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World Services Group 

September, 2019 - United States of America


World Services Group Elects 2019-2020 Board of Directors


World Services Group (WSG) is pleased to announce the election of the 2019 - 2020 Board of Directors. The 2019 – 2020 WSG Board of Directors will be led by Officers: Michael Bernard, Dykema, as Chairman; Ramon Moyano, Beccar Varela, as Chairman Elect; Stefan Erhag, Delphi, as Secretary and Judith Whitehead, Graham Thompson, as Treasurer. Mr. Bernard said, “Through the hard work of Franco Gianni, Chairman Emeritus, prior Board members, prior members of the Regional Councils and all of our members firms, WSG is situated today as a very strong and vibrant organization. I am honored to serve as Chairman of WSG, and I look forward to continuing to add value to WSG and its prestigious Membership.”
Chairman Emeritus, Francesco Gianni, Founding Partner of Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners, transitioned his position to Michael Bernard and extended his heartfelt gratitude and acknowledgement of dedicated participation to our outgoing Directors: Jeff Jones, Durham Jones & Pinegar; Rand Hannun, Nabulsi & Associates and Yukuo Takenaka, Takenaka Partners LLC.
WSG extends a special thank you to Francesco Gianni, WSG Chairman 2018 – 2019 and outgoing Directors, for their exemplary years of service and support in the continuing growth and development of WSG.

The WSG 18th Annual Meeting, held in Washington, D.C., also marked the election of four new Directors to the WSG Board: Herman H. Raspé, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP; Bonnie L. Dixon, Atsumi & Sakai; Martin Simovart, COBALT and Bashir Ahmed, Afridi & Angell. The newly elected Directors will serve a four-year term.

Newly Elected Directors:

Herman H. Raspé, Partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP – New York, U.S.A.
Herman Raspé is a Partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP in New York, New York. He is an internationally renowned authority in the field of cross-border debt and equity transactions, particularly American Depositary Receipts matters. As a member of WSG for the past three years, Mr. Raspé, his Partners, and Patterson Belknap have hosted over 10 meetings, seminars, and cocktails and ultimately sponsored the WSG Meeting of the Americas. Mr. Raspé has played a significant role in integrating the U.S. jurisdictions and in representing the many national and international client collaborations and events that tend to materialize in New York. Mr. Raspé has served on WSG’s North American Regional Council since 2018 and is currently completing his term as Chair. Herman Raspé is Chair of the firm's Corporate department and has concentrated his practice on cross-border capital markets and M&A transactions.

Bonnie L. Dixon, Partner, Atsumi & Sakai – Japan
Bonnie L. Dixon is a Partner at Atsumi & Sakai, WSG’s member representative for Japan. Ms. Dixon has been an active member of the WSG network since the initial membership of Atsumi & Sakai in 2011. She has actively participated in meetings, served on the Asia Pacific Regional Council from 2014 – 2016, and has played an important role in developing regional collaboration. As a partner of Atsumi & Sakai, Ms. Dixon became the first non-Japanese attorney to become a partner of a domestic Japanese law firm pursuant to legislation that allowed law partnerships between Japanese lawyers and lawyers licensed elsewhere. Ms. Dixon has extensive experience in international transactions, cross border labor and employment, structured finance, banking transactions, investment funds, etc.

Martin Simovart, Partner, COBALT – Estonia
Martin Simovart is a partner at COBALT in Estonia. As a member of WSG since 2006, Mr. Simovart and COBALT have been trusted supporters of WSG. Mr. Simovart has attended over 20 meetings during his time at WSG, and he is currently completing his two-year term on the European Regional Council. As a long-standing member of the organization, COBALT has consistently promoted the firm’s membership in WSG through their multijurisdictional membership in Estonia. COBALT ultimately hosted the 2018 WSG European Regional Meting in Tallinn, Estonia. Martin Simovart is the Head of Global Relations and Head of the M&A practice group and has over 20 years of experience in M&A and private equity transactions.

Bashir Ahmed, Managing Partner, Afridi & Angell – United Arab Emirates
Bashir Ahmed is Managing Partner of Afridi & Angell, WSG member for United Arab Emirates. Afridi & Angell has been an active member of WSG for fifteen years beginning in 2004. During this time, Mr. Ahmed has been an active firm representative who served on WSG’s Africa and Middle East Regional Council on two occasions from 2103 – 2014 and from 2017 – 2018. He also served as the Chair in 2014 and 2018. Mr. Ahmed has been instrumental in developing the Middle East region and regional council for WSG over the years, supported by Afridi & Angell, when acting as host of the WSG Africa/Middle East Regional Meeting in 2013. Mr. Ahmed has extensive experience in domestic and cross-border acquisitions and advises international and domestic banks on a wide range of matters including loan and credit facilities, syndications and regulatory matters.

World Services Group is the globally recognized resource for professionals and their clients to receive the highest quality, value and service from legal, investment banking and accounting services. WSG provides members the ability to create new business opportunities and relationships to better serve their clients. For additional information, visit https://www.worldservicesgroup.com/aboutus.asp.

Media Contact:
Carly Norausky
World Services Group
[email protected]


WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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