World’s Most Powerful Arabs 2019

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Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim

Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim

Company:

EY Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Designation:

Chairman and Regional Managing Partner

Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim heads up EY, the first professional services organisation in the MENA region.  

He leads the EY MENA management team, where he has been a member for the past 12 years, and is actively involved in all aspects of the organisation’s operations throughout the region.  Al-Sowailim is also a member of the Board of Management of EY’s Europe, Middle East, India and Africa area (EMEIA), which is EY’s largest geographic area worldwide.  

His diverse knowledge and experience gained over more than 30 years includes delivering a broad range of integrated professional services across assurance, tax and business advisory service lines to a significant number of national priority accounts in financial services, energy and petrochemicals, manufacturing, trading, family groups and services companies, as well as providing advice to a number of government institutions. 

Al-Sowailim is actively involved in the firm’s business development and community training activities, including its National Training Programme, which is directed towards the enhancement of business skills for young Saudi nationals joining the workplace. He has lectured on accounting and auditing subjects at several universities and has been regularly invited to speak at leading regional business forums.

After graduating from King Saud University in 1987, Al-Sowailim joined EY’s Riyadh office. Prior to becoming chairman and regional managing partner of EY MENA, Al-Sowailim had accepted increasing responsibilities as managing partner of the Al Khobar and Riyadh offices before assuming the responsibilities of country managing partner of the Saudi practice. The Saudi practice includes three major offices, Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar and comprises over 1,000 professionals and 45 partners. 

Al-Sowailim is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Saudi Organisation of Certified Public Accountants and is licensed to practice in Saudi Arabia. He is also a board member of the Saudi Organisation of Certified Public Accountants, which has a role similar to the PCAOB in the USA. In addition, he has served as vice chairman of the Saudi Accounting Association.