Paul Ridley joins KPMG's Defense & Security practice in Saudi

15 February 2023 2 min. read
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KPMG has welcomed a new leader in its Advisory business, with Paul Ridley relocating to Saudi Arabia to join the Defense & Security practice.

After spending 25+ years in the Netherlands, Ridley now operates out of Riyadh, where he is a leader in KPMG’s Defense & Security practice, responsible for the Digital & Innovation offering across Saudi Arabia and Levant.

“I feel honoured to be a part of the KPMG, which has the deep expertise and global reach to support governments with their most pressing defense priorities,” said Ridley. “I look forward to working with the team to provide innovative approaches and critical thinking to deliver tangible results.”

Paul Ridley, Leader in the Defense & Security practice, KPMG

Ridley spent over 20 years in consulting, working both for large global players (PwCAtos and most recently IBM), as well as running his own independent consultancy. During this time, he led several large-scale ERP and digital transformation programs in the defense sector, including at the Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands and Australia.

In the Netherlands, he notably worked on the first ever SAP roll-out within the Ministry of Defence (back in 2006), and 15+ years later, he was part of the team that led the massive upgrade from the original SAP system to the new SAP S/4HANA version.

In his last role at IBM, Ridley was the Industry Leader of Defense & Intelligence across EMEA, and was a member of the Northern Europe leadership team of IBM Consulting. Early in his career, he served as a military officer.

“We are delighted that Paul has joined our Defense & Security sector team. He will specifically bring relevant global and regional expertise to support the Kingdom’s focus on digital and innovation, at the heart of the next phase of transformation efforts across defense and security,” said Omer Tauqir, Head of Defense at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

A defense powerhouse

With spending of over $50 billion per annum, Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s top spenders on defense, ranking as the sixth-largest spender behind the United States, China, India, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

Saudi’s Ministry of Defense oversees the budget, which is allocated to the circa 20 government agencies that fall under its authority, including the Royal Saudi Land Forces, the Royal Saudi Air Forces, the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces, and the Royal Saudi Strategic Missiles Forces.

With specific expertise in supply chain & logistics, capability management, mission readiness, joint mission planning, air warfare and counter-terrorism operations, Ridley said he looks forward to help Saudi’s Ministry of Defense with its transformation and digitisation ambitions.