Brad Watson new MENA leader of EY Strategy & Transactions

19 January 2022 2 min. read
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Big Four firm EY has named Brad Watson as its new Strategy & Transactions Leader for the MENA region. He succeeds Matthew Benson, who led the arm for the past three years.

Welcoming Watson to the new role, Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim, MENA Chairman and Regional Managing Partner at EY, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Brad as Strategy & Transactions Leader. He brings over 25 years of experience in North America as well as here in the Middle East to the role.”

Prior to taking on to the role, Watson was EY’s Global Leader for Infrastructure Advisory. Before that, he led the Infrastructure Advisory team in MENA, while also acting as the firm’s Global and EMEIA Infrastructure Leader for both Strategy & Transactions and the Government industry vertical.

Brad Watson new MENA leader of EY Strategy & Transactions

Watson has been with EY since 2016, when he relocated to Dubai from Toronto to join the firm’s Middle East practice. He previously served KPMG in Canada for over two decades.

Over the course of his career, Watson has worked on several significant infrastructure and complex procurement projects. He has advised on multiple projects that have achieved financial close across North America and MENA totaling over $20 billion worth of capital assets and service delivery.

Commenting on his new challenge, Watson (who is an avid golfer) said: “I’m delighted to lead the Strategy & Transactions team across the region.”

EY’s Strategy & Transactions division houses the firm’s strategy consulting (delivered by subsidiary EY-Parthenon), mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance, economics and infrastructure advisory services. In EY’s latest financial year, the wing was the fastest growing division, ahead of Consulting, Assurance and Tax.

Watson: “Our team of partners and practitioners are recognised as market leaders in their fields – delivering actionable strategy, value accreting corporate finance, and bespoke transaction advice for both government and the private sector across the Middle East. I consider it a privilege and an honour to work with such a talented group of professionals assisting our clients in one of the most dynamic markets in the world.”

“I’d like to thank Matthew Benson for leading the success of the MENA practice,” he continued. A 25-year EY veteran, Benson has now transitioned to a role as Lead Partner for one of EY’s largest accounts in the MENA region. He has been based in Dubai since 2014, when he relocated from the firm’s Frankfurt office.

Al-Sowailim concluded: “I would like to wish Brad and Matt all the best in their new roles.”