Board of Directors

About AIX

Board of Directors

Nurlan Kussainov

Chairman of the Board

Mr. Kussainov has an extensive work experience – prior to joining AIFC, he held the position of the Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan for two years, headed the Development Bank of Kazakhstan, worked as a managing partner in the Al Falah Partners direct investment fund, headed the “Center for Marketing and Analytical Research” JSC, was an adviser to the Minister of Economy and Budget Planning of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and led a special group of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Kazakhstan on accession to the World Trade Organization in Geneva.

He graduated from the Kazakh State Academy of Management and Stanford Business School.

Liu Shaotong


Party Committee Member and Executive Vice President of Shanghai Stock Exchange

Master of Economics from Finance Department, Central University of Finance and Economics. Bachelor of Law, Renmin University of China, scholar in Public Politics, University of Chicago.

Janet Heckman

Independent Director

Mrs. Janet Heckman was the Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) Region at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) from February 2017 until December 2019. Based in Cairo, she was also the Country Head for Egypt.

Mrs. Heckman joined the EBRD in Almaty in July 2012 from Citi as Director, Head of Kazakhstan and appointed as an independent Air Astana Board Director in 2019. During her long career at Citi, she spent time as EMEA Corporate and Investment Managing Director and held a number of field roles across EMEA, and was responsible for Global Relationship Banking across CEMEA.

Mrs. Heckman holds a Master’s of Science in Foreign Service with distinction from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and a BA in History from Kenyon College, Ohio. She also studied at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Martin Joseph (Chip) Dempsey

Independent Director

Chip is currently working as a Board Director and Consultant (current Directorship include AIX and Weild & Co. (compliance platform for independent investment bankers)). Previously he was the Chief Commercial Officer at the OCC (Options Clearing Corporation), and an Executive Director with Morgan Stanley's Principal Strategic Investments group, investing globally on behalf of the firm in fintech and market structure ventures.

Mr. Dempsey received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Economics from Boston College.

James Martin


Mr. James Martin is the CEO of AIFC Business Connect, and Chief Investment Officer on the AIFC Governor’s Council. He joined the AIFC as Deputy CEO in June 2019, having previously worked at Nasdaq for over 15 years, based in Europe and the Middle East, focusing on business development, sales and consultancy. Prior to this, he worked in the finance sector in London and the US, in asset management, securities lending and custody banking.

Jonathan S. Easton

Independent Director

Jonathan is an international finance executive and asset management CEO. He previously served as an Advisor to the CEO of the Astana International Financial Centre, has founded asset management companies, advised startups, and worked as a senior portfolio manager for major institutions including AMP Asset Management (now Janus Henderson Investors) and Schroders.

Jonathan holds a BS (Honors) in Mathematics and Statistics, a Master's in Financial Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's in Management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He is Ph.D.(c) at EDHEC Business School/EDHEC Risk Institute, a member of the Faculty and Institute of Actuaries and the California Society of CPAs, a Certified Alternative Investment Analyst, and a qualified associate of the CFA Society of the UK.

Timothy Bennett


Mr. Bennett was appointed CEO of AIX in May 2018. He was most recently CEO of NZX, the operator of New Zealand’s securities and derivatives markets and provider of trading, post-trade and data services. Mr. Bennet led NZX through a period of significant organizational and regulatory change, including the replacement and upgrading of NZX’s trading and clearing systems, and the launch of 23 ETF’s through NZX Funds Management.

Prior to joining NZX, Mr. Bennett was a Partner with Oliver Wyman and the Boston Consulting Group in Asia.

Mr. Bennett has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a B.C.A from Victoria University of Wellington.