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Bringing together Bahrain’s Brightest Business Brains

21 November 2012

Learning from peers is key to fulfilling the Chief Financial Officer’s increasingly demanding role, according to ICAEW, a world leader of the accountancy and finance profession. ICAEW yesterday gathered select CFOs to its first ever CFO Club event in Bahrain to discuss corporate governance challenges currently facing the CFO, encourage networking and exchange of experiences.

(from left) Sharon Ditchburn, Managing partner Capital Advantage; Christos Papadopoulos, Standard Chartered Regional Chief Executive for Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan; Peter Beynon, Regional Director, ICAEW Middle East; and Hassam Amin Jarrar, Standard Chartered Bahrain CEO.

Peter Beynon, regional director, ICAEW Middle East, commented: “The role of the Chief Financial Officer is changing quite radically – both here in Bahrain and globally. It’s becoming more complex and CFOs are now expected to take on a much more strategic role. They are increasingly seen as a co-pilot to the CEO, requiring a much broader skill set than before.”

ICAEW’s first CFO Club event in Bahrain was held at the Ritz Carlton on Wednesday 19 November. Sponsored by Standard Chartered, it provided an opportunity for CFOs of listed companies and other businesses in Bahrain to come together to discuss challenges and learn from each other. The focus of the event was corporate governance.

Peter said: “The global financial crisis has resulted in corporate governance becoming a much-debated topic. It is an area in constant evolution, requiring finance professionals to keep updating their knowledge”.

Hassan Amin Jarrar, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank in Bahrain, said: “The value of professional gatherings like this is great given challenges the world economy is going through. It is essential that financial experts talk to each other and keep the dialogue line open amongst themselves because survival of businesses depends on that. We believe in adding value to Bahrain’s financial community and are happy to have facilitated the first gathering of such professionals in Bahrain.”

Members of ICAEW’s CFO Club gather for first meeting in Bahrain.

ICAEW is committed to helping develop finance talent across the Middle East and creating a forum for CFOs is only one of its many initiatives in the region. The CFO Club in Bahrain is the third club established by ICAEW, following on from the launches of CFO Clubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi earlier this year. ICAEW will organise regular CFO Club events in Bahrain to encourage continued networking and sharing of concerns and knowledge.

ICAEW has more than 138,000 members globally, over 800 of whom are based in the Middle East. There are more than 130 ICAEW Chartered Accountants and students training to become Chartered Accountants in Bahrain.

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