Communications consultancy Leidar launches in Dubai, George Kotsolios leads office

09 March 2018

Building on its strong European presence stretching across key financial centres, Swiss communications consultancy Leidar has now gained a foothold in the Middle Eastern market with the establishment of an office in Dubai. The new outfit will be led by George Kotsolios, who has 25 years of professional experience under his belt. 

Founded in 2010 in Geneva, Leidar was conceptualised as a consulting firm, built to support leadership strategies in the communications domain. The firm recognises the dynamic nature of the contemporary global market, and strives to stay on top of market fluctuations and assist with effective communications strategies.

Leidar’s differentiating factor is its versatility, endowed with a team from a range of lingual backgrounds that allows it to examine market trends from a comprehensive global perspective. The consultancy assists a mix of industries with communications, including the agriculture, energy, environment, financial services, and sports sectors among a long list of others.

So far, the firm has a strong European presence, with offices in the key financial markets of Geneva, London, and Brussels. In Geneva, the firm has worked with academic institutions, as well as the sea of UN institutions that are active in the city, which has enabled the forging of strong relationships, including with the World Economic Forum.

Launch in Dubai

Leidar’s London presence offers access to a large financial sector, as well as leading media institutions, while the office in Brussels has been successful in advocacy efforts for the EU network. Now, the firm has ventured outside of the European market with the launch of an office in Dubai. The new office is tasked with capitalising on the thriving consulting market in the Middle East, not only in Dubai but in neighbouring Abu Dhabi as well.

George Kotsolios - Managing Director Leidar

George Kotsolios will head the Dubai operations, leveraging over two decades of experience in Public Relations and Corporate Communications, 13 of which have been spent in the UAE, indicating a strong regional expertise as well. Kotsolios has a BTEC in Journalism and Business Studies from the London College of Communications.

He began his professional career as a Journalist for the Mirror Group of Newspapers in London, after a year of which he moved across Athens, Dubai and Cyprus while working for Action Global Communications in various capacities. Kotsolios then worked as a Managing Director at Golin MENA for 5 years, interspersed with a brief stint as a Senior Manager for Corporate Communications at the Mubadala Development Company.

Since 2012, he has been the Public Relations & Social Media Leader for Al-Futtaim in Dubai, where he led a 14-member team that controlled PR and social media for a network of 18 brands. He will now take over as Managing Director at Leidar’s Dubai Office, leveraging his communications experience.

Commenting on the firm’s new Dubai presence, Kotsolios said, “Leidar brings to the region its unique offering around Leadership Navigation that effectively combines insights and data-driven engagement strategies with proven branding and communications practices. Our well-tested methodology helps clients identify issues and trends based on digital data and social media sentiment analysis. We help clients respond to surgically targeted audiences with messages that take into consideration individuals’ behavioural traits to trigger defined outcomes and activate target audiences.” 

The firm will be competing with a number of communications consultancies active in the region, including Edelman, which established itself in Abu Dhabi in 2008, and recently revamped its senior leadership.

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.