Editorial by Jane Valls: December Issue

Editorial by Jane Valls: December Issue

Dear readers,

I am proud to say that 2016 was our busiest year yet at the GCC BDI. We have grown our numbers by over 25 per cent and added 200 alumni to our region-wide network, which means there’s even more peers for you to meet in 2017.

This year we rolled out over 20 well attended programmes and events, from the Foundations of Directorship, to Mastering the Boardroom and the Role of the Board Secretary. Take a look at the GCC BDI Review of 2016 to see just how busy we’ve been! Thank you to all of you who attended our events far and wide, from London, to Saudi Arabia, to Bahrain and the UAE – for it is your lively debate, professionalism and knowledge that also makes our events possible.

This issue of Al Majlis features an exclusive interview with GCC BDI chairman Mohammed Al-Shroogi as he reflects on regional milestones in 2016.

Of the many highlights this year, the crowning moment was the annual Chairman Summit in October, sponsored by oil giant Saudi Aramco with chairman HE Eng Khalid Al Falih in attendance as our guest of honour.

At the Riyadh-based event, Al Falih underlined how effective board education is critical to steering the country’s future in a time of economic and social change. Events such as these will become even more important as the GCC’s largest economy navigates a shift towards non-government business and economic diversification. Likewise, in the UAE, the need for board education will grow more pressing as the economy hots up with the fast-approaching Dubai World Expo in 2020.

In other milestone for the GCC BDI – and the regional business landscape in general – our team signed an MOU with the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority to be its official corporate governance partner. This is concrete evidence of the nation’s growing commitment to the importance of effective governance and its benefits for the local economy.

The year ahead

We look forward to an even busier year in 2017, when the GCC BDI will introduce a new roster of events all designed to support you in your quest to build a better board.

We’ll kick off the New Year with a Breakfast Forum in Abu Dhabi on 8 January, in collaboration with Mubadala, with Professor David Beatty, Conway Director of the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics & Board Effectiveness, giving a presentation for our members on “Hot Topics in Governance”.

What’s more, our first open workshop in Dubai begins on 25-26 January with the theme of “Getting the Best out of Board Committees”.

Next year will also see a major new events in the GCC BDI Calendar as we begin our first collaboration with the Union of Arab Securities Authorities and the Arab Monetary Fund to run a two-day conference in Abu Dhabi 8-9 March on“Enhancing Corporate Governance in the Arab Region and Building Bridges with Boards of Directors.”

And finally, we’re going to be 10 years old next year! So watch this space for announcements on how we’re going to celebrate in style.

Enjoy this edition of Al Majlis and I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very happy and successful 2017.

With my warmest regards,

Jane Valls

Executive Director