Mahesh C. Khemlani is the next president of the Panama Diamond Exchange

Mahesh C. Khemlani (photo)

Mahesh C. Khemlani

The Board of Directors of the Panama Diamond Exchange has elected Mahesh C. Khemlani as the next PDE President. Mr. Khemlani, has an extensive background in business and government, including a term as Vice Minister of Finance of the Republic of Panama.

The PDE Board also approved the appointment of Ali Pastorini, Director of Marketing of the World Jewelry Hub, as Senior Vice President of the Panama Diamond Exchange.

Mr. Khemlani joins the PDE from Grupo VerdeAzul, a private investment firm in Panama, where he is currently Chief Investment Officer. Before joining VerdeAzul, Mr. Khemlani spent six years at the Ministry of Economy & Finance of Panama, most recently as Vice Minister of Finance. At the Ministry, he successfully led the efforts to establish the country’s sovereign wealth fund and coordinated the high-level team responsible for obtaining the Investment Grade Credit Rating for the country. During his time in public administration he won many accolades, including Public Servant of the Year for 2012 by the Panama Chamber of Capital Markets (CAPAMEC), and by the Association of Stock Exchanges of Central America and the Caribbean (BOLCEN).

Before government, Mr. Khemlani was Vice President of Finance and Business Development at Optynex Telecom, a local exchange carrier serving the Panama Market. Prior to this role, Mr. Khemlani was a member of the Technology Investment Banking Group at CIBC World Markets (formerly known as Oppenheimer & Co.) and a financial analyst at Standard & Poor’s Portfolio Management Data Group.

Mr. Khemlani graduated with degrees in Finance and International Business from Ithaca College, and a Masters in Business Administration from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile. Mr. Khemlani also completed a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was an Edward S. Mason Fellow.

“We are truly fortunate to have an individual of the caliber of Mahesh, with his wealth of experience, knowledge, insight, ability and acumen, leading the Panama Diamond Exchange to the next level and beyond,” said PDE Founding Chairman Eli Izhakoff, who presented Mr. Khemlani´s nomination before the Board.

Mr. Khemlani thanked Mr. Izhakoff and the PDE Board for their vote of confidence and expressed his enthusiasm for the challenges ahead. “Our objective is to create a world-class organization that will power the development of the gemstone and jewelry business in our region, and simultaneously expand the commercial relationship between Latin American and the world. At this stage, our focus will be on increasing membership and attracting regional buyers. I firmly believe that we have the facilities, professional personnel and strategic vision to make that all happen.”