Kreston completes Palestine presence with Gaza based Kanaan Firm

13 December 2017

Kanaan Firm, an accounting and advisory firm based in Gaza, has joined the Kreston' network as a member firm, adding to the firm’s existing Palestinian presence in West Bank. 

Established in 1998, Gaza-based Kanaan Firm provides auditing, accounting and advisory services to the businesses in Palestine’s Gaza Strip. By joining Kreston’s network –  the 12th largest accounting network in the world with a presence in 113 countries and the 14th largest in the Middle East – Kanaan Firm expects to ramp up the maturity of its service portfolio and operations. Bassam Ahmed, General Manager of the Palestinian accountancy, said, “Through our membership, we look forward to marketing our services under Kreston’s distinguished umbrella, raising the Kreston profile across the region and to working with our fellow members to be consistent in our knowledge sharing, quality control procedures and professional support.”

Kanaan Firm, since 1999 licensed by the Arab Society of Certified Accountants as well as the Palestinian Association of Certified Public Accountants, and Kreston, founded in 1971, are not new to each other – the local firm joined Kreston as a correspondent in 2015. “We are honoured to now be a full member of the Kreston International network,” said Ahmed. In delivering its services in the region, Kanaan Firm works closely with Kreston’s other member firm in Palestine, Audeh Jibreel, which is based in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. 

Gaza based Kanaan Firm joins Kreston International

“We believe in the necessity of an integrated performance on both sides of the 'Palestinian Territories'. Based on this approach and our network, we can offer comprehensive services, which meet the needs of the Palestinian market with its exclusive nature, in the shadow of the regional and international variables,” Ahmed added.

Among the main services Kanaan Firm offers are accounting services such as bookkeeping, payroll and financial reporting, audits in the area of finance, operations, technology and quality, as well as tax (VAT, indirect taxes and local corporate taxes) and consulting (strategy, organisation, marketing, finance and human resources). “Our portfolio spans a wide range of professional services, provided through the most suitable working teams.”

Commenting on the addition, Jon Lisby, the CEO of Kreston, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kanaan Firm as another quality member and to extend our coverage in Palestine.”

With the addition of 113 countries, Kreston now has an on the ground presence in all states/countries in the surrounding Middle East region. In neighbouring Lebanon the firm works together with Beirut-based H&H Associates, while the firm’s Israeli footprint comprises three offices: one in Tel Aviv (‘Joseph Lipsky & Co), one in Ramat Gan (‘Kreston IL’), and one in Nesher (also ‘Kreston IL’). Jordan is covered by Amman-based International Professional Bureau for Auditing, and Egypt is served through Kreston CG, which is located in Cairo.

Earlier this month, international advisory firm Accuracy expanded into the Middle East with an office in Dubai, eight months after German supply chain consulting firm Miebach Consulting also established a foothold in the emirate.

Israeli cybersecurity consultancy Sygnia picked up by Temasek

29 October 2018

Israeli cybersecurity consulting startup Sygnia has been bought by Singaporean stste investment firm Temasek in a deal reportedly worth $250 million.

Describing itself as a provider of ‘military-grade’ cybersecurity, the Tel Aviv-based start-up Sygnia provides organisations worldwide with high-level cross-sector cyber resilience consulting and incident response support services: “We apply technological supremacy, digital combat experience, and a business-driven mindset to cyber security, enabling organizations to excel in the age of cyber.”

Co-founded in 2015 by current CEO Shachar Levy and launched by Team8, an Israeli cybersecurity ‘think-tank’ come incubator set up by former leaders of the Israeli Defense Force’s fabled technology and intelligence division Unit 8200, the cybersecurity start-up will now come under the ownership of Singaporean sovereign investment agency Temasek, which holds upwards of S$308 billion in assets.

While financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, sources reportedly close to the matter have placed the sale at $250 million, with Sygnia apparently not having received any further funding beyond its original $4.3 million seed investment. For Temasek, the deal marks a growing taste for cybersecurity investments, with the fund having led a $60 million Series B funding round closed in June for fellow Team 8 start-up Claroty, a cyberdefence software producer focused on factories and industrial plants.Israeli cybersecurity consultancy Sygnia picked up by TemasekAccording to the announcement from Sygnia, the company will continue to operate as an independent entity while pursuing collaborations with Temasek and its portfolio of companies, with Levy slated to remain at the helm and fellow co-founders Ariel Smoler and Ami Kor staying on in key roles. Team8 co-founder and CEO Nadav Zafrir will also hold on to his role as Sygnia chair, with both outfits to continue their collaboration.

“Sygnia has built a powerful combination of professional proficiency, methodologies, technologies, and a culture of excellence, which is critically needed in confronting the growing complexity of cyber,” Zafrir said. “Team8 will remain committed to Sygnia's success and we will continue to collaborate and work closely together.”

Speaking on Sygnia’s acquisition, Levy said; “Aligning with Temasek will strengthen our capability to provide end to end strategic support to organisations in meeting the specter of cyber threats, and allow us to accelerate building our global reach. I am incredibly proud of our team members - who have made this company into what it is. We will remain committed to the highest standards of professional excellence, client focus, decisiveness and speed.”

The purchase comes at a time when not only are there growing concerns for a shortfall in cyber preparedness around the world, and particularly in Southeast Asia, but also as tensions continue to simmer across the Middle East between long-time rivals – with state-sponsored cyber-attacks on real world infrastructure seen as a genuine threat. Recently, Accenture’s cybersecurity division outlined the rising global threat from agents in Iran, while Saudi Arabia has been busy ramping up its cyber-warfare capabilities. In Israel, the country's start-up sector is increasingly turning its attention to cybersecurity.