GBA All-Stars Academy Brings Nearly 50 Attendees from 23 Countries to The Hague

Thursday 30th June 2016

All-Stars Academy 2016 Group PhotoRepresentatives from 24 banks, development finance institutions and finance-focused nonprofits gathered two weeks ago for the first-ever GBA All-Stars Academy, hosted by the Dutch Development Bank FMO in The Hague, the Netherlands, to learn from GBA experts how they can best serve female clients with a holistic value proposition of financial and non-financial products and services.

Nearly 50 attendees traveled from 23 countries to attend the June 13-16 event, spending 3.5-days learning strategies and best practices for effectively serving the Women’s Market. The training, presented using case studies, was delivered by five expert practitioners: Karyl Akilian, Head of Brands Management, Marketing Group, BLC Bank, Lebanon; Daniel Gutiérrez, Vice President, Business Development, Banco BHD León, Dominican Republic; Andrew McCartney, Senior Banking Specialist, International Finance Corporation, India; Rachael McKenzie, National Manager Distribution, Women’s Markets, Westpac, Australia; and Simla Ünal, Marketing & Business Development Director, SME Banking, TEB Bank, Turkey.

Each participant institution was asked to develop their business case for targeting the Women’s Market over the 3.5 days, culminating in a 5-minute “pitch” presentation made to one of the experts. A group of three finalists was selected, and the finalists then presented to the entire group. The finalists were the Royal Bank of Scotland, represented by Head of Enterprise Julie Baker; KCB Burundi, represented by Managing Director Gloria Nyambok and Relationship Manager – Institutional Banking Peggy Kwizera; and BAC San José, represented by Business Banking Manager Javier Sancho, Project Manager Corporate Banking Maria Barboza, CSR Manager Luis Mastroeni and Regional Director of Social Responsibility Grupo BAC Credomatic Roxana Víquez – the team that ultimately was named the winner based on votes from the entire audience of All-Stars Academy attendees.

Participants were effusive about the quality of the learning experience:

“Thank you very much for the terrific All-Stars Academy. It was really very informative and well presented – plus enjoyable. I’m sure that the event will assist us in our workplace, and we already started to share some of these great tools and information.”

  • Bank Attendee


“I would like to thank you for organizing such an informative Academy – wishing you success in all the Academies to come. We have learned so much and are so eager, determined and even more inspired now to make a success out of our program.”

  • Bank Attendee


“Thanks for organizing such an interesting and informative seminar. I really liked the program, the speakers, the facilitator and the organization in general – and most importantly, it was very relevant for my institution. I received many new impressions and returned home with new ideas.”

  • Bank Attendee


“It was a great learning event. I gained a lot that has already helped me to think through the revised gender strategy, which we are currently doing. I look forward to sharing with the network and most importantly to engaging with strategic banks [on the Women’s Market].”

  • IFI Attendee


“Thanks to you and the whole team for delivering a high-quality and practical training experience to our clients and the others in the room. … I very much enjoyed myself and learned a lot. I think that the 5 experts really made the whole thing come to life.”

  • IFI Attendee


The GBA All Stars Academy is a new service developed by GBA to support banks who are in the early stages of looking at the Women’s Market or looking to re-boot and upgrade their existing programs. The knowledge presented is based on state-of-the-art best practices, with discussions of components of the Women’s Market strategy that have worked and not worked for GBA banks, and the content will be continuously updated as we roll out additional workshops across 3 regions in the next 24 months. The next GBA All-Stars Academy will take place in Q1 2017, hosted by Banco BHD León in the Dominican Republic and supported by the Inter-American Development Bank.

Click through the photo gallery below for a look at the event, and check the GBA website in the coming weeks for video highlights and recaps of select sessions.