Company News

Majid Al Futtaim Holding becomes a Pearl Initiative Founding Partner
(7 August 2012)

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), one of the largest developers and operators of shopping malls and hypermarkets in the MENA region, has joined the Pearl Initiative as a Founding Partner Company.

The Pearl Initiative is a GCC-based, private sector-led, not-for-profit organisation that seeks to influence the thinking of business leaders in the region.

Set up in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, the Pearl Initiative is based on the fundamental belief that corporate accountability and transparency are key pillars for the future of sustainable economic growth and job creation in the Arab world.

As a Founding Partner, MAF will be actively engaged in steering programmes and initiatives on topics and issues of interest to the Company. MAF will also benefit from receiving and participating in the Pearl Initiative’s detailed research, analysis, databases, reports, publications and briefings on corporate accountability and transparency in the region. Through the Pearl Initiative, MAF will also gain access to a corporate platform to exhibit and communicate its position and experience in governance, transparency and responsible business practices.

Majid Al Futtaim Holding Chief Executive Officer, Iyad Malas, commented on joining the Pearl Initiative as a Founding Partner, "As a leading regional business, Majid Al Futtaim is committed to operating to the highest standards of corporate accountability and transparency. In addition to this, as a family business that has been at the forefront of our industry for the past twenty years, we recognise the importance of a robust corporate governance framework to manage our future growth. Such a framework not only allows us to manage this growth by being a responsible company to all of our stakeholders, but it also enables us to achieve higher corporate ratings and enables greater and more favorable access to capital in a challenging economic environment."

Imelda Dunlop, Executive Director, the Pearl Initiative, added, "We are delighted to welcome Majid Al Futtaim as a Founding Partner of the Pearl Initiative. As a flag bearer for family businesses across the GCC, the Company will play a key role in spreading the message to the wider business community in the region on the business case for implementing best practices of corporate accountability and transparency."

Currently there is a lack of credible insightful Middle East led research into corporate accountability, transparency and associated good business practices. In response to this, the Pearl Initiative is developing a number of research and insight led reports and publications that are relevant to Middle East businesses and will enable the effective tracking of progress. Particular beneficiaries will be family businesses as they seek to apply international best practices to their domestic and regional organisations.

"Our commitment to sound corporate governance is indicated by the diversity of our Board whose capability and dynamism is critical to building a culture of accountability and best practice throughout the Company. We already have a track record of implementing such practices following the voluntary adoption of the general principles of the UK’s dual corporate governance code, and by being part of the Pearl Initiative, we will not only be able to build on what we have accomplished, we will also be able to support other organisations as well," Andrew Sharp, Group Company Secretary at Majid Al Futtaim concluded.

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