Editorial by Jane Valls: September 2018 issue

Editorial by Jane Valls: September 2018 issue

Dear members,

Welcome to the latest edition of the GCC BDI newsletter. This issue takes a look at the effects of digital disruption on businesses and the impact of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

Business is changing at the fastest pace the world has ever known due to exponential leaps in technology. That’s why this year’s flagship event, the GCC BDI 6th Chairman Summit, addresses the impact of digitalisation head-on with the theme: ‘Digital Disruption and the 4th Industrial Revolution – Are Boards Ready?’

The annual Chairman Summit is a platform where we gather influential chairmen, business leaders and actors, and regulators of the GCC to stimulate dialogue on board issues to raise awareness and enhance governance practices in the region.

This year’s GCC BDI 6th Chairman Summit 2018 is being held in collaboration with Elm on 26 November at Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Our very special guest of honour and speaker on this occasion will be H.E. Eng. Abdullah A. Alswaha, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Saudi Arabia.

Some of the other eminent business names and speakers attending the event include:  Abulrahman Aljedhai, CEO – ELM; Samer Abu-Latif,  President MEA – Microsoft; Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, CEO & MD – STV; Matthew White, Head of Digital Trust practice and Blockchain Leader – PwC;  Phyllis Newhouse, CEO – Xtreme Solutions; Xavi Anglada –  MD and Digital Lead, MENA – Accenture; and Wael Fattouh, Middle East Partner, Risk Assurance Services – PwC.

The GCC BDI Chairman Summit is a high-level, invitation-only annual event.

Exclusive content

This month’s ‘Voice of the GCC BDI’ viewpoint comes from Robert Bostock, Principal, Investcorp UK. He offers some valuable insights on digital disruption: What are the key opportunities and challenges for today’s companies? What role does corporate governance in a world rocked by big data and IoT trends?

This issue also features a special column from Professor Garratt, global Corporate Governance and Board guru, who contends that there are ‘four levels of maturity’ through which all boards must evolve before they can prove their competence and professionalism.

Partnership news

The GCC BDI recently signed three new MOU agreements.

The first is with the Institute of Finance (IoF), Saudi Arabia, which is committed to developing skills in the kingdom’s financial sector in line with Vision 2030.

The second is with Saudi Arabia’s Alfaisal University, where we aim to work together to enhance corporate governance practices in the kingdom by blending academic research with best business practices, and promoting the KSA Corporate Governance Index.

We’re also delighted to announce APCO as our new communication partner. APCO Worldwide is a global communication consultancy with over three decades of experience on major blue chip accounts. You can find out more about them here.

Upcoming events

Our next GCC BDI Members complimentary dinner will take place on 14 November 2018 at the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai. This will be an evening of music designed to encourage connections and community among our prestigious network of board directors. Click here to book your free place today.

The next Foundations of Directorship 2-day workshop will take place in Dubai on 14 – 15 November 2018, also at the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai. This course covers the contemporary issues and challenges that typically face GCC boards today.

A two-day Boardroom 4.0 conference will take place in Bahrain on 28-29 November 2018. I’ll personally be delivering a talk about ‘Board Composition and Diversity’ on day one of the conference. The event will offer valuable insights to GCC board members on how to be proactive, responsive and tech-savvy.

And finally, our Mastering the Boardroom workshop on 12-13 December 2018 aims to build board member effectiveness and capabilities through the sharing of best practices and experiences. Click here to find out more.


I hope to see you soon at one of our many events.

Jane Valls