Leadership Team

Over 100 Years of Collective Industry Experience

Talal Yassine OAM - Managing Director

Talal Yassine is an Honorary Professorial Fellow within Crawford School of Public Policy, and an experienced Banker and Non-Executive Director.

After 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Director and strategist, Talal joined investment firm Babcock & Brown Ltd in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia and is currently the Managing Director of Crescent Wealth.

Talal serves as the Chairman of Medina Capital, Australian Arab Dialogue Limited, and as the Patron of the Crescent Institute. He also serves on the Western Sydney University Foundation Board.

Talal previously has served as Chairman of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, Council of Australian Arab Relations and Platinum Sound Ltd.

Talal has also served the Board of Australia Post, Sydney Ports, Macquarie University.

Talal holds a Master of Laws, a Master of Business Administration and several undergraduate degrees. Talal was appointed as a Professorial Fellow in November 2012.

On Australia Day 2010, Talal was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to business and to the community through a range of education, health and multicultural organisations.

Saeed Mirzakhani - Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Saeed Mirzakhani joined Crescent Wealth in November 2015 as its Chief Financial Officer. Saeed is also founding member of CharterNet with over twelve years experience servicing private clients on a wealth of accounting and taxation matters.

Saeed has obtained his experience from global professional services firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (Private Client Services / Taxation Division) and Pitcher Partners (Business Services / Tax Division).

He holds Professional Memberships with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Taxation Institute of Australia and the Law Society of NSW (accredited external examiner).

Saeed has qualifications as a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) auditor, a BaC (USyd), MBA (MacqU), and specialist skills in business services and tax compliance, tax advisory and business advisory.

Fatma Saaoud - Business Operations Manager

Fatma currently leads Crescent Wealth’s Business Operations, including strategic business planning, project management of major projects and management of key stakeholders.

Fatma has more than 10 years’ experience in the financial services sector. Predominantly in lending, superannuation and managed funds.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and Bachelor of Arts from Deakin University in Melbourne.

Previously Fatma held a Senior Manager role with Landcorp Australia. Specialising in private equity real estate with the focus on residential and commercial developments projects.

Her specific areas of expertise were to provide analytical reports of opportunity sites based on location, yield, project feasibility, funding models, and risk assessments.

Fatma also held Business Development Manager and Relationship Manager roles for Crescent Wealth. Where she was responsible for the development and growth of the Melbourne market.

Fatma also currently serves as a Board Director of AG Coop and the National Coordinator of the Crescent Foundation.

Mas Johan Harris - Director- Investments & Strategy

Mas Johan Harris joined Crescent Wealth in October 2013 as its Head of Product & Operations. He has over 20 years’ experience in Funds Management working both in Australia and internationally. Starting his career with AMP in Sydney, he then built upon this with experience working with large global managers like Royal & Sun Alliance and Barclays Capital in London. Before joining Crescent Wealth, he spent an extended period in Malaysia with KAF Investment Bank helping to build up their Funds Management business. During his career, Mas has successfully launched a number of successful investment products both conventional and Islamic compliant. He has strong skills in investment products and operations.

In 2016 – he was appointed the head of Crescent Wealth’s Malaysia business to build upon its presence in that country and subsequently launched the first Australia domiciled property Fund available in Malaysia.

He holds professional membership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney.

Malaysian Advisory Board

The Crescent Wealth Malaysian Advisory Board members are leading business executives and leaders whose role is to provide strategic advice to the Managing Director of Crescent Wealth

Datuk Mohamed Azahari Kamil - Chair

Datuk Mohamed Azahari Kamil is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Asian Finance Bank Berhad. His previous roles included Managing Director and CEO of AmanahRaya Investment Bank Ltd, Managing Director of AmanahRayah – JMF Asset Management Sdn Bhd, Corporate Institutional Dealer at PB Securities Sdn Bhd, Executive Director and Corporate Nominee of KLSE for Kimara Equities Sdn Bhd, Assistant General Manager at Island and Peninsular Berhad and Senior Manager of Investment and Corporate Planning for Bapema Corporation Sdn Bhd, subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Berhad.

He has been an independent, Non-Executive Director of Sapura Techology Bhd, Ayer Hitam Tin Dredging Malaysia Bhd and PA Resources Berhad. Datuk Azahari has a BBA and MBA in Finance from CMU, a Diploma in Banking from University ITM, and undertook Leadership Programs at Berkeley University and Harvard University

Mohd Ridzal Bin Mohd Sheriff - Member

Mohd Ridzal Sheriff was the Deputy Secretary General of the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade & Industry (April 2012-Mar 2015). Part of his role was to infuse private sector culture into the civil service, whilst cultivating, building and maintaining trade ties on a bilateral and multilateral basis for ASEAN, APEC, OIC and country to country trade relations.

Amongst his many roles, he has represented Malaysia as trade negotiator for both bilateral and multilateral trade, in the role of Senior Trade Official in ASEAN, OIC (Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference) and as Chief Negotiator for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (“RCEP”) negotiations – a multilateral 16 country trade agreement.

He has been Chair of ASEAN’s AEC 2025 Vision Working Group, Senior Official for Malaysia-China Joint Trade Committee, led numerous special committees responsible for enhancing trade ties including committees on trade with China, committee responsible for Look East Policy 2.0, committee responsible for charting ASEAN Economic Community 2025, committee to enhance trade ties with Kazakhstan, and committee responsible for the economic offset program with South Africa. Prior to this role, Mr Sheriff has had a very successful career in the financial industry of Malaysia.

He was at Deutsche Bank Malaysia Bhd (DB) (2006 to 2012) as Head of Global Transaction Banking Malaysia, Head of Direct Securities Services Malaysia, and Director of Corporate Investment Banking where he successfully built a very strong domestic franchise in transaction banking domestically. Prior to this he was CEO of Duetsche Trustees (M) Bhd where he successfully led the Trustee business from zero-base to a leading position measured by funds under management, and secured 4 out of the 5 top mutual funds clients in Malaysia, was a trustee for marque Islamic fund, led large client migration to DB, led the market in collective investments schemes development, amongst others, entrenching DT’s position a leading market player.

From 2000 to 2005 Ridzal had a senior management role in Bursa Malaysia, the Malaysian stock exchange. He held various positions in the Exchange, such as the the Head of Group Business Development, General Manager of Clearing, Settlement & Depository Division at Bursa Malaysia Bhd and CEO of the Malaysian Derivatives Clearing House Bhd. He has also represented organisations at Board level. Most recently, he was Deputy Chairman of SME Corp Malaysia, was previously a Director of Duetsche Corporate Advisory Malaysia, the Malaysian Derivatives Clearing House Bhd, the Kuala Lumpur Options & Financial Futures Exchange Bhd and Chairman of Deutsche Trustees Malaysia Bhd. Ridzal holds a law degree from the University of London and is a qualified stock and derivatives trader.

Dato’ Saiful Bahri Zainuddin - Member

Dato’ Zainuddin is a Senior Executive of the Affin Banking Group. He holds or has held positions as Executive Director of Affin Investment Bank, Managing Director of Affin Investment Bank Stockbroking, Executive Director of Affin Holdings Bhd, membership of GLC Transformation Programme chaired by the Prime Minister, committee member of Affin Banking Group Investment Panel. His roles have been instrumental in getting mandates for the listing of Petronas Chemical (Petchem), Astro Malaysia Berhad, IHH Berhad, and FELDA Global Ventures.

Prior to this, Dato Zainuddin was Executive Director and Executive Director Dealing of Rashid Hussain Securities, CEO and Executive Director of Fima Securities Sdn Bhd – A subsidiary of Kumpulan Fima. He has also been a Director of Fima Asset Management Sdn Bhd, Member of Investment Committee of Fima Asset Management Sdn Bhd, and Member of Manco (Management Committee) of Fima Securities Sdn Bhd.

Prior to this, Dato Zainuddin was involved in RHB Banking Group as General Manager of Rashid Hussain Securities Sdn Bhd, Corporate Nominee and Director of Rashid Hussain Securities, Head of Institutional Dealing, a Member of Dealing Exco, a Member of Research Exco and was instrumental in the listing of Sime Darby, Petronas Gas, Petronas Dagangan and Telekom Malaysia.

Prior to this, Dato Zainuddin was involved in HICOM (Heavy Industries Corp. of Malaysia) as part of the Corporate Planning Division.

Dato Zainuddin is a Member of the Securities Law Consultative Committee, a Board of Trustee of Bumiputera Training Fund, Board of Trustee of Bumiputera Dealer Representatives Education Fund, a member of the Securities Market Consultative Panel, and Board member of Secondary Market Council, Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of Bursa Malaysia Berhad, Board Committee member for Bursa Malaysia’s Market Participation Committee, Risk Management Committee and Nomination & Remuneration Committee. He has also been appointed as Board member of the Securities Industries Dispute Resolution Centre (SIDREC), Chairman of the Association of Stockbroking Companies of Malaysia (ASCM), Chairman of the Joint Business Operations Committee between Bursa Malaysia Bhd and ASCM, Financial Adviser to the State Government of Negeri Sembilan, and Member of Negeri Sembilan State Government Think Tank chaired by the Menteri Besar

Dato Zainuddin has a BSc Economics & Finance from Western Michigan University, and participated in the International Centre for Leadership in Finance (ICLIF) Global Leadership Development Programme at Stanford University.

Board Of Directors

Emeritus Professor Dianne Yerbury AO - Chair

Emeritus Professor Dianne Yerbury has had a long and distinguished career in corporate Australia as well as an academic at some of Australia’s leading universities.

Amongst her many appointments (corporate, honorary and public) she was the GM/CEO of the Australia Council (1984 – 2006), Vice-Chancellor & President of Macquarie University, Sydney (1987 to 2006). She was also the Foundation Professor of Management at the Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW).

Her many directorships amongst others, include GIO (1983 – 1988), Australia Post (1998 – 2002), Citibank Australia (1998 – 2002), University Co-operative Bookshops (2000 to date), Beta Investments (2000 to date); CEDA (2003 – 2008) and IBT Education now known as Navitas (2006 – 2008). In addition to two Honorary Doctorates, Dianne was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2000 and awarded a Centenary Medal in 2002.

Nicholas Whitlam - Non-Executive Deputy Chair

Nicholas Whitlam is chairman of the Port Authority of New South Wales, a non-executive director of Crescent Wealth , and chairman of his family company, Whitlam & Co.

As a former CEO and chairman of major financial institutions, Whitlam has been exposed to most aspects of banking, insurance and superannuation.

In recent years he has been heavily involved in the ports sector; Whitlam served as chairman of all three NSW ports – Sydney, Newcastle and Port Kembla – until their amalgamation as the new port authority on 1 July 2014. In the disability and compensation sector he has recently served as chairman of the Lifetime Care & Support Authority and deputy chairman of the WorkCover Fund and WorkCover NSW.

Whitlam was President of the National Roads and Motorists’ Association, Australia’s largest mutual organisation, from 1996 to 2002. He chaired NRMA Insurance, Australia’s largest general insurance company, from 1996 to 2001; while at NRMA Insurance he led the process by which that company was demutualized and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange – where it now trades as Insurance Australia Group or IAG.

A career banker, Whitlam joined Morgan Guaranty Trust Co (now JP Morgan) in 1969, working in New York and London, and rising to the position of Vice President. Subsequently, he worked with American Express in Sydney and Hong Kong and then Banque Paribas in Hong Kong before his appointment as Managing Director and CEO of the State Bank of New South Wales from 1981. In 1987, together with Malcolm Turnbull, he established the investment bank Whitlam Turnbull & Co, where he was CEO. Since 1990 he has managed Whitlam & Co.

Whitlam was a member of the Sydney Olympic Games Review Committee in 1990 and then the Sydney Olympic Games Bid Committee 1991-1993. He was Chairman of Tattersall’s Club 1993-1996 and a director of the Australian Sports Foundation 1986-1995. For the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Whitlam was the Olympic Attaché for Hong Kong.

He was chairman of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra 1991-1996. Whitlam is a former chairman of the Australian Graduate School of Management (1986-1997)and was the inaugural chairman of the Whitlam Institute. He is currently a trustee of the Steiner Pohl Foundation and a Governor of St Vincent’s Curran Foundation.

Whitlam holds degrees from Harvard University (AB cum laude, 1967) and the University of London (MSc, 1969) and honorary doctorates granted by The University of New South Wales (Hon DUniv) and Western Sydney University (Hon DLitt). He was born in Sydney and attended Sydney High School. Whitlam is married to Judy (née Frye); they live in a coastal village south of Sydney and have three adult children.

Dr John Hewson AM- Non-Executive Director

Dr John Hewson is one of Australia's most experienced economists, financial experts and company directors. He is also a former politician and was Leader of the Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1990 to 1994.

Since leaving politics Dr Hewson has forged a very successful career in investment banking and at the elite levels of business.

Dr Hewson is a member of the Advisory Council for ABN AMRO Australia and Chairman of The John Hewson Group Pty Limited, Global Renewables Limited, Universal Bus Company Pty Ltd (UBC), Strategic Capital Management Limited and Belle Property Pty Ltd. He is also a director of Macquarie Graduate School of Management and other public and private companies.

With this background, John Hewson offers audiences around the world a unique view of politics, economics and business.

More about Dr John Hewson:

John Hewson entered politics in 1987 as the Member for Wentworth and became Shadow Minister for Finance then Shadow Treasurer before being elected the 24th Leader of the Opposition in 1990, a position he held until May 1994. Previously he had been advisor to two successive Federal Treasurers. He left politics in 1995.

In his earlier career, Dr Hewson's appointments included economist positions with the International Monetary Fund and the Reserve Bank of Australia, Head of the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales, adviser to Sumitomo Bank and on the Executive Committee for Macquarie Bank.

He also held some 30 major economic and financial consultancies to financial institutions and various industry organisations and associations including Bank of America, The Midland Bank, The Australian Bank, FW Holst & Co., OCBC and Australian Merchant Bankers Association.

Dr Hewson has been committed to environmental issues since meeting former US vice president and climate campaigner Al Gore and has had direct involvement in ventures including a waste recycling and methane extraction facility in Sydney. He also chaired the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development for six years.

In 2001 Dr Hewson was awarded a Member in the Order of Australia - For service to business and economics, to the Australian Parliament and politics, and to the community.

Talal Yassine OAM - Managing Director

Talal Yassine is an Honorary Professorial Fellow within Crawford School of Public Policy, and an experienced Banker and Non-Executive Director.

After 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Director and strategist, Talal joined investment firm Babcock & Brown Ltd in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia and is currently the Managing Director of Crescent Wealth.

Talal serves as the Chairman of Medina Capital, Australian Arab Dialogue Limited, and as the Patron of the Crescent Institute. He also serves on the Western Sydney University Foundation Board.

Talal previously has served as Chairman of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, Council of Australian Arab Relations and Platinum Sound Ltd.

Talal has also served the Board of Australia Post, Sydney Ports, Macquarie University.

Talal holds a Master of Laws, a Master of Business Administration and several undergraduate degrees. Talal was appointed as a Professorial Fellow in November 2012.

On Australia Day 2010, Talal was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to business and to the community through a range of education, health and multicultural organisations.

Samier Dandan - Non-Executive Director

Mr Samier Dandan is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of ManageNET, an IT infrastructure and services company.

He is also President of the Lebanese Muslim Association. Samier has held a variety of operational and technical roles at Maxis Corporation and Managed Networks. He also served on the Federal Muslim Community Referral Group to the then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard. Samier also holds a degree in BEng.

Hilal Yassine - Non-Executive Director

Hilal Yassine is the Group Managing Director of First Quay Capital and an experienced businessman and Non-Executive Director.

He currently serves as a non-executive director DomaCom Ltd (ASX : DCL) on the Board of Crescent Wealth, First Quay Capital, and the several private family companies.

Hilal has over 20 years of executive experience, holding various roles as a senior executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Sydney and London based firm Clyde & Co in their Dubai Offices.

He was also the Chief Operating Officer of the Austaxi Group (Lime Taxis)and the Managing Director of the Platinum Hearing Group.

Hilal holds a BCom LLB (UNSW), LLM (UNSW) and MBA (WSU).

Dania Zinurova - Non-Executive Director

Dania Zinurova is a Senior investment consultant at Willis Towers Watson. Manager research, private markets, covering Asia Pacific real estate, global infrastructure, real assets, and illiquid credit strategies. Prior to this, she was an investment analyst at Russell Investments. Her experiences spans across management and research in private markets covering Asia Pacific real estate, global infrastructure, real assets, and illiquid credit strategies.

Geoff Peck - Non-Executive Director
Geoff Peck is a Joined the Crescent Wealth Board in January 2021

Geoff is also an independent Non-Executive Director of Aracon Superannuation Pty Ltd, and the current Chair of the Aracon Board having been appointed on 6 December 2019.

Until December 2020, Geoff was the Head of Client Development at Chant West, a pre-eminent provider of research on the Australian superannuation industry- a role which he served in for 5 years.

Geoff has over 35 years’ experience in the superannuation and insurance industries, including over 15 years in executive roles, and 4 years as a non-executive director and Chair of the Board Audit Committee with a major life insurer. His career has included senior positions at the BT Financial Group, Russell Investments, AIA Australia, and CBA.

Geoff holds a Bachelor of Science, a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of ASFA and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary.

Regina Abood - Company Secretary

Regina has over 20 years of experience in providing governance and company secretarial services to a range of companies and trusts. In addition to being the Company Secretary of the Crescent Wealth Group, Regina is also the company secretary of the Port Authority of NSW, Koda Capital and Aurora Education Foundation.

Prior to these roles, Regina held governance and company secretarial-related roles at AMP, Allco Finance Group, Infigen Energy and Company Matters.

Regina holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Western Sydney University and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance. Regina is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.