My interest in numbers and solving complex equations, together with interest in finance from an early age, helped me to choose accountancy as a profession. I started as a trainee with EY in Lahore and moved on from there to EY Saudi, before joining EY in Sydney. I then worked with PwC Sydney, returning to the Middle East to work for another Big Four firm. My journey has taken me from practice to corporate roles in investment banking, asset management and now heading the audit function of the largest bank in the region.

Moving from Australia to Saudi was a risky decision for me. I had the opportunity to work for a Big Four firm to set up a new practice line. I was branching out from my comfort zone for something totally new. I thought a corporate role would enable me to explore more and carry more responsibility, so I’d be able to utilise my skills with greater liberty. Corporate roles also enable one to see things from various angles.

Covid-19 has had a significant overall impact on the business. Office norms have changed as well; some may even permanently change. As group head of risk my role was key from day one. I and my team significantly changed our ongoing plan. We have proactively looked at matters such as what’s next, and what vital measures need to be taken immediately. We’ve gathered information and carried out financial assessments. I’ve also been preparing a weekly presentation for our CEO, showing how my team can help navigate this disruption.


I was branching out from my comfort zone for something totally new

Our group is highly diversified, with many business interests. They range from hospitality and private equity to retail and fixed income. With such wide diversification comes work of an extremely varied nature with many different people and locations. This is what I enjoy most about my role.

My biggest professional achievement was developing a new in-house function in one of the largest investment banks in the region. We migrated from a totally outsourced model to fully in-house capabilities.

If I was not an accountant, I reckon I would be a professional footballer. I enjoy travelling, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy working for a charity which is very dear to me, and I’m developing a business risk nucleus application with some friends. My father has always been my inspiration. I have learned a lot from him and his ethos of honesty, hard work, love for everyone and discipline.