AIX News


Changes to the composition of the AIX Board of Directors


The Astana International Exchange (“AIX” or “Exchange”) announced changes to its Board of Directors.  Mr. Maxat Kabashev, Independent Director and Mr. Temirlan Mukhanbetzhanov, representing AIFC Authority, have resigned effective from 1 November 2020. The AIX team would like to thank them both for their outstanding work and contributions to the development of the Exchange.

The shareholders have appointed Mrs. Janet Heckman as an Independent Director and Mr. James Martin as a Director, representing the AIFC Authority. Mrs. Heckman’s and Mr. Martin’s appointments are subject to regulatory approval.

The terms of office for Mr. Jonathan Stephen Easton, Independent Director and Mr. Martin Joseph Dempsey, Independent Director will be extended for one year. The terms of office for Mr. Nurlan Kussainov, representing the AIFCA, and Mr. Shaotong Liu, representing the SSE (Shanghai Stock Exchange) have been extended for three years.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the AIX Board effective from 1 November 2020 is composed as follows:

  • Mr. Nurlan Kussainov, Chairman of the Board, (AIFCA representative)
  • Mr. Jonathan Stephen Easton, Independent Director
  • Mr. Martin Joseph Dempsey, Independent Director
  • Mrs. Janet Heckman, Independent Director (effective 1st December 2020)
  • Mr. Shaotong Liu, Director, (representing SSE)
  • Mr. James Martin, Director, (representing AIFCA)


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.

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.


The AIX was formed in 2017 as part of the Astana International Financial Centre. Its shareholders are the AIFC, Goldman Sachs, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Silk Road Fund and NASDAQ, which also provides the AIX trading platform. Its regulatory environment is based on the principles of English Law, thus providing a reliable investment environment. The mission of the AIX is to develop an active capital market in Kazakhstan and the region by providing clear and favourable conditions for attracting financing to private and public businesses. The AIX develops special segments for mining companies as well as infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road initiative. For more details, click on:

AIFC. The Astana International Financial Centre was created at the initiative of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Leader of the Nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev as part of his “100 steps to implement five institutional reforms” national programme. The Centre’s 2025 Development Strategy was approved by the AIFC Management Council during a meeting on 2 July 2020. According to the strategy, the AIFC’s vision is to become the leading financial centre in the region, incorporating Central Asia, the Caucasus region, EAEU countries, Western China, Mongolia and Eastern Europe. The AIFC’s mission is to assist the sustainable and long term development of the region. As President Tokayev noted, “the AIFC, with its unique opportunities, can act as a universal platform connecting the countries in the region.” The strategic directions for the sustainable development of the AIFC include the development of a circular economy, financial technology and a “digital financial centre.”