United Arab Emirates
Banking & Finance
Managing Director of Corporate Finance, Deloitte
Accountants Deloitte lists Aidan Birkett as the boss of its 1,200-strong Corporate Finance practice in the UK. The rest of the world knows him as Dubai World's chief restructuring officer - the man charged with striking a deal with creditors on $26bn of the government-owned conglomerate's debt.
It was in November last year that Birkett was dispatched to the desert, fresh from his work with some of the UK's toughest financial cases, from Energis and Wembley to MyTravel and Metronet.
His work in the Gulf is a balancing act with the financial fate of an emirate at stake, and it's taking all of Birkett's experience and expertise to appease creditors while getting the best deal for Dubai World.
And in May 2010, it was Birkett who emerged triumphant - but cautious - with a restructuring deal agreed by the majority of creditors. A deal was struck with 60 percent of the bank lenders to pay back $14.4bn in two tranches; the first tranche, worth $4.4bn will mature over five years, while the rest will mature over eight years.
Birkett called the deal an "important milestone" towards longer-term security, and said the proposal "puts the company on a sound financial footing and reflects the continued support of the government of Dubai and its lenders".
With over 25 years of Corporate Finance experience, Birkett has personally dealt with the financial restructuring of over $100bn of debt, according to Deloitte. But Dubai World, if successfully restructured, would most likely set his other achievements in the shade.