A poll, conducted by Marsh, concluded that “despite the continuing fall-out from the global recession, corporate governance is still a largely undeveloped discipline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”
The survey of delegates at the Marsh Risk Consulting seminar in the region, focused exclusively on strategic risk management in Abu Dhabi. “An overwhelming majority (92 percent) stated that corporate governance was not well developed in UAE,” said Marsh. “Starkly, only 8 percent of respondents felt confident enough to state that corporate governance is ‘developed’ in the region and none felt it was ‘well developed’. By contrast, 88 percent of respondents stated that risk management is ‘very relevant’ to non-financial organizations in the UAE.”
Eddie McLaughlin Head of Strategic Risk for Marsh Risk Consulting in EMEA, commented: “Among the lessons that many organizations are learning as a result of the global recession are the fundamental necessity for governance frameworks and the ability to anticipate and protect themselves against uncertainties which prevent them from achieving their objectives. Businesses in the UAE are no different and greater emphasis should be placed on risk management and improving corporate governance in the long term.”
Domenic Antonucci, an Abu Dhabi-based Managing Consultant in Marsh Risk Consulting added: “Although corporate governance may still be undeveloped in the Emirates, the signs are encouraging. The vast majority of our delegates understand and believe in the importance of good risk management, regardless of their sector, and the benefits that it can bring to their organizations in terms of not just compliance but also competitive advantage and influencing an organization’s total cost of risk and cost of capital.”
More than 60 senior delegates representing Abu Dhabi-based organizations, ranging from oil and gas, tourism, sovereign wealth funds, construction and banking, attended the event at the Abu Dhabi Hilton on 19 November 2009, organized by Marsh Risk Consulting and supported by Standard and Poor’s. The Standard & Poor’s presentation emphasized the importance of enterprise risk management and its role on rating agency assessments in the future.
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