Chief Executive Officer Citizenship by Investment Unit - Government of St Kitts and Nevis

Written by Henry Martin . Posted in Profiles

Les Khan is the Chief Executive Officer of the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) and, since August 2016, has been overseeing a transformation in St Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship by investment structures. He fronted the adoption of new due diligence procedures, introduced an online case management system, and reorganised processing techniques to enable the CIU to return applications within a 60-day timeframe. His work with the CIU, however, began much earlier, as he led a team from risk-assessment firm IPSA International in a thorough review of the Citizenship by Investment Programme and the CIU, implementing its recommendations throughout 2015.

Mr Khan’s leadership has been instrumental to establishing St Kitts and Nevis as the Platinum Standard of citizenship by investment, and he regularly travels across the globe to ensure the delivery of outstanding service to stakeholders and prospective applicants alike. It was after talking directly to those involved in the industry, for example, that Mr Khan decided to adopt electronic application forms for St Kitts and Nevis.

Martin Bellin: From Treasury Vision to Treasury Mission

Written by Henry Martin . Posted in Profiles

Some say that the best ideas are born out of a genuine personal need. There is nothing like finding a solution to your own problems as the first step to empowering others to achieve the same. This is certainly the story of Martin Bellin, former treasurer turned treasury management system entrepreneur and innovator. When he founded BELLIN 20 years ago, he was driven by a vision that was inspired by his own experience in a sector that he found to be thoroughly unequipped. Today, the BELLIN Group is the global leader in technology for corporate banking and treasury, providing solutions for the financial sector and a range of clients from large multinationals to SMEs and banks.

What has been a long and sometimes bumpy road, all starts with Martin Bellin, the treasurer in the early 1990s. We are talking about a time when fax machines were state of the art, the Internet and Excel were still in their infancy, and treasury operations were far from centralised. All in all a setup that made treasury management – as we understand it today – virtually impossible. The problem Martin encountered was as simple as it seemed overwhelming: how to get data? Where to store data? How to leverage data?

But instead of turning away in frustration, Martin turned this experience into ambition: if what was needed was an adequate treasury management system that would enable group-wide treasury, and if such as system was simply not on the market yet, then the logical conclusion was that he would have to invent one. And so Martin set out to create a tool that would not just revolutionise his own work as a treasurer but that of all his peers as well. He bought a computer and worked after hours and at weekends before giving up his day job to fully concentrate on his new business: BELLIN. He had no other source of income, no proper business plan, no employees, partners or banks, no boardroom-approved concept and no plan B. What he did have was exceptional drive and determination, the full support of his wife, and complete confidence in his idea.

It wasn’t easy to get a foot in the door but eventually Martin did – and he’s never looked back. The vision that has made him unique has made BELLIN unique, and that is the vision of a global treasury network, built on collaboration, connection and shared data – on the belief that a treasury management system is more than software, and that a treasurer is more than a “data gatherer.” A treasury management system after Martin’s heart inspires informed decisions and strategy. The answer to his problems – and the perfect solution for tens of thousands of treasurers since.

From the outset, BELLIN has aimed to make a fundamental difference in the world of corporate finance, searching for the next great idea and the next great technology to delight multinational organisations. What’s more, to Martin Bellin this has always been about more than simply pursuing profit. Inspired by values such as team spirit, stewardship, integrity and respect, he has not just built an exceptionally successful brand but also a new approach to treasury management that benefits everyone. In 1998, he set out to conquer the world of corporate finance. 20 years later not much has changed – he is still the CEO of BELLIN and he still diligently pursues innovation – and yet everything has changed. We now live in a world where treasurers are more important than ever before – and finally they are well equipped to meet those expectations.

Pictured: Martin Bellin

BELLIN was founded in 1998 by Martin Bellin, a corporate treasurer, in Ettenheim, Germany, and today consists of over 150 employees focused on creating solutions that reflect the pragmatic, efficient nature of German engineering. 

For more information:


Tullastr. 19 
77955 Ettenheim , 
+49 7822 4460-0 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Keeping Time - People Behind the Brand

Written by Jamie Harrison. Posted in Profiles

The luxury watch market has seen massive growth in the last 5 years and it’s not just the Swiss that produce the perfect timepieces. We sit down with Grímkell Sigurþórsson from JS Watch Company Reykjavik in Iceland on what it takes to get ahead in this industry.


Jamie Harrison: Let’s start from the beginning, when did you decide to start a watch brand?

Grímkell Sigurþórsson: Back in the year 2003, myself and friends Sigurður Gilbertsson watchmaker, and Júliús Heiðarsson decided to take a leap of faith and founded
JS Watch Co. Reykjavík, Iceland’s first watch manufacturer, and, ­ ’probably the smallest watch manufacturer in the world.’

The idea may have been idealistic, Iceland certainly doesn’t have a long tradition of quality timepiece production but the founders had good reason to be optimistic. They would be joined in their endeavour by Sigurður’s father, Gilbert Guðjónsson, a master watchmaker with nearly 50 years of experience.

Cyber Security: The Changing Face of the Boardroom

Written by Anu Khurmi Director at Templar Executives. Posted in Profiles

Over the past year Templar Executives has been experiencing an increasing number of requests from Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to support them in developing their own personal understanding of Cyber Security. The common aim is to be able to identify what they should be challenging their Boards on and how the NEDs can ensure assurance in this area. What is clear is that Boards are increasingly being held to account, not only by their NEDs but also by their shareholders, stakeholders, customers and employees.

Industry surveys continue to highlight that leadership and accountability in Cyber Security remains a significant challenge for Boards. There is no real consensus across organisations on how much responsibility Boards should accept for their Cyber Security posture; for example, to be able to understand and assess the implications of Cyber Security intelligence reports to make appropriate business decisions. However, there can be no doubt that the Board is accountable.

Private Equity For Your Wallet And Your Heart

Written by Henry Martin. Posted in Profiles

Xeon International focuses on value creation capacities in major International markets. Its focus on business value creation is supported by global experience in a wide range of industries. Xeon looks at early stage emerging markets with good headroom for development, by selecting high-quality investments with strong growth and integration potential. It has a strong focus on socially responsible corporate investment. In the interview below, Yves Duponselle and Giancarlo d’Elia of Xeon describe how they are catering to a new generation of socially responsible investors. 

1 Corporate social responsibility has emerged as a prominent theme in the wake of successive financial crises. What is the next-generation investor calling for? 

YD: We have observed that in today’s market, a third-millennium investor typology has emerged, focusing on investing in projects that benefit society. That caused us to rethink value creation today. We went back to the fundamentals of the value creation process, and the cornerstone of our thinking was to redefine the terms of good investment. We concluded that we needed to expand the profit generation objective to include other considerations.

Hamburg Metropolitan Region: Northern Germany's trade and industry centre

Written by Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Chief Executive Officer of HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation. Posted in Profiles

The concept of a strong regional alliance has proven successful, and the economic facts speak for themselves: with its innovative strength and economic expertise. The Hamburg Metropolitan Region does not only excel in Germany, but is also considered to be one of the strongest economic regions in Europe. The region’s economic potential and infrastructure continue to promise a favourable outlook for the future. Forward-looking industries such as aviation, renewable energies, life sciences, logistics and the food industry generate a growing labour market, qualified professionals and global repute.

International top brands such as Airbus, OTTO, Tchibo, Beiersdorf and Olympus characterise the region’s economic landscape and offer attractive jobs. But the Hamburg Metropolitan Region is also a key player in the science sector: the region is home to 36 universities, and its renowned research institutions employ more than 10,000 scientists

All Roads Lead to Hessen

Written by Fergal Hogan. Posted in Profiles

“Given the largest European electronics market exists in Germany, we believe that having a presence in Darmstadt plays a key role in strengthening our market position”, says Oliver Mihm, the Regional President of the EMEA region for Plexus Corp. Plexus is an industry-leading provider of electronics engineering, manufacturing and aftermarket solutions; serving OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) out of their 26 facilities across the globe. Plexus opened its Darmstadt Design Center in March 2011 by leasing office space in the Europa Arkaden building. Consistent with Plexus’ other global Design Centers, this space hosts engineering offices and laboratory facilities enabling Plexus to provide engineering solutions to customers in higher complexity markets.

Barents RE Finds its Niche

Written by the Online Editor. Posted in Profiles

One of the world’s foremost independent reinsurance groups, Barents Re offers a range of services linked to the structuring and execution of reinsurance and other forms of risk transfer. It is one of the world’s premier specialty reinsurance groups, with a particular focus on large products and specialty financial risk structures. Customers include most of the world's major insurance and reinsurance companies as well as financial institutions and global corporations. Here, we interview Barents’ chief underwriting officer Gerardo Garcia, who has over 18 years of experience in the insurance and reinsurance market and has been an advisor for several insurance companies and reinsurance brokerage firms.

Vienna on Top

Written by the Online Editor. Posted in Profiles

Interview with Gerhard Hirczi Managing Director of Invest in Vienna

For more than 30 years, Vienna Business Agency has actively supported the development of Vienna as a business location. As the first contact point for national and international companies, it offers financial support, real estate and consulting. Its goal is to strengthen Viennese companies and their innovative activities as well as the sustainable modernisation of Vienna as a business location in order to expand its international competitiveness. It supports Viennese businesses whose company investments can be financed by the City of Vienna. Its programs, by way of grants, are mainly targeted at small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as start-ups.

Bank on Chile

Written by the Online Editor. Posted in Profiles

Interview with Daniel Subelman A. Managing Director Head of Capital Markets Banco Penta

Based in Santiago, Banco Penta provides commercial banking and other services to large companies and corporations in Chile. It operates in two areas: Investment Banking, and Company and Corporate Banking. The bank offers various products and services, including mutual and investment funds, shares, term and demand deposits, fixed-rate and derivative instruments, foreign currency, and investment advisory services, as well as foreign investment and portfolio management services to high-net-worth clients and institutional investors.


CEO Insight,
245 Shakespeare House, Shakespeare Road,
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7924 9908