our team

Ben Holt
Chief Executive Officer
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Ben Holt has worked in the financial services industry for 25 years and has held a number of senior international Compliance positions in London, Geneva and Dubai, in the investment banking and/or private banking divisions of HSBC, Societe Generale and Barclays. He is the founder of HOLT consultancy.
 
In the past 20 years, his responsibilities included the role of registered HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA Compliance Officer with the SWX and virt-x exchanges and licensed Compliance Officer, Money Laundering Reporting Officer and Senior Manager with the DFSA for HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, Societe Generale, NewEdge Group and Barclays Bank plc. Ben is an outsourced Compliance Officer and MLRO for various firms that are authorised by the DFSA.  He also provides Compliance and AML training.
 
He has a Master of Science of Laws degree and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI). He is also a Fellow member of the Global Academy of Finance and Management (GAFM), and a Fellow member of the International Compliance Association (ICA).
Shamshad Khan
Managing Director
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Shamshad has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years and has held a number of senior compliance positions with various financial institutions in the insurance, asset management, investment banking and private banking sectors in both Canada and Dubai.
 
Before joining HOLT consultancy in 2015, she was the Regional Head of Compliance for the Private Banking division of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, prior to which she was the Head of Compliance, MENA for Natixis Global Associates.  
 
Prior to relocating to Dubai in 2007, she was the Regional Compliance Officer for Manulife Financial, overseeing the company's compliance program for its insurance and securities business in the province of Quebec. She is currently an outsourced Compliance Officer and MLRO for a number of firms authorised by the DFSA.
 
Shamshad has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting from Concordia University, Montreal, and has completed the Investment Funds course from the Institute of Canadian Bankers as well as the Officers', Partners', and Directors' Course from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada.

 

Natalie Hodgins
Managing Director
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After graduating from Oxford, Natalie was called to the Bar in 1998. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors in the United Kingdom specialising in high-profile cases involving serious and organised crime, fraud and money laundering. 

 

Consultancy work undertaken in the United Kingdom by Natalie included projects with Deloitte and the Bank of England and has focused on serious fraud prevention, anti-money laundering, Know Your Customer procedures and other compliance-related matters.

 

Natalie is currently engaged in advising clients working in the insurance and reinsurance sector on all aspects of compliance, anti-money laundering and corporate governance in the Middle East. She is also experienced in handling DFSA Enforcement action. She is currently an outsourced Compliance Officer and MLRO for a number of firms authorised by the DFSA.

 

Natalie completed the International Compliance Association (ICA) Diploma in Compliance achieving a distinction and has passed the Chartered Insurance Institute P97 Reinsurance Module of the Insurance Diploma.

 

Barry Cotter
Director
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Before joining HOLT consultancy, Barry worked with locally licensed UAE insurance entities assisting with their compliance requirements for numerous local regulators including the DFSA and Federal Insurance Authority.  Prior to that he was a consultant with a DIFC based compliance consultancy firm supporting a number of DFSA authorised firms on AML, KYC and compliance-related matters in addition to acting as their outsourced Compliance Officer and MLRO.

 

Barry has obtained the International Compliance Association (ICA) Diploma in Compliance, the  Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII) from the Chartered Insurance Institute and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Management.

 

Jacquiline Martin
Senior Compliance Officer
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With over 15 years of experience in the reinsurance industry, Jacquiline has held key positions in organisations in Bahrain and Dubai. Her work experience in Compliance and Anti Money Laundering at the DIFC spans over seven years.
 
Before joining HOLT consultancy, Jacquiline worked for a DFSA regulated Islamic reinsurance company in the capacity of deputy MLRO, and prior to that in a DFSA regulated reinsurance company as a DFSA Authorised Compliance Officer and MLRO.
 
Jacquiline currently assists a number of authorised firms in the DIFC in the insurance and reinsurance sectors as their outsourced Compliance Officer and MLRO.
 

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce and has professional certifications in Compliance and Anti Money Laundering including a Certificate in IF1 - Insurance, Legal and Regulatory and I11 Introduction to Risk Management from the Chartered Insurance Institute.

 

 

Flora Howard
Compliance Officer
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Flora began working in the DIFC in 2012, before joining HOLT consultancy in 2017.

 

Prior to joining HOLT consultancy, Flora worked for another consulting firm in the DIFC where she established (re)insurance companies and assisted with the licensing process, before becoming an internal and outsourced Company Secretary, and an outsourced Compliance Officer, MLRO or deputy MLRO for several firms, with a focus on the insurance sector. Throughout her time in the UAE, Flora has also gained experience in running Compliance gap analysis projects, redemption projects and Corporate Governance analysis.

 

Flora has worked with Global insurers, reinsurers and TPAs in both a Compliance and Project Management capacity, running complex Legal and Compliance projects internally and for business partners and clients.

 

Flora graduated with an Honors degree in History and English Literature from the University of Reading and successfully passed, with a Merit award, the International Compliance Association (ICA) Diploma in Compliance.

Theo van Houten
Senior Compliance Officer
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Theo has over 10 years of experience in compliance and operational risk management and has worked for a wide range of European, UAE and DFSA regulated entities in the Asset Management, Commercial Banking, and Investment Banking sectors.
 
Before joining HOLT consultancy, Theo worked for a UK FCA regulated energy exchange, where he was a CF10/CF11 licensed function holder.  From 2008 to 2011 he was a consultant with a DIFC based compliance consultancy firm, assisting new companies coming into the DIFC with the incorporation process and obtaining required licenses from the DFSA. He also provided support to a number of DFSA authorised firms on AML, KYC and compliance-related matters in addition to acting as their outsourced Compliance Officer and MLRO.
 
Theo holds a Bachelor degree in Business Economics and Post Bachelor Operational Auditing.

 

Vaishnavi Srinivasan
Senior Compliance Officer
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Vaishnavi joined HOLT consultancy in July 2016 as a Compliance Officer.  She has over 8 years of experience in Legal and Compliance.
 
Prior to joining HOLT consultancy, Vaishnavi was the DFSA Authorised Compliance Officer and MLRO for a DFSA regulated fund administrator.  From 2011 to 2014, she worked as a senior consultant in the compliance consulting division of an audit firm in the DIFC where she was involved in assisting new firms coming into the DIFC with the incorporation process and obtaining required licences from the DFSA.  She was also the outsourced Compliance Officer and MLRO for a private equity advisory firm.
 
In addition to the above, she has also provided support to a number of other entities in the areas of AML, KYC, internal audit, risk assessments, and other compliance related issues.
 
Vaishnavi holds a Bachelor's degree in Socio-Legal Sciences, an LLB from the University of Pune in India and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment DIFC Rules and Regulations.
Joanna Edgington
Assistant Compliance Officer
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Joanna joined HOLT consultancy in August 2016 as an Assistant Compliance Officer.
 
She has previously gained experience in compliance with the Law Society of England and Wales and has gained diverse work experience in various organisations in both Dubai as well as London.
 
At HOLT consultancy, Joanna assists the team in conducting customer due diligence, drafting Compliance and AML Manuals as well as updating risk-based monitoring programs.  She also carries out research on compliance and corporate governance related issues.
 
Joanna holds the International Compliance Association (ICA) Advanced Certificate in Compliance (distinction), the ICA International Diploma in Anti Money Laundering (distinction), the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) DIFC Rules and Regulations, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Foundation Insurance Test, the CII Certificate in Insurance (IF1 Insurance, Legal and Regulatory, I11 Introduction to Risk Management and IF11 Insurance Underwriting Process). She is a member of the ICA and the CII.
 
Joanna also holds the Chartered Institute of Marketing Professional Diploma in Marketing.