EY MENA appoints new leaders for Assurance and Advisory

07 August 2018 Consultancy-me.com

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) practice of global professional services firm EY has made two leadership appointments. Wasim Khan has been named head of the firm’s Advisory business, while Khurram Mian has ascended to take the top role in EY’s Assurance division.

Khan and Mian have been promoted internally, and both boast a track record of over two decades at Ernst & Young, the globe’s third largest accounting and consulting firm. Founded in 1923, EY’s MENA business has more than 6,000 people united across 20 offices and 15 countries, including in among others Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Together, they will take responsibility for around half of the firm’s workforce in MENA. Khurram Mian will lead a team of around 2,400 assurance professionals in the three practices of: Audit, Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) and Forensic & Integrity Services. Prior to taking the role on 1 July 2018, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of the MENA Assurance practice, before which Mian held the role of Assurance Leader in EY Jeddah and Dubai consecutively, from 2009 to 2015.

“Khurram’s experience across our key markets, client service acumen and passion for quality and innovation will be critical to realise our strategic growth objectives and maintain our leadership in the MENA region,” said Abdulaziz Al Sowailim, Chairman and CEO of EY MENA.

Commenting on his new role, Mian said that he is “extremely excited and proud” to be leading EY’s assurance services, “at a time when innovation and technologies are disrupting conventional professions and creating new challenges for both businesses and their auditors.”

Asked about how he believes EY will remain ahead of the curve – the firm competes fiercely in the field with the other Big Four’s Deloitte, KPMG and PwC – he pointed at the importance of quality and technology-led innovation. “Maintaining our leadership in MENA in audit requires relentless focus on the quality of our services and embrace of innovation and integrate technology into our offerings, whilst closely monitoring the needs of regulators, investors and the financial markets. For non-audit services it is critical that we identify solutions and service offerings to support the business agenda of our clients.”EY MENA appoints new leaders for Assurance and AdvisoryMeanwhile, also per 1 July 2018, Wasim Khan has been appointed as Advisory Services Leader for the Middle East & North Africa region. He has been with the firm since 1998, when he joined as an IT consultant from Unisys. During his 20 year tenure, he has ascended the ranks to senior partner, and most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for the MENA Advisory arm and latterly as Deputy Advisory Leader MENA. Al Sowailim: “Wasim has played a key part in shaping how our Advisory business looks like today, and we are delighted to welcome him as the new MENA Advisory Services Leader. I am confident that we will continue to drive growth and innovation across our Advisory business.”

EY’s consulting arm helps clients with a broad range of advisory and implementation services, spanning management consulting (strategy, performance improvement, operations consultancy), financial advisory (M&A, corporate finance, restructuring) and digital consulting (IT advisory, systems implementation, new technologies). The MENA wing has more than 700 professionals, serving organisations in sectors such as government, financial services, energy, real estate, hospitality and construction, consumer products, telecommunications and technology.

Khan: “We are seeing businesses shift to adjust their strategies in response to fundamental changes in industries and business models. The ‘transformative age’ is changing how we live, work and play – from the gig economy, artificial intelligence, and smart cities to self-driving vehicles, clean energy sources and more. This is also disrupting the consulting industry.”

The newly elected consulting boss said that the firm is well-positioned to navigate the changes in the industry – valued at $250 billion globally by US-based analyst firm ALM. “We too are adapting the way we consult. We fully understand the value of converging with technology providers, cybersecurity technology, design agencies, data analytics experts and digital hubs. And we are increasingly collaborating with new participants from different industries to co-create value.”

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Carlos Ghosn's daughters get their career starts in strategy consulting

16 April 2019 Consultancy-me.com

With the Ghosn affair taking yet another twist, this time concerning allegations in Oman, the world’s media remains gripped.

A highly celebrated figure in Lebanon, the case of ex-Nissan and now ex-Renault head Carlos Ghosn has captivated the media round the world, with his re-arrest and detainment in Japan on further embezzlement charges last week – this time concerning allegations in Oman – delivering the latest twist in the saga. For his part, Ghosn continues to deny the charges, labeling the latest allegations of financial impropriety as “outrageous and arbitrary”.

Much of the media fascination stems from Ghosn’s remarkable story. Born to Lebanese immigrants in Brazil, Ghosn spent much of his youth in Lebanon before moving to Paris to pursue an engineering degree – and in almost no time arriving at the very top of the global automotive industry as a feted turn-around specialist, having rescued both Renault and Nissan from probable ruin. The other factor; a cultivated lifestyle of celebrity glamour.

Front and centre in that image was Ghosn’s young family, including a son Anthony and three daughters – Caroline, Maya and Nadine – who have all grown into their own spotlight in the international business and entrepreneurial worlds. And in line with that A-list background, all three of his daughters got their career starts at the crème de la crème of the strategy and management consulting world; prestigious MBB firms McKinsey & Company and BCG.The Ghosn family affair with the international consulting sector  The eldest Ghosn daughter, Caroline, joined McKinsey in 2007 following a BA in International Relations at Stamford University – before founding professional career network Levo in 2011 with three of her McKinsey associates. Her husband, Nicholas Flanders, CEO and co-founder of carbon reduction tech-company Opus 12, (and former COO of Levo), is likewise an alumnus of McKinsey – serving for three and a half years alongside Ghosn in the firm’s New York office.

Carlos Ghosn’s second daughter got her start at Boston Consulting Group.  A regonised name in luxury fashion as the founder and creative director of Nadine Ghosn Fine Jewelry, her brand counts and Beyoncé and the recently deceased fashion icon Karl Largerfeld among its celebrity clientele. At BCG, Nadine, who also graduated Stamford, served as an associate in the firm’s luxury and consumer goods practice before joining a management programme at Hermès.

Like her eldest sister, Ghosn’s youngest daughter Maya joined McKinsey’s New York office – spending over three years there as an engagement manager before departing in 2016. Maya is now Manager, Housing Affordability for the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan to promote social equality. Incidentally, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, a former McKinsey consultant, has been a mentor to Caroline and also founded Leanin.org, where Maya first started out as an intern.

Carlos Ghosn’s son Anthony – who has now been embroiled in his father’s affair with accusations of money being funneled via Oman toward his financial services start-up, Shogun (where he is CEO but has not been accused of any direct involvement) – didn’t get his break at an MBB, but his step-brother, Anthony Marshi, the son of Carlos Ghosn’s second wife Carole Nahas, is a partner with BCG in New York according to French newspaper Le Figaro.