Georgia Seminar Day (Session 3)

Frontier Perspectives: Exploring Local Currency and Securities Market Development Government and Investors' Perspectives

Thursday, 2 May 2024, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm (Asia/Tbilisi)
Biltmore Hotel, Ballroom


This session addressed frontier market integration into the global financial system, focusing on local currency market development. Panelists discussed strategies to enhance regional financial infrastructure. The first part of the session covered ministerial insights on fostering robust local markets and the role of international financing institutions in diversifying funding sources. The second part of the session analyzed investment potential and opportunities, considering the high-yield environment in advanced economies.

Government Perspective: Panelists

Mirza GelashviliDeputy Minister of Finance, Georgia

Mirza Gelashvili oversees a wide array of critical responsibilities, including macroeconomic and fiscal forecasting, fiscal framework design, fiscal risk management, debt management, investor relations, and sovereign credit ratings. Since March 2023, he has served as the chair of the board of the Service of Accounting, Reporting, and Auditing Supervision. Prior to his current position, Mirza Gelashvili served as the head of the Macroeconomic Analysis and Fiscal Policy Planning Department at the Ministry of Finance. During this time, he developed forecasting and policy analysis frameworks, including a full-scale DSGE model applied to Georgia. He has also worked at the National Statistics Office of Georgia, where he served as a senior specialist focusing on national accounts data and economic activity estimation. Additionally, he gained valuable experience as a summer intern at the IMF, where he worked on a project related to DSGE modeling applied to fiscal policy for Georgia and presented on increased economic resilience due to public debt de-dollarization. Mirza Gelashvili holds a master of Eeconomics degree from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, specializing in econometrics and mathematical economics.

Daniel Zelikow Vice Chair, Public Sector, JP Morgan

Daniel Zelikow leads a team that manages JP Morgan’s business with public sector clients, such as central banks, sovereign wealth funds, public pensions, governments and their agencies, and international institutions. In 2015, Mr. Zelikow cofounded and then headed a global team responsible for providing financing, structuring and advisory services to the firm’s clients involved in sponsoring and investing in infrastructure around the world. In 2020, he launched JP Morgan’s Development Finance Institution to scale up the firm’s financing of development challenges in emerging markets, and to promote development finance as a tradable asset class. Mr. Zelikow was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. He was instrumental in defining a new corporate strategy, doubling the volume of client operations, devising and executing IADB's response to the global financial crisis, and bringing about significant management and financial reforms. He has also held key positions in the US Treasury. Mr. Zelikow holds a BA from Dartmouth College, and a DPhil from Oxford University. He has served on several for-profit and nonprofit boards.

Eduard HakobyanDeputy Minister of Finance, Armenia

Eduard Hakobyan is an experienced macrofinancial specialist with a background of working in the Armenia Ministry of Finance, holding various positions in and leading the Macroeconomic Policy Department before being appointed deputy minister. Mr. Hakobyan has a PhD in economics from Armenian State University of Economics and currently is a fiscal policy lecturer in the same university. He is also alumni of the Advanced Training Program in Public Policy and Administration at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Eugene RhuggenaathExecutive Director for Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Romania, and Ukraine, World Bank

Eugene Rhuggenaath took up his function as executive director at the World Bank in November 2023. He serves on the Audit, Human Resources, and Ethics Committees. Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr Rhuggenaath served as the Prime Minister of Curacao between 2017 and 2021; minister of education, science, culture, and sport (2020); and minister of economic development (2015-2017). Mr. Rhuggenaath was also active in the private sector and in international financial services and was managing director at the International Financial Central and Exchange and CITCO Banking Corporation. Mr Rhuggenaath holds degrees in business and finance from the University of Miami’s Herbert Business School as well as Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management.

Rachel ThompsonExecutive Director representing Australia; Azerbaijan; Cambodia; Georgia; Hong Kong, China; Kiribati; the Federated States of Micronesia; Nauru; Palau; Solomon Islands; and Tuvalu, ADB

Rachel Thompson assumed her current role on ADB’s Board of Directors on 1 January 2023. Prior to joining ADB, Ms. Thompson was the senior treasury representative at the Australian Embassy in Beijing (2018–2022) and concurrently served as an alternate director for Australia’s constituency on the board of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (2020–2022). She previously served as the chief of staff to the secretary of the Australian Treasury (2016–2018) and held a range of senior roles within the Treasury. She holds a juris doctor from the Australian National University and a bachelor of economics (honors) and bachelor of finance from the University of Adelaide.

Investors' Perspective: Panelists

John FinniganManaging Director, Head of North America Public Sector, and Global Head of Development Organizations, Citi

John Finnigan leads a team of coverage bankers that provide financial services including capital markets, credit, risk management, treasury and trade solutions, and securities services to development organization clients that include supranationals, development financial institutions, and nongovernment organizations. Mr. Finnigan serves on the Advisory Council of the Global Infrastructure Facility, a G20 initiative hosted by the World Bank that provides funding and advisory support to governments and multilateral development banks on how to select, design, structure, and bring to market highquality, sustainable, and bankable infrastructure projects in emerging markets. Mr. Finnigan has 25 years of experience in banking and has an extensive background in servicing the complex needs of the public sector. Prior to joining Citi, he held a variety of sales and market development positions with The Bank of New York, US Trust and Commerce Bank.

Daria ShkutResearch Analyst, EM Debt, Fidelity

Mary ChachanidzeManaging Director, TBC Capital

Mary Chachanidze has more than 18 years of experience in banking and investments. She joined TBC Bank in 2017 as the deputy director of corporate and investment banking, managing the bank’s large corporate clients. In 2020 Ms.Cachanidze became managing director of TBC Capital (investment banking subsidiary of TBC Bank) and since 2021 is head of investment banking and WM at TBC Bank. Prior to joining TBC, Ms.Cachanidze held different positions from investment analyst to chief investment officer at SEAF (a global investment firm headquartered in Washington, DC), which oversaw investment transactions in local and international markets. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s executive program, a CFA charterholder, and has na MBA and BBA from the European School of Management.

Kakhaber DavitaiaHead of Treasury, Bank of Georgia

Kakhaber Davitaia studied in the faculty of Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and is a qualified mathematician. His first job was as an accountant of the Correspondent Accounts Department at the Bank of Georgia. In a year, he was promoted to head of the of the department, and in 2 years was appointed head of the Funding and Deposit Management Department. He joined the Treasury Department as a deputy director in 1999. In 2003 Kakhaber was promoted to head of treasury, a position he continues to hold today. He manages the foreign exchange, money market, derivatives, fixed income, and banknotes operations of the Bank of Georgia as well as its short-term liquidity. Mr. Davitaia received his MBA degree in business intelligence from Grenoble Graduate School of Business, and an executive MBA degree from Caucasus School of Business after finalizing a dual MBA program in these schools. In 2020 he received an ICMA Fixed Income Certificate.

Giorgi LaliashviliHead of Financial Markets, National Bank of Georgia 

Giorgi Laliashvili has held various positions in the National Bank of Georgia, including specialist at the International Reserves Management Division, deputy head of the Risk Management Division, and head of the Macroeconomics Department. Mr. Laliashvili also headed the Financial Markets Department, covering portfolio management, risk management, international settlements, domestic monetary operations, and the Georgian Securities Settlement System. He has been actively involved in local currency, capital market development, and the implementation of initiatives supported by ADB and other international financial institutions in the local financial markets. Mr. Laliashvili holds a master’s degree from Georgian State University in banking and finance and an MA in Economics from Center for Development Economics, Williams College, US.


Richard Kemmish Editorial Consultant, Euromoney Conferences

Richard Kemmish worked for 25 years for JP Morgan, Dresdner Bank, and Credit Suisse, specializing in the origination and structuring of securitizations and covered bond transactions, in particular in new jurisdictions where he worked closely with regulators and banking supervisors to develop regulatory frameworks. In addition, he was on the steering committee and chaired the market issues working group of the European Covered Bond Council. Since leaving the city he has worked as a consultant to multilateral development banks introducing new covered bond and securitization frameworks in developing markets. In addition, he works as an editorial consultant to Invisso (formerly Euromoney Conferences), an advisor to the European Covered Bond Council and European Mortgage Federation, an expert witness, runs training courses in secured debt, and has undertaken two major studies of the secured bond markets for the European Commission.