MENA’s top talent in accountancy and finance were celebrated at the third annual Middle East Accountancy and Finance Excellence Awards at a ceremony at the Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi.
Organised by ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) and sponsored by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and the PIC Group, the awards recognise “the best and brightest” in accountancy, finance and business.
Peter Beynon, ICAEW regional director Middle East, said, “A strong accountancy and finance pr
ofession is the backbone of sustainable economic growth. Recognising the region’s best talent – the finance professionals who are daily delivering confidence in business – is important, because their hard work and dedication can often be overlooked. The fact that they are demonstrating the highest professional and ethical standards is what underpins economic growth and we are delighted to give them the credit they deserve.
“This year’s awards programme grew significantly in terms of the level of participation and the quality of submissions. The exemplary performance of the 2013 winners offers a demonstration of the very best practices that the whole profession can emulate.”
Industry professionals from across the Middle East attended the gala event, which included keynote addresses from Michael Izza, chief executive of ICAEW, and Clive Anderson, British radio and television presenter and author. Winners were selected by a judging panel comprising 11 of the region’s most respected industry professionals, among them Dr Abdul Karim Al Zarouni, senior vice-president deputy general finance – group finance of NBAD, and Mark Beer, registrar at DIFC Courts and former CEO and chairman of the British Business Group for Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
Accolades were awarded in 12 categories, including new categories for Excellence in the Development of the Country’s Future Business Leaders, Internal Audit Excellence, and Accounting for Sustainability.
Among the winners of the 2013 awards were: H.E. Riyad Abdul Rahman Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority for his Outstanding Contribution to the Accountancy Profession; James Rigney from Etihad Airways for CFO of the Year; and Amanda Line, from PwC Academy Middle East for ICAEW Chartered Accountant of the Year. Abdullatif Al Mahmood from Ernst and Young Bahrain was recognised as Young Accountant of the Year.
The new award categories, which ICAEW says demonstrate commitment to the development of local finance and accountancy infrastructure, went to TAQA for Excellence in the Development of the Country’s Future Leaders; Etihad Mobily for Internal Audit Excellence; and GASCO for Accounting for Sustainability.
Dr Abdul Karim Al Zarouni said, “With the shift in global trade patterns highlighting the importance of the Middle East as a finance and logistics hub, demand for accounting and finance services will continue to grow. We congratulate all the 2013 winners and would like to thank you for your contribution to advancing the regional economies.”
Steve Rigby, divisional manager of PIC-Group Western Asia and India, added, “The Middle East Accountancy and Finance Excellence Awards offers a fantastic platform through which regional progress within the profession can be showcased to business and government leaders, locally and internationally. We would like to thank ICAEW for this initiative as it helps reinforce the attractiveness of Middle East markets for foreign direct investments.”
The Middle East Accountancy and Finance Excellence Awards are organised by ICAEW – a world leader in the accountancy and finance profession with more than 140,000 members across the globe. The awards were launched in 2011 to celebrate the very best in the accountancy and finance profession in the Middle East and have become a key date in the annual calendar of regional business leaders.