DDCAP Group and Astana International Financial Centre sign a ground breaking Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in Islamic Finance at Astana Expo 2017.
The UK based DDCAP Group (DDCAP), one of the world’s leading Islamic financial market intermediaries, became the first Financial Services Sector Company to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).
The official signing ceremony took place at an Islamic Finance seminar jointly hosted by the AIFC and DDCAP on the 11th of July 2017 in the UK Pavilion at Astana Expo 2017. The major focus of the MoU is to provide a framework for long term cooperation between the Parties in support of the AIFC development of an Islamic capital market in Kazakhstan. The Parties agreed to complement and add value to the financial and capital market infrastructure that the AIFC is building through the development, issuance and trading of Islamic capital market and treasury instruments in accordance with accepted best practice incorporating automated systems to enhance market functionality.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Dr. Andrew Parmley and the Governor of the AIFC H.E. Kairat Kelimbetov, who then both gave welcoming remarks to the event participants, in the presence of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan Dr. Carolyn Browne and the Commissioner for the UK Pavilion at Astana Expo 2017, Rt Hon Charles Hendry. The MoU was signed by Director, Deputy CEO of DDCAP, Lawrence Oliver and Managing Director, Member of Executive Board of the AIFC, Saysat Nurbek.
Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) hosted a British trade delegation recently as a follow-up from the first UK-Brunei Darussalam Financial Services Forum, held in the United Kingdom in January this year.
The trade delegation, who was in Brunei Darussalam on 22nd and 23rd May 2017, discussed with AMBD and exchanged experiences in developing the Capital Market in Brunei Darussalam and the United Kingdom, including in the area of Islamic Finance. This is part of AMBD’s efforts in realizing its strategic plan as laid out in the recently launched Financial Sector Blueprint.
Part of the discussion also focused on the experiences and opportunities in the UK Islamic Financial Sector looking at the UK’s Islamic financial architecture and the regulatory and legislative developments.
The British trade delegation was led by Ms Stella Cox, Managing Director – DDCAP Group, and Chair of the Islamic Finance Market Advisory Group in TheCityUK, a financial services professional body that champions UK-based financial and related professional services.
DDCAP is delighted to announce the successful conclusion of its latest Sharia’ a Supervisory Board (SSB) Meeting held at the Park Hyatt Hotel Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia on the 22nd of March 2017.
The SSB meeting is regularly convened to reassure our clients of DDCAP’s commitment to ensure the substance and integrity of its business processes and service provision adhere to Sharia’ a principles.
In attendance at the SSB meeting were all members of the Board comprising of the following esteemed Scholars; Sheikh Abdullah Bin Suleiman Almaneea (Chairman), Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Almutlag, Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari, Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, and Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Tabtabai.
The SSB conducted a thorough review of DDCAP’s business offerings, processes and transactions culminating in the issuance of a Fatwa.
As part of an ongoing, recurrent Sharia’a review procedure, our esteemed Sharia’a Supervisory Board also makes regular review of DDCAP’s Ethos Facilitation Platform, the transactions concluded across it and the trade documentation originated therefrom.
DDCAP Managing Director, Ms. Stella Cox CBE, attends Expert Panel Seminar on Islamic Finance at White & Case LLP on Tuesday 21st February 2017 in London.
DDCAP Managing Director, Ms. Stella Cox CBE, amongst other responsible finance commentators, was in attendance at the most recent seminar on Islamic Finance at White and Case LLP hosted by Partner and Global Head of Islamic Finance Debashis Dey.
Otherwise, the seminar featured two expert panel sessions including Sheikh Bilal Khan, Dome Advisory co-chairman and partner; Mehdi Ababou, Moody’s Vice President, Structured Finance Group, and lastly counsels from White and Case LLP namely Tallat Hussain, Claudio Medeossi and Mindy Hauman.
Please find below an article titled “Green Sukuk are coming” written by Elizabeth Meager and published by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) following the seminar.
Green Sukuk are coming
The two asset classes are a perfect fit, but the appetite of Islamic investors for risk and innovation is limited
It’s only a matter of time before the first green sukuk comes to market, according to market industry leaders. Speakers at a White & Case event last week explained that there’s nothing stopping issuers from drafting a shariah-compliant sukuk save for a lack of top-down support.
In 2016, the climate-aligned bond market grew by 16% to $694 billion, $118 billion worth of which are labelled green. The global sukuk market, which has slowed in recent years, saw $40.3 billion worth of deals issued in the same timeframe. Climate-aligned finance is a fast-growing market that’s open to innovation.
The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) issued the first socially responsible sukuk in 2014, raising $500 million, which it followed up with another not long after. While the IFFIm deal was loosely referred to as green at the time, this was, strictly speaking, socially responsible: the proceeds were used to fund children’s immunisation projects in the world’s poorest countries. That deal put social sukuk on the map and brought conventional investors in,” said Stella Cox CBE, managing director at DDCAP. “Current market conditions would support green sukuk as there is both a need and appetite for innovation.”
Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah also issued a RM100 million ($22.5 million) sustainable and responsible (SRI) investment sukuk in 2015, providing schools with funding. Climate Bonds Initiative established a green sukuk working group in 2012 to develop best practices in the space. But progress has been slow in part because markets where Islamic finance is strongest – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Southeast Asia – have either small or non-existent green bond markets.
That’s slowly changing with the launch of the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change in 2015 and the Paris COP21 agreement of the same year – which GCC countries are also a part of.
The issuance of sukuk by atypical Islamic finance jurisdictions including the governments of the UK, Luxembourg and Hong Kong meanwhile have helped to bring conventional investors in to the Islamic space.
For green sukuk specifically, there are pockets of interest. Sovereigns often enquire about how it would work, according to speakers, and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi said it was working on a deal in 2015 before announcing a merger. Top-down support is needed to implement the infrastructure needed for green sukuk. Speakers would like to see a sovereign wealth fund making a significant allocation, for example.
A natural Fit
There’s plenty of similarities between the green bond and sukuk markets. Both are relatively niche, with a focus on responsible investments – sukuk proceeds are forbidden from being used to fund certain industries including tobacco, alcohol and gambling – and both lack a designated legal framework governing deals.
Efforts to standardise and drive innovation in both asset classes have been industry-led, with the exception of a small number of jurisdictions.
“I’d say the same thing that’s holding back green bonds is holding back green sukuk,” said Dey. “The combination of a suitable project or investment, along with the right investor base, just hasn’t happened yet.”
As sukuk tend to have shorter maturities than conventional bonds, a climate-aligned deal would be more risk-intensive which may be less appealing to typical shariah investors.
But speakers explained that there are other ways in which the two types of finance can be brought together. Sukuk might be the most commonly used tradable instrument there is, but to support sustained growth, a more comprehensive suite of tools is needed.
“In our industry we’ve got caught up with the S-word, but sukuk is not the only Islamic finance solution. We want to expand the instrument base but there could be opportunities elsewhere, like shariah funds,” said Cox.
“Regardless, we like our Islamic finance precedents. Green sukuk is going to happen.”
DDCAP Managing Director Stella Cox, CBE heads the list of Top 10 Women in Islamic Banking and Finance.
DDCAP Managing Director Stella Cox, CBE heads the list of Top 10 Women in Islamic Banking and Finance.
Islamic Finance Review (ISFIRE), a bi-monthly unique magazine produced by the Edbiz Corporation Limited, with the objective of articulating innovative idea around challenging areas in the Islamic finance industry recently disseminated a list of top 10 women in Islamic banking and finance.
The list looks at various individuals within the Islamic finance Industry and the influential roles they play in bringing innovative ideas to the finance sector globally. The list brings to bear the accomplishments and achievements of female senior practitioners in the Islamic Finance Industry
Our very own managing Director Stella Cox, CBE, sits atop the list with other influential leaders in the Islamic Banking and Finance Industry. This list is detailed below:
1. 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 (*).
2. Dr. Sofiza Azmi CEO of Edbiz Consulting 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), and Editor of ISFIRE, a bimonthly magazine (journal magazine) published from London.
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.
3. Fozia 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 worldover.
Despite all these distinctions, she is a very downtoearth 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.
4. 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, 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.
5. Sharizad Jumaat CEO of RHB Islamic International Asset Management Malaysia
A woman with impressive asset management credentials, Sharizad Jumaat is an exceptional female Islamic fund manager. She has served in previous CEO roles, most notably with Amanah Raya Investment Management.
6. Sabeen Saleem CEO of Islamic International Rating Agency Bahrain/ Pakistan
Sabeen Saleem is the only women form Pakistan, who enjoys global influence in Islamic finance. As CEO of IIRA, she has been playing an important role in bringing the required degree of risk management and governance practices in the institutions offering Islamic financial services. 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.
7. Dr. Engku Rabiah Adawiah Ali Professor at IIUM Institute of Islamic Finance Malaysia
Professor 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 woman leaders on this list. Period.
8. Dr. Aishath Muneeza Former Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs, the Maldives/ Malaysia
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.
9 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 nonbank retail finance institution (e.g., Best NonBank 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 parents 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.
10. 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 worldwide.
DDCAP Group Managing Director, Ms. Stella Cox, CBE recently made some submissions on the linkages between the Islamic Finance Industry and socially responsible investment sector in the Responsible Investment: New thinking for financing renewable energy Report.
An excerpt from the Report, prepared by Dr. Hatim El Tahir, Director of the Islamic Finance Group at Deloitte is detailed below:
There is almost universal global support for renewable energy and a broadly articulated desire to draw power from naturally occurring, inexhaustible sources of supply, rather than from the fossil and nuclear fuel supplies of the past. Given the ethos that underlies Islamic financial practice, the considerations of social impact and responsible governance to which Islamic investors subscribe should encourage others in the socially responsible investment sector to increase their engagement with Shariah-compliant investors and financiers.
Whereas the stewardship embraced by Islamic financial practitioners reflects social impact and governance, it is a financial industry subset that has developed from the emerging markets, many of which have economies driven by traditional energy and fuel revenue. Accordingly, related environmental issues and impact have historically been less of a consideration. This perspective is changing and, interestingly, being driven by client demands, particularly from those clients who are Millennials.
Acting on these changes, there are now examples of Islamic financial market leaders and practitioners seeking to explore and collaborate with other parts of the ethical financial marketplace including:
RFI Foundation, which engages with asset owners and institutional investors to explore the benefits of the inclusion of the ethical and socially responsible principles of Islamic finance
Islamic Development Bank and the Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, which incorporate input from Islamic financial experts to facilitate an effective, sustainable development financing strategy and the mobilization of alternative resources
UN Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which included Islamic finance during a Global Roundtable session co-presented by the RFI Foundation
It is important that such collaborations develop between industry bodies and key influencers and that effective think tanks are established to add process and propose the standards and practices that may be accommodated by the wider marketplace. These collaborations will also encourage the participation of the institutional market, of investors and asset owners, as has been demonstrated by the responsible investment momentum driven by the growth and success of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) during the last ten years.
A full copy of the Report can be accessed at Responsible Investment: New thinking for financing renewable energy
DDCAP is delighted to announce the recent appointment of esteemed Kuwaiti Scholar Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Tabtabai, to its Sharia’a Supervisory Board (SSB).
Dr. Tabtabai joins the following Sharia’a Scholars on the DDCAP SSB namely Sheikh Abdullah Bin Suleiman Almaneea (Chairman), Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Almutlag, Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari and Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin.
The inaugural SSB visit to London for the purpose of conducting a thorough review took place in 2013. The SSB subsequently convened in June 2013 to reconfirm the audit processes and the issuance of the Fatwa during an open forum hosted by DDCAP in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At this time, the SSB also issued a Fatwa in support of DDCAP’s Asset Facilitation Platform.
In September 2016, the “Ethos Asset Facilitation Platform ™ (“ETHOS AFP™”) was launched by DDCAP to accommodate the specific trade and post trade requirements of our clients. DDCAP’s own Sharia’a Supervisory Board has been engaged with the development of ETHOS AFP™ and has issued a Fatwa in support of its automated processes. As part of an ongoing, recurrent Sharia’a review procedure, our esteemed Sharia’a Supervisory Board makes regular review of the platform, the transactions concluded across it and the trade documentation originated therefrom.
The recent appointment of Dr. Tabtabai to the SSB further reiterates DDCAP’s commitment to reassuring our clients that the substance and integrity of its business and service provision adhere to the Sharia’a principles and further development of the Islamic Finance industry.
Simply Sharia Human Capital’s 2016 Women in Islamic Finance & Islamic Economy Report is the first report from within the Islamic finance industry to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of women; examine the challenges and opportunities for women; featuring first-hand experiences, case studies of successful female-led and female-inspired initiatives alongside advice and guidance from women and men who are making inroads in mending the gender gap.
As part of this report, Stella Cox CBE, MD, DDCAP Group, Chair, IF Market Advisory Group, TheCityUK, shares her experience in growing her career within the Islamic finance industry, and challenges faced being a woman in a male-dominated sector. Cox highlights the importance of mentoring in the workplace especially for women in order to be able to achieve a much sought-after work-life balance.
For full article, please click here.
IFN Saudi Arabia Forum 2016: Saudi Islamic investment opportunities arise from low oil price environment bolstered by regulatory enhancements
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – The opening of the Saudi capital market and the Kingdom’s strong infrastructure pipeline are creating compelling Islamic finance opportunities for investors, both local and foreign; and market players are positively embracing imminent regulatory enhancements while simultaneously positioning themselves to capitalize on emerging opportunities.
At the IFN Saudi Arabia Forum 2016, which gathered a selective audience of over 150 senior industry participants, regulators and key decision-makers from across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa, delegates and speakers alike shared optimism for the Saudi Islamic finance market.
The high-level event kicked off with an engaging onstage dialogue with Mohammed Elkuwaiz, the vice-chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), during which he discussed, among other things, the impact of the Qualified Foreign Financial Institution Investment in Listed Shares Rules on the Islamic investment landscape.
“Attracting foreign investors is not an end or destination but a journey. We are midway this journey and the feedback has been positive,” Mohammed said.
He is also revealed that the CMA is currently working on four new regulations to facilitate the Saudi capital markets including listing rules for the secondary market, guidelines on corporate governance, regulation on special purpose entities and a revised set of rules on mergers and acquisition.
“Beyond that, the CMA has also enacted a process to review and revamp all of its regulations. The purpose for this exercise is to incorporate feedback received throughout the years from various market participants, to simplify interface with the capital markets, to give the [stock] exchange more responsibility with respect to capital market activities and to increase efficiency.”
The forum continued on with a welcome message by the chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Saleh Kamel, and a series of insightful and lively panel sessions led by the industry’s most recognized leaders in their fields. A recurrent theme throughout the day was the disruptive forces of technology, not only in the field of Islamic asset management but also in area of human capital development.
Real estate was another hot topic, with the US and European markets taking center stage. Isam Salah, a partner at King & Spalding, confirmed that Gulf investors are demonstrating stronger appetite for real estate equities in the US post the financial crisis with particular interest in multifamily projects, single tenant industrial office, warehouse, student accommodation and also serviced hotels. Sharif El Gamal, the chaiman and CEO of Soho Properties, echoed Isam’s sentiments, characterizing the US market as going through a ‘London effect’ attracting strong interest from global investors. Sharif also confirmed that Soho Properties is working on another Shariah compliant real estate financing deal next year. Naim Azad Din, the deputy CEO and head of asset management at Sidra Capital, believes that opening investment funds, particularly real estate investment trusts (REITs), to the retail market would be a gamechanger for the industry. Interestingly, the CMA earlier also revealed that there are a several REITs under formation with more in the pipeline.
Real estate aside, project and infrastructure financing steps into the limelight as a massive potential Islamic investment avenue, especially in the current low oil price environment.
“The irony is that the low oil price has given way for the bond and Sukuk market to develop, essentially putting Saudi Arabia on the map,” said Stuart Anderson, the managing director and regional head of Middle East for S&P Global Ratings. Tightening liquidity as a result of weaker oil revenue is indeed good news for the project financing market as the government, under liquidity pressure, has been seeking for alternative funding sources including from the fixed income market and banking sector. It is estimated that Saudi Arabia would require over US$800 billion until 2020 to meet its infrastructure needs.
Two other trends which dominated discussions were the rise of private placement Islamic deals and the increasing integration of ESG/SRI proposition in the Shariah finance space.
According to Nabil Issa, a partner at King & Spalding, the tax efficiency and time-saving elements as well as flexibility when it comes to tenors afforded by privately placed Sukuk/funds have contributed to the appeal and growth of private placement deals: over the last 18 months, 33 out of the 40 funds King & Spalding (Saudi office) facilitated in structuring were privately placed. Such deals also allow foreign investors exposures into sectors which traditionally may not be available due to certain regulatory requirements such as healthcare, logistics and education. On the ESG/SRI front, Stuart Hutton, the chief investment officer of Simply Ethical, observed that investors are increasingly looking at social returns in addition to financial returns in their investments and this is especially true for Islamic investors. Abdul Rahman Hammad, the regional director for IdealRatings, added that the case is even stronger for the convergence of ESG/SRI and Islamic finance as ethical/religious-screened entities are outperforming their conventional counterparts.
Please find an overview of the above event here.
DDCAP Managing Director Stella Cox and Deputy CEO Lawrence Oliver were delighted to accept an invitation from the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to attend the 4th Royal Award for Islamic Finance Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony which was held at the KL Convention Centre on 14th November 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This year’s Award was conferred by the King of Malaysia, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, to Professor Datuk Rifaat Abdel Karim, CEO of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM).
Stella Cox and Lawrence Oliver personally congratulated Professor Rifaat on receiving the prestigious Award, which is conferred every two years to a person for his or her outstanding contribution to the development of the Islamic finance industry.
DDCAP will also be a Partner and Sponsor at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), which is being held on 5 – 7 December 2016 in Bahrain. DDCAP Regional Director, Cassim Docrat will be a panelist in one of the Sessions titled ‘Growth of Islamic finance in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges’ on the 7th of December. The panel discussion will be moderated by Samer Hijazi, Partner, Grant Thornton (Abu Dhabi). Other Panelists include Panelists Marco Lichtfous, Partner, Deloitte Tax & Consulting; Dr. Mohammed Abdel-Haq, Chief Executive Officer, Oakstone Merchant Bank Limited, UK; and Jochen Robert Elsen, Deputy Head, Technical Co-operation Department, German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, BaFin.
Furthermore, DDCAP is pleased to announce its lead sponsorship of the “Women in Islamic Finance & Islamic Economy: Unlocking Talent” Report. Simply Shari’ah Human Capital (SSHC) will unveil the Report exclusively at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) to be held next month in Bahrain, highlighting the insights, ideas and personal journeys of some of the most influential leaders of the industry. Women and men from diverse backgrounds, skills-sets, experience and segments of Islamic finance and the wider professional services have shared their knowledge and expertise through this Report, engaging issues which are shaping the role of women including leadership pathways in the workplace, mentorship, financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, Shari’ah, Fintech and much more.
Stella Cox, CBE, Managing Director, DDCAP, who has received a Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence for Outstanding Contribution to Islamic Finance in the UK and is a contributor to the Report said: “There are a number of success stories showcasing women’s excellence in the Islamic financial industry worldwide. For example, to supplement the numerous instances of women now being elevated to senior executive positions, in Malaysia and Indonesia we are witnessing an ever increasing number of female Shari’ah scholars appointed to the Shari’ah Boards of banks and other financial institutions. The role of women in Islamic finance is increasingly apparent across front office, as well as in longer-established roles within Islamic financial firms’ supporting infrastructure. Furthermore, there are numerous examples of women who have been appointed partners and directors within professional advisory firms as a result of their expertise in Shariah compliant financial practice.”
Report lead, Nyra Mahmood of SSHC said, “This year’s Report is ultimately about talent – an untapped pool of talent, which will offer opportunities in the development, elevation and progress of Islamic finance and the wider Islamic economy. The economic participation of women at all levels across the industry, will only strengthen and complement the sectors and hubs where we look to thrive.”