Deloitte strengthens forensics tech team with new key appointments

06 December 2018

Deloitte has consolidated its Middle East forensic technology credentials with new additions Nick Athanasi and Muzzi Ebrahim.

Following Deloitte’s recent partner conference in the Middle East, where the Big Four leader celebrated the addition of 30 new partners and directors in the region for 2018, the firm has announced the appointment of new partner Nick Athanasi as Forensics Technology Leader together with Muzzi Ebrahim who will serve as Director of Data Analytics. The new leaders have transferred from the UK and South Africa respectively.

With the advent of the digital revolution disrupting just about every industry worldwide, and in particular the financial services sector as an early adopter, the criminal landscape is also evolving – fresh technology bringing significant new risks of financial fraud, data theft, and cyber-crime. To fight fire with fire, technologies such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics are also being developed to combat such crime – with expertise in high demand.

This demand has been reflected in a recent flurry of specialist leadership appointments by some of the biggest advisory players in the Middle East – where, Deloitte reported earlier this year, companies are beginning to drop their guards in preventative financial crime measures. In the back half of this year alone, FTI Consulting has appointed ex-EY executives Paul Walker and Muthmainur Rahman to head up its local Forensic Technology division, while Alvarez & Marsal brought in Ghazanfar Shah as a Senior Director in its Disputes and Investigations practice and Navigant added Jacqui Record and Kassem Younes as managing and associate directors of theirs.Nick Athanasi and Muzammil Ebrahim - Deloitte

Deloitte, which next to consulting reported Risk Advisory as its second fastest growing service line in its $43.2 billion global record revenues for 2018 (the EMEA region contributing with growth of 15.9%), has upped the ante in the region’s forensics technology landscape once again, bringing in seasoned experts Nick Athanasi and Muzzi Ebrahim - with the pair boasting close to 45 years of tech consulting and leadership experience between them.

Nick Athanasi

Crossing from the Big Four firm’s UK branch where he has served as a Director of its Forensic Technology practice over the past three years – leading numerous high-profile and complex fraud and regulatory investigations in the UK and Europe – Athanasi has altogether 23 years of experience in all aspects of forensic technology, and a 30 year history in the technology and financial services consulting domain.

Kicking off his career as a technology consultant for Marsh & McLennan (the parent of Oliver Wyman), Athanasi after seven years joined BSG Consulting, where with a pair of colleagues he led a successful management buyout of BSG’s legal services division to form G3 Consulting – serving as a director with G3 for the following nine years before its acquisition by FTI Consulting in late 2006. Athanasi then spent nearly eight years as a Managing Director with FTI in London, before ultimately joining Deloitte in 2016.

Muzzi Ebrahim

Ebrahim meanwhile joins the Middle East Data Analytics team as a director from Deloitte’s South African branch, where over five years from 2013 he rose to lead its Risk Advisory practice, along the way developing the firm’s Regulatory Analytics and Financial Crime capabilities. Prior to joining Deloitte, Ebrahim across five years served as a Senior Manager in the Risk department of Standard Bank and as a Business Technology Strategist with Rand Merchant Bank, graduating with an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2011.

Neil Hargreaves, Deloitte’s Middle East Forensic leader said; “Bringing in talent from the global Deloitte network is a key priority to cater to the local market needs by leveraging our global expertise and knowhow. Computer forensics, eDiscovery and data analytics are integral parts of our forensic services to clients, Nick and Muzzi bring their global expertise to assist our clients in the Middle East with some of their most challenging issues around fraud and abuse, financial crime and regulatory enforcement.”


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.