Deloitte: Family-owned businesses make up the largest sector of the GCC economy

Press releases

Deloitte: Family-owned businesses make up the largest sector of the GCC economy

Press release

29 June, 2014 - Approximately 80% of non-oil GDP within the Middle East region is accounted for by family-owned business groups. Typically, these privately-owned organizations span multiple business, are vertically integrated, own sizeable real estate portfolios and their operational control is still maintained by the original founding family member or the second generation.

For many families in business, the rapid pace of change and growth in the marketplace presents significant concerns regarding the manner in which they will continue to safeguard and preserve their heritage and wealth. Family-owned businesses in the Middle East face a range of challenges that affect not only the success of the business itself, but also the professional and personal goals of their owners and their stakeholders at large.

Walid S. Chiniara, an international lawyer with over 30 years- experience across the five continents and a leading family business advisor has joined Deloitte as the Partner in charge of its Private Client Services practice (PCS) across the Middle East.

PCS is a private client-focused practice, that brings in Deloitte’s multi-disciplinary professionals to offer families in business and next generation family business entrepreneurs in the GCC and the MENA region bespoke and region-specific solutions in the area of family governance, succession planning and generational change, wealth management, tax structures and exit strategies.

“This is an exciting time for the Deloitte family and I am pleased that Walid Chiniara, one of the most experienced Family Office Advisors in the Middle East, is joining the firm to lead the Private Client Service (PCS) unit,” said Omar Fahoum, chairman and chief executive at Deloitte Middle East.

Deloitte recently conducted a survey on family-owned businesses to assess two specific areas that have an impact on their companies’ operations and growth: governance and succession. The findings of the survey based on the input of 222 survey respondents indicate gaps in governance, board operations, and succession planning.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents say they only review succession plans when a change in management requires it and 41 percent do not have leadership contingency plans.
  • More than 80 percent of respondents say their boards have no term or age limits on membership and one-third do not evaluate board members’ performance.

Deloitte believes that the needs of families in business are different from those of public corporations. Therefore, Deloitte Middle East’s Private Client Services offering is continuously adapting to ensure that it addresses all facets of a family’s wealth, including its human, intellectual, cultural, and financial capital.

Nauman Ahmed, regional tax leader at Deloitte Middle East comments: “The aim of the PCS division is to provide business families with the tools they need to preserve and grow their wealth – both now and for generations to come. The appointment of Walid, with his extensive experience working closely with families in business will further support our ability to better serve our clients and build on the technical capability that Deloitte is renowned for”.

Press contact
Nadine El Hassan
Middle East Public Relations
Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)
Tel: +961 (0) 1 748444
Fax: +961 (0) 1 748999



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About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities.  DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients.  Please see for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.  

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte’s more than 200,000 professionals are committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)

Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and is the first Arab professional services firm established in the Middle East region with uninterrupted presence since 1926.

Deloitte is among the region’s leading professional services firms, providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through 26 offices in 15 countries with more than 3,000 partners, directors and staff. It is a Tier 1 Tax advisor in the GCC region since 2010 (according to the International Tax Review World Tax Rankings). It has received numerous awards in the last few years which include Best Employer in the Middle East, best consulting firm, and the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

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