Global Leadership Summit, Paris

June 28, 2018—June 29, 2018

Event Speakers: Paris


H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi

As Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi is responsible for coordinating among public and private entities to ensure that infrastructure and development projects are delivered in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

His appointment in 2011 as Secretary General followed his role as Chief Executive Officer in Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee, in which he worked to promote Qatar’s ultimately successful attempt to bring the FIFA World Cup to the Middle East for the first time. In addition to this, he also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup in 2022, responsible for organizing and staging the event.

A lawyer by profession, Al Thawadi previously served as General Counsel for Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Holding. He holds board positions at Katara Hospitality, Qatar University (Colleges of Business and Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences), Qatar Chamber for Commerce and Industry, Qatar International Islamic Bank, and Msheireb Properties. Al Thawadi is a graduate in law from the University of Sheffield and speaks four languages.


Christophe Chazot

Christophe Chazot is HSBC’s head of innovation and leads teams responsible for strategic innovation investment, which includes investing in disruptive companies; the Innovation Strategy team; and the Innovation Centre. He has more than 20 years of experience across all major asset classes in capital markets.

Prior to joining HSBC in 2005, Chazot worked at Dresdner Kleinwort as the global head of Equity Derivatives, at Bankers Trust as the global head of Foreign Exchange Options, and at Barclays de Zoete Wedd as an interest rates swaps trader. His interest in financial technology dates back to 1987, when he founded Softinvest, a technology company specializing in financial services that developed the top valuation option pricing and a visualization software, which was sold to the French Stock Exchange.

Chazot is the author of Les swaps: concepts et applications,which is rated 4.7 stars on He is passionate about technology, artificial intelligence, and their impact on society. An avid skier and sailor of the northern European seas, Chazot lives in London with his family.


Philippe D’Ornano

After studying law, economics, and political science, in 1986, Philippe d’Ornano joined Sisley, the high-end cosmetics business founded by his father. Since his appointment as CEO in 2001, he has pursued the development of Sisley in the world, notably by creating the brand’s Asian subsidiaries and opening regional offices in Hong Kong, Miami, and Dubai.

Now president, d’Ornano runs a company that is present in more than 90 countries, employing 4,000 employees of 100 different nationalities. Additionally, he is co-chair of the “METI,” the French association of medium-sized companies, founded by Yvon Gattaz in 1995. He also chairs the “Syndicat Français des Produits de Beauté” and is director of the Federation of Beauty Enterprises.

An avid reader and literature enthusiast, d’Ornano has written several collections of poetry and short plays with his wife Mina. A father of three children, he loves nature, travelling, and sports, including surfing, skiing, tennis, swimming, and rugby.


Henri De Castries

Henri de Castries joined the private equity firm General Atlantic in 2017 as chair of Europe and special advisor to the firm’s strategic business initiatives in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. De Castries supports General Atlantic’s investment teams in evaluating opportunities in the region and assisting in value creation across the firm’s existing global portfolio companies.

De Castries was previously chair and CEO of the insurance company AXA, spending 27 years at the company. During this time, he oversaw multiple mergers and acquisitions, which were instrumental in building AXA’s global footprint across 64 countries and reshaping its operations. Prior to AXA, he served in the French Treasury Department overseeing foreign exchange markets and balance of payments.

Currently, de Castries is chair of the French think tank Institut Montaigne. He also serves as a non-executive director of HSBC Group, Nestlé S.A., and the French National Foundation for Political Science. Until 2016, de Castries served as a member of the Advisory Board of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.


Arnaud de Puyfontaine

Since 2014, Arnaud de Puyfontaine has been chair of the management board and chief executive officer of the French mass media conglomerate Vivendi. He started his career as a consultant for Arthur Andersen, and then worked as a project manager at Rhône-Poulenc Pharma before joining the newspaper Le Figaro as its executive director.

De Puyfontaine is a founding member of the magazine publisher the Emap group, and was appointed chair and chief executive officer in 1999. He led several mergers and acquisitions, and oversaw the company’s digital subsidiary. From there, de Puyfontaine transitioned to the European media company Mondadori France, and later became general manager of all its digital business. In 2009, he moved to Hearst UK, where he led the acquisition of 102 magazines and was eventually appointed executive vice president of Hearst Magazines International.

De Puyfontaine says that the unifying thread in Vivendi’s rich history is its ability to anticipate and reinvent itself, which requires constant innovation and new partnerships. He has been named a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, and awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He is a graduate of the European business school ESCP, the Multimedia Institute, and Harvard Business School.


Christoph Henkel

An entrepreneur and angel investor in numerous start-ups with a variety of asset classes, Christoph Henkel is the principal and founding partner of Canyon Equity LLC, which specializes in developing and operating boutique resorts and hospitality related real estate. Henkel also has significant real estate holdings in Germany and the United States.

Along with his family, Henkel owns a controlling interest in Henkel KGaA, a German conglomerate based in Dusseldorf. With brands like Persil, Schwarzkopf, and Fa, Henkel KGaA is among the world’s biggest cleaning product companies. Henkel sits on the board of the company and several of its affiliates.

Henkel also invests in numerous technology-based companies, biotech companies, and cinema production companies. A passionate outdoorsman and an environmental preservationist, he has acquired large parcels of land around the world to conserve them from excessive development.


Farida Khelfa

Model, actress, muse, and documentary filmmaker, Farida Khelfa was born in Vénissieux, France, to Algerian parents. As a model, she graced the podiums of the most talented designers of the 1980s—Jean-Paul Gaultier, Azzedine Alaïa, Thierry Mugler—incarnating a spirit and a look that hinted at rebelliousness while representing the diversity that was highly sought after during that era.

Inspired by her experiences in fashion, Khelfa started acting in films in the mid-1980s. In 1995, she joined Azzedine Alaïa’s design studio, and in 2002, she became the head of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Haute Couture salons. Two years later, Khelfa returned to the world of cinema, where she switched from actress to film direction in 2010. Her first documentary showcased the success story of Jean Paul Gaultier. Others followed, featuring subjects as divergent as the artistic youth of Tunisia after the revolution, the French presidential campaign of 2012, and the passion of shoe designer Christian Louboutin in 2014.

Fashion remains one of the main pillars in Khelfa’s life. Recently, she spent five years as the House of Schiaparelli’s ambassador, evoking the spirit of a multifaceted woman as embodied by the founder of this storied haute couture label.


Nauman Piyarji

Nauman Piyarji, Est. 1999, a luxury Couture and Bespoke fashion house headquartered in New York City with client services offered in London, Dubai, Mumbai, Miami, and Los Angeles.

With a slim, tall frame, Nauman Piyarji often didn’t fit into prêt-à-porter (ready – to – wear) clothing during his youth—which sometimes made him the target of bullies. After several failed attempts to work with tailors to make clothing fit, he took matters into his own hands, and started cutting on newspaper, then fabric, and finally began fashioning his own clothes. He made his first piece of clothing, a “horrible” shirt, at age 14.

Nauman Piyarji then went about creating a world in which he could eventually pursue his passion of making clothes. Nauman has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering, majoring in Robotics, and then a Master’s in Finance and Risk Engineering from New York University. For a decade, he worked in Program Management/Risk & Regulatory strategy on Wall Street, helping international companies ensure compliance with local and national laws. All the while, he continued to be the Creative Director of his fashion house.

Nauman strongly believes that analyzing the probability of a business opportunity means right and left-brain activity. He finds inspiration everywhere, in every movement, from his intense observations of the people and environment around him.

‘Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.’ – Winston Churchill


Birta Olafstottir

As a member of the board of the Aurora Foundation, Birta Olafsdottir is extremely focused on the cross-genre dialogue that has been so important for the realization of Aurora’s projects. The Aurora Foundation aims to be a dynamic catalyst in development and culture by executing projects that provide a robust and permanent boost to communities. Olafsdottir helps the foundation fulfill its vision to nurture and cultivate the free and creative spirit of the mind to improve and enrich people’s lives.

Olafsdottir brings considerable experience and insight into the creative industries. She is an energetic and goal-oriented person with work experience as a production manager, creative director, and creative concept developer for various projects associated with the Iceland Design Center, STEiNUNN fashion label, and Festir real estate developer.


Henri Seydoux

Henri Seydoux founded Parrot in 1994, and has served as chair and CEO since its inception. Today, Parrot is one of the major players in the civil drone market. The company started working on consumer drones only a decade ago; now, it is shifting its focus to commercial drone use.

Self-educated, Seydoux started his career in 1978 as a trainee and then journalist for the magazine Actuel, an important counterculture publication. In 1982, he joined the company SSCI as a developer and later moved to Micro Archi. Next, Seydoux launched BSCA, which specialized in rendering 3D computer images, where he served as CEO. In 1991, along with three other partners, he founded Christian Louboutin, the luxury shoe company.

Since transitioning from shoes to drones, Seydoux points out that the two really aren’t that different: They both require creativity and innovation to meet consumers’ demands.