INNOVATION THROUGH DELEGATION

Jordan 2019 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

From 15 staff to 200 in less than a decade, KPMG Jordan is building on its presence in the Kingdom to launch into Palestine, Iraq, and elsewhere.

Hatem Kawasmy
BIOGRAPHY
Hatem Kawasmy leads KPMG in Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq with a team of over 200 professionals covering projects across various industries. He has 30 years of extensive senior management experience and a solid background as a market strategic planner. He also leads KPMG Academy services in Jordan, which specializes in providing professional certification programs such as Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and many workshops in various technical and humanitarian fields.

What is KPMG's history in Jordan and its key business segments?

KPMG in Jordan was established as a correspondent firm in 2006. In 2010, we were promoted to a full member firm. At that time, we employed approximately 15 people, and now our family has grown to include around 200 staff in Jordan working in audit, tax, and advisory. KPMG Kawasmy & Partners is one of the leading professional services firms in the county, and we have recently extended our services to cover Iraq and Palestine. The KPMG network of independent member firms is one of the largest professional service networks in the Middle East & South Asia region, with over 8,000 professionals and associates working across 33 office locations in 15 countries and territories and forming a key part of the wider KPMG global network that spans 153 countries and territories and employs 207,000 people around the world. KPMG professionals are committed to providing clients with excellence and high-quality service and are quick to embrace the challenges that lie ahead.

How does KPMG Academy services contribute to building up Jordan's human resource capacity and sharing it with the region?

KPMG Academy services is part of the Jordanian firm, our mission is to create a strong network of accounting professionals and to spread professional certification culture amongst accounting and business graduates. We help our students prepare for important, international professional certifications such as CPA and CMA by providing the relevant courses taught by highly qualified professional instructors and consultants. Every year, more than 300 students enroll in various courses/workshops at KPMG Academy. We strongly believe in practical professional knowledge, therefore, we offer these newly graduated students hands-on experience and internships at KPMG in Jordan, to empower and to help them at the start of their professional careers, which also reflect positively on the Jordanian economy. Although the economic situation in Jordan is critical, we still have many opportunities, most importantly our human resources. Our people are extremely talented and highly educated and can serve investors to achieve their goals. Second, we have great opportunities in the energy and power sector. We encourage investors to come to Jordan and invest in this sector, including key areas of growth such as power generation, municipal gas systems, oil and shale. We also consider Jordan to be the main hub for information technology and communication systems in the region. Jordan fosters many entrepreneurs and start-ups in this sector. We also have opportunities with logistics, transportation and healthcare. Moreover, Jordan's strategic geographic location connecting Europe and Asia means there are many great opportunities yet to be discovered.

What is your strategy for expansion?

The KPMG strategy was launched recently by Bill Thomas, the KPMG International chairman; it is extremely optimistic and ambitious. In order to achieve this strategy, there are two main factors to work on. The first is trust—in our people, from our clients, and with the public. It also includes growth, which requires the right people, the right resources, and great relationships with clients, communities, and the public sector. Growth and trust are complementary pillars of the strategy. KPMG in Jordan's main role is to help increase trust in KPMG through our commitment to high-quality service and building our relationships to achieve that growth and open new markets. Competitively, our advantage is the creativity of our people. We remain up to date with trends in technology and services as well. More specifically, KPMG member firms have invested heavily in cybersecurity, AI, and all new technologies, such as blockchain. We strive to create new opportunities for our people to inspire them and encourage change. We seek to empower innovation through delegation. We believe KPMG in Jordan is a leading economic force in the region, because of the strong ties to our people, clients, and communities.