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«People in Kazakhstan are proud of their historical heritage and are ready to help foreigners,» — the Briton about work in the AIFC, traditions, and people

Will Aston

City — Nur-Sultan, Founder and Managing Partner of Ozara Services


«People in Kazakhstan are proud of their historical heritage and are ready to help foreigners,» — the Briton about work in the AIFC, traditions, and people

Will Aston has more than 30 years of experience in finance and banking. Six years ago, he came to Kazakhstan and created his own company, which now helps in the development of the country's economy.

AFSA Interview - Will Aston - Ozara Services - May 2022 - Photo (1).jpg

About myself

I was born in Australia, grew up, and was educated in the UK. My professional career began in London, in the Management information Consulting division of Arthur Andersen, which is now called Andersen Consulting and Accenture.

I have more than 35 years of experience as a consultant in senior positions in the banking, asset management, and financial services regulatory industries.

Before coming to Kazakhstan, I was part of the team that worked on the creation of Abu Dhabi Global Market, an international financial center in Abu Dhabi.

About the activity

I arrived in Kazakhstan in May 2016. It was the time when the Astana International Financial Center was just being created, and I used the experience gained at ADGM. This was my first visit to the region.

A new international financial center, an exchange, a legal system with English common law, and a litigation and arbitration center were created here.

I remember the first meeting in the office of the EXPO administration. The office was almost empty, but I was struck by how bright and young the participants were. Working side by side with these people, I feel their talent and potential.

In January 2018, the AIFC opened for business. Ozara Services was created at the same time. I am the founder and managing partner, I bear full responsibility for this business.

KZ Summer - Expo Site - IMG_1164.jpeg

We are a specialized legal and consulting company. About 60% of our team are Kazakhs, the remaining 40% are expats. We combine local and global experience at the intersection of finance, legal regulation, and trade, helping clients achieve their business goals.

I see the potential of the AIFC. It can become a center that will help Kazakhstan in its development. But turning this potential into a commercial reality may not be easy. I'm closer to the end of my career than to the beginning of it. Therefore, it motivates me that I can offer my age and experience where it matters.

About Kazakhstan and people

I didn't expect to enjoy the local food so much. In addition, you can find excellent wine here. The tradition of making toasts was a pleasant surprise for me.

People from Kazakhstan are warm and friendly

The people I met in Kazakhstan are younger than representatives of similar positions in other countries. For example, in the same AIFC regulator, colleagues may not have many years of experience, but they have a strong academic background compared to other jurisdictions where they provide financial services.

People from Kazakhstan are warm and friendly. They are proud of their historical heritage and at the same time are ready to help foreigners who are unfamiliar with their traditions.

About the plans

I plan to continue the work that I have been doing for the last four years with Ozara Services. This is assistance in the creation of banking, investment, and commercial enterprises in the AIFC, which will become the basis for the formation of Kazakhstan as an economic center.

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