WASHINGTON, D.C. and SAO PAULO, Brazil–RKA Worldwide Group LLC and RKA Worldwide do Brasil Consultoria (RKA Worldwide), professional services and management consulting firms, today announced they have jointly appointed Prof. Gerard (Rod) Brennan, Ph.D., CFE, an expert and Professor of internal audit, risk management and internal controls over financial reporting, to serve as Interim Executive Chairman, and Prof. Ariel Ramirez, CFE, CIA, RKA Worldwide’s current President & CEO, to serve in addition as Group Deputy Chairman, effective July 1, 2021. Global Chairman and co-founder Prof. Alan Siegfried, CPA, CIA, will remain on the Board indefinitely, and as Non-Executive Chairman.
“It has been a fun journey to work with the Board, Rod, Ariel and the firm’s technical expert luminaries,” said Mr. Siegfried. “As evangelists to clients in mitigating risk, we have been conducting succession planning and as a Board member, Rod has been instrumental in advising the firm, and RKA has greatly benefit from his counsel. Ariel, with great energy, enthusiasm, and passion, has overseen domestic and international expansion and recruitment while having ultimate operational responsibility as well as leading investigative client services. Ariel is ready for greater responsibility and the Board, and I, are delighted to make these two appointments.”
Dr. Brennan retired from Siemens in 2016, where he served in many leadership, technical audit, and risk roles, worldwide, including Chief Risk Internal Controls Officer (RIC), North America and Senior Director of IT Audit. He served as a Bitcoin/Blockchain expert at Libra (Lukka) and now as Principal of Ocean View Advisory, LLC.
“I have known both Alan and Ariel for a long time in a professional capacity as internal audit and forensic daily front-line practitioners, faculty professors, fellow international public speakers, and also dear friends – they are two skilled leaders and great colleagues ,” said Mr. Brennan. “I will miss Alan, and wish him the best in semi-retirement, and look forward to working with Ariel as he takes on yet additional responsibilities.”
Prof. Ramirez, who also teaches forensic audit, corporate investigation and fraud examination at the University of Maryland, Robert Smith School of Business since 2007, worked in international assignments for giants IBM Corporation and Siemens AG; for Big4 accounting firms EY, KPMG and Deloitte, and for Berkeley Research Group. He is trilingual in English, Spanish and Portuguese, a U.S. Marine and Navy veteran, with an MBA in international business, as well as additional certifications including the CFE, CIA, CFSA, CRMA, CGAP, and CCSA.
“I have known Alan since 1999, serving together as leaders for the Institute of Internal Auditors, working at Ernst Young (EY) LLP, and then coming together at RKA Worldwide. We have worked closely for more than two decades, teaching university classes, speaking to international audiences, and once presenting to an audience of over 1,100. Alan is the ultimate expert on technical internal audit, a revered leader of people, a gentleman, and a very good friend. I will greatly miss our daily discussion and his candid coaching and direction. I am also excited to spend more time with Rod in the Office of the Chairman, continue to learn, add greater responsibility to my current roles, and continue to drive global sales and revenue, front-line client services, and corporate functions, building upon the great culture developed by Alan for RKA.”
In addition to his corporate role at the firm’s helm, Mr. Siegfried, has served as Global Head-Practice Leader of Risk Management & Internal Audit Advisory (RMIA). As part of succession planning, he will step down from this role, effective July 1, 2021. The firm has appointed Prof. Brennan, to also replace Mr. Siegfried in an interim capacity, while the firm searches for a permanent replacement for the Global Head of RMIA role.
“Rod is proven, battle-tested, in leading front-line internal audit and related engagements. He moves easily between roles as an internal audit practice leader and teaching its concepts and theories. I am excited to pass on the baton to Rod, albeit in an interim capacity, and know he will carry it forward well, said Mr. Siegfried.”
Alan N. Siegfried, MBA, CPA, CIA
Outgoing Executive Chairman
Gerard (Rod) Brennan, Ph.D., CFE
Incoming Executive Chairman
Ariel Ramirez, MBA, CFE, CIA
Deputy Chairman, President & CEO