One of the key pillars of economic development and a clear indication of a healthy economy is corporate governance, which is why the financial crisis has increased the focus on effective governance frameworks across many countries including those in the Middle East. This is evidenced by the continuous enhancement of the existing corporate governance codes in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and the introduction of such codes for banks and capital markets such as the Capital Market Authority in Kuwait.
To address the growing regulations surrounding corporate governance, Deloitte recently held an inauguration ceremony in Dubai to launch the Deloitte Middle East Centre for Corporate Governance, in the presence of key government officials and business leaders.
The Deloitte Middle East Center for Corporate Governance will support organizations to manage the stringent global and regional regulations that require them to adopt corporate governance processes.
The event also coincided with the launch of the first Deloitte “Anti-Corruption Academy” in the Middle East where Nina Gross, Director, Deloitte Financial Services LLP, provided insights around Anti-corruption practices globally, and recent trends impacting the region.
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Deloitte developed the Anti-Corruption Academy to promote unfettered dialogue about challenges faced by multi-national corporations operating in markets at risk for corrupt business behavior. The Academy seeks to provide a forum for collective action in addressing both the “supply” and “demand” side of corruption and money laundering.
Fadi Sidani, Enterprise Risk Services leader at Deloitte Middle East, commented: “The Deloitte Middle East Center for Corporate Governance offers resources for executives, directors, and other stakeholders who are active in governance, to help assess an organization’s governance processes, including benchmarking them against best practices, and ensuring they meet the needs of the business”.
“Proper governance frameworks strengthen accountability mechanisms and open channels of communication within and across the various market players,” said Rami Wadie, partner and corporate governance leader at Deloitte Middle East. “As such, it is essential for companies and organizations in the region to have a proper understanding of sound governance practices and frameworks.”
“The benefits of effective governance for any organization are obvious: from protecting the organization’s reputation, to enhancing market value, creating effective risk management processes and increasing awareness of all the developments in the firm,” concluded Wadie.
Dan Konigsburg, Managing Director, Corporate Governance & Public Policy, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, visited the region on the occasion of the launch of the Deloitte Middle East Center for Corporate Governance, and presented on recent global corporate governance trends.
The event included a specialist panel of experts who considered the imperatives for ethical business and the development of the anticorruption movement to the region. The panel was moderated by Humphry Hatton, CEO of Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited in the Middle East, who said: “It is critically important for Boards to understand what is being done to ensure that companies do not engage in corrupt activity. The very lively and interactive panel discussion we held shows the widespread interest in this area and acknowledgment of its importance, as well as the competitive advantage to be obtained from being an ethical business”.