KPMG Lower Gulf names consulting head Nader Haffar as new CEO

21 September 2018 4 min. read

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.