In a move that follows the establishment of its board of directors in February this year, Hawkamah has announced the appointment of Leonardo Peklar as the Chief Executive Officer, effective March 28, 2013. He will be based in Dubai with a mandate to cover the MENASA region.

Leonardo Peklar, CEO of Hawkamah

Commenting on the appointment, His Excellency Hamad Buamim, Chairman of Hawkamah said: “Leonardo brings extensive experience in the field of corporate governance internationally and in emerging markets. He has more than 25 years of experience as a board member across different industries and types of organisations, as well as the academic and advisory perspective.”

Leonardo stressed on how corporate governance is one of the keys of competitiveness in any modern economy and is linked to the power of clear vision and of strategic decision-making, performance, accountability, and responsibility.

He added that the timing is ideal for corporate governance in the region in view of three main market determinants: Firstly, family businesses, which constitute the backbone of the regional economy, are currently into their third and fourth generations, a transition stage that is critical for the longevity of the business and the sustainable development of the economy. This is exactly the time when family and corporate governance start playing a crucial role. Secondly, growing economies have to understand that increased globalisation means that international best practices need to be well understood, but applied carefully to fit the regional requirements and culture. Finally, while the financial industry around the world continues to face the most challenging crisis since the Great Depression, the regional financial industry proved resilient due to more culturally rooted risk assessment and acceptance, as well as leverage levels.

It is crucial for corporate governance to move forward from the awareness stage and develop an authentic set of best practices anchored in the culture of the region.

Leonardo concluded: “Due to lack of governance, centuries old gardens of wisdom and wealth were transformed into deserts.  However, with the right vision, strategy and the ideal corporate governance model combined, those deserts are transforming into new gardens that we wouldn’t have even thought of a decade ago.”

Before joining Hawkamah, Leonardo was actively involved in the establishment of six institutes of directors and was a member of international teams tasked with preparing and drafting Corporate Governance Codes in four countries. Leonardo has authored or co-authored over 140 articles, presentations, reports and books on the topics of leadership, privatisation, corporate law and corporate governance.

Hawkamah is an international association of corporate governance practitioners, regulators, and institutions advancing home grown yet globally integrated corporate governance best practices in the region. Hawkamah’s mission is to promote corporate sector reform and good governance, and assist the countries of the region in developing and implementing sustainable corporate governance strategies adapted to national requirements and objectives. By promoting its core values of transparency, accountability, fairness, disclosure, and responsibility, Hawkamah works on policy and practical aspects of corporate governance reform in the region.

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of CPI Media Group’s flagship title – SME Advisor magazine. In addition, she leads CPI Media Group’s infographics division – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.