London’s Buckingham Palace has announced that Israeli businessman Haim Shani, co-founder of investment firm Israel Growth Partners and former Direct General of Israel’s Ministry of Finance, will receive a royal honor by Queen Elizabeth II’s residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom for his contribution to the strengthening of the tech partnership between Israel and the UK.
Shani has been recognized for his six-year role as non-executive chairman of the UK Israel Tech Hub, an organization that promotes economic cooperation between Israel and the UK in areas of tech, business, and medicine.
“Shani has played a pivotal role in transforming the UK’s standing as a key player in Israel’s world-beating tech market,” the UK Israel Tech Hub said in a statement.
The businessman will be appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British Ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey.
“I am delighted to present this honor to Haim Shani on behalf of HM The Queen,” Quarrey said. “Through his belief in the potential of collaboration between the UK and Israel, Haim has helped transform the tech partnership between the two countries. We have benefited hugely from Haim’s experience and wisdom. I am grateful to Haim for his role in making the UK Israel Tech Hub a success and for pioneering this new form of economic diplomacy.”
Shani is one of Israel’s most highly regarded executives in both public and private sectors, the statement noted. His 32-year career includes a term as CEO of leading Israeli tech company NICE Systems where he led a merger between NICE and a British company. During his time in the Ministry of Finance, he focused on the UK as a key target, which ultimately resulted in the opening of Barclay’s Israel Development and Engineering Center in Tel Aviv in 2011.
“In a short time, the UK Israel Tech Hub has created fruitful collaborations which carry great value both for the UK economy and Israeli innovation. The fact that The Palace chose to award me with this honor demonstrates how important this initiative is for the UK, and I am grateful for that,” Shani said. “In light of the Hub’s success in the past 7 years, the UK is now seeking opportunities to roll out the Israeli model worldwide. Israeli innovation is in high demand in the UK, and the Hub will continue to create opportunities in the UK for groundbreaking innovation.”
The UK Israel Tech Hub, launched by Chancellor George Osborne in 2011, is part of the British Embassy in Tel Aviv. The hub, with Shani’s help, has played a key role in delivering 175 new innovation partnerships between UK and Israeli companies, including a potential value to the British economy of up to $1.04 million. The successful model of the UK Israel Tech Hub is now being replicated in five new overseas markets.