The Ona Group on Monday announced the appointment of seasoned finance professional Frank Zahra as Chief Finance Officer, marking his return to the tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic. His appointment came into effect on 5th June.
The Ona Group is a group of business ventures based in Malta that has a presence in the hospitality, development, and the marketing and distribution of a number of brands. It is spearheaded by Cliona Muscat, a seasoned entrepreneur that has experience leading the management of the international retail brands the group brought to Malta, including Women’s Secret, Springfield, Pedro de Hierro and Cortefiel. The group’s presence in the hospitality industry is driven by its franchise agreement for the management of AC Hotels by Marriott.
Speaking to MaltaCEOs.mt, Mr Zahra expressed delight at being appointed to the role, adding that it is a “very exciting step” in his career as he will be working with a “young team together with various Directors that have extensive background in the hospitality industry”.
Asked what encouraged him to join The Ona Group, he explained that it was an opportunity that essentially “came out of the blue”.
“What attracted me the most was the fact that the Directors, like Ms Muscat, are so experienced. There is a certain background of experience from the hospitality, property development and retail from all those on the Board,” he added.
Mr Zahra has various years of experience in finance-related roles, and most recently served as Group Chief Finance Officer at KA Finance plc. His prior experience also includes four years as Group Financial Controller at Hotel Valentina Limited, a stint that came to an end as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the tourism industry. He was also Finance Manager at Farsons Beverage Imports Co Ltd and Senior Auditor and Accountant at Anton Chetcuti Ganado & Associates, among other roles.
While he is vastly experienced, Mr Zahra acknowledged that “there is always a huge learning curve whenever you join a different company, as at the end of the day it is something new”.
He added that The Ona Group’s finance department is constructing a new team after clearly searching for what is needed to continue strengthening it further.
“I feel that I have a bit of unfinished business in the tourism sector and given that I have some experience in construction and retail, this is a way for me to combine all of my specialities into one,” he concluded.
Mr Zahra holds an Associate’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and describes himself as being particularly skilled in financial reporting, auditing, and financial analysis.
Social image: AC Hotels By Marriott / The Ona Group
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