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AIF 2018

Charity Gala


We Connect with the Global Armenian Community

AIF is dedicated to connecting Armenian professionals and creating an integrated community from which all members benefit.

New comers in our industry seek mentors, while senior delegates look for new business partnerships, investors and investments. Our mission goes beyond standard networking, and over the recent years, the network has grown to include members working across the broader industry and around the world, connecting us with one another and our common Armenian roots.

Our last event, in November 2017 gathered over 150 Armenian delegates and friends of Armenia, working across more than 20 countries (see gallery). In addition to an extended networking session, members enjoyed keynote addresses and forums featuring Pierre Gurdjian, Gagik Apkarian, Anoush Simonyan and Arnaud Attamian, amongst others.


Our Summer 2018 event will consist of a Conference and summer Charity Gala Dinner, to be held at 8 Northumberland Avenue on 14th July 2018. The conference will last approximately 4 hours, and will feature keynote speakers, forums and a light meal. The focus will be on themes relevant to the financial sector, with a specific focus on how finance interacts with Armenia today, as well as on the future of the Armenian community within the industry. After a short interlude, this will be followed by a Drinks Reception and Charity Gala Dinner. All proceeds of the evening will go towards offering UK scholarships to Armenian Students.




Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia

Mr. Avinyan was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia on May 11, 2018. 


In 2017, he was elected to Yerevan Council of Elders membership on the list of Yelk Alliance. Since 2014, he is the Founder and CEO of Cyber Vision, which is a software developing company specialising in development of high functionality platforms and mobile applications. The company cooperates with American, British, Australian and Singapore companies. 


Mr. Avinyan graduated in 2014 with honours from Queen Mary University, London, with a Master’s Degree in Finance. He had previously also worked at the Armenian Development Bank as a Senior Specialist at the Business Lending Division.


Philanthropy Partner with RVVZ Foundation, President of Board of Directors of ULB, VP of Board at UCB, Board Member of Ameria Bank,

Pierre Gurdjian is Philanthropy Partner with the RVVZ Foundation. The Foundation develops and implements highly innovative models for country development with significant pilot applications in Armenia. In addition, he is an expert in executive leadership and change management.


Pierre was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company for 27 years, including 7 years as Managing Partner of the Belgian-Luxemburg office and international responsibility for McKinsey’s Human Capital practice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.


Moreover Pierre helped develop the ‘Armenia 2020’ Think Tank and is involved in numerous humanitarian and entrepreneurial initiatives in Europe and Armenia. Pierre holds a degree in Commercial Engineering from the Free University of Brussels and a MBA from Harvard Business School.


Executive Director AGBU Armenia

Talar Kazanjian is the executive director of AGBU in Armenia. She overseas AGBU portfolio of programs and projects in education, culture, humanitarian and socio economic sectors. Talar has been working on shaping a new vision for AGBU and its involvement as an agent of change in Armenia as well as crafting new mechanisms for a meaningful diaspora engagement in the country’s development. In terms of building partnerships, Talar has been keen on expanding the network of partners for AGBU through connecting with the international donor community, and aligning with international sets of targets like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals UN SDG’s).


Talar is a lifelong member of AGBU and has volunteered in various AGBU youth programs. She has co-founded AGBU YP groups in Washington DC and Dubai.  Prior to joining AGBU professionally in 2016, Talar worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a public sector consultant in various geographies like the Middle East, North America, Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union Countries.

Talar holds a Master’s degree in strategic studies and international economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Johns Hopkins University, a Master’s degree in political sociology from Sorbonne Paris I. She is a Fulbright scholarship recipient from the US State Department and a certified project management professional (PMP).


Founding CEO, FAST

Armen Orujyan, PhD, is the Founding CEO of the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST). FAST is a nonprofit organization reinforcing Intellectual, Financial, and Network capacities of science and technology ecosystem in Armenia and beyond. Focused on producing an ecosystem that drives scientific advancement and technological innovation.


Under Armen’s leadership FAST has launched a Fellowship for the top 10% of all PhDs in Armenia in STEM, deployed numerous scientific grants, and established the first Science and Technology Angels Network in Armenia.

He has held positions as an advisor at Facebook and on US presidential and other political campaigns, was named a UN e-leader for ICT and Youth, and has served on the UN’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development.


Co-founder and Managing Partner of Granatus Ventures

Manuk Hergnyan is the co-founder and managing partner at Granatus Ventures, the first Armenian venture capital firm investing in early stage startups. He is also the founder and managing partner at EV Consulting, a leading management advisory and corporate finance firm, with offices in Yerevan and Moscow.


Manuk serves on the boards of a number of private companies including Menu Group and Liqvor Pharmaceuticals, public sector and non-commercial organizations including Union of IT Enterprises of Armenia, Microsoft Innovation Center in Armenia. Manuk is active in spearheading technology ecosystem development in Armenia and has consulted the Government of Armenia in various domains of economic policies. He is also the co-founder and member of the Board of Trustees of Arar Foundation and member of “Ayb” educational club.


Manuk holds an Executive MBA from Oxford University, Ph.D. in Economics from Moscow State University after Lomonosov and MA in Economics from Yerevan State University.


David is a private investor with over 12 years of investment experience concentrating on Western markets and opportunistically  in Russia. He is an independent member of the board at the largest Armenian consumer bank - Unibank - and is participating in the creation of PremierMarket which will offer professional investors credit derivate exposure to the on-field performance of sports teams. David previously worked as an investment banker with UBS in London and Merrill Lynch in Moscow, having spent educational years in Paris at Sciences-Po and ESSEC Business School. Currently, David divides his time between Armenia and Western Europe.


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