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Our Team

Wayne Arden, Co-Founder


Wayne Arden's career has been spent mostly in technology and finance, more specifically in the exchange industry. Wayne has worked on twenty projects to create or modernize exchanges or clearinghouses in developed or developing countries. These projects have spanned nearly all classes of financial instruments: commodities, derivatives, equities, fixed income, and foreign exchange.


From 2003 – early 2009, Wayne was SVP of sales for Nasdaq's (formerly OMX) Market Technology division in the Americas, focusing on exchanges, alternative trading systems (ATS), and clearinghouses. While at OMX and then Nasdaq, Wayne grew market technology revenues in the Americas by nearly a factor of ten over six years. Many of the contracts signed with customers were worth tens of millions of dollars. In earlier positions at IBM and elsewhere, he concentrated on brokerage and compliance systems, software and systems engineering, marketing, and business strategy.


In 2009, Wayne left Nasdaq to become an independent consultant.


Wayne worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) from February 2013 through April 2014, spending time in Afghanistan during three extended trips. Since then, he has continued to work on engagements in Central Asia.


Wayne holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA and MS from Columbia University. He served on an FIA (Futures Industry Association) committee for several years and has written opinions about financial markets and sustainability topics in a variety of publications. He has passed the U.S. National Futures Association (NFA) Series 3 exam.  

Ahmad Yama Bassam, Co-Founder


Mr. Bassam has over a decade of national and international banking experience in compliance and regulatory matters. Earlier, while working for Morgan Stanley, he passed a number of the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) securities exams required of securities professionals. He has acted as a subject matter expert to Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), Afghanistan central bank, in regulatory policy development.  He was directly involved in helping numerous banks oversee all facets of bank compliance and audit engagement within the framework of the overall corporate governance and risk management initiatives.


Mr. Bassam started his professional career at Morgan Stanley—one of the largest investment banks in the world. He developed expertise in U.S. public equities from a considerable tenure working on aspects of research, analysis, compliance, and governance, and he headed an investment management team while at Morgan Stanley. Prior to founding Afghanistan Capital Markets in Kabul, he launched the True Colors Investing venture after his position heading the Middle East North Africa regional operations and business development as Managing Director for Capitalist Partners, an international strategic consulting firm. From these activities, he has developed a highly influential professional network of esteemed international executives and policymakers.


Mr. Bassam is a graduate of Harvard University, where he earned a Master's Degree in Finance and Economics and B.A. in Business from the University of Phoenix. He has passed the FINRA Series 7, 66, 34, and 32 exams.

Wayne Arden photo .jpg
Wayne Arden
Ahmad Yama Bassam
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