Mar 9, 2021

People Moves EMEA: Bain, Santander, Deloitte, Reddit, MTN

Kate Birch
3 min
From banking to consulting and from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, among this week’s EMEA executive moves include hires at Santander, Bain, Deloitte and Reddit
From banking to consulting and from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, among this week’s EMEA executive moves include hires at Santander, Bain, Deloitte and Red...

In a week where Santander UK appoints new senior tech hires as it preps for a major tech platform overhaul and South Africa-headquartered MTN Group makes a number of executive appointments as part of its strategic repositioning, there were plenty of movements to and within the EMEA region, from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia to the UK, and including at Bain, BNP Paribas, Deloitte, Santander, Reddit and MTN Group.

Here’s Business Chief’s weekly round-up of the big executive moves in EMEA.

Graham Calder becomes interim CIO for Santander UK

Following the appointment of Santander UK’s current chief technology officer, Graham Calder has been brought on board as Santander UK’s interim CIO as the Spanish banking group undertakes a major overhaul of its legacy technology platforms. 

A former Group CIO at Ladbrokes Coral Group and Chief Technology Officer for Pearson PLC, Calder brings “a wealth of expertise and experience in delivering major technology change programmes, which will be invaluable as we deliver on our ambitious plans over the coming years”, says Tony Prestedge, deputy CEO at Santander UK. In this role, Calder will be tasked with leading the delivery and development of Santander UK’s technology strategy and IT transformation plan support the bank’s aim to become “a digital bank with a human touch”.  

Chika Ekeji joins MTN Group as executive for strategy

Nigerian-American national Chika Ekeji has joined Johannesburg-headquartered MTN Group as an executive responsible for strategy and transformation. Previously leading the West Africa Digital Practice for management consultancy McKinsey & Company in Nigeria, Ekeji has extensive experience serving telco, financial services and the public sector clients across Africa. 

The appointment of Ekeji follows MTN Group’s completion of a comprehensive strategy review and as “we work to accelerate our strategic repositioning”, says MTN Group COO Jens Schulte-Bockum. Ekeji will be tasked with leading the mobile network operator’s growth strategy. 

Kate Donaldson joins Bain’s PE practice as a partner

With more than three decades of experience driving commercial transformation for both private equity portfolio companies and corporate clients, Kate Donaldson joins Bain & Company’s UK private equity practice as a partner. Based in the company’s London office Donaldson will be tasked with leading Bain’s commercial excellence work with PE portfolio firms. 

With hands-on expertise in the areas of salesforce effectiveness and transformation, sales strategy, go-to-market improvement, and sales incentive assessment, Donaldson brings “tremendous experience and will provide pragmatic, action-oriented recommendations on how companies should address key opportunities, such as B2B salesforce mobilisation and the associated change management challenges”, says Mark Kovac, global head of Bain & Company’s B2B Commercial Excellence team. 

Reema Al-Asmari to head BNP Paribas in Saudi Arabia

Joining from BNP Paribas Natixis, where she was CEO for Saudi Arabia, Reema Al-Asmari has been appointed head of territory for Saudi Arabia for BNP Paribas, strengthening the bank’s corporate and investment banking presence in the Kingdom. Set to oversee the bank’s national commercial strategy, Al-Asmari brings a wealth of experience and an “in-depth knowledge of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, ideal for helping expand the bank’s product and service work in all CIB segments, including sustainable finance, says Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, had of BNP Paribaas Middle East and Africa. Prior to working at BNP, Al-Asmari worked as treasury services contry head for JPMorgan & Chase in Saudi for nine years. 

Guy Stevens joins Deloitte as partner in corporate finance

Bringing more than two decades of investment banking industry expertise to the role, dealmaker Guy Stevens is set to join Deloitte as a Partner within Financial Institutions Group (FIG). Having previously worked for some of the world’s largest investment banks, including Citigroup, Rothschild & Co., and most recently as UBS head of FIG business for the MENA region, Stevens brings “deep-sector and deal-making expertise” that will be invaluable to Deloitte in its delivery of “bespoke, innovation solutions to new and existing financial services clients”, states Jonathan Gold, Head of FIG Corporate Finance Advisory, Deloitte UK. 

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Jun 10, 2021

People Moves EMEA: Kearney, KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Skoda

Kate Birch
4 min
Consulting and sustainability take centrestage this week with executive movements at Kearney, KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Skoda, Syngenta and Laing O’Rourke

It’s been a busy week for executive transitions across EMEA and especially in the world of consulting, with partner/CEO announcements at Oliver Wyman, KPMG and Kearney, and in the role of head of sustainability, with new CSO appointments at Laing O’Rourke and Syngenta Group.

We round up the biggest executive moves across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Nick Studer announced as CEO of consulting giant Oliver Wyman

Set to take the top job at consulting giant Oliver Wyman next month, Nick Studer has been named CEO and Dual President of the firm’s economic and brand consulting subsidiaries NERA and Lippincott and will be based in London. Having been with Oliver Wyman for more than two decades, becoming partner in 2003, Studer has since served in a variety of international leadership roles, including head of Global Corporate and Institutional banking Practice, before becoming managing partner at the start of 2021.

According to Dan Glaser, CEO of Oliver Wyman parent Marsh McLennan, Studer has not just led many of the firm’s practices, but he “has been a leading voice for change and a major driver of our Inclusion and Diversity agenda”.

Delphine Bourrilly to lead Kearney in France

Seasoned consultant Delphine Bourrilly has been appointed leader of consulting firm Kearney for France, one of the firm’s larger locations in Europe, becoming fifth head of the Paris office. Having been with Kearney for more than a decade, most recently leading the Leadership, Change and Organisation practice across Europe, Bourrilly has an array of client successes under her consulting belt, including overseeing an operating model transformation at a large retailer. Prior to this, she spent five years at UBS. According to Geir Olsen, Head of Europe at Kearney, Bourrilly’s “talent, energy and charisma will be critical in leading Kearney through its next growth phase in France”.

Roland Villinger becomes head of corporate and product strategy, Skoda Auto

A consulting veteran, Roland Villinger has been appointed head of Skoda Auto’s corporate and product strategy, a newly created area for the Czech car manufacturer that combines two departments. Described by Skoda’s CEO Thomas Schafer as “an international experienced leader and proven digital expert”, Villinger most recently oversaw the implementation of Volkswagen Group strategy and was also previously chief strategy officer and chief digital officer at Audi AG. Prior to this, he spent 25 years at consultancy McKinsey including serving as a senior partner and running McKinsey’s operations in the APAC region.

Hanan Alowain promoted to Partner, public sector, KPMG

Becoming the second Saudi female partner in the history of KPMG, Hanan Alowain has been promoted to Partner in the firm’s Public Sector function. With 14 years of experience in human capital and social development in the Kingdom, including the last three and a half years at KPMG, Alowain is a Harvard Business School graduate with extensive experience both in the public sector, as director of research and development for the Saudi government’s Ministry of Labour, and the private sector, including as a partner at investment & development group Eradah.

Vicky Bullivant named Laing O’Rourke’s first-ever group head of sustainability

Seasoned ESG leader Vicky Bullivant is joining Laing O’Rourke as its first-ever group head of sustainability from Drax Group where she was head of sustainable business and responsible for developing the firm’s climate ambition, social strategy and community and charity policies. Having led the world’s first company ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, and the UK’s first energy company to commit to improving skills and education for one million people by 2025, Bullivant boasts 25 years of ESG business experience in highly regulated sectors, FTSE 100 companies, government and NGOs.

Bullivant spent eight years at Experian, where she was head of corporate affairs and community, nearly four years as head of corporate responsibility at Eon, five years as group head of sustainability at Rolls-Royce, where she turned around the firm’s performance in the Dow Jones Sustainability index, as well as sustainability heads at Tate & Lyle and Drax Group.

Daniel Vennard joins Syngenta Group as new CSO

Former global director at the World Resources Institute Daniel Vennard has been appointed chief sustainability officer for Syngenta Group. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Vennard will be responsible for developing and implementing the Group’s sustainability into its business strategy. Bringing extensive experience in the development of sustainability strategies and in launching global sustainability programmes that deliver growth and impact, Vennard most recently served as global director at the World Resources Institute, Vennard founded the Better Buying Lab bringing together scientists to develop, test and scale innovations that help consumers opt for sustainable plant-based food.

Prior to this he spent 15 years at Mars and Procter & Gamble in sustainability, corporate strategy and marketing and brings “creativity and remarkable expertise in sustainability” that will “help us further advance regenerative farming practices and help mitigate the harmful effects of global warming”, says Erik Fyrwald, CEO, Syngenta Group.


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