Mehul Choksi, Chairman and CEO
Mr. Mehul Choksi is Chairman and Managing Director, Gitanjali Group, one of India’s
largest integrated diamond and jewellery manufacturer-retailers and a leading name
in the global gem and jewellery industry. He is a visionary who, from the mid-’80s,
has led the expansion and diversification of the company. In the early 1990s, he
pioneered the development of branded jewellery in India, launching Gili in 1994,
and since then has developed a large portfolio of jewellery brands for different
consumer needs and segments. Today, brands from the Gitanjali Group including Nakshatra,
Gili, D’damas, Asmi, Sangini and others are among the most visible and largest selling
in India. Under him, the group has also developed its retail presence in international
markets like the USA, Middle East and China through acquisitions and tie-ups. Mr.
Choksi is now spearheading forward and backward integration of the Group: into the
luxury lifestyle segment with a major expansion at the retail level; and the development
of sector-specific SEZs for the manufacturing of high-end jewellery. Mr. Choksi
is the Chairman of the FICCI Gems & Jewellery Committee and a Member of The Gem
& Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s (GJEPC) Diamond Panel Committee.
View the presentation
Martin Rapaport, Chairman
The Rapaport Group
Martin Rapaport, The Rapaport Group is a leading international diamond and jewelry
organization. Established in 1978, the Rapaport Diamond Report is the primary source
of diamond price and market information. Group activities include information, research
and marketing services, global diamond trading services, RapNet® Diamond Trading
Network and INDEX® Internet Diamond Exchange at www.diamonds.net.
Martin Rapaport is a leading diamond expert, lecturer and active public policy advocate.
He is a strong supporter of fair trade, African development, and open, competitive
diamond markets. Most recently he founded the Fair Trade Diamond and Jewelry Association,
which he created to help establish fair trade practices for artisanal diamond and
gold miners in Sierra Leone.
Christopher Ellis, Managing Member and President
Joined Consensus in April 2006 following a 20 year career in investment banking,
financial advisory services and operational consulting in the United Kingdom and
the United States. He provides services to Consensus’s domestic and international
clients in the retail and consumer products space, as well as telecommunications,
alternative energy and food service. Recent jewelry assignments include leading
the advisory work on behalf of the Creditors’ Committee in the Fabrikant bankruptcy,
serving as the Chief Restructuring Officer of L.I.D Ltd., advising the Receiver
in the Colibri Group matter and currently advising the Creditors’ Committee in the
Shane bankruptcy. Before joining Consensus Mr. Ellis was engaged by the principals
of several retail and consumer businesses and real estate holding companies on complex
financial and strategic transactions. He refinanced and restructured balance sheets
for several retail, hospitality, real estate, food service and distribution clients
in the U.S. and the U.K. He also advised on and negotiated sales, mergers and acquisitions
for many of the same businesses. Previously, Mr. Ellis was a partner in a London-based
financial advisory business, designing and implementing debt structures to improve
sale/leaseback characteristics, as well as other products using favorable domiciles,
hedging products for rate risk and currency exposures, and back-to-back collateral
structures. Mr. Ellis was educated at Winchester College in Hampshire, England.
View the presentation
Eli Izhakoff, Chairman
World Diamond Council
Eli Izhakoff is partner of J. Izhakoff & Sons, a diamond manufacturing and import/export
firm, with offices in New York at 580 Fifth Avenue. In 1979, he first joined the
board of directors of the Diamond Dealers Club in New York, and in the years that
followed held positions such as chairman of the board and secretary. He was elected
to serve as treasurer-general of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses in 1986
and was appointed a member of its Executive Committee. In January 1990, Mr. Izhakoff
was elected president of the Diamond Dealers Club and immediately conceived and
formed the Diamond Industry Steering Committee. At the World Diamond Congress, which
was held in May 1991 in London, Mr. Izhakoff was unanimously elected president of
the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). He was unanimously re elected in
June 1993 and for an unprecedented third term in May 1996. Upon his retirement from
the position at the World Diamond Congress in July 1998, he was unanimously elected
as Lifetime Honorary President of the WFDB. At the World Diamond Congress held in
July 2000, Mr. Izhakoff was unanimously elected as chairman of the World Diamond
Council. Among awards and decorations he has received are: the Officer of the Order
of Leopold from the King of Belgium, the Israel Diamond Industry Dignitary Award,
the New York Diamond Industry Lifetime Achievement Award, and special honours from
the president of the Republic of Sakha and the government of Thailand. He holds
the titles of Honorary President of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), Honorary
Chairman of the Diamond Industry Steering Committee, Honorary President of the Diamond
Dealers Club, and Honorary Chairman of the Bangkok Diamonds and Precious Stones
Ian Smilie, Diamond Development Initiative
Ian Smillie has lived and worked in Africa and Asia. He taught high school in Koidu,
the centre of Sierra Leone’s diamond area, in the late 1960s. He was a founder of
the Canadian development organization, Inter Pares, and was Executive Director of
CUSO, then Canada’s largest NGO. He has worked as a development consultant for many
years and is the author of several books on development themes, Including The Charity
of Nations: Humanitarian Action in a Calculating World (with Larry Minear,
2004) and Freedom from Want (2009). During 2000 he served on a UN Security
Council Panel investigating the links between illicit weapons and the diamond trade
in Sierra Leone. Until July 2009 he served as Research Coordinator on Partnership
Africa Canada’s ‘Diamonds and Human Security Project’ and he currently chairs the
Board of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI). He has written extensively on
diamonds, including an entry for the Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Modern World
and a chapter in the Praeger Encyclopaedia on Globalization and Human Security.
In 2008 he was the first witness at the war crime trial of Charles Taylor
in The Hague. He was a leading NGO participant in the Kimberley Process from its
inception until he resigned in 2009. Ian Smillie was appointed to the Order
of Canada in 2003.
View the presentation
Ronald J. Friedman
Ronald J. Friedman, President
Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of the U.S.
Ronald Friedman is president of William Friedman Diamonds, Ltd., a third generation
“boutique” diamond manufacturing business, whose niche is supplying “excellent”
and “very good” cut grade diamonds from 2 carats to large diamonds in all shapes
to an international clientele as well as the domestic American market. He attended
the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a Bachelor
of Science degree in Economics. Ronald previously served on the Board of Directors
of the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA) as both a
member and as Vice President. He was Co-Chairman of the Diamond Industry Steering
Committee (DISC), which served as an umbrella organization promoting the New York
and American diamond industry. DISC was a partnership between the DMIA, the Diamond
Dealers Club of New York (DDC) and the Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association
(IDCA). Ronald is currently a member of the World Diamond Council (WDC).
View the presentation
Moshe Mosbacher, President
Diamond Dealers Club
Moshe Mosbacher is the Acting President of the Diamond Dealers Club, a 2,000-member
trade association established in 1931. Following many years of service as a DDC
arbitrator, Mr. Mosbacher was elected the Club’s Vice President and Chairman of
its Board of Arbitrators. Mr. Mosbacher has been a diamond manufacturer for more
than 25 years.
View the presentation
Mr. CK Venkatraman, Chief Operating Officer
C K Venkataraman is a post-graduate in management from the Indian Institute of Management,
Ahmedabad. Venkatraman spent his early years in advertising and has been with Titan
Industries since 1990. Titan is India’s largest and most respected specialty retailer,
with number 1 position in India’s Watches and Jewellery industries. Venkataraman
is the Chief Operating Officer of Titan’s Jewellery Division, and has been part
of it for the last 4 years. At $600 million in sales last year, the Jewellery division
is the largest player in the 2nd largest Jewellery market in the world. Its flagship
brand Tanishq is known for its product innovation and quality and over 115 exclusive
stores across the country that deliver exceptional service.
View the presentation
Hertz Hasenfeld, Vice President
Soon after Hertz Hasenfeld earned his M.B.A from Fordham Graduate School of Business,
he joined his father, Mr. Alexander Hasenfeld, in his family diamond business -
Hasenfeld-Stein, Inc. In 1977, Hertz became Vice President and Principal of the
firm. Hertz has been instrumental in developing several of the company’s diamond
manufacturing facilities, as well as innovative diamonds cutting systems geared
to retailer programs. He is also very involved in sales training for retailers,
being able to explain complex and technical production concepts into terminology
retail salespeople not only understand, but can use to help close sales. He is an
active member of the DMIA, currently serving on their Executive Committee and chairman
of their Gemological Committee. He is also member of the Diamond Dealers Club of
New York, and former member of their Board of Directors. Hasenfeld-Stein Inc. was
founded in 1948 by Alexander Hasenfeld. The company has cutting factories in China
and in New York City. In March of last year, Hasenfeld-Stein introduced the patent
pending FireMark™ Princess Cut Diamond, a true breakthrough in cutting.
Cecilia Gardner, President and CEO
Jewelers Vigilance Committee
Cecilia L. Gardner is currently the Executive Director and General Counsel of the
Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), a not-for-profit trade association dedicated
to compliance with laws pertaining to the jewelry industry. She also holds the position
of General Counsel to the World Diamond Council, an international association whose
purpose is to end the trade in conflict diamonds. She is a member of the Board of
Directors of the Women=s Jewelry Association, the Board of Directors of the Jewelers
Charity Fund for Children, and a recipient of its 2001 Annual Award for Excellence.
She also serves as a Director of the United States Kimberley Process Authority Institute.
A graduate of Smith College and Hofstra University School of Law, Ms. Gardner=s
professional career included positions as an Examining Attorney with the Department
of Investigation of the City of New York and fifteen years as a federal prosecutor
at the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
As an Assistant United States Attorney, she specialized in narcotics, organized
crime and white-collar cases. Her positions included appointments as the Deputy
Chief of the Narcotics Unit and as Attorney-in-Charge in the Long Island Office.
Her work included numerous international investigations and prosecutions. Ms. Gardner
is an Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University School of Law, where she has taught
International Criminal Law.
Ms. Gardner is married to Daniel L. Feldman, Esq. and the mother of two children,
Asher, 19 and Leah, 17.
Chief Operating Officer
Robert B. Headley is Chief Operating Officer for Jewelers of America. Headley joined
the association in February 2009, with the directive to integrate the association’s
strategic plan with ongoing operations. As COO, Headley serves as Jewelers of America’s
internal leader, reporting to President and CEO Matthew A. Runci. With Runci, he
is responsible for developing Jewelers of America’s overall vision. Headley currently
serves as co-chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council’s Standards Committee. He
also represents Jewelers of America on the Boards of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee,
Jewelers Security Alliance and the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America.
Previous to his position with Jewelers of America, Headley worked for 21 years at
Tiffany & Co., where he oversaw the brand’s revered, and stringent, quality assurance
program. There he served as Vice President of Technical Services and directed quality
assurance and product data management. Prior to joining Tiffany & Co., Headley spent
eight years at Avon Products, supervising systems for ingredient manufacturing,
packaging and corporate quality assurance. Prior to that, he served as a destroyer
officer in the U.S. Navy.
Des Kilalea, Director
Royal Bank of Canada
Des Kilalea works for RBC Capital Markets in the London Equity Research division,
which is part of the RBC global team covering more than 100 mining companies worldwide.
His responsibilities cover the global diamond sector, other small mining sectors
and the large diversified companies, Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
He began his research career in Johannesburg in 1992 with Martin & Company (now
JP Morgan), the then top-rated research brokerage in the country, covering diversiifed
mining and diamond companies. He has been analysing the diamond sector for 17 years
and is in the team which is responsible for RBC Capital Markets' research of the
global mining sector including Harry Winston Diamond Corp, Gem Diamonds, Petra Diamonds,
Namakwa Diamonds, ShoreGold, Pangea DiamondFields and Rockwell Diamonds.
Brad Brooks Rubin, Senior Advisor on Conflict Diamonds
US State Department
Brad Brooks-Rubin serves as the Special Advisor for Conflict Diamonds in the Bureau
of Energy, Economic, and Business Affairs at the United States Department of State.
In this capacity, he provides working level representation for the United States
in the Kimberley Process. Within the Kimberley Process’ Working Group on Monitoring,
Mr. Brooks-Rubin coordinates committees on technical assistance and Cote d’Ivoire.
At the Department of State, Mr. Brooks-Rubin also contributes to U.S. participation
in the work of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative. Prior to joining the Department of State, Mr.
Brooks-Rubin served as an Attorney-Advisor in the Treasury Department’s Office of
the Chief Counsel (Foreign Assets Control), where he provided advice on economic
sanctions related to, inter alia, Sudan, the Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor,
and counterterrorism. Mr. Brooks-Rubin worked as an associate in the International
Trade & Customs group at the law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, L.L.P.
(now Dewey & LeBoeuf) before joining Treasury. Mr. Brooks-Rubin is a graduate of
Washington University in St. Louis and Georgetown University Law Center.
Georgette Gangnon, Executive Director
Human Rights Watch: African Division
Georgette Gagnon is Executive Director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch
(HRW). She leads a team of international researchers and advocates who investigate
and report on human rights abuses in countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. With
expertise on protection of civilians and violations of international humanitarian
law in armed conflict, and on justice and accountability for atrocities, Ms. Gagnon
and her team urge governments to change their abusive policies through advocacy
at the United Nations, the African and European Unions and in African and world
From 2004-7, Ms. Gagnon was Deputy Director of HRW’s Africa Division. Prior to joining
HRW, Ms. Gagnon held the post of Director of Human Rights for the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina based
in Sarajevo. She has also served with the United Nations in senior posts in Afghanistan,
Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda. Ms. Gagnon is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law
School in Toronto, Canada and holds an LL.M with Distinction in International Human
Rights Law from the University of Essex in the UK.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2009