Mena corporate intelligence

05 November 2013

Six executives investigating the risks of doing business in the Middle East and North Africa

Yaser Dajani

Position: Head of business intelligence practice, Mena region, Kroll

Biography: Yaser Dajani is head of business intelligence for the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region for the US’ Kroll. He manages investigations for regional and international businesses and government clients. With more than 10 years’ experience, Dajani has dealt with complex business intelligence, regulatory investigations, fraud investigations, crisis management, corruption risk assessments and advice on market entry in the GCC. He has worked with clients from sectors including finance, government, law, telecoms, defence, oil and gas, construction, and engineering. Dajani has managed investigations across the region, with a particular focus on the GCC, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt and Libya. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from George Mason University, and is a graduate of advanced training in dispute resolution from the University of Maryland, both in the US.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 449 6701

Nicholas Bortman

Position: Partner and head of Middle East, GPW

Biography: Nicholas Bortman heads the US-based GPW’s Middle East practice, managing business intelligence, complex investigations and due diligence cases across the region and in sub-Saharan and East Africa and Central Asia. GPW assists clients from law firms, lenders, investors, and sovereign and governmental organisations to gather information for cross-border litigation and arbitration. The firm was founded by three former Kroll executives active in the sector since the 1980s. Bortman joined GPW in 2007 and founded the Dubai office in 2010. He began his career at Interro, the investigative practice of a former senior trial prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office in the US. Bortman has also supported former Scotland Yard undercover officers from the UK infiltrating tobacco smuggling networks across the Middle East and Africa. He has a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 387 5800

Richard Ayton

Position: Mena managing director, global risk and investigations practice, FTI Consulting

Biography: Richard Ayton joined the US’ FTI Consulting in April 2013 as managing director of its global risk and investigations practice in Dubai. He assists clients in understanding issues in Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Ayton has 15 years’ experience directly engaging with emerging markets in commercial and government roles. Before joining FTI Consulting, he was head of advisory at a specialist risk management firm working with multinational clients. Ayton led complex investigative and consultancy projects in difficult-to-operate jurisdictions, and focused on understanding and resolving issues related to strategic decision-making, transactional compliance, new market entry and asset recovery. He previously served in Iraq and Libya with the British government. Ayton attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 437 2100

Courtenay Smith

Position: Director, forensic services, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Middle East

Biography: Courtenay Smith leads the UK-based PwC’s corporate intelligence services in the Mena and southeast Asia regions. His practice advises on integrity due diligence, forensic and compliance checks on transactions in line with the US’ Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act, strategic risk assessments and asset tracing in disputes. Smith’s industry specialisations include finance, energy, telecoms, aerospace and high-tech manufacturing. He joined PwC in 2013. Since 2009, Smith has advised local and multinational firms working in the Mena region, with particular emphasis on their operations and reputation management during the recent political changes in North Africa. He worked for the Australian government from 1997 to 2009, focusing on political and security issues across the Middle East. Smith has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Monash University in Australia.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 304 3100

Nick Roberts

Position: Director, corporate investigations, Mena region and Pakistan, Control Risks

Biography: Nick Roberts is head of corporate investigations for the UK’s Control Risks in the Mena region and Pakistan, focusing on forensic computing and accounting, legal technologies, and anti-bribery, corruption and fraud management. He has 14 years’ experience as a commercial investigator, having led projects on allegations of falsification of revenue, conflicts of interest, cheque fraud and abuse of position. Roberts has spent much of his career working with clients from government and non-government sectors on financial and non-financial investigations. He has helped clients manage the risk of fraud and assess the financial impact of commercial disputes. Roberts previously worked for PwC in the UK and the Middle East, in the latter as associate director of forensic investigations. He has a certificate in fraud management and a bachelor’s of communication degree in accounting and finance.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 372 3000

Ralph Stobwasser

Position: Director, Mena business intelligence services, Deloitte

Biography: Ralph Stobwasser is a director for the US-based Deloitte’s forensic practice covering the Mena region. His team undertakes investigative assignments including pre-transaction due diligence, market intelligence gathering, background investigations and litigation support, to prepare clients for a crisis, investigation or dispute. Stobwasser joined Deloitte in 2012 from Control Risks, where he led corporate investigations in the Middle East from 2009. From 2007 to 2009, he was a case manager for Kroll’s Mena business intelligence department. Stobwasser has also consulted for the World Bank and Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation on development and policy work in the Middle East. He has conducted investment risk analysis for companies operating in Iran. Stobwasser has a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Freie Universitat Berlin in Germany.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 506 4700

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