KPMG Lower Gulf names consulting head Nader Haffar as new CEO

21 September 2018

Current KPMG Lower Gulf CEO Vijay Malhotra will hand the chief executive reigns to the firm’s Head of Management Consulting Nader Haffar, with Malhotra to remain as Chairman.

Following a decision to split the CEO and Chairman roles last year, KPMG Lower Gulf – which covers the Big Four firm’s activities in the UAE and Oman – has selected management consulting division head Nadar Haffar as its new Chief Executive Officer. Current CEO Vijay Malhotra, who has been with the firm in the region since 1979, will remain on as Chairman, with the rejig reported to take effect as of next month.

According to KPMG Lower Gulf, the decision to establish distinct roles was in line with the firm’s ambitious growth strategy in the region, and as an effort to accelerate its current strong growth of recent years. Across the member-firms of its MESA practice (Middle East & South Asia – which includes, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Yemen, and Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Maldives and Bangladesh in addition to the GCC), KPMG last year booked growth of 12.7%.

Malhotra, who has also previously served as KPMG’s MESA chairman (a role currently held by Saudi chairman Abdullah Al Fozan), said of the fresh appointment; “Our business has recorded strong double digit growth in recent years and we expect this pace of growth to continue over the next 3-5 years. To support this future growth, we now consider it prudent to expand our senior leadership team and Nader’s appointment as CEO is an important element of our strategy.”KPMG Lower Gulf names management consulting head Nader Haffar as new CEOHeading up the firm’s Management Consulting and Public Sector Advisory segments, Nader has over 25 years of cross-industry experience in management consulting in the US and Middle East – joining KPMG at the end of 2012 after a 16-year term with Deloitte and an earlier three-year stint with fellow Big Four rivals PwC. A Partner with Deloitte in the Middle East, Nader also led the firms Kuwait consulting practice, while for PwC he was a principal until 2003.

With a strong focus on government and business transformations and energy & natural resources, Nader has worked across numerous industries for both the public and private sector, specialising in operating model design and implementation, strategy, processes, procurement & supply chain, and technology and digitisation. Nader holds a Masters in Engineering Management, together with a BSc in Industrial Engineering, and has completed executive studies with the Harvard Business School in 2016.

Personally involved in selecting Nader as his successor, Malhotra said; “KPMG is focused on developing a stronger team of knowledge leaders who are committed to growing the business in the region… Corporate governance, risk management and digital transformation are fundamental to this plan. Nader brings immense experience in strategy development and implementation to the table in both the public and private sector and will be a critical addition to KPMG’s leadership team.”

Set to be working closely with Malhotra into the future, as well as the firm’s 110-strong team of Partners and Directors (of 1,200-plus employees in the Lower Gulf), Nader said in response; “The market here is strong and the opportunities for growth are immense. We see tremendous opportunity both in the UAE and Oman to expand our business, bringing leading-edge-solutions to the public sector, Sovereign Wealth Funds and family business – and I look forward to working closely with Vijay and our exceptional team, to drive our growth.”

In just recent weeks, KPMG Lower Gulf appointed Timothy Wood as the new head of its cybersecurity practice, while KPMG in Qatar named Swiss native Barbara Henzen as head of its tax division and KPMG in Saudi Arabia promoted Ismail Alani to Head of Public Sector.

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

16 April 2019

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, 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.