Chief Executive Officer

Mehdi Manaa

In January 2020, Mr. Mehdi Manaa was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Buna. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Manaa served as the Deputy Director-General of the Market Infrastructure and Payments Directorate General at the European Central Bank (ECB). 

During his 12-year tenure at the ECB, Mr. Manaa held several other roles, including heading the Market Infrastructure Development Division as well as the T2S Programme, a program in which he was involved since its inception.

Prior to his career at the ECB, Mr. Manaa held various managerial and advisory positions in the private sector focusing on payment solutions and financial market infrastructures.


Chief Risk and Compliance Officer

Manuel Iglesias

In March 2020, Mr. Manuel Iglesias was appointed as the Chief Risk & Compliance Officer of Buna. Mr. Iglesias has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector, with an extensive background covering corporate governance, regulatory, prudential, and financial crime compliance. 

Prior to joining Buna, Mr. Iglesias held several senior compliance positions with Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan in Spain and acted as Compliance Director/MLRO with ADS Securities/ADS Investment Solutions in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Iglesias holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and is a Certified Compliance Professional.

Chief Strategy and Development Officer

Faisal Al Hijawi

Mr. Faisal Alhijawi is the Chief of Strategy and Development Officer of Buna since October 2020. His responsibilities at Buna include leading the strategy & planning, business and products development, communications and marketing.

Prior to joining Buna, Mr. Alhijawi held several roles at Western Union Financial Services in Dubai, UAE, including the Director of Account Payout Network, and earlier to that he was the Director of Global Payments.

During his 8 years tenure at Western Union, Mr. Alhijawi has led several initiatives to build end-to-end cross-border payment services by creating strategic partnerships with diverse classes of organizations including banking, fintech, and government institutions.

Prior to that, Mr. Alhijawi held various techno-business positions for 12 years in the private sector focusing on online and mobile payment solutions.


Chief Business Services Officer

Ahmed El Hefnawy

Mr. Ahmed El Hefnawy is the Chief Business Service Officer of Buna. During his 20 years of experience in the payment industry he has held various positions of increasing responsibility in the Payment field and banking sector. Prior to joining Buna, Mr. El Hefnawy spent 10 years at the National Bank of Egypt, as Payment System Manager and PMO Deputy General Manager, and was a board member at Misr Real Estate Assets Company. 

Mr. El Hefnawy played major roles in different organizations across the Middle East and GCC regions ranging from Solution Providers, National Switches, Islamic and Conventional Banks, Card Processors, and Consultancy Firms. 

Mr. El Hefnawy holds a bachelor's degree in Communications and Electronics Engineering from Ain Shams University and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), major in marketing management, from Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands. He is PRINCE2® Practitioner certified. Mr. El Hefnawy enriched his business and leadership knowledge and skills by acquiring a graduate school banking program diploma and executive leadership diploma from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the United States. 

Chief Technology Officer

Erol Kaya

Mr. Erol Kaya is the Chief Technology Officer of Buna. Mr. Kaya has over 20 years of experience as a technology and business leader with an entrepreneur mindset in digital payments and a passion for building and scaling up multinational fintech platforms. Mr. Kaya is an expert in technology development with the capability of technology strategy creation and overseeing technology operations for financial institutions.

Mr. Kaya held several executives or board member positions in different multinational organizations across the UK, the UAE, and Turkey with a proven track record in the fintech/banking sector for payments, mobile financial services, remittance, mobile money, and e-commerce. 

Mr. Kaya received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering from Ege University and completed the Executive Education program at Cambridge Judge Business School in the UK.