Mr. Yasser Akkaoui

[ Corporate Governance Expert, Humanitarian and Media and Communication Advisor ]

 

Yasser Akkaoui is corporate governance expert, humanitarian and media and communication advisor. The common thread between all of Akkaoui’s endeavors and experiences is ethics, whether in business, media, communication, civil society, human rights, or education.

Corporate Governance Consulting

Through Capital Concept, a company he founded in 2005, Akkaoui advises companies and regulators in the Middle East on adopting corporate governance, environmental, social and cybersecurity practices and was instrumental in the generation of a number of guidelines. He has advised large companies and regulators in the Middle East and is often invited to address the topic of corporate governance. His insight has contributed to the publication of academic and policy reports discussing the capital markets development and reforms in the Arab World.

Akkaoui is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s OECD Corporate Governance taskforce for Middle East and North Africa stock exchanges. He is the regional consultant for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) through which he undertook NGO, media and private sector governance capacity building assignments in Morocco, Tunis, Yemen, Bahrain and Iraq. In 2010, he has co-founded the Lebanese Institute of Directors which aims on promoting good governance in Lebanon.

In 2006, Capital Concept was instrumental in the creation of Hawkama, the Dubai based institute of corporate governance for the Middle East and helped raise funds for its setup. As of 2014, Akkaoui is on the steering committee of the Middle East and North Africa Private Equity Association.

In 2013, Capital Concept became the first corporate governance rating and advisory firm to review and rate listed companies in the MENA region. In 2015, Capital Concept launched Shareholder-Rights ©, which advocates for the protection of shareholder rights by producing Environment Social and Governance assessment methodologies in collaboration with UN Lebanon, IFC and EBRD.

Civil society

Akkaoui is actively involved in civil society in the Middle East. He is the Chairman of Human Rights Watch Middle East board and member of its advisory committee.

Since 2011, Akkaoui is a founding member of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), the most respected think tank in the Middle East, which he chaired for 6 years. Established in 1989, it operates as an independently managed, politically neutral, think tank initiating many advocacy initiatives for judicial reforms, transparent budget process, decentralization and local governance, and the enhancement of the function of business associations in policy making. From 2008 to 2012, he has been a board member of the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA), Transparency International’s Lebanese chapter.

Akkaoui founded the Center for Strategic Studies, a non-governmental non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness on employment issues and developing resources strategies. The association provides guidance to the government on labor economic policies, especially the strong relationship between foreign direct investment and the labor market.

Additionally, Akkaoui has been a Beirut committee member on the board of Social and Economic Action for Lebanon (SEAL) since 2014.  The organization was established in New York in 1997 as a non-profit, non-political organization with the aim to unlock sustainable economic opportunities that strengthen under-served Lebanese communities in Lebanon.

In 2015, Akkaoui became a member of WILL-IRADA, a Worldwide Initiative by Lebanese for Lebanon (WILL) that aims to play the role of effective platform for both the Lebanese diaspora and Lebanese in Lebanon to make an impact on the ground.  Its mission is to promote a common vision for a non-sectarian, secure, democratic and prosperous Lebanon and to effect real positive change on the political, economic and social fronts.

Media

As a publisher, Akkaoui has been the editor-in-chief of Executive Magazine since 2001, a media platform he uses to advocates reforms in the Middle East. Executive, established in 1999, is dedicated to providing its readers with in-depth and forward-thinking analysis, solid reporting and punchy opinion on Middle Eastern business, economy and public policy. Beyond its commitment to the highest level of business journalism, Executive’s mission is to cover issues that impact the economic development of the Middle East as well as shareholder rights abuses, corruption in public and private spheres and disregard for the environment and cultural heritage.

In May 2013, Akkaoui was elected board member of Lebanon’s chapter of the International Advertising Association for a two-year mandate. In the same month, he was also selected to be Lebanon’s representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity awards and has been until now. Every year since, Akkaoui sponsors two young creatives to represent Lebanon at this prestigious competition. In 2014 he served a four-year term on the board of directors of the Lebanese Order of the Press.

Human Resources Consulting

Akkaoui also founded PrimeJob, an executive search and advisory firm working along with several established Middle Eastern companies through which he advises them on strengthening the role of nomination and remuneration committees as well as Corporate Governance training and development of their board members.

Academia

Since 2004, Akkaoui is a part time instructor of entrepreneurship, business ethics, and strategic management at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and contributes on the selection committee at the Ecole Superieure des Affaires (ESA). He also chairs the Lebanese American University (LAU) business school advisory board.

As for 2014, Akkaoui is also on the board of trustees of the Marjeyoun National College, which governs this non-sectarian, non-profit making, co-educational school. The school has been providing educational and cultural services to the Marjoyoun-Hasbayya area since 1946.

Art & Culture

Akkaoui has been a strategic partner for the Beirut Art Fair since its inception in 2010. The Beirut Art Fair, held annually, is an exhibition of contemporary art and design from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region featuring 50 galleries in an indoor/outdoor space of 5,000 square meters and more that 1600 art pieces. In 2017 he played a strategic advisory role in the launch on Beirut Design Fair.