Management team

Mohamed Donia

Co-Founder & CEO

Mr. Donia is an entrepreneur, and financial services executive, who Co-Founded IdealRatings in San Francisco in 2006 to become the leading provider serving the Islamic finance industry as well as Social Responsible and ESG investments industry. Today, IdealRatings is known as one of the top global providers serving clients around the world. Prior to IdealRatings Mr. Donia was Co-Founder of Cogency Inc, a silicon valley start-up, where he helped define Cogency solutions for the hedge funds and fund of funds firms to become a leading solution provider with some of the world’s largest hedge funds and fund of funds as clients. Prior to Cogency, Mr. Donia was Vice President of Applications at TenFold corporation, a silicon valley start-up, which IPO’ed on NASDAQ in 1999, where he was responsible for leading customer engagements for Fortune 500 customers in the financial services, banking, insurance, and energy verticals. Mr. Donia held several management positions at PepsiCo, and started his career at Proctor and Gamble. Mr. Donia holds a B.SC in Computer Engineering from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.


Magdy Eissa

Vice President – Business Development

Mr. Eissa joined IdealRatings, Inc. in 2010 bringing along extensive knowledge of the financial information industry working closely with global leading investment firms, fund managers, research houses and banks. Prior to IdealRatings, Inc. he was the Regional Manager for ISI Emerging Markets, A Euromoney Institutional Investor Company, responsible for the MENA region. He also spent several years on the product management side while escorting a major expansion for CEIC Macroeconomic databases across the Middle East & African, as well as contributing to the early stages of building IFIS (Islamic Finance Information Service). Magdy holds a BSc. in Business Administration from Egypt along with postgraduate studies in Business Information Technology (BIT) from Middlesex University in London.

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Michael Birks

Director – Europe

Michael joined IdealRatings in 2014 and he has taken the role of Director – Business Development, Europe.  Michael has over 30 years’ experience in the wholesale financial markets working as an Economist and Analyst and in a variety of sales, trading and management roles for leading financial organisations.  He founded London based financial markets consultancy company Adsatis in 1993, working across the consulting practice with a wide range of clients and specialising in the analysis of wholesale financial market developments and business strategy.  He still holds the role of Chairman of Adsatis.  Michael holds an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.  He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

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Abdul-Rahman Hammad

Director – Middle East

Mr. Hammad joined IdealRatings in 2012 and is based in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Hammad has an extensive experience as a Sales Executive severing the financial sector across the Middle East region with a proven track record among top tier institutions. Prior to IdealRatings, Mr. Hammad was a Sales Manager at Advanced Operations Technology, where he was responsible for Identifying and developing new solutions sales and converts them into profitable new business. He also worked for KnowledgeNet as Sales Manager where he was responsible for setting sales strategies to penetrate the market and introducing the company Order Management System for the financial sector in the GCC Region. Abdul-Rahman holds a BSc. in Computer Engineering from Applied Science University in Jordan and MBA from Manchester Business School.

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Layla Hirschfelt

Director – Product Development

Layla Hirschfelt joined IdealRatings in 2017 with over twenty years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining IdealRatings, Layla was with FTSE Russell Indexes (formerly Russell Investments / Russell Indexes) in Seattle, Washington where she contributed for nearly ten years as a Senior Relationship Manager and Senior Product Manager, focusing on equity index sales, client service and product marketing and development. Prior to joining FTSE Russell, Layla spent several years working with the educational community in Southern California as a Retirement Specialist with Schools First Federal Credit Union. She started her career at Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she held a variety of client service and corporate training roles. Layla has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Chapman University in Orange, California along with postgraduate studies in Business Administration and Marketing.


Mohamed Mokhtar

Vice President – Client Services

Mr. Mokhtar joined IdealRatings in 2007 and was among the initial team members, employee number 4, of IdealRatings. Mr. Mokhtar has helped build IdealRatings products and client services team to support IdealRatings expansions and support clients around the world. Mr. Mokhtar is currently the global head managing IdealRatings’ clients services division. Mr. Mokhtar has more than 12 years of experience in building financial services solutions and bringing them to the market. Prior to IdealRatings, Mr. Mokhtar worked at ITWorx, a leading solution provider, leading projects to build trading applications and other financial solutions for major financial services institutions. Mr. Mokhtar holds a BSc. in Engineering from Ain Shams University in Egypt and MBA from Maastricht school of management.

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Michael Poisson

Managing Director – North America

Michael Poisson is a Managing Director responsible for IdealRatings’ North American business development based in New York. Prior to joining IdealRatings Mr. Poisson was a Managing Director at Investor Analytics (IA), a Risk Transparency Service for asset managers and asset owners. And, prior to joining IA, Mr. Poisson was Managing Director & Vice President of Sales at Cogency Software a provider of technology solutions to the hedge fund industry, which specialized in accounting for Funds of Hedge Funds. Previously, Mr. Poisson was the Senior Vice President & Managing Director at SunGard Treasury Systems (now Avantgard Treasury), a supplier of internet and intranet treasury and risk management solutions where he was responsible for sales, professional services and client services for North and South America. Mr. Poisson’s additional responsibilities included setting and executing global business strategy and achieving financial objectives. Mr. Poisson is a graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he received a B.S. in Management and was a goalkeeper for the NCAA Division I Champion RPI Engineers hockey team.


Ariff Sultan

Director – Asia

Mr. Sultan joined IdealRatings in 2012 and is based in Singapore. He is responsible for the Asian Sales and Operations. Prior to IdealRatings, Ariff was the Regional Director for Russell Indexes and the Business Development Director for Dow Jones Indexes where he developed their conventional and Shariah Index businesses in the Asian markets. He has 17 years of sales experience in financial and banking software where he worked with the leading financial software vendors including Callatay & Wouters, Fair Isaac, London Bridge Group, and Misys Plc. Prior to his sales career, Ariff was a Software Developer and Project Manager for financial software applications with Deloitte and Touché and subsequently with OCBC Bank in Singapore. Ariff was admitted to the degree of Master of Business (IT) with RMIT University in Melbourne and he also attained the Diploma in Islamic Banking and Finance from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).