Speakers 2018

2018 Speaker Line-Up

Hassan Al-Alawi

Manager - Portfolio Management


Hassan Al-Alawi has over twenty five years of extensive experience in the field of engineering and project management, risk and business continuity management, corporate governance best practices in the oil and gas industry gained from various positions.

Hassan is Manager Portfolio Management at the Oil & Gas Holding Company (nogaholding); which is the investment arm of the government of Bahrain. He chairs the ERM/BCM Corporate Committee comprising risk leaders from the oil, gas and petrochemical companies in Bahrain.

Hassan has excellent experience in developing, implementing and leading ERM, BCM and CM using international codes and standards. This is reflected through chairing and delivering speeches at various international conferences of risk and resilience management in the region, Asia and Europe.

Alexander Campbell



Alexander Campbell is the divisional content editor and acting commodities desk editor of Risk.net, and acting editor of Energy Risk. He has worked for Risk.net since 2005 as a journalist, news editor, and editor of Operational Risk, covering topics including operational risk, business continuity, political risk and the Eurozone debt crisis. He is based in London.

Simo M. Dafir



Simo M. Dafir is a director at Volguard, a financial consulting firm specialising in Structured Finance, Derivatives and Commodities Risk Management. He has over fourteen years of experience during which he has held senior positions in a number of major international banks in Hong Kong and Singapore.

He was the Singapore head of Commodity Structuring at Standard Chartered Bank, head of Commodity Exotics and Hybrids at Merrill Lynch Asia, and trader of Structured Credit/Commodities Derivatives at Credit Suisse.

Mr Dafir is author of “Fuel Hedging and Risk Management”, published by Wiley Finance. He has also been a visiting professor at leading business schools in Europe and Asia.

Mr Dafir started his career in Aerospace and Telecom at the European Space Agency and Alcatel.

He holds an MBA from INSEAD, a Post Graduate Research Degree from the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, an MSc in Automation from ENSEEIHT and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.

Tarun Dhingra

Managing Director, Global Co-Head Commodity Sales


Tarun Dhingra started his career with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) as an International Graduate in 2005 with SCB India, spending two years working across various parts of SCB. He moved to SCB Singapore in 2007 to join the Financial Markets division. 

Tarun has held various positions within the Financial Markets division and has been a part of the SCB’s Commodities team since 2008. His current position is Global Co-Head of Commodity Sales. Tarun’s areas of expertise include commodity financing, hedging and structuring bespoke transactions to meet client & bank needs. He is passionate about spotting market opportunities and helping client’s to benefit from them.

Tarun graduated from Delhi University with an MBA from Faculty of Management Studies. His spare time is spent either with family or playing a round of golf.

John Driscoll



John Driscoll’s career spans over 30 years with senior management posts in supply, trading, energy publishing and consulting. After graduating from Stanford in 1976, John joined ARCO in Los Angeles as a product operator. He moved to Singapore in 1985 with Maxus, an Indonesian crude producer.  He opened Singapore trading offices for UK oil company Ultramar and US refiner Tosco. He joined Mobil Asia in 1997 as Team Leader, Fuel Oil until the Exxon merger. John ran Argus Media in Asia for 5 years before returning to trading in 2004 as Senior Manager for GS Caltex Singapore, handling product trading, risk management and, market analysis. A naturalised Singaporean, John setup JTD Energy Services in 2013. He lectures at Singapore Management University on Oil Trading, Pricing and Risk Management. He is a regular speaker in local media.

Stella Farrington

Head of Content


Stella Farrington has been writing about energy markets for 20 years, working at Futures World News and Dow Jones Newswires before moving to Energy Risk in 2004. She spent eight years as the editor of Energy Risk and the last six as a writer, before moving into her current role as Energy Risk’s head of content.

Peter Godfrey

Managing Director - Singapore


Peter Godfrey is the chief representative of the prestigious UK Energy Institute (EI) in Singapore. In addition to his work with the EI, Peter provides executive advisory services to institutional investors, fund managers and family offices to both source new investment opportunities and manage existing ones through his own company Merlenergy Pte ltd.

Most of Peter's career has been spent in the Oil and Gas industry. In Singapore, Peter was Head of Oil & Gas in Standard Chartered Bank's principal finance team and prior to that, he was a member of Arrow Energy's executive leadership team responsible for building Arrow's international CBM (coal bed methane) business, based on the company's successful development of CBM reserves in Queensland, Australia.

Peter's early oil and gas career was with BP, mainly upstream, ending up as Indonesia country head. After leaving BP, Peter has gained an international reputation as a leading independent energy strategy and business development consultant with an executive-level international client-base that has included the world's leading national and international energy and mineral resource companies as well as a number of governments and regulatory agencies.

In addition to his work in the energy sector, Peter is also passionate about the Performing Arts and sits on a number of boards and advisory committees in Singapore and elsewhere.

Tom James



Tom is CIO & CEO of NR CAPITAL TRADE FLOW FUND SP an innovative digitised trade finance solution for bulk physical commodity transactions being shipped or stored around the world. He is also advisor to several block chain startups developing Smart Contracts and Trading infrastructure.

He is widely recognised as a leading practitioner in the global Natural Resources market with over 29 years of commercial exposure gained through broad ranging senior roles in Financial Institutions and Trading firms. Roles which have enabled him to gain a holistic industry perspective, covering a full range of functions including supply chain /operations, derivatives, physical markets, funds management and banking & finance and across many countries in Africa, Europe, Middle East, and the Asia Pacific.

As well as having served as a Senior Energy advisor to the United States Department of Defence, Tom is a prolific published writer, documenting his expertise through a series of books and publications with Wiley and Palgrave Macmillan. Alongside his commercial roles he has been able to share his experiential learning with industry peers & students through various advisory & academic appointments.

Over the years as a serial Commodity Fin Tech entrepreneur, Tom has combined technology with best practice in order to create innovative industry services & solutions.

Tom is a resident of Singapore.

Laurence Kwan


Director, Energy

An experienced individual with proven leadership qualities and management styles in both public and private sectors, Laurence is Sunseap Group’s subject matter expert in the areas of electricity and integration to Electricity Market in Singapore and Asia Pacific. He has amassed years of managerial experience in a variety of corporate sectors across a wide industry spectrum. In addition to being a subject matter expert, Laurence also develops and oversees business development strategy, and risk management at the Group level.

Iain Lawson

Head of Structured Products


Iain Lawson is Head of Structured Products for BP in the Eastern Hemisphere, based in Singapore. He is a Physics graduate from St Andrews University and has over 20 years’ experience in Oil, Gas, Coal, Metals and other commodities markets. He started his career with Shell in London and Paris, where his roles included derivatives trading and crude supply to Shell’s refinery system in France. He then joined Goldman Sachs where he helped develop J Aron’s energy marketing business in London and Singapore, and was subsequently responsible for Commodity Capital Markets at Citigroup in Singapore. Iain’s most recent position before BP was as Head of Commodity Structuring for Asia Pacific at Nomura. His department looks after both day to day risk management of energy prices for consumers and producers as well as more structured deals involving cross-commodity risk, commodity linked financing and physical deals involving energy price risk management. He is a director of BP Energy Asia and sits on BP Trading’s Innovation group.

Peter Morrison

Global Oil Devops Manager


Peter Morrison is an IT executive and commodity risk management expert, currently based in Singapore. He has been working with commodity risk management and ETRM systems since 2003, and during the course of his career has covered the space from derivatives to physicals, trade capture to credit risk.

Zhai Ning

Head of Trading and Investment


Zhai Ning has more than a decade of experience, both in commercial trading of oil and LNG, and in investment in energy including oil/gas upstream, midstream, refining, pipelines, etc. He has worked in organisations including BP, Gazprom, Broad Energy and currently as head of trading and investment in Sunshine Oil - one of the largest independent petrochemical companies in China.

Andrew Romanis

Vice President, Risk Management


Andrew Romanis is a senior risk manager at Olam International, based in Singapore, with responsibility for market risk oversight of many of Olam’s diverse businesses. He has over 20 years of experience in the commodities markets, encompassing agriculture, base and precious metals, energy, electricity and natural gas, across various functions including logistics, derivative trading and risk management. Prior to moving to Singapore in 2015, Andrew was based in London where lately he served as Head of Market Risk for a commodities broker-dealer and as Head of Risk Management for the European trading arm of an Asian energy major.

Eric Tham

Senior Lecturer & Consultant of Analytics & AI


Eric is presently a senior lecturer in AI and data science in the National University of Singapore. Previously he has over 15 years of financial experiences in banks, Fintech start-ups and oil major. His diverse financial experiences in risk management, quantitative analytics and energy economics include as a vice-president with Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered bank, BP Oil and DBS. He was also director of data science in a China Fintech start-up with 5 million users doing AI and NLP on the China equity indices and selling the data to global hedge funds. His educational qualifications include MS Financial Engineering from Columbia University and a Phd in Finance from Edhec (2019/20 expected). He mixes practice financial experience with AI expertise.

Sriram Vasudevan

Partner and Managing Director


Dr Sriram Vasudevan is Partner and Managing Director focused on Commodity Markets and the Macro Implications for Graticule Asset Management Asia. Dr Vasudevan was also a Managing Director at Fortress Investment Group in Singapore prior to the spinoff of Graticule Asset Management Asia (GAMA). Prior to Fortress, Dr Vasudevan worked as a Divisional Director at Macquarie in the Energy Fundamentals and Trading Strategies in the FICC group. Previously, Dr Vasudevan was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in NYC for the Commodity Strategies group where he worked on developing and executing natural gas trading strategies.

He also has significant industry experience having worked for Sempra Energy Corporation where he worked as a Director in the Corporate Development/M&A group and earlier played a key role in building Sempra Energy Solutions in the early years (2002-2005). From 1997-2001 he was a leading researcher in the field of hydraulic fracturing (for Schlumberger) as applied to shale formations in the United States and has various publications and patents in this field broadly referred to in the industry today.

Dr Vasudevan holds a B-Tech, ME from the Indian Institute of Technology. He also holds a MS in Mechanical Engineering from University of California Santa Barbara and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech. He is also a CFA charter holder.

He has spoken at numerous conferences and industry forums.  He was among the few in the investment community who called for the big downturn in oil prices since mid-2014 and the subsequent rebound in February 2016.

Sushil Verma

Managing Director & Head-Asia Pacific


Sushil Verma is Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific for GE Energy Financial Services. He is also Head of Investment committee of the EFS Energy Japan fund, largest renewable fund in Japan with a mandate to invest in operating solar projects in Japan.

Verma has an overall experience of 28 years in financial services/energy infrastructure investing globally, having worked in the US, India and Singapore.

Verma joined GE Commercial Finance in India in 1997 and moved to US in 1999 with Structured Finance Group (SFG), the predecessor business of GE Energy Financial Services. He has held various positions in origination, structuring, underwriting and portfolio management in the company’s Power & Renewables, Oil & Gas and Midstream groups, underwriting and managing > $4Bn of assets. In 2008, he relocated back to India for two and a half years to serve as Chief Risk Officer of GE Commercial Finance in India. Sushil re-joined GE Energy Financial Services in 2011 as a managing director Business Development. Here he successfully built company’s business in Japan, investing in renewable projects and creating a portfolio of renewable projects totalling over 500-megawatts. He transitioned in early 2015 to his current role as head of Asia Pacific in Global Markets group. Here he led the successful raise of EFS Energy Japan fund, the largest renewable fund in Japan totalling $700mm. Prior to joining GE, Mr. Verma spent seven years at ICICI bank, Unilever and PwC in India.

Sushil graduated from Shri Ram College of Commerce (University of Delhi, India) and earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance. He also earned his Chartered Accountancy, Company Secretary, and CFA degrees from respective institutes in India.

Yvonne Zhang

Founder & CEO


Yvonne is the co-founder and CEO of Aquifer Institute, a not-for-profit public company that is developing cutting-edge technology solutions and protocols for alternative financing and proactive risk management in the commodities space.

Yvonne has spent 12 years in the commodities markets, trading physical and derivatives at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Société Générale and Morgan Stanley. She led the launch of

Metals Products in Asia at Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group, she contributed to the development of new markets and securities linked to blockchain and cryptocurrency as a member of the Digitalisation group.

Knowledge sharing and serving the community at large through teaching is a consistently important part of her life, she’s a fellow at Singapore University of Social Sciences and speaks at professional conferences on matters addressing trading, fintech, governance and social impact. Prior to entering the commodities world, she worked in the legal industry and was a board member at the non-profit Redfern Legal Centre in Australia.

Yvonne holds a BCom/LLB (Bachelor of Commerce and Law, Finance and Marketing) from the University of Sydney.