Press release

DLA Piper and PwC host Corporate Governance Seminar in Saudi

Industry leaders discuss corporate government best practice

Riyadh – 12 February 2012: In a bid to share practical and theoretical corporate governance best practices, DLA Piper and PwC co-hosted the second in a series of GCC Corporate Governance Seminars. The seminar took place in Riyadh on Sunday 12th February, 2012 and was attended by the Head of Corporate Governance Unit from the Capital Markets Authority. The half day seminar witnessed an impressive turn out of over 50 attendees from leading businesses in the Kingdom.

In light of Saudi Arabia’s direction to open its equity market to foreign participation, corporate governance has moved up the agenda for executives across the Kingdom. As such, the seminar was designed to offer a practical guide to all stakeholders involved in corporate governance implementation - from Board members to compliance officers and Heads of Internal Audit. The seminar highlighted why corporate governance is prevalent in Saudi Arabia and  included a screening of ‘Counting the Cost', a short film produced by DLA Piper, that looks at the issues faced by companies on a daily basis and measures to implement international best practice processes.

"The turn out at the seminar is a clear indicator that companies are prioritising corporate governance in Saudi Arabia and seeing it as a necessity for driving business confidence in the Kingdom," commented Dr Eyad Reda, Office Managing Partner, DLA Piper Saudi Arabia. "International best practice must be deployed when introducing and adhering to corporate governance strategies and given the current economic outlook more companies must focus on corporate governance as a way of increasing confidence and trade into Saudi and with Saudi companies."

Globally, policymakers and regulators are focused on changes to corporate governance practices to enhance board transparency, increase director accountability, and give greater voice to shareholders over critical boardroom decisions. During the seminar, Dr. Fahad Toonsi, Middle East Corporate Governance Subject Matter Expert, PwC, Saudi Arabia led the “Board Composition” panel, at which he provided a guide on how to create the perfect board. Participants at the seminar were encouraged to reflect on their own corporate governance structures and practices in light of the discussions covered by different speakers and a strong debate took place.

In a separate comment, Nabil Diab, Regional Leader of Internal Audit and Corporate Governance Services at PwC Commented that “Adopting corporate governance best practices starts with an understanding of what it is and realising that it’s an integral part a company's strategic objectives”, Nabil further said that “Increasingly, Saudi companies are realising that good corporate governance requires a robust framework of internal controls and Anti-Corruption programs”.

The Riyadh seminar was the second in a series of seminars on Corporate Governance being co-hosted by DLA Piper and PwC. The previous seminar was held in Kuwait and there are plans for additional seminars in Bahrain and potentially other GCC countries.

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For further information:

Susie Pagan, DLA Piper Senior Marketing Manager, Middle East
+971 4363 6274
+971 50 640 3373
susie.pagan@dlapiper.com

Notes to editors:

DLA Piper is a global law firm with 4,200 lawyers across 76 offices and 30 countries.  From its offices across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, legal and business advisers provide a comprehensive range of services to local, regional and international businesses.

For further information about our organisation and services, please visit our website: www.dlapiper.com/middleeast

2- About PwC

PwC firms help organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for.  We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with close to 169,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services.  Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

Established in the Middle East for 40 years, PwC has firms in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, the Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with around 2,500 people. (www.pwc.com/middle-east)

“PwC” is the brand under which member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL) operate and provide services .Together , these firms form the PwC network. Each firm in the network is a separate legal entity and does not act as agent of PwCIL or any other member firm. PwCIL does not provide any services to clients. PwCIL is not responsible or liable for the acts or omissions of any of its member firms nor can it control the exercise of their professional judgment or bind them in any way.