Roundtable examines potential long-term business risks posed by lack of integrity practices
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 28 November, 2017: The Pearl Initiative, the leading Gulf business-led not-for-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency as a key driver of competitiveness, co-hosted a roundtable with global integrity and compliance risk firm, Red Flag Group, to explore the role integrity plays in the business decision-making process. Senior executives from international, regional and local UAE-based organisations convened to discuss the practical application and advantages of adopting corporate integrity practices across industries in the UAE and the wider GCC region.
Speakers including Casper Bekker, General Manager MEA Region, Red Flag Group, Nadeem Anwar, Regional Compliance Head, at Siemens Middle East, and Carla Koffel, Executive Director, Pearl Initiative, headlined the roundtable. The event presented a theoretical case study through which attendees examined the potential risks an organisation may be exposed to in the absence of an integrity framework.
In her opening remarks, Carla Koffel, highlighted the need for compliance and integrity practices, and the impact an effective integrity framework has while establishing new business relationships.
She said: “Raising awareness on the importance of good corporate governance and integrity practices amongst companies in the region is a key step in developing a more transparent and sustainable business environment. With this goal in mind, the Pearl Initiative hosts interactive sessions with private and public firms, highlighting the business case for transparency and accountability in the long-term interest of organisations. Through our collaboration with the Red Flag Group, we have moved significantly closer to realising our objective of establishing a strong awareness for business integrity across the GCC region.”
For his part, Casper Bekker, General Manager MEA Region, Red Flag Group, said: “As a leading compliance and risk firm, we are committed to promoting business integrity and constantly endeavour to improve the efficiency of our clients' compliance programmes. Through our association with the Pearl Initiative, we were able to successfully facilitate an interactive session with seasoned compliance professionals and had a chance to walk-through a real-life case study to determine the potential challenges clients can face while entering or re-entering a new market.”
The roundtable was conducted as part of the Pearl Initiative’s three-year collective action project that seeks to encourage the adoption of integrity practices across the GCC region. Funded by the Siemens Integrity Initiative, the programme includes the development of an integrity indicator tool, a voluntary framework to measure performance in relation to international benchmarks in integrity and regional best practices. The initiative also seeks to start conversations with future business leaders and motivate them to appreciate the value of strong anti-corruption and transparency measures within businesses.