• Sat, 02 Dec 23

Leadership in the Middle East

Jan has the innate vision, drive and determination to strengthen and implement positive and sustainable change within large, complex organisations. Visionary, with a strong relationship-driven and objective-focused approach, he inspires and drives his teams, even under strong pressures, to make his vision a reality, and to achieve long- term sustainable corporate growth and value creation. With integrity, passion, effective communication, and a touch of original and ‘different’ thinking, Jan has the capacity to transform challenges within firms, governmental organizations, and family businesses into opportunities.

His leadership style has been very successful in the Middle East, due to his exceptional skill in blending international management practices with local customs. Having spent over twenty years living and working in the Middle East, Jan has seamlessly integrated into the local culture at senior levels and continuously balances the interests of his shareholders, board members and clients.


Jan’s expertise has been showcased through the following fields, and in the key executive roles he has held at the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and in his community (see each tab for further details)

  • STRATEGY FORMULATION AND EXECUTION: Transforming corporate strategy into operational execution
  • STRUCTURING CHAOS: Structuring chaos by optimising operational structures
  • PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE: Optimising corporate performance as a competitive tool
  • CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: Implementing culturally effective corporate governance frameworks

Picture source: The National

Abu Dhabi’s International Financial Centre (ADGM) is a self-regulating and independent legal jurisdiction, founded to provide a broad based financial services hub for local, regional and international institutions. Its initial anchor markets are focused on Private Banking, Wealth Management and Asset Management.

As a Program Lead and Executive Advisor with the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Jan directed the design and initial foundations of a new International Financial Centre in 18 months, in accordance with International best practices, including the Regulator, Registrar and Courts of Justice. He pioneered the formulation of ADGM’s strategy, financial ecosystem, and initial anchor sectors. Jan further restructured the development process of the jurisdiction’s rules, laws and regulations, which facilitated the Centre’s faster access to market than originally anticipated.

Reporting to the Chairman and Board of Directors, and recruited as the first Senior Executive, Jan initiated the development of ADGM with exceptional skill, blending international management practices with local customs. Through extensive consultations, he balanced the interests of his Chairman, Board of Directors and target audience.

Jan’ legacy at ADGM is twofold; the strategy he formulated, and the team he left behind. Prior to the conclusion of his mandate, Jan recruited a team of experienced resources, including CXOs, Directors and Advisors into senior management roles and led the development of a shared services platform.


Picture source: Arabian Business

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

As the Chief Operating Officer for almost a decade, Jan founded and built, as part of the senior executive team, the DFSA. He was the longest serving Member of the Executive Board and constructed corporate operations from scratch.  Jan staffed, structured and led numerous divisions and drove performance excellence through optimising corporate strategy, business planning, operational policies and procedures, risk management, budgeting and governmental funding.

Jan constantly delivered financial and operating results above expectations and efficiently managed operational budgets worth USD 340 million in over 9 years. He negotiated USD 276 million in Government funding and was responsible for some 240+ DFSA projects in 9 years.

Jan’s legacy at DFSA is the performance excellence standards and processes he left behind. Not only did he built a high performing team, but rallied them to achieve excellence and to develop one of the world’s leading regulatory authority in less than 5 years. With the firm belief in building others, Jan regularly obtained highest team rating feedback in 360 surveys.


Picture source: Corporate Signage

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is the world’s leading professional services firm and the largest of the “Big Four” accounting firms measured by revenues. With offices in 159 countries, PwC employs over 180,000 people.

As a Senior Manager for eight years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Europe and the Middle East, Jan worked with clients at both board and operational levels, providing thought leadership and advice in the fields of corporate strategy, risk and governance on a global level.

Jan delivered culturally effective corporate governance and risk mandates to over 70 clients in various sectors and in over 30 countries across the Middle East and Europe. His clients included central banks, national banks, monetary authorities, investments companies, family businesses, government entities, investment authorities and others.  His mandates included enterprise risk management, corporate governance, global project management, business operations, business plans, corporate strategy and others.

Jan’s legacy at PWC is the positive difference he made with his clients, and the culturally effective Risk Management and Corporate Governance frameworks he implemented within them.


A believer in making a positive impact, Jan is a non-executive board member of several organizations, including the following:

  • Independent Board Member of Probus ME Limited, a Swiss Asset Management Firm with headquarters in Geneva and offices in Dubai, Monaco and Bangkok
  • Independent Board Member and Governor of Abbotsholme, a leading private English boarding school founded in 1889
  • Former Chairman of the Mudara Institute of Directors (IOD) Membership Committee, the region’s leading, international best practice, professional organization, representing the interests of corporate boards, board members and corporate governance professionals.

Beyond board positions, Jan aims to be a leader in polo, his passion. He is an active playing member of the Desert Palm Polo Club and a former member of Guards Polo Club. He has played for Team Great Britain in the UAE, and most recently reached the Finals in the Dubai Beach Polo 2015 tournament, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.