Independent and non-executive
Blanche Ullens de Schooten, Belgian
Blanche Ullens de Schooten, Belgian, 40 years old, married, mother of 3 young girls. After graduating from the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve (UCL, Belgium) in “Licence en Droit” (June 1997) and “Licence en Notariat” (June 1999), Blanche has gained work experiences in various European countries as: Legal Assistant at two notary offices in Brussels (1999-2000); Tax Publication Manager at Wolters Kluwer Belgium, a Dutch Publishing House in Brussels (2000-2004); Knowledge Management Lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, an international law firm in Brussels (2004-2007); Documentaliste in the R&D Department at Philip Morris International, in Switzerland (2008). She then dedicated her full time to her children and joined Standard Ethics in 2015.
Myrianne Coen, Belgian.
Graduated in “Philologie classique au Jury d’Etat” at the Catholic University of Louvain, UCL, Belgium (in 1977), Master in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the University of Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, and Ph.D in “Littérature générale et compare” at the Université de la Sorbonne in Paris (1982). Currently, she is Embassy Counselor for the Belgian Foreign Ministry. In the past, she worked for the Belgian Foreign Ministry in various European capitals: in Rome at the Military Center for Strategic Studies of Defense and the NATO Defense College (2002), she has been appointed as Diplomatic Counsellor in Oslo (1998), as First Secretary at the Belgian Embassy in Sofia (1995) and as Attaché in Paris (1989). She has also worked at the European Parliament and she is the author of numerous studies and research on international organized crime and terrorism.
Veronique Lafon-Vinais, French
Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) since 2004: Associate Director, Centre for Asian Financial Markets; Associate Professor of Business Education, Finance; and Associate Director, World Bachelor in Business program. She graduated in Business Management (MSc) at the École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC) and she has a Masters in International Law (La Sorbonne).
Before joining HKUST, Veronique has gained extensive experience in all the major financial and debt markets including loan syndications and assets sales (par and distressed debt), money markets, debt capital markets (including derivatives structured products distribution) and structured, trade and project finance. She developed the secondary market for loans at First Chicago in London (1984) and she moved to Chicago in 1990. She arranged and syndicated plain vanilla and structured transactions in Europe, the US and Asia for sovereign, public and corporate entities including the Kingdom of Spain, Republic of Ireland, Kingdom of Sweden, ICO, Cathay Pacific, FECSA, Endesa, Motorola and numerous financial institutions. Veronique moved to Hong Kong in 1994 joining First Chicago as Managing Director, Head of Financial Markets, Asia Pacific. She joined Standard Chartered Bank plc as Head of Treasury Origination in 2000 and retired from banking in 2001.
Orla Ralph, British
After university, where she trained as a modern linguist and specialised in European business studies, Orla started her career in the British security and intelligence service before moving into the international financial services sector where she has worked for almost 30 years. She moved from London to Milan in the early 1990’s to open the representative office of Visa International. Since then she has been the CEO of a number of start-ups in Italy of global insurance companies including Swiss Re, Aegon, Nationwide Global and Assurant Solutions.
She is Non Executive Board Director of Homeserve Italy which partners with Italian utility companies to offer home emergency repair services.
She is currently Executive Board Director of Kube Partners, an international niche insurance technology consultancy operating in the areas of anti-fraud, predictive analytics, enterprise fraud management and insurance business applications.
She acts as a consultant in the financial services sector in Italy for Enterprise Ireland, the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. Orla is listed in the 100 top Italian businesswomen of the national newspaper “La Repubblica” and is married to an Italian academic.
Marcello Cardi, Italian
Head of Legal Unit
Law degree (MSc) at the University of Perugia (1987).
Lawyer and Member of the Bar at the supreme Court of Cassation and Arbitration Courts.
Specialized in administrative law. Founding Partner of “studio Legale Cardi” in Rome. He provides consultancy and represent, before Tribunals and Courts, public Authorities, public service companies (mostly listed companies) operating in electricity, telecommunication, insurance services. Member of the Camera Amministrativa Romana.
Jacopo Schettini Gherardini, Italian
Research Office, Director
Rating and Research / SER Process Owner / Analysis Unit Managment
Graduated in Political Sciences, Strategic Studies (MSc), Ph.D. in Corporate Finance, Doctoral School of Finance, University of Trieste. He started his professional career working for HSBC in London (1992), covering all major derivatives markets: LIFFE (UK); CBOT (US); MATIF (France); DTB (German); CME (US). He also worked for other banks (like IMI Bank in London, owned by the Italian Ministry of Finance) before joining AEI in 2001 as CEO. Then, he began to focus intensely on such issues as corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. He became Directeur Exécutif of Standard Ethics AEI GEIE (Brussels) in 2004.
Filippo Cecchi, Italian
Communication and Public Affairs Office, Director
Press and Media Relations / Communication & Data Management
Graduated in Economics and Business Administration with and MBA at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST). He started in Standard Ethics in 2004 as Ratings Analyst and then promoted as Senior Researcher. Between 2009 and 2010 he worked in London as Brand Manager for a beverage company.