Professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal has added two management consultants to its Middle East team. Alaa Oumansour, who joins from Strategy&, has been appointed a Senior Director in the firm’s Performance Improvement practice, while Marco Vögele, who joins from Deloitte, has been named a Consultant in the Turnaround & Restructuring service line.
Alaa Oumansour brings more than 15 years of operational and turnaround advisory experience. Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal he worked for Strategy&, and formerly Booz & Company (before it was picked up by PwC and rebranded), for over six years. In his most recent role Oumansour operated in the firm's Communications, Media and Technology Practice, while during his spell at Booz, Oumansour was based in San Francisco and Dubai, and advised clients across North America, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Previously, Oumansour, who holds an MBA from London Business School and a Master in Engineering from the French Grande Ecole, spent over seven years with Nokia is several (management) roles.
His primary areas of expertise are in performance improvement, strategy formulation, and cost optimisation, particularly in the areas of sales & marketing, operations, technology and finance. Oumansour specialises in the Telecoms, IT, Media and FMCG sectors, where he has advised large multinational clients ranging in turnover from $100 million to over $100 billion.
Commenting on the appointment, Stephen Millington, Managing Director of Alvarez & Marsal Middle East, says: “We are delighted to have secured the services of someone of Alaa's caliber and expertise. I am certain that he will add significant value for our existing and future client base, because his skills in financial management and performance improvement have saved large amounts of money for companies he has acted for. His appointment is a significant addition to an already highly talented and versatile team in our Middle East office."
Marco Vögele has been active in the consulting industry for over six years, throughout the period working in five different regions (Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East, North-and South America) with private and public sector clients. He started his career as a Junior Consultant with LOCOM Consulting, a supply chain advisory based in Germany, and, in the summer of 2010, he switched to Deloitte. At the Big Four, Vögele worked on several large scale transformation programmes, holding roles in, among others, organisation design, process optimisation, project management delivery and learning & development. At Alvarez, Vögele will focus on restructuring and operational turnaround engagements.
Both Oumansour and Vögele have joined Alvarez & Marsal’s Dubai office, a hub which in recent months has been ramping up its headcount on the back of Alvarez’s growing restructuring and turnaround portfolio. Against the backdrop of dropping oil prices and growing economic uncertainties, the region is coming under increasing pressure to overhaul government strategies and meet big debt repayments between now and 2018. Along the way, business leaders are turning to management consultants to support the work. The government of Saudi Arabia for instance commissioned McKinsey & Company to support the development of its ‘Vision 2030’ programme, while Kuwait recently hired Oliver Wyman to support it with finding new ways to finance its debt burden.
Alvarez & Marsal too has a strong presence in the market, with its focus more on clients in the turnover range of between $100 million and $1 billion, just below the big government-related enterprises such as Dubai World. “The sectors we tend to get involved in are commodities and trading, construction and real estate, wholesale foods, retail and distribution. There has also been some activity in the oil and gas sectors lately,” explains Millington.
In Q4 last year David Tusa joined Alvarez from Strategy&, Saeeda Jaffar transferred from Bain & Company, while earlier in 2015 Shereen Abdulla made the move from Citi. Back in 2014, Alvarez & Marsal poached Bharat Gupta from AlixPartners, who returned to the firm after a short 12 month stint at its rival, and hired the Lebanese Mounir Abou Fadel in a junior role.