Stella Cox CBE- Managing Director
Stella has worked within the Islamic financial marketplace for more than three decades. Previously she was a Director of merchant bank, Kleinwort Benson Limited, where her team managed assets aggregating over US$2bn. Whilst with the Bank, Stella was involved in structuring The Islamic Fund, the first Shariah-compliant global equity product, launched in 1986.
She was also a Director of the Al Meezan Commodity Fund plc, a joint venture initiative with a GCC Islamic bank that invested in non-ferrous metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME).
Since 1998, Stella has been Managing Director of DDCAP Group, which is a leading provider of asset facilitation services and related technology solutions to Islamic financial market institutions. DDCAP has, also invested, for its own account, in a number of Islamic financial services initiatives.
Under her leadership, DDCAP Group has pioneered Islamic finance intermediation services, serving clients and counterparties in the GCC countries, Turkey, Malaysia and beyond.
From 2007-2009 Stella served as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Gatehouse Bank, a UK Islamic investment bank. In 2008, Stella was awarded for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Islamic Finance in the UK’ at the IREF Summit.
On 13th March 2013, the UK Government launched the first Islamic Finance Task Force. The ministerial led Task Force was established to refocus on Islamic finance and the UK proposition. Stella was one of a small group of nonministerial industry experts within the Task Force and acted as practitioner lead for the regulatory work stream. With support from the Task Force, the UK Government announced plans to launch an inaugural sovereign Sukuk at the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in October 2013 in London, with the successful issuance following in June 2014.
In 2014, Stella was appointed Chair of the Islamic Finance Market Advisory Group formed by TheCityUK, the financial services professional body that champions UK-based financial and related professional services. It is a membership body, lobbying on the industry’s behalf, producing evidence of its importance to the wider national economy.
On 10th June 2016, Stella Cox was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Stella was honoured for her services to the Economy and, specifically, as a Champion for the Development of Islamic Finance in the UK.
In February 2017, Stella was ranked number 1 in the list of ‘Top 10 Women in Islamic Banking and Finance’ published by Islamic Finance Review (ISFIRE)
Stella is a Fellow of the Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance (IIBI) in the United Kingdom and has served on its Board of Governors within the Islamic Banking Group. Previously, Stella was a member of HM Treasury Islamic Finance Experts Group, where she was part of the Market Standardisation Sub-Group.
Stella was also a member of the Working Group established by the Central Bank of Bahrain (formerly the Bahrain Monetary Authority) with the purpose of developing procedures and documentation for Islamic commodity trading, and she assisted the DIFC Islamic Advisory Committee with its work on selected strategic development initiatives.
Stella serves as a member of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Money Market Task Force on Markets and Instruments for Shariah Compliant Liquidity Management and represents DDCAP on the Market and Product Development Committee (MPDC) of the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM). In addition, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Responsible Finance Institute (RFI). Stella is also an Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards (EFICA) advisory board member, responsible for identifying the key issues facing the Islamic finance industry and then setting the EFICA challenges for the year.
Over the years, Stella has and continues to speak regularly at international conferences and has contributed to many publications including Islamic Banker, Euromoney, Institutional Investor, Islamic Finance News, Arab Banker and New Horizon. She was co-author of Structuring Islamic Finance Transactions published by Euromoney Books and in 2006, co-authored the Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ), jointly offered by the UK Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and the Ecole Superieure des Affaires in Lebanon, contributing the Islamic Asset and Fund Management module.
In addition, Stella also continues to support education initiatives in the market and is a member of the University of East London’s Islamic Finance and Banking Advisory Board and a visiting lecturer at Durham University’s Islamic Finance Summer School Programme.
Lawrence Oliver – Director – Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Lawrence Oliver is a Director of DDCAP and its subsidiaries DD&Co Limited and DDGI Limited.
Lawrence has principal responsibility for the company’s Trading and Trade Support desks and has extensive experience of arranging asset-based transactions that conform to Sharia’a stipulation.
He focuses specifically on Sharia’a compliant structured finance and asset origination and has broad knowledge of the physical commodity sector which has enabled him to re-establish the traditional merchant trading capabilities of DD&Co Limited for the benefit of institutional clients operating within the Islamic Financial sector.
Lawrence has worked in the Islamic Finance market for more than twenty years. He joined DDCAP in April 1998. Previously he was an Assistant Manager at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and a member of the team responsible for the Islamic Finance and Investment activity.
Lawrence is a regular speaker at many of the annual Islamic conferences held in the GCC, South East Asia and Europe.
David Testa – Executive Director, Business Origination
David is an Executive Director of Business Origination at DDCAP, and is on the board of DD&Co Limited and DDGI Limited.
David has worked in the financial services sector for nearly 20 years, and for most of that time in Islamic finance. He was previously CEO of Gatehouse Bank, leading the team that obtained its banking licence, and he has continued to specialize in Islamic capital markets and investment products.
Immediately prior to joining DDCAP in August 2017, David worked for the Kuwaiti European Holdings Group, owned by significant investors in the GCC, where he was CEO of its two UK operating companies, including an FCA-authorised advisory firm focusing on Sharia’a-compliant investment opportunities in the UK.
Before joining Gatehouse, David worked for WestLB for 10 years and led the Islamic finance team there, closing over US$5 billion of Islamic financing transactions Perhaps most notably, David was the lead banker on the £225m Sharia’a-compliant UK leveraged buy-out of Aston Martin from Ford.
David started his career in the City as a solicitor, working in London and Tokyo with international law firm Slaughter and May and, subsequently, Ashurst, specialising in corporate finance and banking, and in particular capital markets and derivatives.
David is a frequent speaker and panellist at Islamic finance conferences in the GCC, the UK and the rest of Europe.
Martin Harris, Executive Director – Automated Business Systems Development, IT and Post Trade Services
Martin is Executive Director of Automated Business Systems Development, IT and Post Trade Services at DDCAP.
Most recently, Martin has been the Senior Director responsible for Business Operations and Change at NASDAQ NLX. Prior to that, Martin worked for London International Financial Future Exchange, Euronext and spent 8 years with NYSE group entities, initially as VP Head of Systems Development at NYSE Euronext and then as VP Head of Development and Programme at Intercontinental Exchange NYSE.
Martin has extensive experience in the provision, delivery and operational oversight of systems development and the management of trading and clearing services for commodities, fixed income and equities.
His significant leadership experience has been gained from managing large global, multi-discipline delivery and operations teams both onshore and offshore.
Cassim Docrat, Director – DDCAP (DIFC) Limited
Cassim is the director of DDCAP (DIFC) Limited, the company’s representative office in the Middle East.
Cassim has over 28 years international banking experience in Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Cassim has built strong relationships with major institutions and government entities in the region and beyond. He has experience across Commercial, Investment and Islamic bank offerings focused at institutional investors.
Cassim started his banking career in 1981 with Citibank in London before moving to Canada where he went on to hold senior positions at Citibank, Bank of Montreal and the Bank of Nova Scotia. He has worked in the Middle East since 1991 holding senior executive positions with banks including Kuwait Finance House, Al Rajhi Bank in Saudi Arabia and most recently, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
Paul Ratman – Chief Operating Officer
At DDCAP, Paul brings his Treasury expertise to the fore as well as his in-depth knowledge of the Middle Eastern financial arena. Paul focuses on leading the DDCAP joint-venture initiative with ICAP plc, providing origination and relationship management for the Islamic securities brokerage services offered by ICAP plc in sukuk secondary markets.
Additionally, he utilises his extensive experience to complement the considerable skill-sets already operational within the DDCAP group, particularly in facilitating arrangements to support our client banks’ Islamically compliant structured, hedging and currency products.
Paul Ratman joined DDCAP in August 2007 having completed over five years as Head of Treasury at National Bank of Fujairah, Dubai. Prior to that assignment, he had over twenty-years of Treasury experience among several international institutions in the City of London.