Wednesday 9, March 2016

Doha – MENA Herald: The Board of Governors meeting of the Pearl Initiative, the leading Gulf business-led not-for-profit organisation fostering a corporate culture of accountability and transparency, has highlighted the entity’s achievements over the last five years.

Hosted in Doha by Her Excellency Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser Al-Thani, Founder and Chairperson of Amwal and member of the Board of Governors of the Pearl Initiative, the meeting also strategized plans for 2016 and forecasted the entity’s growth and impact until 2020.

Other board members that attended the meeting included Hamid Jafar, Chairman of Crescent Group and Chairman of the Pearl Initiative’s Board of Governors, Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive, The Abraaj Group, Hani Ashkar, Middle East Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Jamal Fakhro, Managing Partner, KPMG Bahrain and Qatar, Samer Khoury, President, Consolidated Contractors Company, Varouj Nerguizian, CEO, Bank of Sharjah, and Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and Founder of Pearl Initiative.

Highlighting the Pearl Initiative’s accomplishments, Her Excellency Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser Al-Thani said “Pearl Initiative has made major strides since its establishment in 2010. By convening business leaders from across the Gulf Region to share their experiences, Pearl Initiative has created a strong business case for raising corporate governance standards. We have also successfully provided a vehicle for the Private Sector to lead by example and ensure that accountability and transparency are accorded top priority on the business agenda in the Gulf Region.”

In 2016, the Pearl Initiative will expand the scope of its existing programmes with initiatives such as a collective action programme on “Implementing Integrity Practices in GCC Private and Public Businesses” in collaboration with the Siemens Integrity Initiative. In addition, the Pearl Initiative will continue its Corporate Governance programme with a special focus on the SME and start-up sector. The organisation is also set to launch a GCC-wide case study report that will build on the Diversity in Business Leadership programme.

Commenting on the Pearl Initiative’s mission and plans for 2016, board member Samer Khoury said, “In 2016, we hope to influence the behaviours of more businesses and more sectors in the Gulf Region through programmes which we believe truly highlight both the economic and ethical benefits of implementing good governance in the Private Sector. Through practical tools and guidelines as well as the expertise of business leaders in the region, these initiatives will provide businesses the re-enforcement necessary to drive the progress of corporate governance culture in the GCC.”

The meeting reiterated the Pearl Initiative’s vision to contribute in shaping a thriving economy in the Gulf Region, underpinned by a strong Private Sector that embraces good governance as a pillar for sustainable growth.

Following the Board of Governor’s meeting, Her Excellency Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser Al-Thani hosted a lunch for Pearl Initiative’s Board members and top Qatari business leaders. Attendees included Fahmi Al Ghussain, CEO, Amwal, Serge Lépine, CEO, QADIC, Nazih Abdul Kader, Executive Vice President Operations, CCC, Dr. Marwan Musleh, Board Secretary & General Counsel, Rasgas, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Ahmed Al Thani, Chairman, Mohajl, Sheikh Nawaf Nasser Bin Khaled Al Thani, Chairman & CEO, NBK and Abdullah Al Marri, Chairman, Qatar First Bank.

Highlights of the Pearl Initiative’s achievements from 2010 to 2015 include:

Publishing seven Gulf-focused practical insight, guideline, research, case study and infographic reports, including the latest – ‘At a Glance: A Practical Guide to Anti-Corruption in the Gulf Region’ published in December 2015
Engaging 5,980 students in 25 universities across the Gulf Region in workshops, seminars and high-profile case study competitions
Hosting 65 roundtable forums across major cities in the Gulf Region that convened 5,480 business leaders. The forums serve an opportunity to share ideas, experiences and best business practices, and aimed to raise standards of corporate accountability, transparency and governance