12 Dec 2013 12:30

Etihad Airways’ James Rigney was last night named the Middle East Chief Financial Officer of the Year by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), the world’s leading professional membership organisation for the accountancy and finance profession. 

Mr Rigney’s accolade was announced at the ICAEW’s Middle East Accountancy and Finance Excellence Awards, staged at the Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi.

The CFO of the Year Award is open to finance professionals who have consistently complemented and supported the CEO’s and board’s vision and strategy, contributed to financial growth during the year and shown commitment to increasing shareholder value.

Mr Rigney won the award after a year in which Etihad Airways delivered US$ 4.8 billion in revenues and tripled net profits, to US$ 42 million, in only the ninth year of operation. The airline now has a portfolio of more than 60 national and international financial institutions, providing more than US$ 7 billion in financing. In the last 12 months, it has taken minority equity stakes in Air Serbia, Jet Airways and Darwin Airline, adding to previous investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus and Virgin Australia.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “This is outstanding recognition of the work of James Rigney, his team at Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority, and many others.

“This airline works to a commercial mandate and that means we need a highly professional team, able to deliver consistently across the full range of our financial and governance functions. This award, a pinnacle within the accountancy industry, shows that we have that.”

James Rigney added: “I am honoured to accept the ICAEW Middle East CFO of the Year award on behalf of the much wider team, within Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi Government and our financial advisors, particularly PwC and KPMG, who have helped us deliver over the seven years and in particular, over the last 12 months.

“As we look ahead, we know that we must redouble our efforts, as Etihad Airways and its partners enter a period of even greater growth.”

Last month, Etihad Airways announced orders for up to 199 aircraft and 294 engines, worth $67 billion at list prices, to support its strategic growth plan for the next decade.

ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 140,000 chartered accountants worldwide. It provides qualifications and professional development, shares knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protects the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession. The Middle East Accountancy and Finance Excellence Awards were launched in 2011.

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