SEDCO Holding Group: Pioneering strong governance among Middle Eastern family businesses
In 2010, SEDCO, a wealth management company headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, embarked on an ambitious program of transforming what had been a traditional family owned business into a world-class, institutionalized holding entity. Corporate structure and governance had underpinned its rise to one of the country’s leading conglomerates. Yet the current transformation required that SEDCO articulate a fresh set of values and governance principles, some reflecting a clear departure from the region’s established ways of running a family business. SEDCO’s family and corporate values had always included its commitment to conducting business in accordance with Islamic guidelines known as Shariah. In its quest to establish itself as a global player in private wealth management, SEDCO sought to combine these tenets with international standards in areas such as social responsibility, environmental protection, and business ethics. As a result, a central place in the company’s activities had to be accorded to the process by which business was conducted. With its fourth non-family member at the helm as Group CEO, by 2014 SEDCO had come a long way in promoting its philosophy of ethical investment, and had emerged as a global force in Shariah-compliant wealth management. The main questions on the management’s minds now were: Would the transformed company be able to uphold and sustain its business as well as family-rooted values? Was it in a position to engender a culture that would support these values? And could it cement its role as an inspiration to other family-owned businesses in Saudi Arabia and across the region?
Family values and governance among fast growing middle eastern family businesses and conglomerates.
SEDCO Holding, Finance and Insurance, Financial Services
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