Business leaders examine corporate transparency and governance

MANAMA — The Pearl Initiative, the leading not-for-profit organization working across the Gulf region to influence and improve corporate accountability and transparency, co-hosted a high-level invitation only forum with Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (“Mumtalakat”), the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The event addressed the need for best practice corporate governance and the importance of embedding high standards throughout all levels of an organization.

The forum, held in Manama, Bahrain, engaged both panellists and an audience made up of executives from listed companies, public sector and private companies, state-owned enterprises, family firms and government entities in discussion on corporate governance. Panellists included; Mahmood Al-Kooheji, CEO of Mumtalakat, Jamal Fakhro, Chairman MESA region, KPMG, Saleh Hussain, Founder of Saleh Hussain Consultancy, and Alissa Amico, Manager of MENA, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Moderating the session, Fahad Alturki, CEO of ACTO Group and a Pearl Initiative Board member, said: “Getting corporate governance right is as important as the business model itself. If companies want to succeed in the long-term, build trust and reputation with stakeholders and spur sustainable and competitive economic growth, then best practice governance is the way forward. We are thankful to the Pearl Initiative for assisting us in driving this initiative forward.”

The challenging topics the panellists were presented with focused on Bahrain’s and the region’s current corporate governance and transparency situation. Mahmood Al-Kooheji provided an overview of Bahrain’s current position and what progress has been made by the government, whilst Jamal Fakhro lead the conversation on the benefits of high corporate governance for family firms in the region.

Saleh Hussain discussed the emerging practices in the field, and Alissa Amico highlighted the latest trends of corporate governance in the Middle East.

Al-Kooheji then spoke on the latest initiatives Mumtalakat have been introducing to ensure corporate governance and transparency is at the top of their list of business priorities. Mumtalakat’s vision is to grow the wealth of the country and create a thriving diversified and sustainable economy. Mumtalakat is fully owned by the government of Bahrain and is recognized by the international community for its continued commitment to transparency and corporate governance.

Al-Kooheji commented during the session: “Transparency and good corporate governance are an integral part of Mumtalakat’s DNA, and we believe that we are uniquely positioned within Bahrain and the wider GCC to be able to encourage wide adoption of these essential principles. Adhering to good corporate governance and transparency practices has been shown to drive growth, and by partnering with like-minded organisations, we can ensure that a clear roadmap is drawn for others to follow, and that we create the necessary conditions for our economies and businesses to not only grow, but to thrive.”

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