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AUS business students win Pearl Initiative competition
Three students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) School of Business Administration (SBA), won first prize in the Pearl Initiative UAE Student Case Study Competition held in Abu Dhabi on May 20. The students were honored for their work in analyzing Al Fardan Exchange's anti-money laundering policies.
The students' project focused on Al Fardan Exchange's compliance program, which has been developed in line with international and local regulatory requirements and high ethical standards to prevent economic and financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
Students Irina Kovaykina, Rajiv Lakhiani and Abdul Haseeb Kazi found out that to identify suspicious transactions, Al Fardan developed software that helps monitor customer profiles and track transaction patterns. Koyaykina said, "The central and federal bank laws back up every money-laundering program; apart from the legal aspect we wanted to find out what Al Fardan did additionally to fight money laundering and terrorism financing so that other companies can implement something similar."
"I believe this case allowed us to better understand an important business aspect, which is compliance," said Lakhiani. "It helped us learn, and to inform others, how highest level of transparency and efficiency can be achieved via an effective compliance program. Further, we learned how to interact with corporate specialists and how to communicate business information effectively."
The students were congratulated by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Youth, Culture and Community Development. Commending the students for their efforts in increasing the knowledge of corporate good practices in accountability and transparency in the region, His Excellency outlined the importance of instilling ethics in students from an early age.
Over 300 students from 10 universities in the UAE participated this year, submitting more than 100 case studies. Each team submitted a 1500-word document describing an example of a fully implemented governance program. The five best case studies from the UAE competition will be published in a report by the Pearl Initiative to be used for educational material both for future students and also for GCC-based organizations wishing to learn more from their peers.
The Pearl Initiative, a leading not-for-profit initiative working across the Gulf Region to influence and improve corporate accountability and transparency, held its inaugural Student Case Study competition last year in Saudi Arabia. By bringing the competition to the UAE this year, Pearl Initiative aims to encourage Gulf-based students to identify and embrace strong ethics as they embark on their future careers.