Distinguished international legal expert, Romain Gerardin-Fresse, has been recognized for his outstanding leadership and exceptional professional achievements with two honours presented during the recent CEO Clubs awards season. The accolades, awarded by global membership organization, CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, celebrate Romain’s work in building his international legal advisory firm, GFK Strategies Alliance, which incorporates GFK Middle East.
First among his recent distinctions was the award for ‘Middle East Outstanding CEO of the Year’, which was presented to Romain at the 6th edition of the Burj CEO Awards, in recognition of GFK’s expansion in the Middle East, and its long-term presence in Dubai. The award from CEO Clubs Network, under the aegis of Dr Tariq Ahmed Nizami, was conferred during an event staged at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Romain also received the ‘Outstanding European CEO Achiever of the Year’ award at the 2023 CEO Night on 17 September. The ceremony was held in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Sandeep Mehta, Secretary General, International Diplomatic Mission; His Excellency Yaqoob Ali, Executive Director & Private Advisor, Office of Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum; and Mr. Youssef Naeemat.
Beginning his career as a political and diplomatic adviser, Romain started out providing strategic advice to leading figures and decision-makers on the international stage. Building on the experience and networks he developed in this field, Romain set up a multidisciplinary consultancy in France in 2017, known as GFK Conseils-Juridis, focusing on corporate strategy and resolving technically complex issues. Under Romain’s leadership, the firm rapidly expanded, with sales tripling from the first to the second year and then doubling almost every year thereafter.
As the reputation of GFK began to grow internationally, Romain found a niche in top-of-the-range and made-to-measure consultancy, and in so doing, attracted an elite clientele, including governments and heads of state, as well as artists, actors, comedians and top sportsmen and women. Less than two years after the firm was set up, GFK represented France at the European Business Awards in Warsaw.
To meet the needs of international customers, GFK opened an office in Dubai in 2019, with a second office opening in 2022. GFK Middle East is now a key part of the group, and a large part of the business involves supporting organizations that want to set up in the United Arab Emirates, as part of their market penetration for specific products, or to establish a strategic presence as part of their development programs in the GCC and Africa.
Romain adds his two recent accolades to a vast catalogue of awards, decorations and recognition for his legal expertise and success in global business. He is ranked in the prestigious Business Elite’s ‘40 under 40’ award program for 2023 and was named Man of the Year 2022 by the renowned Fortune Business Review. Holding qualifications from Harvard Law School, London School of Economics and Political Sciences, and HEAD Paris, Romain is a contributor to the agenda of the World Economic Forum and an Honorary Member of the American Society of International Law. Named by Beyond Magazine as the Most Promising Business Leader to Follow in 2022, he has also featured on the covers of Lawyer Monthly Magazine and Forbes French edition.
Speaking about the recognition from CEO Clubs Network, Romain said, “It is a great privilege to be recognized simultaneously as a regional leader and international achiever. I am proud of the impact we have been able to make in the Emirates, and Dubai in particular, as a major crossroads for international trade and investment. Supporting clients through the formalities of setting up a company and providing personalized guidance in presenting them to key market players and regulatory authorities is vital to the foundations of successful business in the region. I am honoured that our role in helping to grow and diversify the Middle East market has been recognized with these awards.”
Romain was among an exclusive gathering of some of the globe’s leading entrepreneurs, humanitarians and business leaders at the spectacular ceremony marking the 6th edition of the prestigious Burj CEO Awards, which this year recognized outstanding individuals and organizations across more than 50 different categories.