meet the team

A Powerhouse In Aviation Finance

meet the team
Eddy Pieniazek
Head of Advisory
Eddy has supported thousands of aircraft transactions during his 35 years’ career, advising leaders of the world’s top aviation finance, investment and leasing companies, airlines and manufacturers.

A respected and valued influencer, Eddy was one of the original pioneers of today’s aircraft valuation and appraisal industry, developing the industry’s first online valuation tool and associated analytics, fulfilling the rigour and consistency demanded by investors.

Eddy began his career at Ascend (formerly known as Airclaims) in 1982.  He founded and led Ascend’s rapidly expanding data and advisory business, spearheading flourishing relationships with industry leaders which continue to this day.

Eddy is a frequent speaker on the international conference circuit and is a visiting lecturer at the Air Business Academy in Toulouse. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from the University of London.

One thing you may not know about Eddy.
His alter-ego back in the late 1970’s was Skunk Cyanide, a musician during new wave music’s formative years.
Gehan Talwatte
Executive Chairman
Gehan has over 25 years’ experience spearheading the vision, strategy and successful expansion of global businesses, for both start-up and growth organisations.

A pioneer in customer-focused workflow solutions, Gehan drives the creation of innovative, analytical data to help customers improve efficiencies and make smarter business decisions.

Alongside his leading role with Ishka, Gehan is currently non-executive chairman of Briefing Media (backed by Lyceum Capital) and Smart Analyst (backed by Edison Partners and Milestone Venture Partners, USA).

Previously, Gehan was CEO of Ascend, a leading aviation information business backed by Lloyds Development Capital (LDC). During his six-year tenure, the business expanded globally and quadrup led in size, before a successful trade exit to Reed Business Information in 2011.

Gehan started his career at D&B in the USA. He co-founded a software startup in India (now Cognizant Technology Solutions NASDAQ:CTSH), set up a workflow and credit automation business ( sold to AIG) and was co-founder and CEO of Hoover’s Online Europe, sold to D&B in 2005.

He has a Master of International Affairs and MBA degrees from Columbia University (New York, NY) and a BA (honours) from Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA).

One thing you may not know about Gehan. Gehan chronicles his mission to find the world’s best martini on ‪
Rob Taylor
Sales Director
Rob has championed customer-focused, senior management sales roles in global organisations for over 25 years. He advocates close working relationships with partners and clients to ensure needs are met with confidence and transparency.

Rob has a distinguished track record in high profile financial service companies. He began his career in stock broking with Scrimgeour Vickers before moving into dealing room sales with Knight-Ridder Financial. After selling banking services with Citigroup and Société Générale he moved into the online market place.  Rob ran the global sales teams at Alacra, OneSource, Ascend and more latterly CRU, where he performed a central role in developing global customer relationships and client-focused product development. 
Fiona Benharoosh
Fiona is a dedicated advocate of innovative B2B marketing practices. She applies creative flair to senior marketing management roles to engage, drive awareness and demand for inbound marketing globally.

During her 20-year career, Fiona has been responsible for all aspects of international corporate marketing, developing and leading strategic brand and communication solutions.

Previously, Fiona was Marketing Director at Reed Business Information (RBI), where she led the successful rebranding and re-positioning of two major information brands, following Flightglobal’s acquisition of Ascend in 2011. Prior to her seven year tenure at Ascend, Fiona also held senior marketing positions with Airclaims, PEI Media and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and was a staff writer at Industry and European magazine.

Fiona holds a BA (Hons.) in Transport Management.
Dickon Harris
Dickon operates at the very heart of the aviation financial community and is one of the sector’s most respected journalists.  Dickon has been a financial journalist for nine years and spent four years as editor of Airfinance Journal leading the aircraft and leasing finance news and data service from Euromoney. 

He was also integral to the expansion of Airfinance Journal’s deals database, editorial and international events portfolio. Before his career in financial journalism, Dickon worked for the former UK MP and Energy Secretary, Ed Davey and has worked on several UK regional newspapers. 

Since joining Ishka, Dickon has led the foundation and development of the editorial team and specialist reporting capabilities, delivering breaking news, exclusive features and in-depth interviews with key industry leaders.

Dickon holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of Manchester and a MA in International Relations from the University of Aberystwyth

One thing you may not know about Dickon. Dickon is proud of his maternal Colombian heritage and travels to the country as frequently as possible.
Stuart Flaye
Senior Consultant
Stuart has over 15 years’ experience within the aviation industry.
Prior to joining Ishka, Stuart was Technical Director at Hong Kong Aviation Capital (formerly Allco Finance Group) where he was responsible for the day-to-day technical asset management of the HKAC portfolio, the drafting of technical lease documentation, co-ordinating and managing aircraft valuations and investor reporting, along with analysing trends in the aviation market.  Stuart previously spent seven years as Senior Analyst at Ascend where he provided advisory services to banks, financiers and lessors.

Stuart holds an HND Engineering qualification from the University of Hertfordshire and a BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering from City University, London. 
Paul O’Driscoll
Consultant, Advisory, Americas
Paul is an ISTAT Certified Appraiser with extensive airline knowledge having worked as the interim CCO at Viva Air, as well as leading Viva’s Network Planning, Scheduling and Strategy teams. At Viva Paul rebuilt their flight network to improve customer service and integrate several new A320NEOs into the fleet. Previous to this Paul was a Senior Manager in Avianca’s in-house consulting team where he led several Avianca/Taca post-merger integration projects, ranging in scope from operations, to commercial, and IT system implementations. He also developed a fleet optimization model for Avianca to optimize aircraft ownership cost as it sought to rationalize a 100+ narrow body order book. Paul has also spent time preparing aircraft appraisals with Morten Bayer & Agnew (MBA).

Paul has Mechanical Engineering Degree from University College Dublin and an MBA from IESE Business School, in Spain.
Siddharth Narkhede
Senior Analyst
Siddharth has over eight years’ experience in aviation research and analysis. He has a strong background in airline financial research and strategic analysis and has written many business and credit research reports on airlines and other industries alike. Siddharth is an integral part of Ishka's advisory team responsible for development of Airline Credit Profiles and bespoke aviation consultancy projects.

Siddharth holds a MSc in Finance degree from the University of Edinburgh Business School and a Bachelors degree in Business Studies from the University of Mumbai. As part of his masters’ thesis, he had researched the impact of the US Bankruptcy Code (Chapter 11) on the financial performance of US based airlines.
Julie Chen
Julie joined Ishka’s advisory team in January 2018. Her role comprises conducting in-depth, forward-looking research and credit analysis on airlines and lessors and the development of new forecasting models.
Prior to joining Ishka, Julie was an intern at Nomura Asset Management in the quantitative investment solutions team in Taipei, where she evaluated equity indexes such as TAIEX, S&P500, FTSE100, and MSCI. Julie also completed an internship with PwC, independently auditing groups for the creation of annual reports in the tech, construction and retail industries.
Julie holds a Masters in Financial Analysis from the London Business School and a BA (Hons) in Business Administration in Finance from the National Taiwan University.
Eduardo Mariz
Senior Analyst
Eduardo joined Ishka in January 2019 with a background in journalism and country risk analysis in Indonesia.

He is responsible for researching and writing Ishka’s Insights reports, from the latest developments in the aircraft leasing market to the implications of regulatory changes around the world. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Eduardo built Ishka's Airline State Aid database and has led Ishka's coverage on ESG and sustainability matters.

Eduardo holds a Master’s in Economics from Kyoto University and a Bachelor of Media in Communications and Journalism from the University of New South Wales. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and also speaks Indonesian.
Chris Keene
Head of Relationships
Chris has over ten years’ experience developing and managing close relationships with clients in global organisations.
A firm advocate of consultative solutions, Chris works closely with clients to understand their strategic goals, external influences and drivers for growth. He has developed key relationships with the banking, leasing and insurance communities across Asia and EMEA.
Chris’ previous roles include senior posts at Flightglobal, Ascend, Thomson Reuters and UBM.

Chris holds a 2:1 in Business Studies from Bristol West of England University
Noriko Nozaki
Head of Japan and Korea
Noriko has over 15 years’ experience working for international companies in senior sales, marketing and consultancy roles, developing close working relationships and managing strategic accounts within the aviation finance and leasing sectors.
Previously, Noriko was at FlightGlobal/Ascend, managing sales in the Japanese and Korean finance markets, playing an integral role in expanding the company’s N.E. Asia reach.
Noriko’s previous positions include roles at International Data Group and Chiyoda Life Insurance.

Noriko holds a BA (Hons) in English.
Martin Di Fede
Chief Sales Officer, Americas
Martin leads the company’s operations in the Americas, overseeing the company’s ongoing growth and expansion efforts in the region.
Prior to Ishka, Martin has gained over 15 years’ experience supporting clients globally with their strategic initiatives in both existing and new and emerging markets. Since transferring to New York from London in 2019 Martin has worked closely within the Financial Services Industry, managing, and developing longstanding relationships with Key Accounts.
Previous positions include roles at GlobalData, Informa, and Datamonitor.
Gary Lavery
Account Manager
Gary joined Ishka in November 2019 and is the main point of contact for Ishka’s EMEA-based Insights customers. Gary is an enthusiastic and outgoing sales professional who enjoys close working relationships with Ishka’s clientele.
Prior to Ishka, Gary held a number of sales roles including three years at GO Airlines and completed a business studies programme at Colchester Institute Braintree Campus.
Victoria Blanco
Marketing Manager
Victoria joined Ishka as Marketing Manager in February 2020 after five years in marketing, sales and research roles at Informa, across a range of international sectors.

Victoria is responsible for lead acquisition and branding for Ishka’s subscription product portfolio and advisory services, creating innovative and engaging campaigns for Ishka’s international markets. Victoria also utilises her excellent design skills in the development of Ishka’s creative sales enablement material.

Victoria holds a BSc. in Management and Business Administration from the University of Oviedo. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Luke Short
Head of Event Operations
Luke is a seasoned international event operations and logistics manager, with first-rate relationship and project management experience.
Luke is passionate about connecting people, building relationships and delivering exceptional and memorable experiences across Ishka’s portfolio of global events. Luke utilises his previous experience in B2B marketing, sales and customer service to inspire creativity and commercial acumen into his role.
Prior to joining Ishka in March 2018, Luke held managerial positions at Euromoney Conferences, Euromoney Institutional Investor, Alt Assets and BMJ. Luke holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Psychology from the University of Liverpool.
Dean Forrester
Senior Producer
Dean joined Ishka’s events division in February 2020. Dean is responsible for the research, production and delivery of Ishka’s leading international events portfolio, including Ishka’s innovative new Ishka+ virtual service.
Dean brings a wealth of conference production expertise to the Ishka team from his former role as Head of Production for the ExCred Series, Informa’s export finance, credit and political risk insurance portfolio.
Dean holds a BA (Hons) in International Politics from King’s College London.
Phoebe Weston
Marketing Manager
Phoebe is responsible for marketing Ishka’s international events portfolio, including its innovative new Ishka+ virtual service. Phoebe joined Ishka in October 2019 and works closely with production, operations and sales to ensure the successful delivery of Ishka’s growing calendar of global events.
Phoebe has a successful track record in marketing roles across the events industry having previously worked at RBI, GovNet and GIC. Phoebe has experience of a broad range of industries including finance, petrochemicals, pharma and the public sector.
Phoebe holds a BSc in Psychology from Lancaster University.
Eva Karagianni
Eva is an aviation industry professional motivated graduate of Air Transport Management with a background in marketing and experience in Aircraft Finance, Airport Transactions and Consulting. She has proven experience of airport operations monitoring, aircraft appraising, delivering, and managing projects, being active in the Aviation industry and having a strong understanding of Air Transport planning developed through her academic career.
Prior to joining Ishka’s advisory team in March 2021, Eva worked as an analyst for Mott MacDonald and Flight Ascend Consultancy. She is fluent in English, French, Greek and Spanish.
Yulia Mesotitsch
Yulia joined Ishka Team in May 2021. She is responsible for the airlines' credit analytics and assists Ishka accounts. Yulia has over 10 years of proven experience in diverse functions within the financial sector, including analytics, controlling, and accounting. In her previous roles, she also provided credit analytical reports for different industries.

Yulia holds MSc in Economics and Diploma (Hons) in Management. In her spare time, she helps an international charity with her knowledge and experience as a Treasurer.
Joseph El-Helou
Analyst, Insights Team
Joseph joined the Insights Team in April 2021. He focuses on sale and leaseback market, asset managers and airline state aid.

Joseph holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Brunel University in Aviation Engineering and a MSc from Imperial College in Advanced Computational Methods for Aeronautics.
Joe McNeil
Joe joined Ishka’s Insights Team in February 2022. His areas of interest and topics of research range from airline restructurings, OEM performance, and engine leasing to the secondary aircraft market.

Joe holds an MEng (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Bristol.
Sarah Pilcher
Conference Producer
Sarah joined Ishka's event division in January 2022. Sarah is responsible for end-to-end production of two of Ishka's flagship events as well as leading production of Ishka+ Originals.

Sarah holds a BA (Hons) in Business and Management from Henley Business School at the University of Reading. Sarah enjoys travelling, fitness and anything animal related

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Our track record is exceptional. Our team operates at the very heart of global aviation finance, delivering first-rate services in tune with the market and all key players.



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