Will Middle East CFOs embrace the Strategist’s role in 2008?

Will Middle East CFOs embrace the Strategist’s role in 2008?

3rd – 4th Dec 2007, Dubai, Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel – The end of year 2007 saw a new hope among CFOs in Middle East when naseba, working in strategic partnership with Time Magazine, CNBC Arabiya, Middle East Monitor, Capital, Business Islamica, Business Intelligence Middle East and AME Info, gathered TOP CFOs from diverse industries like Banking, FMCG, Oil and Gas, Real Estate, Construction, hospitality and retail at the CFO Strategies Mid East congress 2007.

A unique congress with it’s agenda, helping to define and grow the role of a New CFO from just being a financial controller to the strategic business partner of the CEO.

Well moderated by Jim Frederick, Senior Editor, TIME Magazine, the congress saw a series of educational presentations. Mr. Sanjay Uppal, group CFO of Emirates NBD, unfolded the new CFO agenda, emphasizing on the evolving role of the CFO as the strategist. The new evolving role was echoed by Mr. Surinder Sarna, CFO, Al Shaya group, where he laid the new CFO-CEO partnership game-plan.

Mr. Dilip Kumar, Financial head of Arab Banking Corp., emphasized on disclosures in his presentation while Mr. Andy Raheja, CFO, Al Barari group, shared his vision on the CFOs role in the boom market, while giving a great analogy on known and unknown of Boom economies quoting Donald Rumsfeld.

The CFO of Jumbo Electronics, Mr. Vipin Aggarwal, aptly representing the FMCG market in Mid East focused on emerging paradigm of risk management and Mr. Deepak Shrivastava CFO, Oman LNG, shared his views on Real Asset management in Mid East region.

While brainstorming in roundtables, CFOs saw increased emphasis on IFRS adoption, BASEL II norms as well as some voices were raised for common standards to be followed by the entire Middle Eastern organizations. While the CFOs discussed the new company economics with direct impact of globalization, diversification of businesses as well as new mergers and acquisitions becoming more prominent in the new economy, they acceded to the fact that a new evolved strategic role for them is now mandatory.

Some of the key solution providers at the congress: Global Strategy and consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), Financial Markets Intelligence provider and world’s foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, Standards and Poors, Investor Services and Credit risk assessing firm, Moody’s Middle East and credit risk management solutions firm, Atradius. During the one-to-one business meetings with CFOs as well as panel discussions gave some key insights in the new Credit rating procedures in Middle East and shared new risk assessing techniques.

CFO of Aggreko International said in his concluding remarks, “A very good concept and forum for networking and building professional relationships and sharing views. I would encourage follow up and building up on this.” His thoughts were re-affirmed by CFO, Le Meridien Medina, “CFO ME is a very good first step to improve the roles and responsibilities in the Middle East.”
While commenting at the venue, the congress producer, Prachi Dawar, said, “Looking at the positive outlook of attendees and the value-add the CFOs had form this, we are looking forward to repeat this activity in Middle East in 2008”


Established in 2002, naseba produces business platforms focused on re-education, networking and most importantly increasing deal-making opportunities for executive clients. With offices strategically located in 7 cities around the world, naseba employs over 250 executives from more than 30 nationalities. naseba group went public on the Paris Stock Exchange on October 5th, 2006.


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