Specialist advisory firm FRA establishes first Middle East office

24 January 2022 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read
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Forensic Risk Alliance has touched down in the Middle East, as the international specialist consultancy seeks to tap into growing demand for forensic and investigation work in the region.

Founded in 1999 in London, Forensic Risk Alliance is an accounting and consulting firm that dedicates itself to a single segment within the professional services arena: corruption and fraud investigations. “Unlike traditional accounting and consulting firms, we operate purely in the forensic space and generally have no conflicts,” said Stuart Ells, the CEO of Forensic Risk Alliance.

With 10 offices across the UK, Europe, the US and Canada, Forensic Risk Alliance to date lacked an operation in the Middle East, although the 250-strong firm has been involved in “some of the most high-profile cases connected to the Middle East region” according to Toby Duthie, one of the firm’s co-founders.

Specialist advisory firm FRA establishes first Middle East office

Aiming to capitalise on strong demand for anti-fraud and corruption expertise amid a spike in fraudulent activity, as well as increasing enforcement efforts, Forensic Risk Alliance has now launched an office in Dubai.

“The forensics and advisory market in the Middle East and Africa region has grown to several hundred million dollars per year,” explained Ells. “Our new Dubai office will serve as a key location for high-value litigation, complex cross-border disputes, financial crime investigations and forensic work across markets such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region.”

“This new office in Dubai marks another milestone in our 20+ year track record of punching above our weight,” added Duthie. “It bolsters our existing engagements in the region and enables us to offer localised and on-the-ground support to our international clients.”

At the helm: Bhavin Shah

Leading the new venture is Bhavin Shah, a high-profile executive with an established track record in the industry. Prior to Forensic Risk Alliance, he was founder and managing director of management consultancy True North and a partner at Roland Berger. Before that, he served Deloitte in the Middle East for five years, latterly heading its Financial Services Regulatory Advisory practice.

Bhavin Shah, Head of Middle East, Forensic Risk Alliance

Earlier in his career, he worked for fellow Big Four firms EY and PwC, and Protiviti, alongside a spell in banking at JP Morgan Chase and Dutch group ABN Amro.

Ells: “Bhavin’s extensive leadership and financial services experience, and knowledge of the Middle East market, will give our clients valuable insight when navigating regulatory proceedings. His appointment also allows us to build a strong, local footprint in a region that is of great strategic value.”