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THE BETTER FINANCE TEAM

As an association of national member organisations, BETTER FINANCE is supported by a small professional Brussels-based team and our friends on Facebook and LinkedIn. New members and supporters are always welcome to get involved.

Our team consists of finance professionals, lobbyists and communication specialists who carry out the core activities of BETTER FINANCE.

Präsidentin, Jella Benner-Heinacher

Jella Benner-Heinacher ist stellvertretende Hauptgeschäftsführerin der Deutschen Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz (DSW), der größten Aktionärsvereinigung in Deutschland.

Frau Benner-Heinacher ist Rechtsanwältin in Deutschland. Sie studierte in Frankreich, der Schweiz und in den USA. Als Vizepräsidentin von EuroFinUse in Brüssel ist sie insbesondere für internationale Aktivitäten zuständig. Darüber hinaus ist sie Vorsitzende der European Corporate Governance Services (ECGS) in London und Mitglied des Börsenrats der Börse in Düsseldorf.  Ferner ist sie für Fragen der Corporate Governance sowie für die Beteiligung der DSW am Gesetzgebungsverfahren auf nationaler und internationaler Ebene zuständig. Des Weiteren ist sie Mitglied der Aufsichtsräte von.

Vizepräsident, Jean Berthon

Jean Berthon ist Präsident von Better Finance und seit Januar 2009 Präsident von FAIDER (Fédération des associations indépendantes des épargnants pour la retraite), einer französischen Dachvereinigung von 14 Schutzverbänden in Frankreich, die über 1 Million Anleger und Inhaber von Lebensversicherungsverträgen vertritt. Er ist ein Finanzexperte für die Europäische Kommission und stellvertretendes Mitglied der Nutzergruppe „Finanzdienstleistungen“. Außerdem wirkt er in mehreren Ausschüssen und Arbeitsgruppen der Europäischen Wertpapieraufsichtsbehörde (ESMA), der französischen Finanzaufsichtsbehörde (AMF) und der französischen Aufsichtsbehörde für Banken, Versicherungen und Pensionsfonds (ACP). Er ist amtierender französischer Vertreter der Groupe consultatif actuariel européen, der Europäischen Aktuarvereinigung.

Begonnen hat Jean Berthon seine Laufbahn als Aktuar bei der Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations in Frankreich. Es folgten Tätigkeiten bei mehreren französischen Banken, unlängst als Vorsitzender und Geschäftsführer von Demachy-Worms & Cie Gestion, einem führenden französischen Unternehmen im quantitativen und institutionellen Portfoliomanagement. Jean Berthon ist Gründer und stellvertretender Verwaltungsratsvorsitzender der Fondation du Risque, einer gemeinnützigen Stiftung in Frankreich, die auf die Finanzierung und Entwicklung der wissenschaftlichen und wirtschaftsorientierten Risikoforschung spezialisiert ist. Die Fondation du Risque verwaltet derzeit sechs Lehrstühle, die von bedeutenden französischen Banken und Versicherungsgesellschaften gefördert werden.

Vice-President, Axel Kleinlein

Axel Kleinlein is member of the board and spokesman of the German Association of the Insured (BdV) since 2011 (with a short interruption in 2013). He was born in 1969 near Würzburg.

After finishing his studies in mathematics at the University of Cologne and at the Free University of Berlin, he worked as an actuary for Allianz Lebensversicherung in Stuttgart (in 1998-1999). From 2000 on he was responsible for the section of life insurances of Stiftung Warentest in Berlin, the most important public foundation for product ratings in Germany. Three years later he went to Assekurata Assekuranz Rating-Agentur in Cologne, where he published several studies on the life insurance industry and was also in charge of public relations. In 2004 Mr. Kleinlein founded Math Concepts in Berlin, his own research company specialized in insurance mathematics and journalism. In 2007 he additionally worked as a specialist on retirement provision and capital investments for VZBV (Federal Association of Consumer information Centers - the state's "consumer voice") in Berlin.

As Spokesman of BdV he is entirely responsible for the presence of BdV in the mass-media and for the representation of BdV in those public institutions and organizations linked to insurance issues in which consumer interests ought to be represented at the federal level (like VZBV and the insurance ombudsman).

Furthermore, as Spokesman of BdV, he is invited to expert hearings by committees of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag). He is responsible for all BdV comments on draft legal acts or regulations at the national level (by Federal Ministries of Justice, of Finance or others) and on the European level (mainly for EIOPA and the other ESAs).

Vice-president, Lars Milberg

Lars Milberg is a Board Member of Aktiespararna (CEO, Joacim Olsson), the leading shareholder association in Sweden.

Vice-president, Fernando Herrero

Fernando Herrero is currently the Secretary General for the Association of Consumers and Users of Banks, Savings Banks and Insurance (Spain), ADICAE, and member of its Board of Directors. ADICAE is the leading consumer organization in Spain in the field of financial services, with nearly 200,000 members, and involved in various advisory bodies at national and European level.

He has been also attached to the presidency ADICAE for legal services, and is now member of the Advisory Committee of the National Securities Market Commission of Spain. He has been member of the Observatory for Migration to SEPA, (Central Bank of Spain), and also of the Insurance Advisory Board [General Directorate of Insurance and Pension Funds, Ministry of Economy (2006-2011)], and he is usually required by institutions, agencies and universities to participate in regular works and conferences .

After an initial foray into the economic field, since 1998 he became a member of ADICAE , where has developed different responsibilities. He was Vice President of ADICAE from 2004, and later was appointed Secretary General of the association.

He was one of the first representatives of ADICAE in Euroshareholders, and since then he has been the main responsible at ADICAE for international affairs. In fact, he has been very involved in the representation of ADICAE in Better Finance, coordinating the work of ADICAE with Ià±igo Barrera, until recently a member of the Board of Better Finance.

He currently coordinates the ADICAE´s representation in the EU body and the ADICAE´s international activity . He is also member of the Observatory for Electronic Payment Card [Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (2006-2011)], and was member of the Expert Group on Market Observer Efficiency Investment Fund [DG Internal Market, European Commission (2006)], among others. 

Hauptgeschäftsführer, Guillaume Prache

Guillaume Prache, Vorsitzende der ESMA-Interessengruppe Wertpapiere und Wertpapiermärkte und stellvertretender Vorsitzender der Nutzergruppe Finanzdienstleistungen, gehört zu den Experten, die die Nutzer von Finanzdienstleistungen gegenüber der Europäischen Union vertreten. Er ist Vizepräsident der französischen Anlegervereinigung FAIDER und Mitglied des Kleinanlegerausschusses der französischen Finanzaufsichtsbehörde AMF.


Prache, der zunächst als Richter am französischen Rechnungshof tätig war, verfügt über umfangreiche internationale Erfahrung in Finanzfragen, insbesondere als Finanzvorstand bei Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, Inc., einem im „Fortune Global 500“ geführten börsennotierten Unternehmen, von 1997 bis 2000, und als Geschäftsführer der europäischen Tochtergesellschaft der Vanguard Group, Inc., einem weltweit führenden Unternehmen im Bereich Asset-Management, von 2000 bis 2006. Seit 2005 lehrt der Autor von zwei Büchern und mehreren Artikeln über Wirtschafts- und Finanzthemen Asset-Management im Rahmen des Lehrgangs Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM).

Executive Director, Aleksandra Maczynska 

Aleksandra Maczynska is coming from Warsaw, Poland, where she was the Deputy Director of the International Relations and Communication Department of the Polish consumer and competition watchdog. 

She studied at the Faculty of Management at the Poznan University of Economics and at the Warsaw School of Economics. She has also a vast experience in management of international projects, e.g. EU funded capacity building projects. As a Fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation Programme for the Young Executives from the Public Sector, she worked at the Division for World Bank International Monetary Fund, Debt Issues and International Finance Structure at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. She was an expert at various EU Council’s Working Parties such as the WP on Financial Services and WP on Competitiveness and Growth, as well as European Commission’s Working Groups and Advisory Committees. One of her task was also external representation and managing professional networks such as Consumer Policy Network (CPN), International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), European Competition Network (ECN) and OECD Competition Committee.

Chief Communications Officer, Arnaud Houdmont

Arnaud Houdmont schloss sich dem Team von Better Finance nach einer abwechslungsreichen und vielseitigen Karriere in den Bereichen Kommunikation, Pressearbeit und Forschung im Herzen Europas an. Während dieser Zeit arbeitete er an Themen wie Jugendbeschäftigung, Unternehmergeist, Gesundheitspolitik, Nachhaltigkeit und Innovation eng mit Entscheidungsträgern der Europäischen Kommission, des Europäischen Parlaments und Akteuren aus dem Privatsektor zusammen. Davor erwarb er einen Mastertitel in Global Communication am Goldsmith’s College (Universität London) und einen Bachelor in Internationalen Beziehungen an der Universität Sussex.

Während seines Studiums und seiner Laufbahn gewann er kritische und analytische Einblicke in eine Reihe von Themen und vertiefte seine Kenntnisse der politischen Ökonomie, Medien und der europäischen Institutionen. Persönlich interessiert sich Arnaud Houdmont besonders für alle Aspekte der nachhaltigen Entwicklung und politischen Ökonomie.

Bei EuroFinUse trägt er die Verantwortung für sämtliche Kommunikationsaktivitäten und die fortlaufende Entwicklung einer umfassenden Kommunikationsstrategie, die sich an alle interessierten Parteien und Beteiligten richtet. Arnaud Houdmont spricht fließend Niederländisch, Englisch und Französisch und verfügt über gute Spanischkenntnisse.

Junior Policy Officer, Marie Vial

Marie graduated from Pantheon-Sorbonne University and from the College of Europe in Bruges (Promotion Chopin). She studied European law and specialized in Economic and Monetary Union, Financial market regulation and Competition law. She joined the team for a 6-month internship.

She completed a 6-month internship at the European Commission within the DG Internal Market and services where she worked on the European Retail Action Plan. She worked as a trainee paralegal at Hill Hofstetter, a British Law firm based in Birmingham and London within their International litigation team. 

Marie was previously Research Assistant at Better Finance, and now assists the team in their projects and administrative tasks. 

Research Officer, Stefan Voicu

Stefan Dragos Voicu joined the Better Finance team as Research Assistant for a 6-months period. He obtained a double degree in law: a Bachelor’s Degree in Romanian national law (University of Bucharest, Faculty of Law) and a Bachelor’s Degree in European and French Law, from the University Paris-Sorbonne. 

Subsequently, he decided to pursue a specialisation in EU Law. During the Master’s courses at Leiden University’s (Faculty of Law) LL.M. European Law, he focused on EU Internal Market & Competition Law, as well as on EU Institutional Law. He wrote his Master’s Thesis on the topic of EU Data Protection Law and Consent for Cookies.

As part of his professional experience, Stefan undertook several internships at national and international law offices in Bucharest. He performed the activities of an intern in fields such as Banking Law. He has demonstrated a keen interest for the EU financial services sector. 

Administration & Finance Assistant, Lina Strandvåg Nagell

Before joining the Better Finance team, Norwegian national Lina Strandvåg Nagell completed several international traineeships, including time spent with Washington D.C. based firm Freedman Consulting, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and the UN. Her professional experience extends to communication, research and policy work.

While studying at the European University at St. Petersburg for an MA in Energy Politics, Lina focused on the financialization of commodities and oil price volatility. She is a recent graduate from the Brussels School of International Studies, where she obtained an LLM in International Law with a minor in International Political Economy. Her main areas of focus were international financial regulation as well as trade- and investment law. Lina holds two BAs from the University of Bergen, one in Economics and one in Comparative Politics. Lina originally joined the team as Research Assistant for a 6 month period.

Research Assistant, Lorenzo Marchionni

After having gained experience in the Administrative Services Division at the Rome based UN Agency IFAD and in Milan, by working for the Italian Sustainable Investment Forum, Lorenzo joined the Better Finance team as Research Assistant for a six-months period.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florence and a postgraduate’s degree in Banking, Corporate Finance and Financial Markets from the University of Pisa. His Master’s thesis topic concerned the development of microcredit in Europe as an instrument to foster self-employment and bottom-up economic growth. He sustained part of his master studies as exchange student at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

His areas of interest range from financial education to economic development with a specific focus on employment and social affairs.

Spotlight

The latest edition of our report on Pension Savings is now available for download!

 

 

 

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