Deloitte adds to senior leadership team in the Middle East

02 March 2021 3 min. read
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Deloitte has bolstered its Middle East leadership team with two partnership promotions and one major appointment in Saudi Arabia over the past month, along with earlier admitting the firm’s first ever female regional risk advisory partner.

Deloitte Middle East has over the past fortnight made two partnership admissions to its Financial Advisory team in Saudi Arabia; Mohammad Araj and Karim Labban. The promotions follow shortly after the major appointment of Deloitte UK company veteran Simon Letts in Saudi Arabia, and the earlier elevation of Dina Fakih as the Big Four firm’s first ever female Risk Advisory partner in the Middle East region.

Karim Labban

A recent arrival to the Kingdom following seven and a half years with Deloitte in Dubai (and an earlier career stint with EY in Beirut), Labban is a partner in the firm’s restructuring team. Delivering advice across a range of sectors including financial services, manufacturing, construction and real estate, Labban brings experience in among other areas business planning, financial restructuring, and managing corporate turnarounds.

Karim Labban, Mohammad Araj, Simon Letts and Dina Fakih

“It is a great privilege and responsibility to become a partner in one of the fastest growing restructuring teams in the region. We continue to be focused on supporting our clients across KSA and the Middle East during these testing times by offering holistic and tailored structuring solutions,” Labban said of his appointment, with many of Deloitte’s regional restructuring competitors also currently ramping up in anticipation of widespread local business struggles.

Mohammad Araj

Head of Deloitte’s Saudi Arabian Valuations team and a specialist in business valuations in areas such as buy- and sell-side transactions, litigation, and public offerings, Araj altogether boasts more than 17 years of financial advisory experience across the GCC and broader MENA region. “My top priorities in the market are set to grow the local team through attracting and investing in the best talent,” Araj said upon his partnership appointment.

Simon Letts

Deloitte’s pair of Financial Advisory partnership promotions in Saudi Arabia follow hot on the heels of the KSA firm’s appointment of new Audit & Assurance head Simon Letts, who crosses after more than a decade as an audit quality and risk management partner in Deloitte’s UK practice and will now be based in Riyadh.

Last year, in an effort to curb conflicts of interest, UK regulators directed the local Big Four to separate their auditing and consulting profits.

Dina Fakih

Meanwhile, Dina Fakih is settling into her new partnership role in Doha following her recent admission. Having joined Deloitte from EY in 2009, Fakih has since risen through the ranks to lead Deloitte’s Risk Advisory Services practice in Qatar, providing strategic and operational risk advice in particular to the government, public and financial sectors.

In addition to her client duties, Fakih is also active in Deloitte Middle East’s youth digital mentoring programme D-180 as well as being a supporter of the firm’s gender and inclusion acceleration strategy, ALL IN. “As the first female Partner in Risk Advisory at Deloitte Middle East, I look forward to leveraging my journey to empower women in the risk industry and bring forward unique perspectives that can strengthen and enhance our position,” Fakih said.