Mona Zulficar

Founding Partner - Chair of Executive Committee and Head of Banking & Finance Group

  • Chairperson, EFG Hermes Holding, SAE (Non-executive) (2008 – to date)
  • Chairperson, Egyptian Medium, Small Micro-Enterprise Finance Federation (2015 – to date)
  • Expert Member, Board of Directors, Central Bank of Egypt (2003-2011)
  • VP of the Constitutional Committee of 50 which drafted the 2014 Constitution
  • VP & Member, UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee (2008-2013)
  • Member, National Council for Human Rights, Egypt (2004-2012) (Sept.2013 –September 2021)
  • Chairperson, Women’s Health Improvement Association (WHIA), Cairo (2002 – to date)
  • Founder and Chairperson, Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation (since 1996 under WHIA and since 2003 as Foundation)
  • Chairperson, EFG Foundation for Social Development (2006 – to date)
  • Chairperson, External Gender Consultative Group, World Bank,Washington DC (2000 – 2006)
  • Member, National Council for Women (2000 – 2006)

As a Founding Partner and Chairperson, Mona Zulficar overseas the performance and business development of  Zulficar& Partners Law Firm. A practicing attorney for more than 40 years, she is a specialist in major restructuring, project finance and M&A transactions and has been consistently ranked by international legal directories as the leading and eminent Egyptian lawyer in banking, finance and M&A.

She is particularly recognized, locally and internationally, for handling ground breaking and precedent transactions.  These include the first Egyptian three BOOT Power Plants in 1998 and 2002, the first GSM Telecom Concession to MobiNil in 1998, the first commercial aircraft mortgage financing for EgyptAir in 1989, the first GDR issue and listing on the LSE for CIB in 1996, the first subordinated bond issuance for MobiNil in 2005, the first PPP for Orasqualia related to the Cairo Wastewater Project in 2010, the first demerger of Orascom Telecom (OT) in 2012, the first dual listing for Orascom Cwonstruction on NASDAQ Dubai and the EGX in March 2015, and more recently in 2016 the first multi billion USD Repo by the Central Bank of Egypt representing a group of international banks, and in 2017 the first FiT Program for the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) to develop and finance the largest solar park in the world in Benban near Aswan comprising 32 projects for USD 2.2 billion and approximately 1600 MGW, which is the award winning project by the World Bank and Thompson Reuters among others.

She handled many large M&A transactions over the years, including the mega transaction of OCI in 2008 relating to the sale of Orascom Building Materials Holding to Lafarge, for approximately USD 13 billion in addition to USD 2 billion of assumed debt.  In 2015, 2016 and 2017, she handled the sale of Citibank’s retail business to CIB, the acquisition of Pireaus Bank by ABK and the sale of Barclays Bank to AWB. Further in 2020/2021, she assisted the M&A team at Z&P to close the sale of Banque Audi Egypt to FAB and the acquisition of Blom Bank Egypt by Bank ABC Bahrain, as well as handling the ground breaking precedent of the legal and financial restructuring of Arab Investment Bank (AIB), and the acquisition by EFG Hermes Holding, S.A.E, and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt of 76% of the shares of the Bank through a capital increase to EGP 5 billion.

In 2022, Mona Zulficar supported the merger of Blom Bank Egypt into Bank ABC Egypt, which successfully closed at the end of December 2022.

During the period 1980 to 2009, she was a Partner, a Senior Partner and chaired the Executive Committee of Shalakany Law Office, one of the leading law firms in Egypt.

She has played and continues to play a key role in developing and drafting new economic legislation as adviser, drafting expert or a member of national drafting committees on important laws, such as the Investment Law, the Telecom Law, the Companies and Capital Market Laws, the Banking Law  and the Economic Courts Law, as well as the Special Economic Zones Law which she drafted by assignment from the Government in 2002.  She served as a member of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Egypt and has been directly involved in the institutional and regulatory reform program of the banking sector during the period 2003-2011. Most recently, she has served as Vice President of the Constitutional Commission of 50 and played a key role in drafting the 2014 Egyptian Constitution.

She has also been the non-executive chairperson of EFG Hermes Holding, S.A.E, since April 2008, as an independent expert board member. Accordingly she chairs the Board of Directors, and the  Audit and Risk Committees of the leading investment bank in Egypt and the Arab World, providing  financial and investment banking services, and having footprint in 13 countries across four continents with access to emerging and frontier markets.

With a commitment to community activism, she has been an advocate for human rights and women’s rights in Egypt and internationally since 1985. She has led several successful campaigns resulting in major legal reforms, including the “New Marriage Contract”, the Equal Right to Divorce Law,“Khul”, the Family Courts Law, equality in granting Egyptian nationality to the children,  between the father and the mother under the Nationality Law, the NGO Law and she is currently working on the Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Law and the new Family Law.

She founded and chairs Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation, focused on economic empowerment of poor women and ranked as one of the best 100 MFI’s by CGAP. She has also been elected Chairperson of the first Egyptian Microfinance Federation (currently the Egyptian Medium, Small and Micro-Enterprise Finance Federation) since 2015; she also chairs the Women’s Health Improvement Association in Cairo, as well as the EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development.

She has been elected an expert member and Deputy Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee from 2008 till September 2013, Chairperson of the World Bank’s External Gender Consultative Group from 2000 to 2006 and served as a member of the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt from 2004 until June 2012.  She has been reappointed to the Council from September 2013 to September 2021. For details of her human rights activities, please refer to the Supplement to her full CV.

Mona Zulficar obtained her Political Science and Law degrees from Cairo University and Mansoura University and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Zurich in 2009.  She has also received many local, regional and international awards, including “La Legion d’Honneur” from the President of France in 2008 and the IFLR Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 as well as the Chambers Middle East Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. During the last years ending by 2023, she has been consistently listed by Forbes Middle East as one of the top Egyptians among the 50 or 100 most influential/powerful business women in the Middle East.

She has most recently been listed in the Legal500 EMEA 2023 as an “Eminent Partner” in the field of Banking and Finance Legal Practices and as “Eminent Practitioner” by Chambers & Partners 2023 Global Guide, where clients called her “the guru of Banking Law”.