Pearl Initiative

Neal currently leads EY’s cybercrime investigations team in the MENA region, having joined EY from HSBC, where he spent three years leading a team with a headcount of over 140 people, conducting complex due diligence investigations on the bank’s global banking and markets clients.  Prior to that Neal spent  14 years  as a management consultant where he specialized in in leading teams that help organisations recognise, identify, investigate and manage the threat of cyber, security, integrity and financial crime risks in areas such as cyber and insider threats, fraud, bribery and corruption, corporate malpractice, due diligence, identity theft, AML, Sanctions and Terrorist Financing (STF).  Prior to his consulting career Neal served as a Police Officer on a Scotland Yard squad for 16 years where he was responsible for a number of stated cases and legal precedents in what was then the new field of internet investigations. Neal’s investigative experience is deep and varied spanning corporate malpractice at all levels, through to the gritty reality of covert criminal investigations. It includes leading corruption investigations in high risk, sensitive and litigious environments, and leading compliance investigations across multiple regions.
Pearl Initiative

Ateed Hijazi is a Senior Consultant at EY MENA and is EY’s lead Arabic open source researcher. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from the University of Toronto. Ateed has a wide range of experience in open source research and corporate intelligence gathering methods, and works with clients across numerous sectors helping them conduct effective third party due diligence and risk management with timely data inputs. The areas of risk that he focuses on are integrity and compliance reporting to major multi-national and local clients by assessing targets’ reputational, adverse media, and commercial and personal history for sanction concerns, reputational risks, and regulatory issues, enabling clients to make better informed decisions and address complex, cross border challenges. Ateed has worked on numerous sanctions, and export trade control projects during his three years with EY. He is fluent in Arabic and English, with much of his working conducted bilingually using specialised tools EY has acquired.