Head of corporate governance and internal controls, Diamond Developers.
Inspiration: I joined ACCA because of its flexibility. It allowed me to reconcile my studies with work. I literally studied and worked simultaneously while pursuing my qualification and this was only possible because of the flexibility offered to the students.
Career journey: I have gone through the “number crunching” and financial analysis while at British Airways and at National Grid PLC; moving into an advisory role at Monitor, the Healthcare Regulator which has transformed the way the NHS (National Health Service) operates in the UK, with the introduction of Foundation Trusts, following a commercial operational model rather than a public-sector agency model, solely dependent on the funds from the Government Treasury. This was a beautiful journey that allowed me to move to the UAE, into a financial due diligence role at Deloitte and more recently into internal audit and consulting at Crowe leading to my current role as Head of corporate governance and internal controls at a fully sustainable real estate development company, Diamond Developers.
Highs and Lows: Every move has been high because it allowed me to expand the breadth of my experience and knowledge and today as an ACCA, I can tell you that being an ACCA for me has been like holding a passport more than just holding a finance-qualification that would only open-finance related roles.
I would characterize the low when I lost a key consulting contract partly due to the client’s heavy “politics” and group thinking. This experience was painful as at that time I was working as an independent consultant and the above-mentioned client was a key client. It was a heavy blow but taught me “tons” and I believe it has influenced the way I do business now, I mean the way I have dealt with both my internal clients and external clients.
ACCA Community: Sitting in the ACCA’s MAC has allowed me to meet ACCAs from a variety of sectors, nationalities and walks of life and as such has enriched my experience and my network. It was through my involvement with the ACCA MAC that I was offered one of my previous roles.
Final Thoughts: I am fascinated by good governance and hence my current role as “Head of Corporate Governance and Internal Controls”. We need good corporate governance just like we need good governments. So, what does good corporate governance involve? It starts with the key ingredients of openness, transparency and integrity then you add effective collaboration. These elements should work in such a way that the result is a performance-driven organization/department/individual.
In terms of my aspirations I look forward for opportunities of board-related roles where I can leverage my experience across various sectors from airline, electricity networks, healthcare, advisory and recently real estate sustainable development. In terms of fun parts, there is life beyond work: I enjoy playing netball and bike riding.
One fun facts for me is that while everyone complains about the heat in Dubai, I love it and sure I spend a lot of time inside an office, I am blessed to be working in a beautiful part of Dubai, which is surrounded by green: The Sustainable City. Who said there is no “green” in Dubai???