Established in the region for over 4 years, PwC's Academy is led by a dynamic Senior Leadership Team of industry veterans and education experts with over 75 combined years of adult learning experience; both globally and in the Middle East.
She has overseen the setup of academies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Doha, Lebanon, Cairo, Jordan and Muscat. PwC’s Academies now represent a core part of the firm’s strategy to help the region develop talent and help our clients address the need to increase skills in the workforce. Amanda’s vision is simple - to provide premium quality teaching and excellent service in a way that leverages the knowledge and experience of PwC as a leading professional services firm.
As a passionate believer in the value of lifelong learning and education, Amanda founded the largest provider of professional training in Singapore. Working together with UK and US-based training companies, she expanded the business across Asia. Over a period of ten years, her academies delivered training to many thousands of individuals across a wide range of professional skills and qualifications. She also acquired two other training businesses, one of which was the largest provider of distance learning degrees in the region. During this time she also lectured extensively on a range of corporate finance and risk management topics.
Upon moving to the Middle East, Amanda provided consultancy services for educational businesses in addition to establishing the Middle East office of the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales) with a remit to promote high quality financial education and training across the region. She holds several board positions with not for profit organisations.
Taimur is a specialist in professional qualifications and corporate training. He has trained over 3,000 delegates during the course of his career and has consistently surpassed global pass rates. He has designed and delivered training programmes for leading institutions in the GCC, catering to both public and private sectors. Taimur has also led training projects aimed at building skills and competencies through smart assessments, coaching and mentoring for individuals as well as teams. He has been instrumental in introducing qualification pathways in corporations.
Taimur’s professional experience includes working as a Fund Manager, Investment Analyst and Advisor for pension and government endowment funds. His accomplishments include increasing the growth of assets under management by over 13 times in less than 3 years and securing top performing fund accolades for two consecutive years for funds under his management.
Taimur is passionate about training and believes in changing lives through education. He has incorporated new learning techniques in his courses and uses pedagogy that caters to learners with varying styles of learning. His ability to connect with learners and understand the client’s business needs, ensures his programmes address the core issues affecting an organisation. Taimur adopts a coaching style to improve delivery of the course content.
A seasoned finance professional with a strong operations focus, Mike currently leads the operations and finance function at PwC’s academy middle east, responsible for financial and management reporting, regional resourcing and talent management. Mike leads Academy quality assurance initiatives and continues to drive the Academy’s activities to achieve its strategic priority to be the best in the industry in all areas of its operations.
Prior to joining PwC’s Academy, Mike served as the CFO of PwC Middle East’s Assurance line of service, leading the strategic and operational planning function, implementing key performance and process improvement measures including the establishment of a regional FP&A team.
Mike has held several senior leadership roles in Asia, ME, Europe and USA working across a diverse set of industries including technology, financial services, manufacturing, oil & gas, construction, utilities, government and professional services , including renowned establishments such as Dubai Properties, Oman Oil Company, HP/Agilent Technologies, JDSU, RMJM and Scottish & Southern Electricity.
Ian is a senior learning and development professional and Director (Leadership and HR) at PwC’s Academy. Ian is an an inspirational strategic leader, educator, trainer with proven ability to setup, manage and direct successful teams in multi-cultural environments, across a range of industries. His specialties include designing and managing organisational development, talent management strategies and initiatives, career development, succession planning, strategic alignment of learning and development with business priorities, development and implementation of training systems and processes.
Prior to PwC Academy, he was the Director of Special projects at (strategy and excellence) at KHDA (Knowledge of Human Development Authority) leading a range of organisational development, learning and development and transformational change projects.
Ian has 24 years’ experience leading British armed forces teams. He was awarded 2 citations for leadership, recognised for excellence in establishing operating structures and processes and is certified European foundation for quality management and Dubai quality award assessor.
Gavin is a strong advocate of IFRS as the global financial reporting language and remains actively involved in discussions and consultations around the future development and maintenance of the standards. Training and motivating others is Gavin’s passion and he has sought opportunities, throughout his career, to develop others.
Prior to joining PwC’s Academy, Gavin served as a Director of Qualifications for the ICAEW with responsibility for the design, development and delivery of all certificates and qualifications offered by ICAEW including the ACA. He was involved in the development of ICAEW’s global strategy and operational planning and performance monitoring. He was also a member of the ICAEW Commercial Board and a spokesperson on issues of education, leadership, inequality and stereotyping, financial reporting development and financial services regulation.
Gavin has also worked as the Director of Finance and Tax programmes for BPP Professional Education with responsibilities including the design, delivery and management of the portfolio of professional development programmes from financial awareness programmes for non-finance professionals to advanced business, tax and financial reporting courses for post qualified professionals. In addition to the roles above, Gavin has also worked as a civilian instructor for the Royal Marines and RAF, and worked as a specialist advisor to both the British and US Armies.
Samar has held various senior management positions during her career and has assumed leadership roles in multinational organisations. She is a Certified coach, emotional intelligence practitioner and possesses a Professional Training Certificate from the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Samar’s professional experience spans across Europe and the Middle East which has equipped her with an exceptional understanding of business and training needs across different regions and cultures.
Prior to joining PwC, Samar started up and ran two successful businesses in e-solutions and professional training development where she partnered with leading training and consulting companies from around the globe to design, develop, and deliver training programmes. Samar is fluent in English, Arabic and French and is heavily involved in helping people perform with impact and maximise their potential.
She has worked with renowned organisations to identify and bridge knowledge gaps within their workforce. Samar has initiated and led various training projects on behavioural and technical training. She has also been involved in the design of management development programmes and has conducted training on emotional intelligence and business acumen. Samar is leading a number of key training projects for the Academy in KSA and has been instrumental in providing customised training solutions to clients that address their business needs and objectives.
Chris’ training experience and learnings span across many years and countries, having delivered training to thousands of students and delegates from a wide range of backgrounds including public sector and corporates. With a qualification in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Applied Psychology, Chris has designed, developed and delivered unique trainings in accelerated learning and memory techniques and content generation. He is an internationally recognised and popular figure in the training sector.
Chris’ prior experience includes setting up his own Accountancy College (PTS) which became the fastest growing ACCA college in the UK. Later PTS joined forces with the Financial Training Company (FTC) to head up the Midlands region (within UK) for Accountancy training. Chris became the Midlands Regional Managing Director before being acquired by Kaplan in 2004 and then became responsible for all Kaplan Financials Tutor Training.
Chris served as a member of the Effective Board Member training and development team in the UK before becoming a Director at PwC specialising in strategy, governance and behaviour. He has made a significant contribution towards the development of corporate governance training globally and locally. He has also set and marked professional examinations, has been a content writer and examiner for CIMA and wrote the syllabus for the ACCA on Business Planning and Strategy.
Maryam is a Director at PwC’s Academy for Oman and Qatar region with over 18 years of experience in management and training. She is internationally experienced with a keen interest in people and training, holding an exceptional track record in task force setups, high level of communication, coaching and interpersonal skills, as well as strength in problem solving, staff motivation and organisation. Maryam is passionate about starting up a new arm for the academy doing what she loves to do the most, helping people achieve their goals and be the best version of themselves, especially passionate about developing the youth. The leaders of tomorrow!
Prior to joining PwC’s Academy, Maryam worked as an Operations Manager for IDG (Oman), where she was responsible for leading operations, setting up of IDG Oman offices, program management, supporting a team of facilitators/consultants and liaising with clients in programmes such as work ethics, team building and leadership development from youth up to senior management level and building high performing teams.
At Rubik Financial limited, Maryam successfully contributed in setting up the Dubai branch office where she was responsible for all aspects of business support, executing part of the Rubik customer care programme for ME and Asia which included supporting account management, business development and training. Prior to this role, she was the Occupational Health and Safety Promotion Manager for Nakheel design group. In addition to her experience in Dubai, she has extensive experience as a soft skills trainer delivering across the region, involved in identifying training need and developing staff competencies to reach outstanding result in skills, motivation and knowledge. Her initial training career began in 2004 with Ooredoo previously known as Nawras (telecom firm) where she assisted in the development of soft skills training programmes in the areas of customer service, sales, negotiation skills, business etiquette, emotional intelligence, team building and communication skills, in both English and Arabic.