largest US listing in history. Mr. Cheng earned a BA and MBA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993 and 2001, respectively.

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Rikki Chow

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Rikki Chow was the President and CEO of the clearinghouse for futures and options traded on Canadian financial exchanges (CDCC), where he was appointed after moving from Europe to Canada. A Swiss/Canadian dual citizen, Mr. Chow was previously with Euroclear in Brussels where he led initiatives to develop ancillary services in support of revenue diversification and was head of Financial Reporting & Analysis. Before Brussels, Mr. Chow had an extensive career with JP Morgan in Switzerland during the 1980s, where he was successively Director of Systems Development, Head of Finance and Vice-President of Cross-Divisional Projects. Prior to his career as a financial services executive, Mr. Chow served as commanding officer of an artillery battery. He was also a teaching assistant in Mathematics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and at the Université de Lausanne where he had obtained his degree in Pure Mathematics.

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Barry Davenport

Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. Barry Davenport was previously head of the Capital Markets Division at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), the Canadian federal regulator of financial institutions. Prior to being a regulator, he had extensive experience in capital markets and international banking as Senior Vice President, Global Treasury for Bank of Montreal, and spent several years managing the foreign exchange activities of Wood Gundy Ltd. a leading Canadian investment dealer.

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Ken Foxcroft

Member of the Board of Directors

Mr. Ken Foxcroft was Deputy Chairman for TD Securities and Executive Vice President, Corporate and Investment Banking, at Toronto Dominion Bank. He has over 35 years of experience in the international banking and money market arenas. Mr. Foxcroft is a well-known and respected leader with senior relationships within the Canadian and provincial governments, as well as with significant institutional investors, supra-nationals and Central Bank clients.

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Stan Fung

Managing Director, Beijing

Mr. Stan Fung has more than 22 years of experience in venture capital investing and 30 years of experience with emerging and established technology companies in China and the United States. Prior to Recipco, Mr. Fung was a private investor and strategic advisor, and serves as a Director on the Board of a number of companies in China and the US, which included Board experience with three NASDAQ-listed companies. Mr. Fung spent 2010 as an Asia Programs Fellow at the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School, where he researched and worked with fellows from China. His research focused on using technology cooperation to promote economic development, to develop trade policies, and to improve country relations. His research topic was “Science, Technology and Innovation Policy – with focus on U.S.-China Relations”. Mr. Fung was recently a Managing Director at Zero Stage Capital where he worked between 1992 and 2004. At ZSC, he led investments in technology, media, software and energy-related companies. Mr. Fung’s investment results included seven successful initial public offerings (IPO’s) on the US NASDAQ market. Previously, he worked in the Far East Group at Advent International, and at Teradata Corporation (NYSE:TDC) during its formative stage, and IBM Corporation (NYSE:IBM) in engineering and marketing roles. Mr. Fung has been on the judging panel of numerous business plan contests, including the prestigious MIT US$100K Entrepreneurship Competition (which he co-founded in 1989), the MIT-CHIEF (MIT China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum) Business Plan Contest, and the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition. He is also on the Advisory Board to The Breakout Labs, a project of the Thiel Foundation. Mr. Fung has served on the Investment Committee of the University of Massachusetts Foundation, Inc. for more than 15 years. Mr. Fung earned a BS (Summa Cum Laude) in Computer Systems Engineering, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an MS in Computer Science from UCLA, and an SM in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Kurt Hoffman

Managing Director, Social Development

Mr. Hoffman has a solid track record over three decades as a pioneering architect of scalable and sustainable market and enterprise-based solutions to major social and environmental problems in both mature and emerging economies. Early in his career, Mr. Hoffman spent 10 years as a Senior Fellow in International Economic Development at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. From the mid 1980s through the mid 1990s, he independently advised many governments, foundations and international agencies on how to best promote small business development in poor countries and successfully launched a social enterprise and two venture-funded, commercial start-up businesses. From 1997 to 2008, Mr. Hoffman designed and then directed the Shell Foundation – an innovative global corporate social investment vehicle. During his tenure, Mr. Hoffman was responsible for five different social investment platforms, deploying $40 million of Shell’s social risk capital and triggering $1.4 billion of investment. One of these platforms, Grofin Capital, was one of the most successful African SME financing facilities, with over $400 million investment capital under management. Following on for four years through 2011, on behalf of The Hewlett Foundation, Mr. Hoffman was Director of TransFarm Africa – an influential independent finance and policy change initiative targeting the equitable commercialisation of small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. In parallel and still ongoing, Mr. Hoffman and a Mozambican partner launched a specialist commercial services company in Mozambique now valued at over $1 million. More recently through November 2012, Mr. Hoffman was Chief Executive of the Institute for Philanthropy (London and New York) – a global leader in providing bespoke training to leading philanthropists to help them maximise the social value of their philanthropy and catalyse sustainable social change. In the ten months prior to joining ECO Capacity Exchange, Mr. Hoffman became a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Innovation Management at the University of Brighton from whence he published a series of articles on the state of philanthropy and social enterprise in the UK and conducted a strategic review of opportunities to deploy innovative financing techniques and products and for harnessing market drivers to move, on a large scale, the developing world’s most vulnerable communities onto market-based routes towards long term economic sustainability.

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Peter Howe

General Counsel

Mr. Peter Howe has over 25 years of domestic and international experience with both privately- and publicly traded ventures in senior executive and/or corporate counsel roles. He has extensive expertise in the commercial spheres of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, venture/mature and project investments structures and associated strategic planning, investment banking, financings, taxation, corporate governance and regulatory affairs. Most recently, Mr. Howe worked with Geac Computer Corporation Limited, providing in-house counsel with global responsibilities associated with mergers, divestitures and acquisitions and commerce initiatives, as well as providing support on tactical and strategic planning and contract negotiations, intellectual property, financing matters and tax planning and structuring.

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Spencer Lake

Spencer recently left HSBC where he worked for over 10 years in leadership roles within Global Banking and Markets. He was appointed Global Head of Capital Financing in 2013. He was previously Co-Head of Global Markets that housed the bank’s fixed income, commodities and equity activities across sales, trading, origination and research. Prior to HSBC, Spencer spent 17 years with Merrill Lynch in New York, Hong Kong and London. Spencer has been a member of the Board of ICMA since 2011, Deputy Chairman since 2013 and Chairman since June 2015. He is also on the Advisory Board for Fenergo, a software firm focusing on KYC/on-boarding solutions for financial institutions. Spencer holds a BA in International Finance and Marketing from Suffolk University, Massachusetts and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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Our economic advisory committee Talented individuals and world-class economists

Our advisory board comprises deep experience and expertise across a number of disciplines in economics.

Dr. Steve Hanke

Director, Institute for Applied Economics and the Study of Business Enterprise, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Steve Hanke is a Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C, and a Distinguished Professor at the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta, Indonesia. He was a Member of the International Advisory Board of the National Bank of Kuwait, Chairman Emeritus of the Friedberg Mercantile Group, Inc., Principal at Chicago Partners, LLC in Chicago, and columnist at Forbes magazine. Dr. Hanke was Senior Economist on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1981 to 1982 and served as an advisor to many countries, including Albania, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. He also played an important role in the design or implementation of currency reforms in Argentina, Estonia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Ecuador. In 1998, Dr. Hanke was named one of the twenty-five most influential people in the world by World Trade Magazine.

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Dr. Arthur Laffer

Founder & CEO, Laffer Associates, Author of the “Laffer Curve”

Dr. Arthur Laffer is a well-known US economist, noted for his creation of the “Laffer Curve”. He is a member of the policy committee and the Board of Directors of the American Council for Capital Formation. Years of experience and success in advising on a governmental level have distinguished Dr. Laffer in the business community. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of several public companies, including Vivendi Environmental, MasTec Inc. (MTZ), Neff Corp. (NFF), Nicholas-Applegate Growth Equity Fund (NAPGX), and Oxigene Inc. (OXGN). He also sits on the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors of a number of private companies including ProFlowers, eDelights, Interelate, Enverity, MyShoppingCenter.com, Olympic Healthcare, Direct Stock Market, ValuBond, Sonic Telecom, VirtualCom, Pointivity, US Script and Castle Creek.

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Dr. Patrick Low

Global trade expert and former Chief Economist at the World Trade Organisation

Dr. Patrick Low directs, undertakes and leads research into global supply chains, international trade and global governance. He is also currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong and a fellow at the Asia Global Institute. Dr. Low was Chief Economist at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for sixteen years until 2013 following a seven-year tenure at the GATT Secretariat, starting in 1980. He initially worked on trade in services at the WTO before his appointment to the role of Chief Economist in 1997. Dr. Low also served as WTO Director-General Mike Moore’s Chief of Staff for two years from 1999, after which he returned to his post as Chief Economist. Between his roles at the GATT and the WTO, Dr. Low taught economics for three years at El Colegio de México in Mexico City. During this time, he worked as a consultant for a range of governments and inter-governmental institutions. From 1990 to 1994, Dr. Low worked as a senior economist in the World Bank’s research complex (International Trade Division) where his research focused on trade policy, trade and the environment, fiscal policy and customs reform. Dr. Low was also an Adjunct Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International Development Studies, Geneva, for nine years from 2004 where he taught courses focusing on trade policy and theory, economics of the environment and trade and climate change. Dr. Low holds a BA in Economics from the University of Kent and a PhD in Economics from Sussex University, both in the UK, and has written widely on a range of trade policy issues.

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Dr. Robert Mundell

Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics, Columbia University

Robert Mundell is a Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics at Columbia University in New York. He taught at Stanford University and the Bologna (Italy) Centre of the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University before joining, in 1961, the staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). From 1966 to 1971, he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and Editor of the Journal of Political Economy. He was also summer Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1974, he came to Columbia University. Dr. Mundell has lectured widely in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. He has been an adviser to a number of international agencies and organisations, including the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, the Government of Canada, several governments in Latin America and Europe, the Federal Reserve Board and the US Treasury. In 1970, he was a consultant to the Monetary Committee of the European Economic Commission, and in 1972 to 1973, a member of the nine consultants to the Commission that prepared a report in Brussels on European monetary integration. He was a member of the Bellagio-Princeton study group on International Monetary Reform from 1964 to 1978 and Chairman of the Santa Colomba Conferences on International Monetary Reform between 1971 and 1987. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

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Professor Edward Nell

Malcolm B. Smith Professor of Economics, New School For Social Research, New York

Professor Edward Nell was born and brought up in a suburb of Chicago, and attended, first Princeton, then Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. After studying math and engineering, he shifted to Economics, but with an emphasis, on the one hand on methodology and social philosophy, and on the other, on policy, social as well as economic. He has written articles, ranging from philosophy and anthropology, to pure economic theory, to applied work and policy. His interests range across macroeconomics, from monetary theory and financial markets to employment policies, all in the context of growth. But he considers steady growth a fiction, and not a particularly useful idea. Growth is always transformational, and the forces pressing for transformation – innovation, changes in distribution and in the character of social classes and institutions, in the role of government – are also the forces driving growth. This has led him to his recent work in dynamics, conceived broadly as the study of the changing character of the economy over time, to be explored technically, but with a close eye to history and institutions. He has served as an advisor to governments and NGOs, and he has taught and lectured at many universities in many countries. He is the Malcolm B. Smith Professor of Economics at the New School For Social Research in New York.

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Raed Safadi

Raed Safadi is Executive Director of the Research and Policy Sector at Dubai’s Department for Economic Development where he leads a team entrusted with the implementation of Dubai’s Strategic Plan 2021 and promoting the diversification and sustainable growth of Dubai’s economy.   Dr. Raed is a leading expert on development economics and has extensive experience advising governments on economic policy and management. He has published an array of books and articles covering such areas as economic development, regional trading arrangements and the world trading system. His most recent publication “Inclusive Global Value Chains” written with World Bank colleagues focuses on making GVCs more inclusive by overcoming participation constraints for SMEs and facilitating access for low income developing countries.   Dr. Raed has also worked for the OECD, World Bank, ESCWA and as a consultant for numerous governments, regional development banks and UN agencies.

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Dr. Dominick Salvatore

Dr. Dominick Salvatore is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Ph.D. Program in Economics at Fordham University in New York City. He is President of the North American Economic and Finance Association, Past President of International Trade and Finance Association (1994 to 1996) and Chairperson of the New York Academy of Sciences (1998 to 2002). In addition, Dr. Salvatore is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and a Research Associate of the Vienna University of Economics and Business. He has served as a consultant to the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. In 1997, he received an “Achievement Award” from City University of New York. Dr. Salvatore was also appointed “Honorary Professor” by the University of Shanghai in 2005 and Strathmore’s Who’s Who, Professional of the Year in Education in 2006.

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