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VOLUME 7 - ISSUE 2 | APRIL 2017 - £20

INSIDE THIS ISSUE LEADERSHIP OF WOMEN IN ISLAMIC FINANCE GLOBAL GOOD GOVERNANCE AWARDS 2017 THE LAUNCH CEREMONY OF GLOBAL ISLAMIC FINANCE REPORT 2017 A Personality Interview with DAAN ELFFERS

REFLECTIONS ON

PROFESSIONALISM AND LEADERSHIP An Exclusive Interview with AMR SAAD AL MENHALI Head of ADCB Islamic Banking


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CONTENTS

Note from the

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF This issue of ISFIRE celebrates brilliant contributions of some of the most outstanding women involved in Islamic banking and finance (IBF). The editorial team has decided to make ISFIRE Special Report – WOMANI – and the accompanying articles an annual feature of ISFIRE. This should allow us to push for more participation from women in the global Islamic financial services industry. Amr Al Minhali, Head of Islamic Banking at ADCB, is our cover story of the issue. He shares with us how ADCB Islamic Banking has emerged as the most successful Islamic window operations of a conventional bank in the UAE. His interview should help other Islamic window operations understand how Islamic banking business within a conventional set up can be made not only successful but also as a driver of growth in the parent bank. This issue also reports on the 2nd Global Good Governance Awards (3G Awards), which were held in Dubai on April 24, 2017. Good governance is attracting increased attention across government & politics, corporate sector, and philanthropy. IBF has also started showing interest in developing sound frameworks for corporate social responsibility (CSR). The 3G Awards are not specific to IBF; however, we were pleased to see Agrobank of Malaysia (an Islamic bank) as recipient of the 3G Financial Services Award for the second year in a row. We also launched Global Islamic Finance Report 2017 in an impressive ceremony hosted by Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), in Dubai recently. An ISFIRE Report is included herein. Our regular features – Pause for Thought, St. Barbarossa’s Memoirs, and Diary of a Mad Philosopher – should continue to interest our readers. In this issue, we are not including Technical Note on Notation in Islamic Economics, Banking & Finance, as otherwise the size of the issue would have gone beyond the planned length. I trust you will enjoy the current issue at hand.

Professor Humayon Dar, PhD (Cantab) Editor-in-Chief


ISSN 2049 - 1905

CONTENTS

ISLAMIC FINANCE REVIEW | WWW.ISFIRE.NET

COVER STORY 08 Amr Saad Al Menhali

Head of ADCB Islamic Banking

VOLUME 7 - ISSUE 2 | APRIL 2017

ISFIRE BRIEF

18 Islamic Finance and Sustainable Development

Dr. Sutan Emir Hidayat

ISFIRE EVENTS

22 Launch of Global Islamic Finance Report 2017

BRIEF NOTES

32 Diary of a Mad Philosopher

PERSONALITY 36 Daan Elffers

Founder of Islamic Reporting Initiative (IRI)

ISFIRE REPORT

40 3G Awards Celebrate Excellence in Governance and Social Welfare

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

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64 Women in IBF

ISFIRE SURVEYS

66 Leadership in Islamic Finance: Where do Women Stand?

ISFIRE SPECIAL REPORT

72 Womani: A Special Report on Women in Business and Islamic Finance

ISFIRE MEMOIRS

85 St. Barbarossa’s Memoirs

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CONTENTS Editor-in-Chief

Professor Humayon Dar PhD, Cambridge University

Editor

Dr. Sofiza Azmi

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CEO, Edbiz Consulting

International Editorial Board Professor Nafis Alam Sunway Universiy, Malaysia

Professor Mehmet Asutay Durham University

Professor Dr. Mehmet Bulut Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey

Dato’ Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki Deputy Minister, Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia

Professor Joseph Falzon University of Malta

Dr. Mian Farooq Haq State Bank of Pakistan

Professor Kabir Hassan University of New Orleans

Datuk Noripah Kamso Islamic Finance Expert

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Moinuddin Malim Alternative International Management Services

Dr. Asmadi Mohamed Naim Universiti Utara Malaysia

Professor Muhamad Rahimi Osman Universiti Teknologi MARA

M. Saleem Ahmed Ranjha Wan Miana Rural Development Programme

Dr. Usamah Ahmed Uthman King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

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ISLAMIC FINANCE REVIEW | APRIL 2017

COVER STORY

REFLECTIONS ON PROFESSIONALISM AND LEADERSHIP AN INTERVIEW WITH

AMR SAAD AL MENHALI HEAD OF ADCB ISLAMIC BANKING

Amr Saad Al Menhali is a young, dynamic and seriously determined emerging leader on the horizon of Islamic banking in the UAE. His bank, ADCB, is a leading bank in the country, the top leadership of which has shown consistent determination to preserve, develop and nurture leadership qualities in its workforce, and Amr Al Menhali aptly symbolizes the success of such endeavours. In this exclusive interview for ISFIRE, Amr Al Menhali reflects on professionalism that is an essential requirement for development of Islamic banking on an institutional, jurisdictional and global level. Our colloquy with him is not only the success story of ADCB but also of Islamic banking in the UAE, which has implications for growth and development of Islamic banking and finance in other parts of the world. This is our second exclusive interview with Amr Al Menhali since February 2013 when he first appeared on the cover page of ISFIRE. He holds the distinction of being the only person who has featured twice on the cover of our esteemed publication. This is not an insignificant feat in its own right, as ISFIRE cover stories include presidents and prime ministers. While interviewing Amr Al Menhali, we were impressed by the levels of maturity, leadership and professionalism he has achieved in the last few years.

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ince inception and especially in the last few years, the milestones achieved by ADCB Islamic Banking have been remarkable. This talks a lot of the team and management. What are your thoughts? “Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men”, Father of the Nation, Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan said. A capable team is probably the most important factor in the success of a business, and the team that has been put together by the management has enabled the business to grow rapidly and to target the fulfillment of the management’s vision for ADCB Islamic Banking to be the number one Shari’a-compliant solutions provider in the market. Despite being a window operation, we have set the bar high and benchmarked ourselves against fully-fledged Islamic banks instead of relevant peer groups, which would typically be window operations of conventional banks.

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eading the business successfully via a window operation has its natural challenges. How were you able to lead this challenging journey?

Our unique proposition is based on the utilization of all sourcing channels while banking on all other resources ADCB may make available for those who seek to benefit from our Islamic banking proposition. We count on the support from all departments and teams of the bank and we have persistently received full support and cooperation by all departments. Let’s also not forget the team we spoke of earlier – this is a dedicated group each of whom is driven to ensuring the success of the Islamic banking business. It is also important to reiterate that unlike many other Islamic windows, we are a mainstream Islamic banking service provider; we do not exist simply to provide an alternative just in case a customer may want an Islamic product. Our aim is to become the Shari’acompliant service provider of choice.


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COVER STORY

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All this makes it easier to lead the team – where everyone’s goal is to provide the best to our customers and to the market in general.

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he level of Shari’a-compliance within ADCB Islamic Banking continuously remains high. What measures you take to achieve and maintain such a remarkable success in this respect?

It was crystal clear right from the start. Compliance to Shari’a is at the heart of everything we do. Our commercial objectives on its own has no foundation or relevance to the core values of ADCB Islamic Banking, unless fully governed by Shari’a. This is achievable by having a strong and distinguished Shari’a Advisory Board. To implement the compliance aspect, the relevant audit and quality control exercises are religiously implemented as part of the overall audit process. Shari’a governance on its own will not suffice unless staff are equipped with the necessary skill set to ensure a high level of compliance. Therefore, we launched a human capital development initiative called “Islamic Banking Academy”. Islamic Banking Academy focuses on capacity building through regular training sessions. Since its launch a couple of years ago, 3,000 staff have successfully completed basic and advanced training courses. Staff were engaged via classroom and online trainings, and as an ongoing reference tool a series of six information booklets were developed and made available on the staff portal.

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eadership in banking and finance is becoming younger and younger. What factors have contributed to your successful career in banking and finance?

This is a phenomenon in many sectors in the UAE and not banking and finance only. It is inspired by the leadership of the UAE, which has set high standards, built the foundation for a sustained future and endorsed young talent, who are dedicated and passionate to excel. However, this does not mean that experience and vintage are of insignificant value. They would always remain the source for valuable information and advice. There is a well-known saying, “There is no substitute for hard work,” and humbleness is one of the key factors that may help someone in learning new things every day. Since there are no shortcuts in life, I have tried to work hard while creating a balance in life with some quality family time and healthy activities and sports. Social and professional interaction with other professionals and experts in their respective fields has also played a pivotal role in polishing my approach towards professional life. If youngsters starting their careers focus on the right things, at the right time and in the right manner, then there are no limits as to what can be achieved.

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Shari’a governance on its own will not suffice unless staff are equipped with the necessary skill set to ensure a high level of compliance.


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The UAE is the land of opportunities not only for its own citizens, but for all those belonging to over 200 nationalities that have chosen the UAE as their second home and are earning their fortune through utilization of countless opportunities available here. It would have been more challenging to reach a level where I am standing right now if I were in a different country, regardless of my nationality or background.

As mentioned earlier, there are several attributes to the success of the franchise. Innovation and creativity stem out from a culture open to ideas and suggestions. A customercentric approach that is the key driver of our financial solutions. Accessibility and simplicity is core to our engagement with customers. Transparency and integrity built the sustainable

he UAE is deemed as a country that provides opportunities and avenues to professionals to excel. Do you think that you would have been equally successful if you were working in another country?

DCB Islamic Banking is considered as the best Islamic banking window model in the UAE, with an optimistic view on its future business and growth. What are the factors that helped in developing such an impressive Islamic franchise?

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relationships that we maintain today. Quantitative milestones do not overshadow qualitative ones. Choosing the way we function currently, by leveraging on ADCB’s infrastructure, has installed the efficiency aspect and hence we are considered a successful franchise. Knowing that we are the best Islamic banking window in the UAE doesn’t make us complacent, rather it further ignites the enthusiasm of the team to achieve more and more through continuous and tireless efforts.

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hat does a typical day of Amr Al Menhali entail?

My day begins early with a breakfast with my family, then reading the newspaper. I also enjoy reading editorials and articles on different subjects. I start my day in office by reading my emails and checking schedule for the day. I always find enough time to return calls and respond to emails where response is required. I do my best to balance my time between meetings, discussions, daily activities and having daily reviews with my team members. After the office hours, most of the time is spent with family and other social and cultural activities.

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assion and profession. Is there a conflict between the two?

I don’t find any conflict between the two, rather I think that they complement each other. Passion towards my job has made it a much enjoyable journey. It happens that sometimes people choose a profession that they are not passionate about. Those who work hard would still succeed which is also admirable.

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hat are your views on the size and growth of Islamic banking and finance in the UAE?

As per various Islamic finance reports, Islamic banking assets in the UAE have reached US$159 billion, which makes up 19.4% share in domestic banking and finance industry. This is a clear indication of the prospects of the Islamic banking and finance industry in the UAE, especially when coupled with the steady growth seen during the last few years, leading to an increased share of the market.

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COVER STORY

Islamic financial institutions should not forget the importance of marketing the Islamic products and services. Marketing not only introduces your products and services, but it also creates awareness and educates the customers about Islamic offerings. Additionally, the banks need to focus a lot more on both innovation and customer service. We must realize in earnest that while customers who prefer Shari’a-compliant products will bank with Islamic institutions, they do not want to sacrifice on choice, quality or service levels. Additionally, leading the field in terms of product choice, innovation and service levels will attract even conventional customers to Islamic banking – they are also a part of the market after all, and potential customers for Islamic banks.

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ow can Islamic banking and finance be made a preferred choice for the customers in the UAE?

Simplicity, transparency and innovation to meet the ongoing evolution of customer needs makes any bank a preferred choice anywhere. Islamic financial institutions should aggressively roll out innovative but simple products to further strengthen their offerings. More focus is required to achieve maximum simplicity of the products and services through research and innovation as there is a common perception about Islamic products, that the structures are complicated and the documentation is lengthy and sometimes incomprehensible


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for the average person. This needs to be addressed, so that customers know that not only are they not adversely affected by opting for Islamic banking, but that they will also get the best of products and services available.

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lease tell our readers more about ADCB as a leading bank in the UAE, and its future plans for development of ADCB Islamic Banking.

COVER STORY

customer experience, building brand equity and sustaining the right core values has led to a strong and resilient franchise. The success of ADCB Islamic Banking has been derived from the success of ADCB as a whole. Islamic banking has definitely been a key growth driver and more emphasis has been set to capture the relevant market share. Given the relative youth of Islamic banking in general, I believe there is immense scope for further innovation in this industry, and our vision is to be at the forefront of this drive.

ADCB adopted a sustainable business model that revolves around customers, and the value addition to its shareholder has been at the forefront in the industry. Delivering best in class

The Islamic banking industry is relatively new, and offers immense opportunities. A lot of what is required for the industry to grow, still needs to be done. The slate is still relatively clean, and those who have ambition, vision and dedication, can work on this; and it has the potential to be truly rewarding work. Those who are part of the Islamic banking industry today will shape the future of Shari’a-compliant banking for generations.

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I was born and brought up in Abu Dhabi and studied at an international school which gave me the privilege to interact in a multinational environment with many cultures, giving me insight on how different people think and act. In addition, studying abroad increased my social understanding of different people and communities.

It is an honour and a blessing to be entrusted with several responsibilities. In addition to being a part of the ADCB team, I am a member of the Board of Directors of the UAE Banks Federation, which gives me the opportunity to regularly engage with respected members of other institutions.

ur readers would like to know more about Amr Al Menhali as a person. Please share with us your family background, education and the life in Abu Dhabi.

I’m married and blessed with four lovely children. I love sports in general, and football in particular. I enjoy reading different articles, some relevant and some irrelevant to my profession, which actually helped me adopt a balanced approach in my life. I don’t like stagnation, so I enjoy taking on new challenges and finding ways to keep my body and mind active.

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t the end, we would like to know about your professional appointments and engagements outside ADCB Islamic Banking.

In addition to this, my responsibilities also include a place on the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Finance, a leading property finance company in the UAE. I represent ADCB in the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee of the Central Bank of the UAE, a role I relish as I can understand the importance of being vigilant against money laundering in today’s world.


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COVER STORY

hat would be your message to those who contemplate having a career in Islamic banking and finance?

The Islamic banking industry is relatively new, and offers immense opportunities. A lot of what is required for the industry to grow, still needs to be done. The slate is still relatively clean, and those who have ambition, vision and dedication, can work on this; and it has the potential to be truly rewarding work. Those who are part of the Islamic banking industry today will shape the future of Shari’acompliant banking for generations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.

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ISFIRE BRIEF

Dr. Sutan Emir Hidayat

Head of Business Administration and Humanities Department

I

University College of Bahrain

slamic finance has become a global phenomenon in the present era. The industry is growing globally in both Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries. For example, during 2008-2016, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the industry stood at 15.27%1 . This remarkable growth was spurred by the increase in oil prices, leaving Muslim oil producing countries in the GCC with excess liquidity to be invested 2 . In addition, the 2007-2011 global financial crisis became another momentum for Islamic finance, raising public interest in Islamic finance since Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) were seen to be relatively less affected by the crisis than their conventional counterparts. Despite these positive developments, it is important for us to know the original wisdom behind the establishment of Islamic finance.

According to available literature, Islamic finance came into being as a result of some of Muslims’ efforts to develop a socio-economic infrastructure allowing them to practice the requirements of their faith Iin a comprehensive way. More specifically, the awareness of the prohibition of interest, excessive speculation (leading to gambling and similar practices) and other prohibitions led to the development of financial institutions that complied with Shari’a. Consequently, IFIs such as Islamic banks, takaful companies and Islamic investment companies were established as Shari’a-compliant alternatives to the conventional financial institutions. The ultimate objective of the establishment of such institutions was to realize the objectives of Shari’a (maqasid al-Shari’a), which in its general terms include improvement in social welfare. Sustainability is a major theme in social welfare and public and social responsibility. Sustainability features significantly in the modern emphasis on social responsibility on part of the public sector organisations and businesses. Sustainable development may be defined as continuous growth for the benefit of current as well as future generations. Islam shares this notion of development. For example, one of the Shari’a principles is “to avoid harming the others”. This principle covers environment and protecting it to ensures that future generations will be able to enjoy a good living. The emphasis on sustainability is enshrined in the maqasid al1 2

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Shari’a, in terms of preservation of wealth, life and posterity. The principle of avoiding extravagance and wasting resources also emphasizes the importance of effective and efficient usage of natural resources, hence ensuring their safe passage to future generations. Most importantly, the word “Islam” means peace and harmony. This reveals that Islamic way of life is actually promoting social peace and harmony, which is one of the foundations to achieve sustainable development goals. It can also be concluded that in order to realize sustainable

Global Islamic Finance report 2017. Given the depressed oil prices in the global markets, the industry seems to have slowed down.


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ISFIRE BRIEF

Islamic Finance and Sustainable Development

development goals, the current generation must conduct socially responsible businesses and activities. The above principles also apply to Islamic financial industry. For example, in Islamic finance, investors are required not only to invest in halal instruments but also in activities that do not harm others. This is also the reason why both qualitative and quantitative screenings are conducted to the companies to be listed in a Shari’a index. The qualitative screening is conducted not only to ensure that the core business of the company is

Shari’a-compliant but also to ensure that the business is socially responsible, with social and environmental impacts, and stakeholders’ engagement. The quantitative screening is conducted to ensure that the company’s sources and uses of funds are socially responsible, as reflected by and disclosed in its financial statements.

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ISFIRE BRIEF

MA in Islam and Sustainable Development at Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK This programme responds to the emerging sustainable development agenda, which has become a key policy determinant in many societies. The programme critically explores a range of perspectives and debates surrounding Islam and sustainable development in the contemporary global environment and professional context. It aims to provide students with a critical understanding of sustainable development theory and practice, and the skills required to critically analyse and evaluate sustainable development research, policy and practice, targeting Muslim communities in a range of contexts.

As mentioned earlier, socially responsible businesses and activities must be in place in order to achieve sustainable development. With regards to this aspect, like other organizations, IFIs are also required to comply with corporate social responsibility (CSR) requirements. However, due to its unique features, the concept of CSR for IFIs is slightly different from the general concept of CSR. Bahrain-based standard setting body, Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) defines CSR for Islamic financial institutions as all activities carried out by an IFI to fulfill its religious, economic, legal, ethical and discretionary responsibilities as financial intermediaries for individuals and institutions. The above definition differentiates the concept of CSR for IFIs from the general concept of CSR since the former is more encompassing. CSR for IFIs covers charitable, humanitarian, and sustainable development aspects. AAOIFI identifies 13 CSR activities for IFIs to perform, which are divided into two categories, namely, mandatory and recommended conducts. There are 5 activities under mandatory conduct and 8 activities under recommended conduct.

MANDATORY CONDUCT: 1. Policy for screening clients 2. Policy for responsible dealing with clients 3. Policy for earnings and expenditures prohibited by Shari’a 4. Policy for employee welfare 5. Policy for Zakat

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RECOMMENDED CONDUCT: 1. Policy for qard hasan 2. Policy for reduction of adverse impact on the environment 3. Policy for social, development and environment based investments quotas 4. Policy for par excellence customer service 5. Policy for micro, small and medium enterprises 6. Policy for social savings and investments 7. Policy for management of waqf properties 8. Policy for charitable activities

From the above 13 CSR activities for IFIs most of them are related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as framed by the United Nations to be achieved by 2030. For example, policy for screening the clients intends to ensure that the clients are not using the IFIs to engage in any criminal activities such as money laundering and the clients’ activities are not negatively impacting the economy, society and environment. Looking at the above explanation, it is very clear that Islamic finance principles and practices are very much in line with the sustainable development concept and universal values in general. In other word, Islamic finance, if it is implemented properly, can help countries around the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.


A must read for Islamic bankers & wealth management professionals

The report is aimed at narrowing the demand and supply gap in Islamic wealth management products and solutions. Further, the report explores the growth in Islamic wealth, highlighting its concentration in dierent regions, providing crucial business intelligence to supply-side leaders and potential clients of the Islamic wealth management industry. "With the increasing number of Muslim individuals and families appearing in the global wealth list and growth in Islamic ďŹ nancial assets, it is not unrealistic to assume that there is an increase in Islamic wealth globally. It is, therefore, high time that a Report analyzing the developments, products and solutions in Islamic wealth management is produced, which should assist the players to narrow the demand supply gap." Professor Humayon Dar, Executive Chairman of HD-Edbiz Group of Companies

Place your order today! Call: +44 203 617 1089 or Email at: kshehzad@edbizconsulting.com

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ISFIRE EVENTS

LAUNCH OF

GLOBAL ISLAMIC FINANCE REPORT

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2017


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ISFIRE EVENTS

The 8th edition of Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR), produced by Cambridge IF Analytica and published by Edbiz Consulting, was launched on April 24, 2017, at the Fairmont Hotel, The Palm Dubai. The Launch Ceremony was hosted by Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), and the report was inaugurated by Abdulla Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, and presented to Mohamed Abdulla Al Nahdi, Deputy CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB). DIB commissioned this edition of GIFR, while other sponsors included the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), DDCAP, Bank of Khartoum and SEDCO Capital. The Launch Ceremony also benefited from the financial support of ADCB Islamic and FWU Group. A large number of delegates from the UAE and some other countries attended the Launch Ceremony. After the successful launch of the English version of the report, Cambridge IF Analytica and Edbiz Consulting contemplate publishing its Turkish version towards the end of the year.

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ISFIRE EVENTS

SUMMARY & HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT The Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR) 2017 carries the theme “Leadership in Islamic Finance�. This theme was chosen to highlight the leadership role of countries, institutions and individuals in global Islamic finance. The GIFR 2017 is divided into four parts as follows: Part 1: Global Islamic Financial Services Industry Part 1 provides an overview of the global Islamic finance industry with highlights on recent trends and developments. According to GIFR 2017, the estimated figure for the global Islamic financial industry in 2016 is US$2.293 trillion after recording a growth of 7%. This, however, is the third consecutive year that the industry has registered a single digit growth and the fourth consecutive year that the growth rate has been on a declining trend. The slow-down in growth may be attributed to a number of factors, including: Political conflicts in a number of Muslim countries, particularly in the Middle East. This has hampered the growth of IBF in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Libya etc., contrary to the views held by industry experts in the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring; Historically low-oil prices, which have affected the countries in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) and others where IBF is a major component of the financial markets; The enthusiasm of Western financial institutions towards IBF is receding. It appears as if the days are gone when Western financial institutions would get lured to IBF, expecting access to a red-hot pot of Islamic money; and Maturity of Islamic banking and finance in key markets like the GCC (barring Oman) and Malaysia, which is leading to natural slow down.

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However, the report also highlights some of the key economic and political trends that will drive the global Islamic financial industry including: Shari’a-compliant SRI. SRI is a fast growing subsector of the conventional funds industry with the potential for alignment to Islamic funds. Hence, a convergence of SRI and Islamic funds could boost appeal in Western markets and tap into a market that complements Shari’a principles. Brump Factor and Key Elections in Europe Continuing uncertainty over Brexit, politics and economic policy developments in the US as Trump takes on the US presidency, and upcoming key elections in Europe will likely heightened uncertainty in the global economy in 2017. Death of TPP and China’s Rising Influence in Asia. With the US looking inwards, China is stepping in to fill the economic vacuum and is already moving swiftly to establish and strengthen bilateral trade ties with Pacific and Middle Eastern countries. Sukuk Issuance Is Set To Pick Up Pace in 2017 Two major events in 2016 that will help boost the sukuk market (infrastructure sukuk in particular) in 2017 are the launched of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the lifting of international sanctions on Iran. Growing Potential for Green Sukuk in the GCC Green sukuk is set to open another avenue of funding in the GCC and could mobilise essential finance needed to fund the rising number of clean energy initiatives throughout the GCC as they begin to set targets for sustainability and clean energy.

Part 1 also presents the Islamic Finance Country Index (IFCI), which is the oldest index for ranking different countries with respect to the state of Islamic banking and finance and their leadership role in the industry on a national level and benchmarked to an international level. The IFCI shows the growth of the industry in an objective manner, making it a useful tool for industry analysis and comparative assessments. Highlights of IFCI 2017 are as follows: Malaysia ranks number one, with 79.25 score. This is the second year in row that Malaysia has been on the top position, taking over from Iran in 2016. There is no change in ranks of the first 5 positions. Malaysia, Iran and UAE have slightly improved their scores while Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have witnessed deterioration in their scores. There are 14 countries that have witnessed decrease in their IFCI scores. While some of them are the countries with majority Muslim populations, the trend is more visible in the countries with Muslim minorities. 13 countries improved their ranking. Tunisia took the biggest leap and improved its position from number 25 to 20. Other gainers included Kazakhstan and Pakistan, which improved from 35th to 31st (4 points up) and from 9th to 6th (3 points up) positions, respectively. IFCI ranking implicitly suggests that the countries with large Muslim populations are the future frontiers for growth in IBF. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative for the Islamic banking groups based in the Middle East and the Far East to expand their businesses into these countries. Given the importance of Muslims as a main stakeholder group on the demand side, Islamic banks should focus more on acquiring businesses from Muslims rather than focusing on non-Muslims.

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Part 2: Leadership in Islamic Finance – Country Level The top 10 countries as ranked by IFCI are presented in Part 2. It provides a detailed analysis of the development of Islamic banking and finance in Malaysia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bahrain, Qatar and Bangladesh. Malaysia Malaysia as the global leader in Islamic finance continues to make stride in thought leadership, product development and institutional establishment. Malaysia has the most comprehensive and progressive Islamic financial system in the world through the adoption of a 4-pronged strategic approach: regulatory framework development, legal and Shari’a framework, products and markets development, and enhancement of knowledge and expertise. Today, Malaysia is one of the world’s most developed Islamic finance jurisdictions and the world’s first country to have a complete Islamic financial system operating in parallel to the conventional system. Iran With a population of about 80 million, Iran is the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after Saudi Arabia, with an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$393.7 billion in 2015 according to the World Bank. Two important events may present the much needed boost for Iran to change its current status quo and re-emerge as a powerhouse in the Middle East – the lifting of international economic and financial sanctions, and the chairmanship of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) in 2017. Saudi Arabia The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a mature and developed Islamic finance industry where Islamic banking assets represents about 35% share of the global Islamic banking assets and two-thirds of the country’s total bank financing. It also has the highest penetration rate of 55%. The strong and historical presence of Islamic banking in Saudi Arabia is reflected in the long-established Islamic financial institutions such as Al Rajhi Bank, which is the largest and oldest Islamic bank in the world.

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The UAE The UAE and Dubai in particular, has ambitious plans to be a global hub for Islamic finance within the next few years. The UAE Vision 2021 “sets the key themes for the socio-economic development of the UAE” and calls for “a shift to a diversified and knowledge-based economy”. Based on a two-pronged approach, this new strategy concentrates on the development of the Islamic economy system, which includes identifying new key performance indicators for monitoring the growth of important sectors and measuring their contribution to the national economy. The second part focuses on enhancing Dubai’s status as a global reference for Islamic finance, industry, trading standards and culture, and as a prime destination for Halal trade and family tourism. Kuwait Islamic banking and finance in Kuwait is now systemically important in the domestic financial market as well as in the global Islamic finance landscape. Over the years, Islamic banking has constituted a major component of Kuwait’s national banking and of the overall financial system. Unlike other jurisdictions, Kuwait is home to Islamic banks that have cross border operations and/or conglomerate structures that include both financial and non-financial corporates as subsidiaries or associates. Pakistan Pakistan was one of the first countries to introduce Islamic banking with efforts to Islamise the economy started in the mid60s as a response to both religious and economic needs. After two attempts to implement Islamic banking in the country, it is now an established industry with 13% market share. This growth is supported by strong support from the State Bank of Pakistan to promote Islamic finance, new regulations on Islamic banking, new industry-supporting regulatory bodies, as well as rising demand from foreign investors and the large Muslim population. Indonesia Given Indonesia’s large Muslim population, status as an emerging economy in Southeast Asia and recent growth in its Islamic banking assets; Indonesia is primed to become a global player in Islamic finance. In recent years, Islamic finance in Indonesia has shown significant development. Indonesia’s position in the global Islamic finance industry market has also improved as the country is now well recognised as a significant player amongst other renowned players such as the GCC countries and Malaysia. Placed amongst countries that offer substantial lessons in the development of Islamic finance along with the likes of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Bahrain; Indonesia is also projected to be the driving force behind the next big wave in Islamic finance at the global front together with other countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, UAE and Turkey.

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Bahrain In recent years, Bahrain has rapidly become a global leader in Islamic finance, playing hosts to the largest concentration of Islamic financial institutions in the Middle East. Bahrain’s emergence as a pre-eminent Islamic financial centre in the Middle East may be attributed to some strategic factors including its strategic location in the Middle East and the Gulf region; it benefits from the critical mass of international banks and other financial institutions operating in the country; and as an international financial centre Bahrain offers a wide range of supporting facilities in the areas of specialised staffing, information and communication technology, legal advice, accounting and auditing needs, office space and facilities. Qatar Islamic finance has gained significant grounds in Qatar as it continues to play a major role in shaping the future of the country’s economy. Qatar’s growth rate for Islamic finance continues to outstrip that of conventional finance. Over the years, Qatar has seen a faster and consistent growth of Islamic finance assets as infrastructure development and the general economy as a whole continues to grow together. Although the continuous decline in oil prices since mid-2014 has taken a toll on the country’s economy, Qatar has best weathered the storm of instability in the global energy markets comparatively better than other GCC countries. Bangladesh Bangladesh is an important jurisdiction for Islamic finance as it is the third largest Muslim country in the world, with a population of 160 million of which 90% are Muslims. The history of Islamic banking and finance in Bangladesh can be traced back to 1974 when Bangladesh signed the Charter of Islamic Development Bank and committed itself to reorganise its economic and financial system as per Islamic principles. As a consequence, the first Islamic bank was established in 1983. Since then, eight more full-fledged private Islamic banks and a number of conventional banks with Islamic banking windows and Islamic branches have been established.

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Part 3: Stars in Islamic Finance Chapter 13 of Part 3 presents the 10 most prominent and influential personalities of the Islamic finance industry, which are spearheading the industry forward. These are leaders who have pioneered leading Islamic financial institutions; who have trail-blazed the development of Islamic finance, and whose ideas and policies have helped shape corporations, governments and economies. These leaders are ranked based on GIFR Influence Index (developed by Cambridge IF Analytica). The Index rank top leaders in Islamic banking and finance on 5 factors, namely, Investment, Advocacy, Intellectual/Thought Leadership, Technical/Professional Contribution and Tenure. Islamic finance has exhibited exciting development over the last three decades to become one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial system. The active and dynamic role manifested by various institutions in promoting the development of Islamic finance in their respective countries and beyond is one of the main drivers in widening the outreach of the Islamic financial services industry. Over the years, many have developed, refined and market innovative Islamic financial instruments as part of their growing expansion strategies. The top 10 most prominent and leading institutions in Islamic banking and finance are featured in Chapter 14 of this report. These are pioneering institutions whose developmental roles have immensely contributed to the development of Islamic finance in their respective markets as well as the global Islamic financial industry. With worldwide acceptance, Islamic financial services are now being offered by more than 1,000 institutions in 75 countries. The personalities and institutions that initiated IBF benefitted from their first-mover advantage and have developed themselves into credible competitors to the existing conventional banks and financial institutions. Similarly, some of the products that were introduced in the early days underwent a process of transformation, evolvement and enhancement and have now become irreplaceable as well as competent when compared to the conventional products. Chapter 15 discusses some of the important products that have contributed to the growth in Islamic banking and finance and are defining the way forward for the industry.

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Part 4: Leading Initiatives in Islamic Finance Part 4 highlights some of the leading initiatives that has taken place in Islamic finance in recent years. Islamic finance has the potential to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals given its principles that support social inclusive and development activities. To this effect, the leadership role of Islamic finance in sustainable development should be merited. Operating in a digital age, Islamic finance cannot escape the fintech revolution. Islamic finance providers need to embrace fintech in order to survive. Customer experience is the name of the game. Customers in the digital age demand digital financial services and fintech has been filling up the gaps. Although fintech has already penetrated the Islamic finance space, it is still in its infancy and has relatively small number of participants. However, it is crucial that the Shari’a fraternity is prepared and willing to embrace fintech. Here, the focus should be on how fintech can be leveraged to enhance Islamic finance and to see how it could facilitate in the growth strategy of Islamic financial institutions. However, the development of fintech in Islamic finance must be backed by a comprehensive body of Shari’a opinions and research works. In this regards, the readiness of Shari’a fraternity to embrace fintech is a crucial element for any Islamic finance jurisdiction to stay in the race of becoming the leader in Islamic finance.

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As China is rebuilding its Silk Road trade links with Asia and Europe, strong ties are expected to cover the world’s main centres of Islamic finance - the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where Shari’a-compliant assets account for as much as a quarter of total banking assets. Since the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to pass through 27 Muslim countries, its potential impacts on the Islamic finance industry cannot be ignored. On top of that, there is huge growth potential of Islamic finance in China given the country’s 1.3 billion population. Even if we take a more cautious and pessimistic view of the demand for Islamic financial services; 2% Chinese Muslim population makes a 26 million untapped market. Shari’a-compliance is the backbone of Islamic banking and finance. It not only gives legitimacy to the practices of Islamic banking and finance, but also boosts the confidence of the shareholders and the public that all the practices and activities are in compliance with Shari’a at all times. The existence of non-Shari’a-compliant element would not just affect the confidence of the public but might also expose Islamic financial institutions to fiduciary and reputational risks. Compliance with the Shari’a principles will be achieved through having a proper Shari’a governance framework in placed.

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BRIEF NOTES

HILOSOPHER

DIARY OF A 32


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BRIEF NOTES

W

hile watching some of the lectures and presentations of Professor Colin Mayer of Oxford University on YouTube, I found a companion in madness. When I subsequently met him at the British Academy over a lunch, organised by Mohamed Amersi, I found him madly passionate about reforming the modern corporation, including financial business. It is after conversations with the likes of Professor Mayer that I have come to believe that banks will eventually kill the true spirit of Islamic finance. In the age of Spiderman, where the weakest home on the planet is associated with the strongest man, it is not inept to expect Islamic bankers to be part of a web that may lead to a world where Islamic banking will eventually cease to exist, first in terms of nomenclature and then in spirit, too. Banking is a costly business, as it is excessively regulated and the bankers spend a lot of resources to ensure that the money they lend is actually returned, along with an excess (which is the interest component prohibited by Islam). Furthermore, bankers don’t really do any real business but rather merely manage money. Given this money management function of banks, they want businesses to behave in a specific way. For example, banks systematically encourage the use of debt and its preference over equity. This results in a business sector, which is heavily leveraged.

In the societies where banking system is highly developed, leverage is a lifestyle. Debt, although permissible in Islam is discouraged. I know some people will remind me of the Quranic verse (the longest verse in the Quran!) that deals with debt and the need for documenting it (The Quran, 2:282). It seems as if the length of the verse has blinded many analysts to argue the importance of debt in Islam and its permissibility. I am not blind though, although I am admittedly mad. The detailed instructions on documentation of debt simply allude to the moral hazard problems associated with debt. Who would know better than the bankers and their regulators about risks associated with lending? Hence, they would like to ensure that all – or almost all – risks associated with loans are minimised. Were bankers capable of doing real business, they wouldn’t have adopted money lending as a profession. But bankers know nothing but moneylending. Hence, they want people to borrow. When they are asked to become partners in businesses they otherwise lend to, they have a couple of excuses, i.e., “we are not allowed to do so” (regulatory constraint); and “we don’t know your business and that we are not able to manage business” (admission of incompetency). The obsession of bankers with risk management results in offering a musharaka-based product with no profit loss sharing, a murabaha-based product where the bank does not

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BRIEF NOTES

actually get involved in trading, and an ijara-based mortgage with no exposure to rental market at all. I am not sure if Islamic bankers enjoy anything in their life but it is obvious that they enjoy English sense of humour. When someone like me objects to such musharaka, murabaha and ijara-based products, they simply say that these are genuine musharakas, murabahas and ijaras, with the only difference that when they call them so they don’t mean it! How would such a debt-based banking model allow Islamic finance to creep in? Islamic banking – wherever it is being practiced – is debt-based in one form or another. So ubiquitous is debt in Islamic banking and finance (IBF) that anyone suggesting to reduce it or replace with an arrangement akin to profit loss sharing (PLS) is pronounced mad. These mad people, however, are predicting death of debt-based Islamic banking and rise of an alternative financial system that will be fairer, more equitable and socially responsible than the current system based on opportunism and exploitation of needs. It will be a huge loss of Muslims if they don’t lead this change. Their example will be like a muazzin who calls for fajr prayer after having been up for tahajjud and falls asleep afterwards to wake up only after everyone has finished fajr prayers and the sun is just about to rise. Islamic finance has certainly heralded a new thinking on the way banking and finance should be reformed. Its emphasis on financial inclusion, honesty, ethical values and concern for the less privileged – at least in theory if not in practice – attracted a lot of attention. Muslims and non-Muslims alike get impressed when someone tells them that Islam prohibits interest-charging and that it advocates equity and equitable distribution of wealth and income. They also like Quranic

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compassion vis-à-vis defaulters. When such people go to Islamic banks, they face the same default penalty charges, and they are asked to sign on a rate of return benchmarked with a market interest-based index. When Islamic bankers are reminded of the Quranic compassion, they come up with a long sermon with eloquence beating that of Martin Luther King ending with, “We are banks and not charitable organisations.” They definitely sound like saying, “My dear friends, the Quranic compassion towards defaulters looks good when wrapped up in a nice cover on the shelf in a mosque, don’t refer to it when you’re dealing with us.” This has maddened a lot of people. This is certainly a huge contribution of Islamic banking towards welfare of Muslims in the life hereafter. After all, these mad people will not be accountable on the Day of Judgement for anything they do after they have been touched by madness. Having said that, IBF still has a huge potential, as aptly evidenced by Global Islamic Finance Report 2017. It contains real analyses based on real statistics, showing that if the things are done in the right way, IBF has a bright future ahead. Diary of a Mad Philosopher shouldn’t be taken seriously, as after all it reflects on thoughts of a mad philosopher. This mad philosopher will one day die the death of an Indian poet called Mir Taqi Mir who is famous for the following couplet: Mir kya sada hain, bimar huway jis kay sabab, Usi attar kay londay sey dawa laitay hain Mir, you are naïve to act on prescription of the son Whose father in fact caused you the ailment


ISFIRE PERSONALITY REPORT

ISLAMIC ISLAMIC FINANCE FINANCE REVIEW REVIEW || APRIL APRIL 2017 2017

DAAN ELFFERS

Founder of the Islamic Reporting Initiative (IRI)

ISFIRE has introduced a number of leaders in Islamic banking and finance (IBF) through its Personality Interviews that are a kind of 60-second rapid fire question-answers. This issue’s Personality Interview introduces someone who is not from the IBF fraternity but his work has immense relevance to the development of Islamic business, including IBF. The Islamic Reporting Initiative (IRI), founded by Daan Elffers, is leading the creation of the world’s first reporting standard for corporate sustainability & social responsibility (CSR) based on Islamic values. Its mission is to enable organisations throughout the world to examine the values that guide their activities and express with clarity and simplicity their contribution to sustainability in society and the environment. The IRI is endorsed by the UN Global Compact Foundation, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and members in more than 50 countries. Daan lives with his family in Cambridge, England. For more information about the IRI, please visit www.islamicreporting.org. With his inclusion in the ISFIRE Personalities Club, he joins a distinguished faculty of Islamic bankers and finance experts, including but not limited to Hasan Bilgrami (CEO of Bank Islami Pakistan), Raja Teh Maimunah (CEO of Hong Leong Islamic Bank), Kashif Naeem (EVP, Bank of Khartoum), and others.

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What was your earliest ambition?

How physically fit are you?

I always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, and cared a lot for environmental issues. Over the years that ambition has become a lot more focused, but I’d say the general direction has remained very much the same.

Not as fit as I’d like to be! I do enjoy running, and my most productive days are definitely those when I go for a run in the early morning. I completed a half-marathon in just under 2 hours twice, and I’ve learnt some martial arts.

What kind of education did you have when you were growing up?

Ambition or talent: which matters more for success?

I had a normal Dutch childhood - going to school, playing the violin, and socialising with friends. The Netherlands as a country is small - and largely below sea level! - very focused on efficiency and water management and even children are aware of that. Furthermore the Dutch are known for managing resources well. There’s no doubt that an early exposure to environmental issues did leave a lasting impact.

Both are of course vitally important to success, but if pressed to choose one, I’d probably put ambition first. The beauty of ambition is that it can be shared, and when it is, the talent required to realise that ambition can be sourced from a whole pool of people. For that reason I’m a massive believer in teamwork, and the power of goals which serve the greater good. I’d really say the secret lies in channeling ambition - by setting clear goals - and meaningfully engaging with others.

Who was your mentor? I think one of of the people who greatly inspired me in my early adulthood was Professor Dr Michael Braungart, wellknown for his circular economy model Cradle to Cradle. Nowadays most people understand the philosophy of the circular and green economy, but back in 2008 this was such a game changer; it really was the initiator of a totally new way of thinking about creating a positive footprint, and doing well by doing good.

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What is the future of Islamic banking and finance in Europe in general and in the UK in particular? I believe that Islamic banking and finance has an opportunity to expand way beyond its current domain and client base. While Islamic banking and finance has traditionally focused predominantly on its Muslim constituents, many of the values which underpin its activities are of course in perfect harmony


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with universal values - delivering fully on the notion of ethical and responsible business. In recent years, Europe and the UK have been strong leaders in this field, and my view is that also their focus on sustainability will only intensify in the future. While staying true to its own unique identity, I believe that Islamic banking and finance - if it chooses to do so - can really take the lead in a much-needed global transition towards business which is values-based.

ISFIRE PERSONALITY REPORT

What drives you? I have been astounded by the amazing support the IRI has received from people all over the world - virtually across every sector. Seeing the great milestones the IRI and its partners have achieved in such a short period of time is really motivating. Most recently, seeing the IRI recognised as one of the leading initiatives in Islamic finance in the 2017 Global Islamic Finance Report published by Cambridge IF Analytica was truly humbling, but also very inspiring.

Your most desired possession? Trick question! It’s not exactly a possession, but it’s definitely the good health, happiness and company of my family and friends.

What are your personal views on Islamic banking and finance? I strongly believe that Islamic banking and finance can create a real legacy for itself by taking a stronger lead in the global movement towards values-based business - across all sectors, worldwide. Islamic banking and finance is inherently all about serving and preserving the best interests of the community, and is therefore a perfect role model for the millions of companies out there today aiming to deliver on sustainability. Everyone understands that when values such as peace, compassion, tolerance, righteousness, human dignity, and environmental stewardship are effectively integrated into the DNA of an organisation, so is sustainability!

In what place are you the happiest? Probably in a quiet place, surrounded by nature - but always when in the company of my family and friends. Home is a great place to start.

What ambitions do you still have? I’d love to see the IRI reach its full potential, because I know how much good it could bring to the world. The UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the OIC’s 2025 Plan of Action provide excellent targets for a safer, cleaner, and fairer world - and the IRI can provide the perfect means for implementation. Considering the fact that Islamic values are already integrated across a full quarter of the world’s countries, the IRI really has the potential to make a fantastic, systemic contribution toward the achievement of these goals. I aspire to do everything I can to support the organisation in achieving this.

What is the greatest achievement of your life so far? I’d say my greatest achievement in life has been to have surrounded myself with great people - many of whom are much smarter than I am! Without the tireless support of our members, advisors, donors, and Trustees, the IRI would still be just a dream.

What has been your greatest disappointment? Seeing the state of the world we’re in today - the poverty, the lack of education and dialogue, the environment.. - I sometimes wonder if we could have initiated the IRI sooner. I feel the support for the IRI would have been there then, too.

If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think? I think he’d be amazed to see the enormous - and very real - potential the IRI has brought to leveraging a massive contribution to society and the environment on a global scale. It is truly an honour to be at the very forefront of such a great movement.

If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score? There’s always room for improvement - you’ve reminded me about fitness, for one! - but overall I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful family, and amazing friends and partners so I’d definitely rank myself on the higher end of that scale. When the IRI’s membership and impact surpasses that of the Global Reporting Initiative, I’ll probably scale it up a notch!

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As part of its social responsibility and to further promote good governance practices across the world, Cambridge IF Analytica held its second Global Good Governance Awards (3G Awards) at Fairmont The Palm Hotel Dubai, UAE, on April 24, 2017. This followed the inaugural 3G Awards held in the historical city of Istanbul (Turkey), a year ago. The choice of Dubai was strategic, in recognition of the UAE’s commitment to the highest levels of corporate governance and transparency. It is hoped that holding of 3G Awards in Dubai will highlight the UAE’s achievements in this area, presenting it as a role model to follow in the region.

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Out of 29 awards presented to individuals, institutions and governments, the UAE bagged 5, including the 3G Philanthropy Award 2017 (for full list of awards for 2016 and 2017, please see the Table). Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, was honoured with the prestigious 3G Philanthropy Award for her royal patronage of Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP). Last year, this award was presented to Her Highness Sheikha Dr. Aisha Bint Faleh Bin Nasser Al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family and a passionate philanthropist.

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Other winners from the UAE include HSBC Middle East Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Bateel, and Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP). Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has emerged as a leading bank in the UAE, not only in terms of its financial progress but also in terms of its deep commitment to social responsibility. ADCB received the 3G CSR Award 2017. Amr Saad Al Menhali, Head of Islamic Banking at ADCB, commented on his bank’s success in the arena of corporate social responsibility (CSR). “The UAE Vision 2021 and the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 both emphasise the importance of investing in our communities. ADCB shares this focus and commitment, and thus as a business, we focus on sustainable growth, looking to foster long-term economic opportunity whilst growing value for our stakeholders in a responsible, ethical and transparent manner. As a responsible corporate citizen, ADCB always endeavours to create strategic partnerships, and invest in significant causes that create positive social and economic outcomes for our customers and communities. This approach recognises that strong financial performance and responsible environmental and social practices work hand in hand to produce sustainable growth.”

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There is a particular focus on the cities in different parts of the world to highlight the role of local governments in adhering to the highest standards of governance. Our last year’s winner of the 3G Best Local Government Award was the city of Istanbul. This year, the Awards Committee picked up the city of Astana as the winner of 3G Best Local Government Award 2017. As part of our due diligence process, the Chairman of 3G Awards, Professor Humayon Dar, visits in person selected nominees to get first hand knowledge of the nominated institutions and individuals. In a visit to Astana, he met with Mr. Asset Issekeshev, Mayor of Astana city, and discussed their nomination in detail. The Awards Committee decided in favour of Astana city for the 3G Best Local Government Award 2017 after a detailed report was presented to it.

2017 Winner

Country

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital & Research Centre

Pakistan

Javed Afridi

Pakistan

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi

Sharjah, UAE

3G Financial Regulation Award

Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK)

Indonesia

3G Governance of Higher Education Award

Higher Education Commission

Pakistan

3G Best Economic Transformation Programme

East Coast Economic Region Development Council

Malaysia

Category

2016 Winner

Country

Top Awards 3G Leadership Award in Government & Politics

H. E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey

Turkey

Islamic Relief Worldwide

UK

3G Leadership Award in Corporate Sector 3G Leadership Award for Social Sector & Philanthropy 3G Peace Award 3G Philanthropy Award

Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh Al Thani

Qatar

Government & Politics

3G Excellence in Higher Education Award

Higher Education Commission

Pakistan

Accounting Research Institute, UiTM

Malaysia

3G Civil Service Award

Dr. Muliaman Hadad

Indonesia

Teten Masduki

Indonesia

3G CSR Award

Novo Nordisc

Norway

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)

Abu Dhabi, UAE

3G Public Sector Reforms Programme Award

PEMANDU for National Transformation Programme

Malaysia

PEMANDU Associates for National Transformation Programme

Malaysia

Higher Education Commission

Pakistan

3G Governance of Higher Education Award

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Category

2016 Winner

ISFIRE REPORT

Country

2017 Winner

Country

Turkey

City of Astana

Kazakhstan

3G Best Corporate Governance Reporting Award

ENEL

Italy

3G Sustainability of Performance Award

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)

The Netherlands

Agrobank

Malaysia

3G Environmental Responsibility Award

Doha Bank

Qatar

3G Best Sustainability Report Award

Soneva

Philippines

Scandic Hotels

Sweden

3G Upcoming Business Award

SalamAir

Oman

3G Product Excellence Award

Fast Cables

Pakistan

3G Social Media Award

AirAsia

Philippines

3G Service Excellence Award for Corporate Sector

Bateel

UAE

Addison & Khan Solicitors

UK

HSBC Middle East Bank

UAE

3G Charity of the Year Award

Save the Children

USA

3G Service Excellence Award for Social Sector & Philanthropy

Friends of Cancer Patients

UAE

The Budimas Charitable Foundation

Malaysia

3G Youth Empowerment Award

Peshawar Zalmi Foundation

Pakistan

3G Special Award for Advocacy of Financial Inclusion

Dato’ Dr. Zubir Harun

Malaysia

Government & Politics 3G Best Local Government Award

City of Istanbul

Corporate Sector

3G Financial Services Award

3G Diversity Award

3G Excellence in Legal Practice Award

Agrobank

Arlanda Express

Addison & Khan Solicitors

Malaysia

Sweden

UK

3G Best CSR Campaign Award Social Sector & Philanthropy

3G Children Welfare Award

PERMATA

Malaysia

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Based on the principles of transparency, social responsibility, sustainability, impact and innovation, the 3G Awards select best of the best individuals and organisations from government & politics, businesses, and social sector & philanthropy. The 3G Awards promote good governance and commitment to social welfare by: Recognizing leadership efforts of individuals, governments, corporations and NGOs in practicing good governance principles in their functioning; Recognizing implementation of innovative practices, programmes and projects that promote the cause of good governance, transparency and social responsibility; and Enthusing governments, corporates and NGOs in focusing on good governance and social responsibility practices. Good governance is key to sustainable development and equitable distribution of income and wealth. It is deemed absolutely imperative to adhere to globally acceptable principles of good governance in government & politics, business and social sector. Given the central focus on good governance and its causal relationship with growth and development as well as fair and equitable distribution of income and wealth, the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project reports aggregate and individual governance indicators for 215 countries. “3G Awards celebrate the success stories in this very important field that must be encouraged and promoted for the present generation and the ones to come in future,� said Professor Humayon Dar, Founder & Chairman of 3G Awards.

Economies, institutions and individuals need to follow governance. It can be called corporate governance for institutions and global governance for economies. Individuals are affected by both corporate governance and global governance due to the links with institutions and economies, respectively. Sustainable development is the key for long-term growth and to promote governance. As part of sustainable development, economies, corporations and individuals need to work on various measures to mitigate climate change. Doha Bank is a responsible corporate citizen and practices Green Banking and will work to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which came into force from beginning of 2016 after adoption of the same at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. Doha Bank has enhanced its corporate governance framework by adopting best practices and in line with regulatory framework. The matters pertaining to Board such as Board related committees, Non Executive Directors, Executive Committee, Conflict of Interest etc. are being addressed in this framework. - Dr. Raghavan Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank

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The Awards Ceremony was attended by a large number of delegates and participating organisations from around the world. The VIP guests included ambassadors, philanthropists and bankers with interest in governance and social responsibility. The attendees represented a wide spectrum, from bankers to manufacturers, men and women, and people from all faith groups. The team of HSBC Middle East Bank (pictured above) is a good example of diversity. HSBC Bank Middle East Bank won the 3G Best CSR Campaign Award 2017.

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In her welcome address, Dr. Sofiza Azmi, CEO of Cambridge IF Analytica said, “The need for good governance and sustainability is being increasingly felt in every sector of social and economic activity across the world. It has compelled many governments, corporations, and non-profit organisations to recognise and attach tremendous importance to good governance in discharging their day-to-day activities.” Reforms of different kinds were a major focus in this year’s 3G Awards. The government of Malaysia’s socio-economic transformation agenda for the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), implemented through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), was recognised as the Best Economic Transformation Programme 2017. PEMANDU Associates, another Malaysian entity was chosen to receive the 3G Best Public Sector Reforms Programme Award 2017, for successfully implementing government of Malaysia’s National Transformation Programme. Malaysia featured significantly with 6 awards. This reflects upon the success of the country in implementing a good governance agenda, in public sector organisations, educational institutions, charitable sector and the private businesses. One of the remarkable success story is Accounting Research Institute (ARI) at the Universiti Teknologi MARA, which has over the years undertaken impressive research projects to promote transparency and good accounting practices in public and private sector organisations. Its work on Islamic financial criminology has earned it numerous awards and accolades. Keeping in view this remarkable success, the 3G Awards Committee adjudged ARI as winner of the 3G Excellence in Higher Education Award 2017. The European businesses and social sector organisations were also represented at the 3G Awards 2017. Most notable of these was ENEL from Italy, which was chosen to receive the 3G Best Corporate Governance Reporting Award 2017. ENEL is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the world’s power and gas markets. ENEL Group operates in over 30 countries across four continents, producing energy through a net installed capacity of approximately 83GW and distributing electricity and gas through a network of over 2 million kilometres. With over 65 million business and household customers worldwide, ENEL has the largest customer base among European competitors. ENEL is the largest integrated utility company in Europe in terms of market capitalisation and figures among Europe’s leading power companies in terms of installed capacity and reported EBITDA. Another prominent European winner was Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), which was presented with the 3G Sustainability of Performance Award 2017. Scandic Hotels received the 3G Diversity Award 2017. This is our second winner from Sweden, following the last year’s winner of the same award, Arlanda Express. Addison & Khan Solicitors were once gain adjudged winners of the 3G Excellence in Legal Practice Award 2017 for their excellent services to the diaspora communities in the UK. Apart from the celebrations, the 3G Awards Ceremonies provide ample opportunities for networking and getting connected with the leading players in the good governance regime. There were four banks (two from the UAE and one from Qatar and Malaysia each), which were honoured for their commitment to good governance and social responsibility. The CEO of Doha Bank, Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank, who is also a prominent champion of good governance and social responsibility, flew from Doha to receive the 3G Environmental Responsibility Award 2017. Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal, Chairman of Agrobank, accompanied his team to receive the 3G Financial Services Award 2017. Leading figures like these from various parts of the world appreciated the opportunity to network, familiarise with the best practices in corporate social responsibility, and learn from each other. For the charitable organisation, the Awards Ceremony was an excellent avenue to get connected with corporates that are a major source of donation to noble causes. In this respect, the organisations like Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre and save the Children successfully showcased their services to attract donations from the philanthropists in attendance. The Budimas Charitable Foundation won the 3G Children Welfare Award 2017. Their video won a big round of applause during the Awards Ceremony.

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The need for good governance and sustainability is being increasingly felt in every sector of social and economic activity across the world, Dr. Sofiza Azmi, CEO of Cambridge IF Analytica, in her welcome address.

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Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, was bestowed the award in recognition of her charitable work in the UAE’s social services sector and for her generous initiatives to reduce the burden of cancer and non-communicable diseases across the world. On receiving the award for Sheikha Jawaher, Sawsan Jafar praised the achievements of FoCP’s Royal Patron and inspirational commitment to philanthropic endeavour, “Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those living with cancer and for their relatives and loved ones who stand beside them with unwavering commitment. “This is the UAE’s Year of Giving and nothing exemplifies selfless generosity than the efforts of everyone involved in FoCP – an organisation headed with such dedication by Sheikha Jawaher, it was an honour to have received this award on behalf of Her Highness,” said Sawsan Jafar.

Her Excellency Sawsan Jaafar, Chairman of Board of Directors of FOCP, receiving the 3G Philanthropy Award 2017, on behalf of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah. Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre won the prestigious top award – 3G Leadership Award for Social Sector & Philanthropy 2017 for service excellence and cancer treatment and research. SKMCH&RC’s Director of Marketing, Tariq Azam, received the award on behalf of his organization. Last year, this award was won by Islamic Relief Worldwide, and the worthy winner for 2017 – SKMCH&RC – received huge applause and standing ovation from the audience. “We are honoured to receive the prestigious 3G Leadership Award for Social Sector & Philanthropy 2017,” said Dr. Faisal Sultan, CEO of SKMCH&RC. “Ours is a story of success of the collective will of the people of Pakistan and affirmation of some of the greatest positives of our society.” The SKMCH&RC has continued to provide financially supported cancer treatment to over 75% of its patients over the least 22 years.

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The 3G Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 was presented to Tan Sri Mohamed Zabidi Zainal for his excellent and path-breaking contributions to bringing reforms in the civil services in Malaysia.

The 3G Best Public Sector Reforms Programme Award 2017 was presented to National Transformation Programme of the Government of Malaysia, and the award was received by PEMANDU Associates on behalf of the winner.

PEMANDU Associates emerged as a private sector company from the Performance Management & Delivery Unit set up by the Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia to enhance productivity and efficiency of the departments and ministries to deliver their duties in accordance with national planning. It was a successful exercise that was showcased to a number of governments in Asia and Africa, which are now PEMANDU’s clients. “Winning the 3G Best Public Sector Reforms Programme two years in a row is indeed testament of the continued dedication, commitment and kard work of the Malaysia civil service led by our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” said a buyonat Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, President & CEO of PEMANDU Associates.

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In the doom and gloom that has encompassed Pakistan, Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan brought smiles on the faces of fellow countrymen by bagging the prestigious 3G Governance of Higher Education Award 2017. Chairman, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, deserves due appreciation for his leadership role in this respect. Congratulations HEC! His team comprises individuals of highest calibre, including the likes of Professor Dr. Mahmood ul Hasan Butt and Dr. Arshad Ali (seen in the picture receiving the award). “I am confident that the aspirational vision of HEC will set the stage for further consolidation and improvement of tertiary education over the next decade and help Pakistan become an intellectually, morally and educationally progressive country with a flourishing knowledge-based economy,� said Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of HEC in a recorded interview played during the Awards Ceremony.

The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) was the proud winner of the 3G Best Economic Transformation Programme Award 2017. The award was received by Datuk Sri Jebasingam Issace John, CEO of ECERDC along with his team. The team at ECERDC and Datuk Sri Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, deserve the due appreciation. Well done ECERDC!!!

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TWO PROUD 3G WINNERS TAN SRI MOHAMAD ZABIDI ZAINAL (LEFT) AND DATO’ SRI JEBASINGAM ISSACE JOHN (RIGHT)

Professor Normah Omar, Director of Accounting Research Institute (ARI) receiving the 3G Excellence in Higher Education Award 2017 from Dr. Tariq Cheema, Founder and Chairman of Global Donors Forum.

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ENEL was adjudged to win the 3G Best Corporate Governance Reporting Award 2017. The award was received by Luca Meini, Head of Environmental Policies, Innovation & Sustainability.

Barrister Gul Nawaz Khan, Principal of Addison & Khan Solicitors, receiving the 3G Excellence in Legal Practice Award 2017.

“This 3G Award is testament to the excellent work we do for our clients in the UK while adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards,” said Barrister Gul Nawaz Khan. “We are committed to providing the best quality of advice through a team of market-leading experts with deep experience and industry knowledge. We are very pleased to continue to receive this recognition for our dedication to providing a first class and innovative service.”

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The 3G CSR Award 2017 was bestowed upon ADCB for its excellent track record of social responsibility and serving communities. The award was received by Dr. Majdi Abd El Muhdi, Head of Corporate Communications.

Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank, received the 3G Environmental Responsibility Award 2017 on behalf of his bank.

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The 3G wall was a popular spot for individual and group photos. Everyone was eager to capture the space in front of the wall.

ALL THE PROUD LADIES AT

THE 3G AWARDS

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The Budimas Charitable Foundation received the 3G Children Welfare Award 2017. The award was presented by Mohamed Amersi (in the blue-suit) to Eric Ng.

The 3G Service Excellence Award for Social Sector and Philanthropy 2017 was received by Her Excellency Sawsan Jaafar on behalf of the Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP).

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Save the Children was named as the Charity of the Year 2017, and the award was picked up by Soha Ellaithy on behalf of the winner.

Kelly Alison with her colleagues at Bateel as the proud winners of the 3G Service Excellence Award in Corporate Sector 2017.

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Fast Cables is a family-run business manufacturing high-voltage cables and conductors that have been used in a number of projects of national significance in Pakistan. In a span of two decades, the company has emerged as a major player in the national economy of Pakistan. The 3G Product Excellence Award 2017 was received by Kamal M Amjad Mian on behalf of the company.

SalamAir won the 3G Upcoming Business Award 2017, and the award was received by Francois Bouteiller, CEO of SalamAir.

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Agrobank received the 3G Financial Services Award 2017 second time in a row, and the award was received by Jasni Mohamed Yusof, Chief Credit Officer, witnessed by Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal, Chairman of Agrobank.

HSBC Middle East Bank was the proud winner of the 3G Best CSR Campaign Award 2017, and the award was received by Dana Kamali.

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There were two award winners from Indonesia. Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK) won the 3G Financial Regulation Award 2017. Mr. Teten Masduki, a social activist and currently serving as Chief of Staff at the Office of the President of Indonesia, was honoured with the 3G Civil Service Award 2017. AirAsia was another winner from the Far East winning the 3G Social Media Award 2017 for their excellent social media campaigns during 2016. The 3G Best Sustainability Report Award 2017 was won by Soneva, headquartered in Philippines and having its hotels and resorts in Maldives and the region. A brand new category of awards was created this year to honour the works of Javed Afridi, CEO of Heier Pakistan and owner of Peshawar Zalmi team as part of Pakistan Super League (PSL). Javed Afridi has played an instrumental role in promoting peace in the tribal areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan, through promotion of sports amongst the youth. He was honoured with the 3G Peace Award 2017. Peshawar Zalmi Foundation also received the 3G Youth Empowerment Award 2017.

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The 3G Special Award for Advocacy of Financial Inclusion 2017 was presented to Dato’ Dr. Zubir Harun, Executive Chairman of Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) for his huge contribution to financial inclusion and women empowerment in his country. The award was presented by Mohammed Amersi (in blue suit), Chairman of Amersi Foundation.

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“All praise to Allah, Alhamdulillah, as with His grace and infinite wisdom has allowed me to receive the 3G Special Award for Advocacy of Financial Inclusion 2017. This award recognizes the efforts that microfinance institutions make in prioritizing and elevating community wellbeing to soaring heights. It is my greatest pleasure to have the opportunity to work with target groups and make a difference in every way that I can. It is a collective effort from every AIM employee working closely with Sahabat to achieve inspirational and life-changing accomplishments. Thank you Global Good Governance for your concerted efforts in recognizing achievements within the Islamic financial ecosystem worldwide.�

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PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

WOMEN IN

IBF Women excel in multi-tasking, which is an absolute requirement in IBF wherein employees must be willing to do a lot of things at a time to promote this nascent industry. Professional women also take their jobs more seriously than men.

Professor Humayon Dar

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There are a number of very distinguished women in the Islamic financial services industry, who have contributed significantly to the development of IBF. Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) 2016 acknowledged the leadership role of women in IBF by way of presenting its Islamic Banking and Finance Personality of the Year Award to Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz, then CEO of Hong Leong Islamic Bank and now CEO of AmBank Investment Bank, a woman who has been a role model for hundreds of women around the world, aspiring to be a successful Islamic banker like her. However, it is also true that Islamic financial services industry has not employed as many women as their number and proportion in the global and national populations otherwise demand. Apart from in Malaysia, Islamic banks and financial institutions around the world have failed to employ women equitably. In Pakistan, for example, there is not even a single woman employed in a position of significance by any Islamic bank or a conventional bank offering Islamic financial services. Admittedly, some women are found employed here and there on branch levels. The story is not dissimilar in the GCC and other Arab and non-Arab countries. Saudi Arabia, for example, is a black hole when it comes to women employment in IBF. Even in more open countries like the UAE, women employment is not encouraging at all.

PAUSE FOR CURRENT ARTICLE THOUGHT

There are a number of reasons for poor representation of women in the workforce of Islamic banks and financial institutions. Some of these are listed below: Pre-conceived ideas on the role of women in the society: For example, in Saudi Arabia, gender segregation is entrenched as part of the culture. Thus, empowering women through IBF is not straightforward. Historically, low interest of women in banking and finance: Women in Muslim societies have until recently been interested and involved in teaching and medical professions, and banking and finance has been one of the least preferred choice by them. Dress code and certain requirements for social behaviour have also been a reason for women’s lack of interest in working for Islamic banks and financial institutions. Islamic financial services industry has failed to devise a strategy to benefit from female labour force. Lack of policy and initiatives for women empowerment and board-level representation is a norm business and the corporate sector in the Muslim countries and Islamic banks operating in such environments are not an exception.

The above five factors that contribute to low-level representation of women in IBF is by no means due to any kind of systematic discrimination against women in the Islamic financial services industry. But it is not sufficient to state that. There is still merit in asking the decision-makers in the industry to pause for a while and just think why they have failed to employ more women, especially in strategic roles, and what could they do to improve the situation. It is certainly not a good advice to suggest womanisation of IBF, as this might prove to be counter-productive and even bad for the women in the long-run. However, it is only fair to argue for creation of a level-playing field female works force in Islamic banks and financial institutions. Slightly more favourable policies benefitting women are expected to drive out the men from the industry altogether. For example, if women within an Islamic bank are allowed to create exclusively female working groups (and hire the female only) to compete with their male counterparts, it is almost certain that women will outpace men in terms of cost efficiency and profitability1. 1. Female branches, in Saudi Arabia, are not unique to Islamic banks, as bot Islamic and conventional banks have opted for opening dedicated branches for the female.

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LEADERSHIP

IN ISLAMIC

FINANCE WHERE DO WOMEN STAND?

It may be easier for women to excel in IBF. Perceiving or portraying IBF to be anti-women is at best primitive thinking. The industry has in many cases endogenised cultural sensitivities of non-Muslim female personnel to ensure that they are provided with a level-playing field. 66

In the April 2016 issue of ISFIRE, we reported results of a global survey on women participation in the workforce in Islamic banking and finance (IBF). Cambridge IF Analytica has repeated the exercise this year again to see if there have been any movements in the state of affairs of women participation in the economic activity related with IBF. Although the results are not significantly different from the last year’s survey, it is still instructive to report a summary of results in this issue of ISFIRE, which has a special focus on Muslim women in business and finance. A loud and clear message that comes out of this survey and the one we conducted last year is that there is no systematic evidence of discrimination against women when it comes to employment opportunities. On the contrary, the industry offers ample opportunities to smart and intelligent women.


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In fact, it may be easier for women to excel in IBF. Perceiving or portraying IBF to be anti-women is at best primitive thinking. The industry has in many cases endogenised cultural sensitivities of non-Muslim female personnel to ensure that they are provided with a level-playing field.

objective was to explore and analyse female employment and gender inequality in IBF. We asked just one question through an online survey through social media. There were in total 9,089 responses in total, from 35 countries of the world. The questions asked was: Why has there been low female employment in IBF?

SURVEY ON FEMALE EMPLOYMENT IN IBF

It was a 2-step survey. First, last year we asked an open-ended question in which 500 respondents took part. Based on their responses, we picked up the five most cited responses for low participation of women in an IBF profession. In step 2, we asked a close-ended question:

This year’s survey was conducted by Cambridge IF Analytica, as the ownership of the project changed from Edbiz Consulting that was responsible for survey and analysis last year. An

Why hashas there been observed low female in IBF? Why there been observed lowemployment female employment in IBF? 1

1

2 3

3 4

6

Female participation in labour force is low

Banking and finance in not a popular profession among women

2

5

Female participation in labour force is low

4 5

6

Banking and finance in not a popular profession among women Banking and finance is male dominated (and hence intimidated for women)

Banking and finance is male dominated

hence for women) In Islamic(and banks, dressintimidated code and other social requirements are more stringent for women In Islamic banks, dress code and other social requirements are more stringent for women Islamic qualifications are not readily available Any other Islamic qualifications are not readily available (please specify)

Any other (please specify)

A loud and clear message that comes out of this survey and the one we conducted last year is that there is no systematic evidence of discrimination against women when it comes to employment opportunities. On the contrary, the industry offers ample opportunities to smart and intelligent women. 67


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This year’s survey results confirm that the observed low female employment in IBF is not due to any systematic bias against women but it is rather owing to some other socio-economic factors. The main reason is the low female participation in the labour force, as suggested by nearly one-third of the

respondents taking part in the global poll (31% this year, following 33% last year). Moreover, women themselves do not prefer banking and finance, in general, as a viable profession for them.

GLOBAL SAMPLE

MALE

9,089

MALAYSIA

475

FEMALE

426

901

EMPLOYEES

NON-EMPLOYEES

503

NON-EMPLOYEES

EMPLOYEES

4,302

4,787

415

MALE

369

398

FEMALE

MALE

134

106

FEMALE

292

1,587 FEMALE

2,002

Male dominance in banking and finance (including IBF), dress code for women, and lack of availability of suitable academic and professional qualifications are major barriers to entry for

women in IBF. These three factors collectively account for 38% of the reasons for low participation of women in IBF (Figure 1).

FIGURE 1: Global Poll 2017: Why has there been low female participation in IBF?

8% 4%

11%

19% 68

2016

1

31%

27%

7% 6%

10%

16%

33%

28%


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However, those working in financial institutions put less emphasis on the barriers to entry, as evidenced by the response of the respondents who are currently in the financial services industry. 81% respondents say that low female participation in the labour force and women’s own preference away from financial services are main reasons for the low employment of women in the sector (see Figure 2). This is obviously a view against 63% of those not working in financial sector (including those out of jobs), who consider the above-

mentioned barriers to entry as the main reasons for lack of employment of women in IBF (see Figure 3). Women believe even more that there are real barriers to entry for them (68%), as shown in Figure 4. More than a half of the respondents (56%) from Malaysia are of the opinion that barriers to entry exist for women participation in IBF (Figure 5).

FIGURE 2: Global Poll 2017 (Employees only) : Why has there been low female participation in IBF?

7% 3%

9%

39%

2016 3% 3%

42% 2

6%

7%

46% 35%

LEGEND: Female participation in labour force is low

Banking and finance is not a popular profession among women

Banking and finance is male dominant (and hence intimidating for women)

In Islamic banks, dress code and other social requirements are more stringent for women

Islamic banking qualifications are not readily available

Others

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FIGURE 3: Global Poll 2017 (Non-Employees) : Why has there been low female participation in IBF?

11%

8%

17% 12%

17%

2016

8%

19% 14% 20% 10%

29%

35%

FIGURE 4: Global Poll 2017 (Female) : Why has there been low female participation in IBF?

11%

20%

3%

19% 10%

37%

70

2016

9% 5% 17%

15%

35%

19%


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FIGURE 5: Global Poll 2017 (Malaysia versus Global) : Why has there been low female participation in IBF? 0.35

31%

0.3 0.25 0.2 0.15

28%27% 22%

19%

16% 12% 11%

0.1

12% 8%

10%

0.05

4%

0 Female participation in labour Force is Low

Banking and finance is not a popular profession among women

Banking and finance is male dominant (and hence intimidating for women)

Malaysia 35%

Islamic banking qualifications are not readily available

Others

Global

33%

30%

28%

25% 20%

In Islamic banks, dress code and other social requirements are more stringent for women

25% 18%

21% 17%

16%

15%

9% 10%

10%

7%

5%

10%

8%

0% Female participation in labour Force is Low

Banking and finance is not a popular profession among women

Banking and finance is male dominant (and hence intimidating for women)

These results clearly suggest that there are barriers to entry into IBF, however, the factors responsible for women-specific barriers to entry must further be scrutinised. Out of the above five responses, only 3 & 4 imply real barriers to entry into IBF for women. An overwhelming majority of respondents in the global sample rejected the hypothesis that there are real and credible barriers to entry into IBF for women. Less than the one-third of respondents recognised these barriers. Employees of banks and financial institutions do not believe that women have faced any kind of discrimination in matters related with employment and human resource development. If this view is correct, then the question arises why women are not interested in working for Islamic financial institutions. There seems to be two biases evident from the responses: [1] an Arrogance Effect; and [2] a Grudge Effect. Those who

In Islamic banks, dress code and other social requirements are more stringent for women

Islamic banking qualifications are not readily available

Others

are already in employment with a financial institution tend to blame the outsiders for not being able to get a job with a bank or a financial institution. They tend to ignore some factors (other than qualifications and ability) that may adversely affect prospects of employment for those who are seeking jobs in financial institutions, including Islamic banks. We call it Arrogance effect. The Grudge Effect, on the other hand side, is exhibited by the responses of those who considered themselves to be in an unprivileged or disadvantaged situation, i.e., those not working for Islamic financial institutions, the unemployed and the female in our sample. We conclude this report by asserting that there is no evidence of any systematic evidence of discrimination against women in IBF and that there are no credible barriers to entry for women into IBF. However, there is a need to encourage more representation of women in IBF.

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A Special Report on Women in Business and Islamic Finance It is not surprising to read demographic statistics to find out that men and women have maintained their composition mix around the median point for most of the known history. The demographic equality has not necessarily reflected itself in the equal socio-economic opportunities for men and women, as the latter have historically been grossly under-represented in the positions of power, or professions and other work places. While this has not been a cause of concern in most part of the human history, the modern world has seen a number of movements asserting the feminine claim on positions of prominence and power in government & politics, business and even in professions that have traditionally been dominated by the masculine gender (e.g., the armed forces). Islamic history cannot claim to be distinct in respect of relatively marginal role of women in socio-economic activities. However, those familiar with the works of Muhammad Akram Nadwi on the role and contribution of women in the teaching of hadith must be aware of the large number of Muslim women who participated in the Islamic tradition of learning and teaching throughout the entire history of Islam. Aisha bint Abu Bakr, wife of the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him), was the first recognised women teacher of hadith, who narrated 2,210 hadiths of the Prophet. A number of renowned scholars such as Fakruddin Ar-Razi and Ibn Taymiyya can boast of having female teachers whom they learned from. But it was not only in education that women have played a salutary role.

ISFIRE SPECIAL REPORT

The socio-economic histories of Islamic societies show the important roles that women played. Waqfs have been rightly praised for their role in allocation of resources government has failed to provide. They were a common feature of major cities in the Islamic world. Research has shown that by the 18th century, 30-50 % waqf founders were women. It is arguably a recent phenomenon, following the colonialisation of Muslim countries, that Muslim women have become less visible in the market and academia. With the rise of Islamic finance, women have once again started assuming important positions, including CEOs and heads of divisions in different banks and financial institutions. More importantly, Islamic banking and finance (IBF) offers stellar opportunities for women to get involved in Shari’a advisory and fatwa issuance. This is an important contribution of Islamic finance to the empowerment of women. The more publicised and highly controversial approaches (e.g., Amina Wadud, an AfricanAmerican Islamic scholar, who started leading Friday prayers in 2005) to highlight women rights in Islamic communities have backfired. A less confrontational approach is to rise in one’s profession, and there is no doubt that Islamic finance provides a way. We selected five women whose contribution to the Islamic financial services industry is noteworthy. The distinguished five women are those who have served with influence and implications for global Islamic financial services industry. We are also reporting 10 other leading women drawn from academia, research and policy, banking & finance, Islamic law and IT.

Malaysia is an attractive place for women. Wherever one goes in the country every
other thing is variable except the fact that women are ubiquitous in all strata of the society. From schools, colleges to universities – from junior lecturers to rectors and vice chancellors – from banks to public sector organisations and even private businesses. In the last case – business – women are still not so much visible as owners but it is perhaps a matter of choice and not a result of some deliberate discrimination or misogyny. Women are not that much disadvantaged in other parts of the Muslim world either, as some people in the West may believe, owing to the negative perception relayed by media. There are numerous examples of women leadership the Muslim countries in politics, media, philanthropy, education, banking and finance and other forms of business. Even in countries like Iran and Sudan, which have been under huge scrutiny of the West and under a sort of media trial, women participation in economic activities is much better than the commonly held views in the West. Female empowerment in the financial sector has improved in Malaysia under the leadership of Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Governor of the central bank, and there is a need to study the Malaysian model to encourage and promote a larger female labour force in the banking sectors of other countries. This will not only bring more and better economic opportunities for women in the banking sector but can push female wages up in other sectors, especially in education. Thus, through Islamic banking, a number of countries can achieve the goal of women empowerment, which is deemed politically correct in the current international geo-political environment.

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DR. SAWSAN AL MADHI MANAGING DIRECTOR, FRIENDS OF CANCER PATIENTS SOCIETY, THE UAE Dr. Sawsan A. S. Al Madhi has more than 14 years of progressive leadership skills and experience in strategy, operations and administration for the not-profit charitable sector. Currently working with one of the most reputable charities in the UAE, as the Director General for Friends of Cancer Patients, Dr. Sawsan’s role is to supervise the continuing refinement and expansion of the organizational objectives, which include, providing high quality services, organizing fundraising activities, developing, planning and executing nationwide awareness programmes and campaigns through collaboration with a vast network of national and international, governmental and private sector organizations. Dr. Al Madhi is also a renowned public speaker in many areas including the future of nonprofit, CSR and sustainability, gender balance, women and leadership. Dr. Al Madhi also focuses on women’s health and constantly highlighting this topic in her frequent educational lectures, workshops, and panel discussions. Dr. Al Madhi is an Internal Medicine specialist, Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine (London), and a registered doctor with the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom. Her clinical and medical expertise is based on working at the Dubai Health Authority (Dubai- UAE) and at the Ministry of Health (Sharjah-UAE). She also holds a Honour-class Master’s degree in Healthcare Management from the Institute of Leadership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. Having medical, non-profit and international expertise, Dr. Al Madhi strives to achieve excellence, sustainability, and attain results in the non-profit sector especially the non-profits working within health related matters and sectors. In addition, Dr. Al Madhi is an active member of a number of panels and boards including the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, the UAE Chapter, Alumina board, the Breast Cancer awareness programme committee (Ministry of Health (MoH), Sharjah), the National Committee for Cancer Control (NICC, MoH, UAE), the Clinical Research Ethical Committee (Sharjah, UAE), the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control Scientific Committee, the UAE and Executive Committee for the Middle East Partnership for Women’s Health, Cancer Control and Research, Steering Committee Member of Cancer Advocacy Leader’s Alliance in Middle East & Africa (CALAMEA), Faculty Member of the Institute of Cancer Policy, UK, to name a few. Venturing into the Academic and Research platform Dr. Al Madhi is currently a visiting lecturer on Healthcare Management, Public Health, International Health Policy, Health Education and Promotion, Healthcare process, Health Care Systems, and Patients Care in one of the most prestigious academic institutions in UAE, i.e., the Canadian University in Dubai. Dr. Al Madhi with her forward thinking, problem solving, creative and results oriented approach can propel organizations towards achieving goals and supporting its multifaceted needs in the philanthropy sector.

This ISFIRE Special Report on women in Islamic business and finance lists at least 50 women who either have already become influential in IBF or have potential to play a significant role in the development of the industry. The ALL TIME List includes 5 leading women (Green and Blue Boxes) out of whom two (Blue Boxes) also feature in the 2017 List of 10 leading women at present (Grey Boxes). The last two represent a new breed of young ladies who have potential to become leaders in IBF (White Boxes). The employment rate amongst women in the Arab world has been far less than for men, although lately the figure has started improving for some countries. Overall, there is no systematic evidence that women are employed less in the Muslim countries. In fact, Tanzania stands third in terms of percentage of economically active women aged 15+ (86%), only behind Burundi (91%) and Rwanda (87%). The lowest percentage of economically active 15+ women is for Iraq (14%), for the reasons commonly known, i.e., the war and internal conflict lately. Corresponding figure for Malaysia is 44%. Needless to say that there is no statistically significant relationship between economically active women and economic development. Women empowerment may lead to economic development, and vice versa. This has been subject of a number of studies, without any conclusive evidence1 . 1

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Esther Duflow (2012) Women Empowerment and Economic Development. Journal of Economic Literature, 2012, 50(4), p. 1051-79.


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NUMBER ONE (01/ALL TIME) DR. ZETI AKHTAR AZIZ – FORMER GOVERNOR OF BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA (MALAYSIA) Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s Number One position on the All Time list will remain unchallenged for a very long time to come. As Governor of BNM, she not only developed the most rigorous regulatory framework for Islamic banking and takaful in the world, but also championed the cause of IBF through her numerous engagements in multilateral organisations. During her long tenure as Governor, she oversaw a number of regulatory developments and public sector reforms programmes to deepen Islamic financial markets in the country. She was the main architect behind the establishment of International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA), two institutions of immense importance for human resource development for the global Islamic financial services industry and for applied Shari’a research for banking and finance, respectively. Setting up of Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) was another hugely important step taken by Malaysia under dynamic leadership of Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz. She was also instrumental in the successful bid of Malaysia to host Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), which was set up in 2002, with its secretariat based on the premises of BNM. International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILMC) is another pioneering project that was successfully launched by Malaysians under close supervision of Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz. The most important development during her stint as Governor was the promulgation of Islamic Financial Services Act (IFSA), which benefited extensively from the feedback from BNM. Whether it was advocacy role or a regulatory function, Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz was on the forefront of all the developments in the field of IBF in Malaysia. It is not to exaggerate that no successor to her at BNM, whether a man or another woman, will be able to emulate for a very long time what Governor Zeti undertook between 2000 and 2016. A strong, vibrant and deep-rooted Islamic banking and takaful sector in Malaysia will remain her legacy.

This Special ISFIRE Report, however, is not just about economically active Muslim women; rather it focuses on leading Muslim women in business and finance, with a special reference to Islamic banking and finance (IBF). The Report is equally not about the richest Muslim women in the world, as their story is at best that of being fortunate in terms of their birth rights or the marital opportunities that led them to the world of richness. The women covered in this Report have an interesting story to tell, to inspire millions of other women who are progressing on their career ladders.

NUMBER 2 (02/ALL TIME) & NUMBER ONE (01/2017) STELLA COX - CEO & MANAGING DIRECTOR OF DDCAP GROUP (UK) Stella Cox has played a pivotal role in the field of Islamic liquidity management since the time when there were not very many tools available to do so. The execution of the much talked about commodity murabaha structure was not possible had this been not Stella’s practical efforts and visionary approach in making DDCAP a key player in the Islamic financial services industry. She has championed the cause of IBF on the industry level and beyond. Her advocacy role in academia and her engagement with regulators, especially the UK Government, have tremendously helped IBF. She deserves to capture Number One position as the most influential woman in IBF in 2016-17.

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6 Muslim women made the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list. Only two of them were businesswomen though, while the third was Managing Director of the World Bank. The two businesswomen – Lubna Olayan, a Saudi national, and Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg – are both Arabs, an interesting fact, given that out of nearly 1 billion Muslim women in the world the two top businesswomen happen to come from a geographical area that otherwise is in general perceived to be less favourable to female entrepreneurship. The Arab women are increasingly becoming influential in social sector & philanthropy (see Box on Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi as an example).

NUMBER 3 (03/ALL TIME) & NUMBER 4 (04/2017) PROFESSOR DR. ENGKU RABIAH ADAWIAH ALI - PROFESSOR AT IIUM INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC FINANCE (MALAYSIA) Professor Dr. Engku Rabiah’s most significant contribution to IBF is her mentoring for dozens of women, in Malaysia and elsewhere, who themselves have become influential leaders in IBF. If Professor Engku Rabiah had not played the role of an anchor and mentor, we wouldn’t have had as many Malaysian women leaders on the list of 50 leading women in IBF. Dr. Engku Rabiah Ali is perhaps the most influential woman jurist today. She has inspired a new generation of female jurists to get actively involved in IBF. Dr. Engku Rabiah is a member of the Shari’a Council of Bank Negara Malaysia, the apex body of jurists who make rules for Islamic banking and insurance in the country. As a regular speaker at conferences around the world, she has become an influential thought leader in the Islamic financial services industry.

NUMBER 4 (04/ALL TIME) RAJA TEH MAIMUNAH RAJA ABDUL AZIZ – CEO OF AMINVESTMENT BANK (MALAYSIA) Former CEO of Hong Leong Islamic Bank, Raja Teh has now moved to a bigger role as CEO of AmInvestment Bank where she plans to play even a bigger role in the development of Islamic investment products and services from a bigger platform. The winner of the coveted “Islamic Banking & Finance Personality of the Year” award at Global Islamic Finance Awards 2016 serves as a mentor for hundreds of young professional ladies not only in Islamic banking and finance but also across professions. With wide ranging experience of banking and finance, which also includes investment banking and capital markets, both in Malaysia and the overseas, Raja Teh is a role model to emulate for those young ladies who would like to have a successful career in IBF.

Notwithstanding the above discussion, it is pleasing to note that IBF has empowered Muslim women in different parts of the Muslim world. Today, Muslim women are serving as CEOs of Islamic banks and other Islamic financial institutions (i.e., asset management companies). In Malaysia, a number of female Shari’a advisors sit on Shari’a Council of Bank Negara Malaysia (the central bank) and other Islamic financial institutions. A number of Islamic consultancy firms have female CEOs, including Edbiz Consulting in London.

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NUMBER 5 (05/ALL TIME) FARMIDA BI - EUROPEAN HEAD OF ISLAMIC FINANCE AT NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT (UK) Farmida Bi is Head of Islamic Finance - Europe at Norton Rose Fulbright, and is the only female named as a “leading individual’ for Islamic finance in Chamber UK 2016. She has worked on a number of milestone Islamic financial transactions, including, but not limited to, Goldman Sachs US$500 million debut sukuk, the Tamweel securitisation (recognised as the first Islamic true securitisation, and the first UK sukuk, and other, namely, the Innovative Technologies Sukuk. She is a regular speaker on topics related with IBF, and supports causes related with female inclusion in the labour force for IBF.

Outside Malaysia, women have played virtually no role at all in the Shari’a advisory side of the Islamic banking. Almost all Islamic banks and other conventional banks with Islamic banking sections have employed male graduates of different universities as their Shari’a advisors. While this has worked well for the banks, there is a need to bring women into this sector as well. Arguably, the International Islamic University Islamabad and International Islamic University Malaysia can play a role in developing a new breed of female graduates of Shari’a and law, who can serve as Shari’a advisors at the banks offering Islamic financial services. It is encouraging to observe that IBF does not discriminate against non-Muslim women either, as some of the leading personalities in the industry happen to be non-Muslim ladies. A prime example of such influential ladies is Stell Cox (featured as Number One on the list of Powerful Women in Islamic Finance for the year 2017, and overall rated as Number 2 to Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz on the ALL TIME list). Other non-Muslim women with an influential role in the industry include the late Navine Loutfi (former CEO of ADIB Egypt), Baljeet Kaur Grewal (former CEO of KFH Research) and Priya Oberoi (now running a private placement business after a successful legal career, including structuring of sophisticated Islamic financial products).

The 50 List: 50 Influential Women in Islamic Business & Finance Dr. Aida Othman

Prtner, Zaid Ibrahim & Co.

Malaysia

Dr. Aishath Muneeza

Former Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Maldives

Maldives

Alfiya Salikhova

Alfiya AIFC

Kazakhstan

Assel Gilmanova

AIFC

Kazakhstan

Aziza Yerlaeva

CIBAFI

Uzbekistan

Dr. Azura Othman

CEO, CIIF

Malaysia

Bushra Shafique

State Bank of Pakistan

Pakistan

Camille Silla Paldi

CEO of FAAIF

USA

Professor Dr. Engku Rabiah Adawiah Ali

International Islamic University Malaysia

Malaysia

Fara Mohammad

Director of Islamic Finance, Foot Anstey

Malaysia

Farmida Bi

European Head of Islamic Finance, Norton Rose Fullbright

UK

Fatima Qasimi

CEO, Aseel Islamic Finance

UAE

Fozia Amanullah

CEO, Alliance Islamic Bank

Malaysia

Haliza Abd Rahim

Legal Counsel, Arabesque Asset Management

UK/Malaysia

Dr. Hurriya El Islamy

AAOIFI

Malaysia/Indonesia

Dr. Irum Saba

Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

Pakistan

Dr. Irwani Abdullah

International Islamic University Malaysia

Malaysia

Jamilah Jamaluddin

Former CEO, KFH Malaysia

Malaysia

Dr. Karen Hunt Ahmed

Northwestern University

USA

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Aziza Yerlaeva

CIBAFI

Uzbekistan

Dr. Azura Othman

CEO, CIIF

Malaysia

Bushra Shafique

State Bank of Pakistan

ISFIRE SPECIALCamille Silla Paldi REPORTProfessor Dr. Engku Rabiah Adawiah Ali

CEO of FAAIF

Pakistan

ISLAMIC FINANCE REVIEW | APRIL 2017 USA

International Islamic University Malaysia

Malaysia

Fara Mohammad

Director of Islamic Finance, Foot Anstey

Malaysia

Farmida Bi

European Head of Islamic Finance, Norton Rose Fullbright

UK

Fatima Qasimi

CEO, Aseel Islamic Finance

UAE

The 50 List: 50 Influential Women in Islamic Business & Finance Fozia Amanullah

CEO, Alliance Islamic Bank

Malaysia

Haliza Abd Rahim

Legal Counsel, Arabesque Asset Management

UK/Malaysia

Dr. Hurriya El Islamy

AAOIFI

Malaysia/Indonesia

Dr. Dr. Aida Irum Othman Saba

Prtner, Zaid Ibrahim &Administration, Co. Institute of Business Karachi

Malaysia Pakistan

Dr. Aishath Muneeza Dr. Irwani Abdullah

Former Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Maldives International Islamic University Malaysia

Maldives Malaysia

Alfiya Salikhova Jamilah Jamaluddin

Alfiya AIFC Former CEO, KFH Malaysia

Kazakhstan Malaysia

Assel Gilmanova Dr. Karen Hunt Ahmed

AIFC Northwestern University

Kazakhstan USA

Aziza Yerlaeva Kuralay Yeldesbay

CIBAFI Astana International Financial Centre

Uzbekistan Kazakhstan

Dr. Azura Othman Luci Irawati

CEO, CIIF Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK)

Malaysia Indonesia

Bushra Shafique Madina Kalimullina

State Bank of Pakistan Moscow Halal Expo

Pakistan Russia

Camille Silla Paldi Dr. Marjan Muhammad

CEO of FAAIF ISRA

USA Malaysia

Professor Dr. Engku Rabiah Adawiah Ali Maya Marissa Malek

International Islamic University Malaysia Managing Director, Amanie Advisors LLC

Malaysia UAE/Malaysia

Fara Mohammad Maznah Mahboob

Director of Islamic Finance, Foot Anstey CEO, Amlnvest Asset Management

Malaysia Malaysia

Farmida Bi Najwa Jabri

European Head of Islamic Finance, Norton Rose Fullbright Gulf African Bank

UK Kenya

Fatima Qasimi Nighat Tanvir

CEO, Aseel Islamic Finance State Bank of Pakistan

UAE Pakistan

Fozia Amanullah Noor Odeh

CEO, Alliance Islamic Bank Independent Consultant

Malaysia Canada

Haliza Abd Rahim Nora Tahir

Legal Counsel, Arabesque Asset Management CFO, Cagamas

UK/Malaysia Malaysia

Dr. Hurriya El Islamy Noripah Kamso

AAOIFI Former CEO, CIMB Principal Islamic Asset Management

Malaysia/Indonesia Malaysia

Dr. Irum Saba Professor Normah Omar

Institute of Business Administration, Karachi UiTM

Pakistan Malaysia

Dr. Irwani Abdullah Raja Teh Maimunah Abdul Aziz

International Islamic University Malaysia CEO, AmInvestment Bank

Malaysia Malaysia

Jamilah Jamaluddin Dr. Rezeda Gabbasova

Former CEO, KFH Malaysia Kazan State Agrarian University

Malaysia Russia

Dr. Karen Hunt Ahmed Rosie Kmeid

Northwestern University Path Solutions

USA Lebanon

Kuralay Yeldesbay Dr Rusni Hassan

Astana International Financial Centre Member of Shari’a Advisory Council of BNM

Kazakhstan Malaysia

Luci Irawati Sabeen Saleem

Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) CEO, IIRA

Indonesia Pakistan

Madina Kalimullina Sahar Ata

Moscow Halal Expo Academician

Russia Egypt/UK

Dr. Marjan Muhammad Samina Akram

ISRA Managing Director, Samak Ethical Finance

Malaysia UK

Maya Marissa Malek Secilen Ozturk

Managing Director, Amanie Advisors LLC Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi

UAE/Malaysia Turkey

Maznah Mahboob Shabnam Mohamed

CEO, Amlnvest Asset Management Group Head of Islamic Finance, Tell Group

Malaysia UAE

Najwa Jabri Dr. Shamshad Akhtar

Gulf African Bank Former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan

Kenya Pakistan

Nighat Tanvir Dr. Shamsiah Mohamad

State Bank of Pakistan Member of Shari’a Advisory Council of BNM

Pakistan Malaysia

Noor Odeh Sharizat Jumaat

Independent Consultant CEO, RHB Islamic International Asset Management

Canada Malaysia

Nora Tahir Dr. Sofiza Azmi

CFO, Cagamas CEO, Edbiz Corporation

Malaysia Malaysia/UK

Noripah Kamso Stella Cox

Former CEO, CIMB Principal Islamic Asset Management CEO, DDCAP

Malaysia UK

Professor Normah Omar Dr. Uzaimah Ibrahim

UiTM International Islamic University Malaysia

Malaysia Malaysia

Raja Teh Maimunah Abdul Aziz Dr. Wafica Ghoul Ali

CEO, AmInvestment Bank Labanese International University

Malaysia Lebanon

Dr. Rezeda Gabbasova Zaineb Sefiani

Kazan State Agrarian University Director, Ken Advisors

Russia Morocco/UK

Rosie Kmeid Zarinah Anwar

Path Solutions Former Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia

Lebanon Malaysia

Dr Rusni Hassan Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz

Member of Shari’a Advisory Council of BNM Former Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia

Malaysia Malaysia

Sabeen Saleem

CEO, IIRA

Pakistan

Note: The respect to the first name included. The order should not imply relevant Sahar Ata list is in alphabetical order with Academician Egypt/UK importance of the persons included.

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Samina Akram

Managing Director, Samak Ethical Finance

UK

Secilen Ozturk

Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi

Turkey

Shabnam Mohamed

Group Head of Islamic Finance, Tell Group

UAE

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar

Former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan

Pakistan

Dr. Shamsiah Mohamad

Member of Shari’a Advisory Council of BNM

Malaysia


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NUMBER ONE (01/2017) STELLA COX – [PLEASE SEE THE LIST OF ALL TIMES]

NUMBER 2 (02/2017) DR. SOFIZA AZMI – CEO OF EDBIZ CONSULTING & CAMBRIDGE IF ANALYTICA (UK/MALAYSIA) Dr. Sofiza Azmi has emerged as one of the most influential female opinion-makers in IBF. As Editor-in-Chief of Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR) - the oldest yearbook in IBF, which is deemed as the most authoritative account of developments in the global Islamic financial services industry - she finds herself in a position to guide the future path of developments in IBF. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Islamic Wealth Management Report (IWMR). Dr Sofiza Azmi is also Programme Director of Cambridge Islamic Finance Leadership Programme (CambridgeIFLP). As a member of Awards Committee of Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) and Islamic Retail Banking Awards (IRBA), she is in a position to exercise her influence on the industry in a very unique way. Dr Sofiza Azmi’s co-authored book on Islamic finance has been translated into Russian and Mandarin, and is considered as the main reference book in China, Russia and the Russian speaking block of countries in the Central Asia.

NUMBER 3 (03/2017) FOUZIA AMANULLAH – CEO OF ALLIANCE ISLAMIC BANK (MALAYSIA) Fouzia Amanullah has the distinction of being the first female CEO of an Islamic bank anywhere in the world. Her experience as CEO of an Islamic bank (first CEO of EON Capital and now as CEO of Alliance Islamic Bank) is perhaps the longest tenure held by a woman CEO of an Islamic bank, not only in Malaysia but perhaps world-over. Despite all these distinctions, she is a very down-to-earth person whose only focus remains on the job at hand. No wonder, she remains an invisible woman leader in the global Islamic financial services industry.

NUMBER 4 (04/2017) PROFESSOR DR. ENGKU RABIAH ADAWIAH ALI – [PLEASE SEE THE LIST OF ALL TIMES]

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Number 5 (05/2017)

Sharizad Juma’at S

harizad Juma’at, Chief Executive Officer of RHB Islamic International Asset Management (RHBIIAM) also leads the Group Islamic Business and the Malaysia Institutional Business of RHB Banking Group’s Asset Management arm.

Despite being fairly new in the Islamic space since joining RHBIIAM in 2013, her proven track record and her prominence in the industry have enabled her to steer RHB Islamic’s business to new heights by doubling the size of asset under management (AUM). Today, with close to 30 years of experience in capital markets and investment management; Sharizad is entasked to spearhead the Group’s efforts to be amongst the Top 10 Global Players in the Islamic asset management space. In realising this aspiration, RHB Islamic Asean Megatrend Fund has been identified as the key flagship fund to contribute significantly to our Islamic AUM growth aside from a suite of other Islamic funds under her purview across all asset classes and strategies. Prior to joining the RHB family, she commenced her career as an Analyst, when she was the only shortlisted candidate at a talent search by Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB). She proceeded to join Employees Provident Fund (EPF) as Head of Treasury and Fixed Income for several years, and thereafter was appointed as Head of Equity Investment. Sharizad has also been involved in the complexities of EPF’s investment

into RHB Capital; gaining her exposure in all asset classes from cash management, treasury solutions, derivatives and equity investment both on portfolio management and strategic investments.. She was also offered a scholarship by EPF to pursue a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance at Michigan State University, USA. With more than 15 years on the ‘buy’ side at EPF, she took a bold step and joined the ‘sell’ side at Amanahraya REITs Bhd as CEO. During her tenure, she was involved in the entire process of property acquisitions and injections into the Amanahraya Reits listed on Bursa Malaysia. Within a short period of time, her proven capabilities earned her a larger role as the Managing Director / CEO of Amanahraya Investment Management Sdn Bhd, a company providing asset management services for both private mandates and unit trust. During her tenure within the Amanahraya Group, she was exposed to all aspects of property investments as well as private equity businesses involving joint ventures with partners in the Middle East.

Juggling between the roles of a mother, a wife and CEO have not been “easy but I am thankful for the opportunities and recognition bestowed upon me … especially from the tremendous exposure gained during my 15 years in EPF to assuming senior management roles in the corporate world… I am a strong believer that sheer perseverance, determination, always hungry for knowledge and positive attitude will charter our path to success.

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NUMBER 6 – (06/2017) SABEEN SALEEM – CEO OF ISLAMIC INTERNATIONAL RATING AGENCY BAHRAIN (PAKISTAN) Sabeen Saleem is the only women with a Pakistani background to feature in this prestigious list of leading personalities in IBF. As CEO of IIRA, she has been central to a number of path-breaking initiatives in the quantification and reporting of risks facing Islamic financial institutions. She is currently based in Bahrain, where IIRA is located. As one of the two ladies on this list, who are based in the GCC, one can very well imagine the critical position she holds in the IFB industry and the mentorship opportunities she provides to other young women aspiring to become leaders in IBF.

NUMBER 7 (07/2017) DR. AISHATH MUNEEZA - FORMER DEPUTY MINISTER OF ISLAMIC AFFAIRS, THE MALDIVES (MALDIVES) Dr. Aishath Muneeza has emerged as an influential leader in IBF. She is involved in a number of initiatives related with IBF in the Maldives as well as in Malaysia. Currently, she is serving as an Associate Professor at INCEIF, but her real contribution to IBF is beyond academia. As the first female Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs in the Maldives and even before that, she attempted to introduce a number of things, most notably establishment of the Maldives Hajj Corporation.

NUMBER 8 (08/2017) FATIMA QASIMI - CEO OF ASEEL ISLAMIC FINANCE (UAE) In an environment characterised by male chauvinism, a few women leaders in IBF have emerged in the MENA region, Fatime Qasimi is one of them. As CEO of Aseel Islamic Finance, she has been active in IBF for some time. Under her leadership, Aseel Islamic Finance has developed itself into an award-winning Islamic non-bank retail finance institution (e.g., Best Non-Bank Islamic Retail Finance Institution 2015 from IRBA). Since 2015, she has managed the business extremely well, and one should hope that the company will further excel after the merger between its parent company, First Gulf Bank (FGB), and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). As an Islamic subsidiary of the largest bank in the MENA region, Aseel Islamic Finance is expected to play a bigger role under the leadership of Fatima Qasimi.

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NUMBER 9 (09/2017) DR. AZURA OTHMAN - CEO OF CIIF (MALAYSIA) Dr. Azura Othman serves as CEO of Chartered Institute of Islamic Financial Professionals (CIIF) and is one of the youngest women who are playing lead roles in IBF. She leads a team of young professionals to provide professional services to the employees of Islamic financial institutions world-wide.

NO. 10 (10/2017) HALIZA ABD RAHIM – LEGAL COUNSEL AT ARABESQUE ASSET MANAGEMENT, LONDON (UK) Haliza works alongside the Arabesque’s Group General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer on legal, compliance and Shariah related matters. She is a senior Islamic finance professional and qualified English lawyer with experience of structuring Islamic finance products and reviewing and drafting legal documentation. Her previous posts were as Head of Legal Documentation at Al Hilal Bank PJSC, an Islamic corporate and retail bank in the UAE; Managing Director at a Shari’a advisory consultancy based in London, Head of Project Management and Legal Counsel at BMB Islamic UK Ltd, a London-based Shari’a advisory consultancy; Legal Counsel at a Deutsche Bank subsidiary, Dar Al Istithmar, a consultancy specialising in structuring Islamic finance products; and as Corporate Lawyer at Messrs Mohamed Ismail & Co, one if the first Malaysian law firms providing legal advice on Islamic finance legal documentation.

Haliza is one of the best Shari’a minds, if I may borrow Dr. Daud “Bakar’s terminology, in the Islamic financial services industry. ” Professor Humayon Dar, Chairman of HD-Edbiz Group of Companies

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It is even more interesting about IBF that a growing number of young ladies have started identifying themselves with the industry, as part of a new lifestyle. Noor Odeh is one of them (see the Box).

NOOR ODEH Noor Odeh was born in Hamm, Germany and was raised in Amman, Jordan. As a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) from NACVA, she holds a BA and MA in Economics from Concordia University in Montreal, specializing in Financial Economics and completing her thesis on pricing mortgage backed securities. In 2007, she joined the finance team at a semi-government research company called Interuniversity Research and Analysis On Organisations (CIRANO) in Montreal. There she analysed the financial crisis. In 2013, to further enhance her passion of promoting ethical finance, she completed her Islamic finance courses with CIMA and obtained a diploma in Islamic Finance. In 2013, she joined IDA Ireland and was appointed as the Head of Islamic Finance, where she assisted in developing the government’s Islamic Finance strategy, and began developing her own vision of establishing an ethical finance institution.

For me Islamic finance is part of a modern Islamic financial lifestyle. -Noor Odeh

There are some other very dynamic emerging young ladies who have chosen to be actively involved in a leadership role in IBF. Aziza Yerlaeva is one of them (see the Box).

AZIZA YARLAEVA Aziza joined General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) in June 2014. At CIBAFI she is in charge of strategic planning and is responsible for drafting and implementing CIBAFI Strategic Plan 2015-2018 and reports to the Secretary General. She is also involved in various organisational initiatives, such as aligning internal operations with the Strategic Plan, supervising related corporate communication, as well as various awareness initiatives. Prior to this Aziza served as a Member of the Secretariat, Technical and Research at the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). Over a period of two years at the IFSB, she was actively involved in managing Facilitating Implementation of the IFSB Standards (FIS) Initiatives and was responsible for research in various aspects of Standards implementation and emerging issues in Islamic finance. She conducted trainings and workshops as speaker in IFSB member countries and reported to the Assistant Secretary General(s). Prior to joining the IFSB, Aziza was attached to the National Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in the Department of Money Circulation and Cash Operations. She gained market experience on Islamic finance during her engagement at the Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysian government investment arm. She also has experience in research and editing, gained from experience in developing CIBAFI Global Islamic Bankers Survey 2015 & 2016 reports, CIBAFI – World Bank Publication on Corporate Governance for Islamic Banks 2017, and other industry reports such as a Text Book of Professor Noureddine Krichene “Islamic Capital Markets: Theory and Practice”. Aziza is a Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP) graduate from INCEIF, and holds a B.A. on German Linguistics, Morphology and Economy from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She speaks German, English, Russian and Uzbek languages fluently as well as Kazakh and Turkish moderately and currently studies Arabic language.

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ISFIRE MEMOIRS

ST. BARBAROSSA’S

MEMOIRS

I have the privilege of working closely with some of the sharpest and most outstanding juristic minds in Islamic finance. The likes of Sheikh Hussain Hamid Hassan, Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, Dr. Mohamed Elgari, Dr. Mohyuddin Ali Al Quradaghi, Dr. Daud Bakar, and Sheikh Nedham Yaqubi are just a few of them. Sheikh Hussain Hamid Hassan is perhaps the most detailorientated jurist who will go into minor technical details before issuing a verdict. This is bound to result in some expected delays. In terms of efficiency of decision-making, Sheikh Nedham Yaqubi is second to none. His ability to understand technical details and coming up with a decision is very impressive. This is why he is one of the most popular Shari’a scholars amongst Western financial institutions involved in Islamic banking and finance (IBF). Dr. Daud Bakar’s approach to developing and practicing a Shari’a entrepreneurial model is unique to him. I remember when he approached me regarding his resignation from the Shari’a Board of BMB Islamic, when he decided to push forward his own Shari’a advisory firm, Amanie Advisors, citing the reason of conflict of interest. Although I tried to convince

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him that disclosure of conflict of interest should suffice for him to continue on our Shari’a Board but he stuck to his point. Obviously, this issue was of no concern to other members of Shari’a Board, who were running their own Shari’a advisory firms, and sat on our Shari’a Board as well. I respected Dr. Daud Bakar for his commitment to transparency and the issues related with Shari’a governance. Sheikh Nedham Yaqubi is another Shari’a scholar I have worked with, who would like to avoid any possible conflicts of interests. I have on numerous occasions tried to enter into conversations with him to suggest to him to set up a formal structure (possibly an Executive Shari’a Office) to manage his numerous Shari’a advisory appointments. He has always resisted the idea, on the grounds that Shari’a scholars should not be seen marketing their services. This is his personal view and I have not seen him criticising any Shari’a scholars who may take a different approach. Sheikh Hussain Hamid Hassan is a Shari’a entrepreneur who, like Dr. Daud Bakar, set up a formal Shari’a advisory business to offer his services in a professional way. He liked our model of Shari’a advisory business when we appointed him as chairman of Shari’a Board of Dar Al istithmar, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. I believe it was his involvement with us that eventually led him to set up Dar Al Sharia as a subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank. I still believe that the Dar Al Istithmar model was a lot superior approach to what came into being in the form of Dar Al Sharia. There were following distinct differences between the two: Dar Al Istithmar was a joint venture of Deutsche Bank, Russel Wood (a company owned by Saudi Binladen Group) and Oxford Islamic Finance (a company set up by Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies). Dar Al Shari’a, on the other hand, was set up by just one institution (DIB), with provision for shareholding for Sheikh Hussain Hamid Hassan. Dar Al Istithmar was thus a company not owned by Shari’a scholars; rather it appointed some of the most prominent Shari’a scholars as members of its independent Shari’a Board. Dar Al Sharia, on the other hand, presented a possible conflict of interest. Dar Al Istithmar used to have regular meetings of Shari’a Board to discuss innovations in IBF. It was this approach that gave birth to arguably the most sophisticated range of Islamic investment products at that time. Dar Al Sharia, on the other hand, benefitted

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from the juristic brilliance of Sheikh Hussain Hamid Hassan only. Dar Al Istithmar’s downfall came from the inefficiency and lack of expertise of Oxford Islamic Finance. However, it is important that Dar Al Sharia must develop credible links with an academic institution to benefit from cutting edge academic research in financial services. Amanie Advisors is principally owned by a Shari’a advisor, Dr. Daud Bakar, who is very well aware of possible conflicts of interest in the Shari’a advisory process. Amanie Advisors is also not intimately linked with any Islamic financial institution. I never intended to compare competing models of Shari’a advisory in this edition of my memoirs. So, let’s go back to the Shari’a scholars I have worked with. Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah has a very sharp mind when it comes to offering solutions to the Shari’a-related problems. While Sheikh Nedham hesitates to provide solutions, Sheikh Abdul Sattar and Sheikh Hussain prefer to provide solutions. I believe Sheikh Nedham is more sensitive to the confidentiality restrictions he faces from his corporate clients. As he is consulted by numerous institutions that share a lot of information on structures and products, he hesitates to provide solutions in case he may inadvertently disclose information to his competing clients. Sheikh Al Quradaghi is the most rigorous when it comes to academic research. Once I proposed a structure based on Istijrar (a contract introduced by Sheikh Taqi Usmani from the Hanafi tradition), which the members of our Shari’a Board were not aware of. It was, therefore, agreed that Sheikh Al Quradaghi would prepare a concept paper for the next Shari’a Board meeting. When he presented the concept paper, everyone was really impressed, as he had identified 16 types of Istijrar in the literature on Islamic jurisprudence. I found Dr. Mohamed Elgari as one who would ask the most difficult questions during Shari’a Board meetings. This is why it is absolutely important for Islamic financial institutions to set up Shari’a Boards comprising three to five members. The collective approach to decision-making should allow to benefit from the brilliance of the individual scholars in terms of juristic advice and for benefiting from their opinions on Shari’a structuring and product development.


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