IZI Finance plc appoints board of directors

IZI FINANCE PLC, the finance company of IZI Group p.l.c and its subsidiaries, have announced the appointment of its Board of Directors


IZI FINANCE PLC, the finance company of IZI Group p.l.c and its subsidiaries, have announced the appointment of its Board of Directors.

The Board will be chaired by Dr Christian Gernert, who will also be responsible for Strategy and Implementation. Johann Schembri, who founded the Group in 2004, is the Chief Executive Officer of IZI Group p.l.c, the leading land-based gaming group of companies in Malta. Gernert and Schembri will be joined by another five directors in the stewardship of the company.

Two of the directors form part of the chief officer suite of the group, namely Franco De Gabriele, Group Chief Commercial Officer and Joseph Mallia, Group Financial Officer. The executive directors have a long track-record within the group and were an integral part of its success over the past 10 years.

The board of the Company is being strengthened with the appointment of three independent non-executive directors to the Board: Certified Public Accountant Jacqueline Camilleri, who will also chair the Audit Committee of the Company, economist Dr Stephanie Fabri and experienced banker Dr Otto Karasek.

“The new Board of Directors features high-calibre executives from different sectors, all of whom will be essential to lead the Group forward in the pursuit of its growth strategy locally and internationally. I am privileged to be working with such an exceptional line-up to steer the Group towards its next phase of expansion,” Schembri said.

“Over the past 20 years we have managed to build a home-grown success story in Malta’s vibrant land-based gaming industry. Our incessant efforts led us to successfully bid and be awarded the concession to operate the Dragonara Casino, while also being declared as the Preferred Proponent of the National Lottery of Malta following separate international calls for tender issued by the Privatisation Unit,” he said. “These successful efforts impose on the Group a stronger responsibility to rise to the challenges ahead of us, something I am confident we shall succeed in through the leadership of a formidable team at the level of the Board of Directors.”

Jacqueline Camilleri is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.A. (Hons.) degree in Accountancy as well as a master’s degree in business administration from Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh Business School.

She has served on numerous high-calibre boards including a Board Member of the Foundation of Medical Services, Vice Chairman of the Malta International Airport and is also a Chair of the Audit Committee on several listed companies. Camilleri has also worked on several consulting assignments, privatisation processes, strategic reviews, and business evaluations during her time at MIMCOL.

Dr Stephanie Fabri graduated from the University of Malta and holds a B.Com (Hons.) Economics degree. She pursued her studies to a Master of Science in Public Sector Economics and eventually successfully completed a PhD in Management and Economics from Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK.

Fabri serves as a non-Executive Director on Malta Dairy Products Limited, was a consultant to the Minister on economic affairs in relation to the environment, climate change, and planning and served as the Chairperson of the Intelligent Planning Consultative Forum. She was also a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta from 2010 – 2019 and a public sector economist from 2011-2013. She is currently a Board Member of the Malta Stock Exchange.

Dr Otto Karasek graduated from the University of Vienna with BA (Hons.) Economics and obtained a master’s in business administration from the same University. His professional career spans various roles in the banking sector, including Managing Director of BAWAG Malta Bank Limited from its establishment in Malta in 2003 till 2016 when the bank was sold.

Karasek has served on several high-profile Boards, including Chairman of the Supervisory Board and of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee of Start Bausparkasse in Hamburg, as well as Chief Executive Officer of Merkanti Bank Ltd (previously MFC Merchant Bank Ltd).

He currently is a non-Executive Board Member of Merkanti Bank Ltd and the Chairman of the bank’s Business and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

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