Saadat Ali, CPA, FCA
Verified Expert in Finance
Management Consulting Expert
Saadat is a finance executive with 30 years of enterprise leadership experience at Shell, Johnson Controls, and Schlumberger across six countries and three continents. With deep expertise in FP&A, accounting, business planning and management, auditing, and ERM, Saadat has led major initiatives and won the Shell Global CFO Award and JCI's Merit Award. He adds exceptional value to enterprise and team success through collaborative and decisive leadership.
CFO | Head of Finance, Supply Chain, and IT
- Spearheaded Tecon's transformation by setting up new foundations for profitable excellence. Now partnering with the CEO to develop a vision and strategy and lead improvements via changes in staff, operations, internal controls, and key processes.
- Headed a team of 40+ staff, delivered functional support to the ongoing business, and embedded critical changes for the organization’s future success.
- Reduced the cost base by 25% and improved working capital by 15% during the COVID-19 economy to protect the financial future of the business.
- Identified key issues in the status quo; charted an improvement roadmap; and implemented changes across support functions, sales, and operations, which impacted people and processes.
- Led vendor and customer relationship management by setting up a proactive and prioritized engagement calendar.
- Established controls around litigation support, ensuring value adds from ongoing and new legal cases.
- Enhanced SAP functionality usage through design and rollout of improved workflows, resulting in improved internal controls and increased process efficiency.
- Led the development of the annual budget and business plan and presented the outcome to the corporate managing board, gaining buy-in for strategic and detailed plans.
Finance Director | Regional CFO
Johnson Controls (JCI)
- Delivered business results in partnership with the CEO while serving as the CFO of the MEA region.
- Led the post-merger integration of Tyco's MEA Fire and Security business with JCI's global best practices. Implemented synergies resulting in improved alignment, reduced costs, standardized processes, and enhanced internal controls.
- Headed a team of 29 and delivered finance expertise, including budgeting, forecasting, performance cadence, cost reductions, profitability optimization, cash flow, and working capital management.
- Won JCI’s Global Merit Award for leading the VAT implementation across the MEA region.
- Led the improvement of internal controls across the region by influencing the business to change operating practices. The internal audit rating improved from "Inadequately-Controlled" to "Well-Controlled" over 18 months.
- Owned the regional audit plan in partnership with JCI internal audit and led compliance reviews and closure of remediation actions.
- Worked alongside the McKinsey RTS practice as part of the senior team leading the strategic transformation across the MEA region.
- Negotiated the recovery of Shell’s multibillion-dollar spend in-country with government agencies that audited and approved Shell’s costs.
- Achieved over 98% successful cost recovery through collaborative leadership across the company, which was critical for Shell's success in the region.
- Developed and rolled out internal protocols for incurring expenditures per contractual agreements, ensuring future approval and recovery of these costs from governmental audit agencies.
Regional Manager - Risk & Insurance
- Managed risks on major projects (CAPEX up to $2.5 billion) and key contracts across North and South America through risk assessments, risk surveys, contractual negotiations, and insurance tools.
- Delivered a value-add of approximately $85 million in NPV by negotiating contractual indemnity and insurance positions in major framework contracts across the region.
- Led training sessions and workshops across North America to roll out a risk management-focused change program for senior leadership.
- Managed insurance procurement for large CAPEX oil and gas projects in a broad range of jurisdictions, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, and Qatar.
- Developed a standardized framework for managing contractual and project risks and led the rollout of this framework across global operating units.
Head of Risk & Assurance
- Led ERM and project risk management at Shell's $19 billion megaproject involving 50,000+ workers from 40+ nationalities at peak construction. Proactive risk management contributed to the strong completion of this high-stakes project.
- Designed and facilitated risk training and workshops involving 150+ leaders.
- Identified several high-impact risks and developed prioritized mitigation plans to avoid negative impact on the project schedule and costs.
- Led governance and compliance in partnership with Shell internal audit, developing risk-based audit plans and ensuring timely execution of audits and effective closure of audit findings.
Project Finance Manager
- Led the finance team of this 3-year, $800 million project to drill 22 off-shore and two on-shore wells.
- Served on the drilling leadership team and provided financial expertise on commercial and compliance issues, including robust cost estimates, internal controls, accounting policies, and progress reporting.
- Led the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project to streamline the month-end close process, improve the quality of reporting, and eliminate the workload on non-value-adding activities.
Accounting & Reporting Advisor
- Served as the SME on accounting and reporting while based in Shell HQ. Contributed to high-profile, global projects, including IFRS implementation and SAP standardization. Set global guidelines and led rollout workshops and training sessions.
- Won the Shell CFO Award for leading a global project to remediate a major gap in SAP functionality impacting 20+ countries. Identified root causes, developed solutions, implemented changes, and rolled out new processes across global businesses.
- Served as the global SME on accounting and reporting, guiding 20 countries on periodic reporting requirements by analyzing reported data and fine-tuning the future effectiveness and efficiency of Shell's global MIS and consolidation tools.
- Set up the accounting and MIS reporting function from scratch at this 3-year, new-country-entry oilfield development project with a $1 billion spend.
- Researched macroeconomic scenarios to shape Shell’s future investment strategy in the region.
- Served as the finance lead in a multidisciplinary business systems ERP implementation.
Financial Center Manager
- Set up and led a new shared service center comprising 14 staff supporting five business segments (annual revenue: $150 million).
- Provided the full range of services, including MI, invoicing, collections, payables, and payroll.
- Redesigned team roles and job content to enable focused and specialized activities while improving service delivery to internal and external customers.
- Analyzed business performance for eight countries in the Far East region with $100 million in annual revenue, supporting country leadership teams in achieving their budget targets.
- Managed cash flow exposures in volatile currency risk countries. Handled external audits and tax matters with external auditors and consultants.
- Carried out internal audit assignments in France and Saudi Arabia, helping the regional business strengthen its internal controls and compliance environment.
Audit Trainee to Assistant Manager
- Led external audit assignments for various key clients, including manufacturing, banking, service, and NGOs.
- Served as an internal trainer, helping new joiners and junior team members learn audit and accounting concepts. Led exam preparation training sessions and mentored younger colleagues for success in CA exams.
- Won the gold medal and first position in a country-wide professional accountancy examination.
Master's Degree in Accounting, Audit, Taxation
Higher Education Commission (ICAP) - Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Bachelor's Degree in Business, Accounting, Commerce
University of the Punjab - Lahore, Pakistan
Johnson Controls Leadership Edge (JCLE)
Johnson Controls Learning Academy
Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
Six Sigma Academy
Shell Learning Academy
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP)