AUC Welcomes a Team of FinTech Donors
The American University in Cairo (AUC) hosted recently a team of donors of Egypt’s first FinTech program launched at AUC this spring. The team includes Mikihide Yamazaki, director and head of Luqman Weise Capital’s private equity division and chief operating officer of MYK Capital Management Group; Omaima Hatem '79, '83 chairman and CEO of Technology Transfer for Consulting & Trading and visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh; and Mohamed Khater, director and head of the Centre for Strategy and Performance at the University of Cambridge and chief investment officer at MYK Capital Management Group SA. AUC recently signed a memorandum of agreement with Luqman Weise Capital to establish the Luqman Weise FinTech Fellowships Fund. The program started admitting students in Spring 2018, offering 14 fellowships for Egyptian students to attend AUC in pursuit of a Master of Science in finance. Additionally, Luqman Weise Capital is supporting the development of a FinTech concentration at AUC under the Master of Science in finance program -- the first in Egypt and among the first worldwide. “With the help of Luqman Weise," said President Francis Ricciardone, "we will now be able to take some things we’re already doing at our business school -- we have an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation -- and particularly in the FinTech area, we will now be able to put a greater emphasis on FinTech and establish the first concentration in degree studies, in the region, in Egypt –– thanks to you and the vision that you have to expand your industry and grow it in Egypt, and through Egypt, to the entire region."
FinTech, or financial technology, is a growing field garnering increased interest across the globe. With this fellowship and the establishment of an official program, AUC begins to break new ground in education across the Middle East and North Africa region, and enters the international discussion on the future of finance. “FinTech is going to change the way finance works,” said Khater. “The way we trade, the way we handle money, the way we handle transactions are going to change in the future incredibly.”
“I’m very excited about the decision that our company has taken to fully sponsor the MSc in Fintech at the AUC,” said Yamazaki. “Through this program I’m hoping that we can play a small role in advancing the banking and investment system in a great country like Egypt. We look forward to engaging with students through this course and through employment opportunities once they complete their studies,” he added.
With a total of $280,000, the fund will support two cohorts of fellowship students over a period of three years. Fellowship recipients will participate in an internship with Luqman Weise Capital during the course of their studies, and top students may be eligible for employment opportunities after graduation, either with Luqman Wiese Capital or one of its sister companies. “We look forward to engaging with students through this course and through employment opportunities once they complete their studies,” said Yamazaki.
Through their studies and internship experience, students will have the opportunity to refine their skills and envision the impact they can make on the finance sector after graduating “I have a strong trust in the youth in my country and their ability to innovate and create. I think what is missing are the skills to enable these bright minds to contribute to the global value chain. Through this course we are hoping to equip Egyptians with the necessary technical and soft skills that will enable them to become innovative in the Fintech world,”Khater said.
Alumna Omaima Hatem ’79, ‘83, chairman and CEO of Technology Transfer for Consulting & Trading and visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh was central in connecting AUC and Luqman Weise Capital, seeing potential for fruitful collaboration in a developing the field. Hatem is a lecturer and has served as a consultant for international organizations on engineering, education and banking services. She has established a group of diverse companies and has worked on a wide range of development projects across the world.
“Through fully sponsoring an MSc [Master of Science] in [finance] at The American University in Cairo, their company, Luqman Weise Capital, is hoping to enable young Egyptian entrepreneurs to learn the skills they need in order to contribute to the FinTech domain,” said Hatem.
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American University of Cairo
Founded in 1919, AUC is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of intellectual, social and cultural life of the Arab world. Its community of students, parents, faculty and staff, trustees, alumni and other generous sponsors represent more than 60 countries. The University stands as a crossroads for the world’s cultures and a vibrant forum for reasoned argument, spirited debate and understanding across the diversity of languages, facilities and human experiences.