The view from Shahannah B Abdoolakhan FCCA

Founder of Abler Group and CEO of Abler Consulting, Mauritius

My career started with the Mauritius financial services regulator. I have had several professional roles in Mauritius and then in Guernsey, including vice president of a bank and MD, and I sit on several boards. Both my ACCA Qualification and my MBA with Oxford Brookes University have propelled my career development and led me to launch my first business, Abler Consulting. I am also co-founder of MEASA Salaar Innovation, a fintech company based in Dubai.

Working as an accountant gives you skills such as analysis, ethical conduct and best practices. It’s the ideal combination for business development. What I enjoy most about my work is seeing the enthusiasm and passion of my wonderful team. It’s great to see them learn, grow and think creatively.

With more people investing in financial products with long-term returns, our way of doing business must also adapt


I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to work in both the corporate and banking worlds. As my career has developed, learning more than just the accounting aspects of my work has become routine. The financial sector has provided me with deep insights into the market while helping me broaden my horizons. I have learnt we can only grow stronger through getting better when advising, auditing or consulting. You just cannot stop growing.

Mauritius has been going through tough times recently, but opportunities come from challenges. I am convinced that we will come out of it even stronger. Mauritius must be ahead of the curve to provide safe and innovative services to investors.

Many companies have stepped up their pursuit of home-grown talent, yielding positive business growth for Mauritius

The way business is done globally is ever-changing due to tightening regulatory controls, technological advances and customer behaviour. There is a move from the traditional income-earning breadwinner mindset to the risk-averse-investor mindset, with more people investing in financial products with long-term returns. Therefore, our way of doing business must also adapt to the trends.

Many companies have stepped up their pursuit of home-grown talent, yielding positive business growth for Mauritius. Today, there are more experienced professionals in a more transparent business environment.

The subtlety involved in terrorism financing makes it a less trackable and more dangerous offence than money laundering. To tackle money laundering, you can profile the business relationship and trace the provenance of funds, and whether they originate from criminal activities. Combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT) is more problematic. While funds may have originated from legitimate sources, the impact of one apparently safe transaction can have far-reaching consequences for society if used to fund terrorist activities. CFT requires a change in mindset and an adaptable environment to help trace such activities. Operators in the sector need to invest in relevant tools, such as the screening of transaction parties on sanctions lists.

My best achievement has been setting up Abler Consulting from scratch in 2017. This has been possible thanks to my academic path and the people around me. I also completed my ACCA papers in two-and-a-half years in one go, and my time in Guernsey brought me international experience. If I were not an accountant, I think I’d have been a securities trader or maybe even a doctor.

In my spare time I enjoy reading, exercising and hiking in nature. But, most importantly, I love spending time with my family.

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