Omar Al-Sharif, a 36 year old Omani National and fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts (ACCA), has made history in the Sultanate by becoming the first Omani to be promoted to Partner in the Oman branch of global auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
From January 1st 2010, Al-Sharif will take on the role of Audit Partner, leading the Energy, Utilities and Mining (EUM) departments as well as the Technology, Infocomm and Entertainment groups.
After joining PwC Oman in 1997, Al Sharif completed his articles before moving to PwC London where he spent five years in the firm's Middle Market division.
Returning to PwC's Oman office in 2002, enabled Al-Sharif to take on the role of Audit Manager, with the responsibility for leading audits within the region, as well as conducting internal quality reviews of other Middle Eastern PwC offices.
After gaining promotion to Audit Director in 2007, Al-Sharif set his sights on becoming the first Omani partner in PwC and, indeed, in any of the four large auditing firms in the country.
His appointment opens the door for more Omanis to achieve Partner status in the auditing and accountancy firms in the region. "PwC has been incredibly supportive in my career from sending me on my very first overseas assignment to providing a structured developmental programme and educational support scheme," explains Omar Al-Sharif. "The partnership process is both rigorous and challenging, and I would like to thank PwC for allowing me to enhance my qualifications as well as my own personal development in order to reach the position of Partner."
PwC places a great emphasis on investing in Omani staff. The firm believes that short and long term secondments combined with worthy training programmes will help create a generation of highly successful Omani professionals. PwC's Middle East Falcon Programme, for example, identifies outstanding managers and directors, and provides them with the tools, support and knowledge to enhance their career progression within the firm.
Identifying strong candidates at the beginning of their careers is also a priority for PwC, with its internship programmes for local university students, which provides them with basic training in order to recruit them upon graduation.
Al Sharif believes that PwC's active corporate development programmes have helped him reach his goal of becoming a partner. Kenneth Macfarlane, PwC's Country Senior Partner agrees. "Omar has proven that by being focused, dedicated and passionate about your work, you can succeed and pave the way for others to follow," said Macfarlane. "On behalf of the Partners in the firm, we are all confident that Omar will live up to his role and help lead the firm, deliver an outstanding quality of service, while putting the needs and expectations of our clients first, at all times."