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Rifat Utiushev joined Gazelle Finance in July 2014 and served as its Chief Investment Officer for Kyrgyzstan until the end of 2016.  Currently Rifat serves in the capacity of the independent Investment Committee member until such time that Gazelle launces investment activities in Kyrgyzstan.  Rifat has over 20 years of professional experience in corporate finance, banking, and private equity.

Prior to joining Gazelle, Rifat served as the Chief Financial Officer of the $300M Development Fund of the Kyrgyz Republic, where he managed over 20 people. Prior to joining the Development Fund he co-founded and served as the Chief Financial Officer of Yuzno-Kyrgyzskiy Cement company, based in the southern Kyrgyz regional center of Osh, where he raised and structured $110M of international financing from China Export-Import Bank, Kazakh BTA-bank and Investment Fund of Kazakhstan. Rifat led the sale of the company to an international investment fund successfully achieving the return expectations of his shareholders. Rifat also worked for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for 7 years, where he financed various projects in tourism, manufacturing, and other industries, including one of first equity investments by EBRD in real estate and construction materials in Kyrgyzstan.

Rifat holds an MBA degree from Bishkek International School of Business and Management. He is fluent in Russian, English, Kyrgyz and Uzbek. He serves on the board of BTA-Bank in Kyrgyzstan.

Rifat has investment experience in following market segments: tourism, manufacturing, real estate, and retail.