In anticipation of increased restructuring and insolvency activity in the UAE, Grant Thornton UAE has appointed Haroon Ahmed as Partner of Restructuring Advisory.  

Ahmed will be responsible for leading the UAE-headquartered assurance and advisory firm Grant Thornton UAE’s Financial Restructuring and Insolvency team. This will include assisting distressed businesses to navigate the challenges they face due to the covid pandemic, geopolitical uncertainty in Europe and other current economic factors.  

Ahmed has over 14 years of experience, with leadership roles in the UK and the UAE, and both restructuring and banking experience based in Singapore and New York. During his career, Ahmed has gained experience in both the public and private sectors providing a range of services. These include accelerated mergers and acquisitions, developing turnaround proposals, refinancing, cash management, independent business reviews and insolvency. In 2022 he was recognised in Global Restructuring Review’s 40 under 40 listing, which highlighted the next generation of cross-border restructuring and insolvency specialists.  

Grant Thornton UAE CEO Hisham Farouk said of Ahmed’s appointment: “We are delighted Haroon has joined the team. As new laws are introduced and bankruptcy frameworks are redefined, the UAE is becoming more aligned with other international commercially prominent jurisdictions, and we expect more organisations to take advantage of the available remedies. I am confident Haroon’s vast experience and expertise in this sector will be great assets to Grant Thornton UAE and will enable us to realise our growth targets for this area of our business.” 

Recently, several Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, have implemented bankruptcy laws to facilitate effective restructuring and insolvency for debtors. Governments in the GCC recognised the need to both support businesses operating in the region and attract inward foreign investment to achieve their diversification goals. The establishment of insolvency frameworks has been a step toward upgrading the infrastructure to offer flexible and accessible restructuring tools for under-performing businesses.  

Ahmed said: “Grant Thornton UAE’s growth aspirations are fully aligned with mine, and given the current nature of the economy, I am excited to come on board and expand the Restructuring Advisory division further.” 

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For the rest of 2022, Ahmed plans to focus on expanding Grant Thornton’s UAE presence in the region’s financial restructuring and insolvency space. He aims to continue to win market-leading insolvencies while supporting the organisation’s existing and new clients across a range of sectors. In the longer-term, Grant Thornton UAE aim to solidify its position as one of the ‘go-to’ restructuring advisory firms in the region.