Financial Centres Of The World 2021: All Eyes On Nur-Sultan
Webinar - Kazakhstan

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Nur-Sultan, previously named Astana until 2019, is a young and fast-growing capital city of Kazakhstan. The city has cemented its role as a political and cultural centre of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. The launch of Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in 2018 has become the catalyst in developing Nur-Sultan as an investment and financial hub and strengthening its role among world financial centres as reflected by the city's progress in the GFCI.

The vision of the AIFC is to become the leading international financial centre in the region (i.e. Central Asia, Caucasus, EAEU, Western China, Mongolia, and Eastern Europe). The AIFC’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable economic development of the region by fostering innovative financial products and services.

In this webinar, we partnered with the AIFC to launch 'All Eyes On Nur-Sultan', a short report detailing the exciting progress being made in Nur-Sultan in attracting more financial services activity to the area.


Tolkyn Takishova joined AIFC at its initial stage of development and has been with a company for 4 years, where she held different roles of an analyst, researcher and strategist. Currently Tolkyn is in charge of project office aimed at strengthening the research potential of the AIFC. Tolkyn has significantly contributed to building AIFC’s founding blocks by actively participating in developing solutions for businesses, initiating projects to increase country investment attractiveness, providing recommendations to internal policies and processes as well as promoting AIFC both within the country and abroad. Tolkyn was a driving force for Nur-Sultan’s entry to GFCI Index in 2018 and has been actively working towards increasing city’s positioning ever since.

Prior to joining AIFC, Tolkyn worked at the National Investment Corporation of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, where she was part of private equity team managing and investing part of national oil fund’s reserves into alternative asset classes. In 2018 Tolkyn became a CFA charterholder, international certificate recognized worldwide. Last year she spent as a Visiting researcher at the University of Southern California, USA. Tolkyn holds BSc in International Economics from the University of Nottingham, UK.

Professor Alexander Van de Putte is Chief Strategy Officer, Chairman of Corporate Governance & Stewardship, and Chairman of the Academic Council of the Astana International Financial Centre. He is also the Chairman of the Board of the AIFC Bureau for Continuing Professional Development (BCPD) and an independent director of the AIFC Authority and of Eurasian National University. At IE Business School, one of Europe’s top business schools, he is Professor of Strategy and Strategic Foresight.

In December 2020, he was awarded with the high state award - the order of Dostyk of Degree II by decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Previously, Professor Van de Putte was a Member of the Board of the National Investment Corporation of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, a Managing Director with the Kazakhstan Development Bank, Principal Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Senior Director and Head of Global Practices with the World Economic Forum. At Shell, Alexander was the Senior Strategy and Portfolio Advisor to the Chairman and the Committee of Managing Directors. Prior to Shell, Alexander was Executive Director and co-leader of the shareholder value practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. At McKinsey, Alexander was a core team member of the European Corporate Finance and Strategy Practice.

Alexander is an economist and engineer by training. He holds advanced degrees in Management and Decision Sciences from Boston University, was a BAEF Fellow at Harvard Business School, holds a PhD in Applied Economics (Strategy & Finance) from the University of London, a Doctorate in International Relations from the Geneva School of Diplomacy, and a PhD in Engineering (Complex Adaptative Systems) from Cambridge University. He is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a Chartered Governance Fellow with The Chartered Governance Institute, and a NACD Governance Fellow & Board Leadership Fellow. He is also a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors, an academic member with the European Corporate Governance Institute and also holds the Financial Times Non-Executive Director’s Diploma and the Stanford Directors’ Consortium Certificate.

Tuesday, 04 May 2021

9:00 - 9:45 BST


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  • Tolkyn Takishova
    Tolkyn Takishova
    Head Of Research Project Office
    Astana International Financial Centre
  • Alexander Van de Putte
    Professor Alexander Van de Putte, PhD, FCG, CDir FIoD
    Chief Strategy Officer, Chairman of Corporate Governance & Stewardship, and Chairman of the Academic Council
    Astana International Financial Centre
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Executive Chairman
    Z/Yen Group