IFN Forum New York – 19th October 2017
The IFN Forum returned to New York after a successful event in 2016, and continued in 2017 with a strong and varied offering, attended by a good mix of financiers and service providers. Led by an enthusiastic keynote address from local New York State Senator Kevin Parker, sessions ranged from an analysis of opportunities for Shariah-compliant asset and wealth managers in the US to a dissection of recent real estate transactions, where foreign direct investment was being warmly welcomed by the local market. Speakers also addressed recent developments in US investor appetite for Middle Eastern Sukuk issuance as well as the continued growth of Sharia’a-compliant offerings in the Fintech space.
DDCAP was a sponsor of the event and our stand was dutifully attended by Scott Cording, Manager from our Trading Desk. Executive Director David Testa was a panellist on the final session of the event, which discussed ‘SRI and Green Finance: Integrating Islamic Investing’. Following on from an introductory presentation by Josh Zinner from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, David and fellow panellists (representing wealth manager Andalus Capital and US law firms Roberts Moghul and Michelman & Robinson) discussed current trends and future opportunities. In particular, the panel analysed the concurrent development of shared values frameworks by several interfaith bodies and how they could be integrated into Sharia’a compliant transactions. The panel concluded that this was an area full of potential, given the substantial cross-over and overlap of the principles underpinning both ethical finance and Islamic finance.”
DDCAP Group are delighted to receive the award for Best Interbroker in the IFN Service Providers Awards for 2017. We are pleased to share the following coverage which can be found with a full list of all award winners in IFN (Volume 14 Issue 44) published 1st November 2017.
In an exciting turn of events, DDCAP has finally regained the top spot as Best Islamic Interbroker from Malaysia’s Bursa Suq Al Sila — snatching back the crown they lost in 2015 after an unbroken winning streak since the poll’s inception. In 2017, the behemoth broker regained its throne.
The win stands as testimony not only to DDCAP’s influence in the market, but to the success of its new Ethos Asset Facilitation Platform (ETHOS AFP), launched in October 2016.
“Historically, one of the biggest issues with Shariah compliant transactions is that they are very cumbersome with a lot of paperwork involved. The ETHOS platform enables you to effectively arrange transactions in seconds while at the same time, full documentation is available ensuring you’re still adhering to Shariah stipulations,” explained Lawrence Oliver, a director and deputy CEO of DDCAP.
ETHOS AFP accommodates specific trade and post-trade requirements relating to financial contracts within the Shariah compliant and responsible finance universe and employs stringent governance, risk management and compliance mechanisms — and this technological strength has given DDCAP the edge this year.
“DDCAP Group is honored to be voted Best Interbroker in this year’s IFN Service Providers Poll,” said Stella Cox, the managing director of DDCAP. “Our effective personnel are dedicated to providing our customers with top-class intermediary service, which we have been doing since 1998. Additionally, we are told by our clients that ETHOS AFP … has significantly improved the efficiency of their transactional requirements. We see application for ETHOS AFP to our clients and partners across the Islamic financial markets. Therefore, we view this prestigious award as their vote of confidence in the interbrokerage offering that DDCAP and ETHOS have made to treasury and other Shariah compliant financial products and services. Having launched several, first-mover features during the past year, I am pleased to say there are still more that are currently in final development. We look forward to making some additional announcements in that regard in early 2018.”
DDCAP Group is pleased to announce the following new appointments to its senior executive:
Jennifer Schwalbenberg has recently joined DDCAP Group as an Associate Director within the Business Development team from global law firm Reed Smith, where she had been working as an Associate within the Energy and Natural Resources and Financial Markets and Regulatory practices. Her time there included secondments to CME Europe’s London office and Goldman Sachs’ London commodities legal team. Jennifer’s previous experience includes internships with the business team at Fajr Capital in Dubai, as well as the Harvard Islamic Finance Project. She has written extensively on Islamic finance.
Fiona Gregory has also joined the Business Development team as an Associate Director. Fiona was previously a Director in Standard Chartered Bank’s capital markets division, specialising in capital markets and other structured products, including the placement of numerous benchmark Sukuk issues and structured cross border transactions. Her transactional experience includes SRI and ‘Green’ assets, with issuers from Europe, Central Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East.
DDCAP Group – Executive Partner and Sponsor at the IFN Forum Turkey, held at the Crowne Plaza Istanbul Oryapar on 14th September 2017.
DDCAP was an Executive Partner and Sponsor at the IFN Forum Turkey, which was held at the Crowne Plaza Istanbul Oryapar on 14th September 2017.
Turkey’s participation banking, finance and investment sectors have faced their challenges over the years. However, with invigorated governmental and regulatory support, including the growth of participation banking as part of key national transformation goals, Vision 2023, and a renewed appetite for Sukuk among issuers and investors, the sector could be set for a period of significant growth and innovation. With notable developments in the investment and portfolio management industries, including a potentially significant issuer and investor in the shape of the Turkiye Wealth Fund, opportunities for participation banking and investment in the Republic look exciting.
The Forum was opened with an engaging and informative onstage exchange between Mohammed Elkuwaiz, Vice Chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA) of Saudi Arabia and Jawad Ali, Managing Partner, Middle East, King & Spalding, relating inter alia to the Qualified Foreign Financial Institutions Investment in Listed Shares (QFI) Rules and how the initiative has impacted Saudi Arabia’s Islamic asset management landscape.
DDCAP Associate Director, Business Development Leilya Shamel was a panellist at the session on “Preparing for the future: Financial Technology in Turkey”. Panelists included Barbaros Ozbugutu, Founder and CEO, Iyzico, Cigdem Ayozger, Founder SRP Legal and Didem Altop, Managing Director Endeavor Turkey. The session was aimed at discussing the impact of Fintech on the banking industry in Turkey. She commented that “the beauty of Fintech to the business operational environment is the provision of trade efficiency to the transactional process of which DDCAP has been at the fore front through its Ethos Asset Facilitation Platform to facilitate efficiency whist adhering to Sharia compliance.
IFN Europe Forum returned to London for the first time in four years to a strong and supportive welcome from the industry which saw regulators and practitioners turn out in force to discuss the future of Islamic finance in Europe.
The event covered a range of detailed panel sessions covering the most relevant and pressing topics of the day: including a look at the potential impact of Brexit on Islamic finance activity in Europe, where Executive Director of DDCAP David Testa was a panellist; an expert panel debate on global real estate investment, an exploration of key financial markets in the Islamic funds and investment landscape, which was moderated by DDCAP’s Executive Director Lawrence Oliver; a review of corporate financing activity in Europe and a detailed debate on the future of responsible investing and green finance.
A Fintech Focus in the afternoon gathered together some of the cutting-edge pioneers of new financial solutions to discuss a range of issues, including how financial regulators can support innovation and how fintech is changing the face of Islamic capital-raising and investing.
The variety and depth of the day’s discussions highlighted the strong potential held by the European marketplace for Islamic finance and, in particular, the committed focus by the UK toward growing and supporting the sector across all asset classes. Fintech, real estate and corporate finance were key focus areas and while Brexit may pose many challenges for the region, the overall conclusion was that it could also create new and exciting opportunities for Islamic finance.
DDCAP Group receives “Market Leadership Award 2017 (Facilitation & Support)” award at the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan.
The DDCAP Group was delighted to receive the award of “Market Leadership award 2017 (Facilitation & Support)” at the Global Islamic Finance Award (GIFA) Dinner 2017 held on 6th September in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan.
The GIFA award organised by Edbiz Consulting is aimed at celebrating the successes and contributions of individuals and organisations to the Islamic financial services Industry. The 2017 edition was hosted by Astana Financial Centre (AIFC) at the Hilton Hotel Astana (Expo district), Kazakhstan and attended by senior practitioners in the Industry.
Dignitaries at the awards ceremony included the keynote speaker H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, who received the prestigious “Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award 2017″. In attendance was the H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who gave the keynote speech; and Mr Kelimbatev ( the former Governor of the Central Bank of Kazakhstan), amongst others.
Other notable honorees were Adnan Yusuf (President of Albaraka Group) as “Islamic Personality of the Year”, and Saad Al Menhali as “Islamic Banker of the Year for 2017”. Mitsubishi UFJ received the “Best Wholesale Banking Award 2017” and Al Hilal Bank, Kazakhstan as a “Pioneer of Islamic Banking (Kazakhstan) 2017”.
DDCAP Group Managing Director, Stella Cox CBE, commented that “DDCAP Group is delighted to be announced as the winner of the GIFA Market Leadership Award 2017 (Facilitation & Support)”. We consider it our privilege and honour to receive the recognition of the GIFA Committee. It is respected validation of the commitment and investment that DDCAP has made, during the past two decades, to developing a robust platform to facilitate the execution of Sharia’a compliant liquidly management and capital market transactions, as well as innovating automation for the post trade environment. We are proud of the intermediary business services model that we pioneered, which has clearly encouraged others to follow us.”
DDCAP Group is pleased to announce the following Board appointments to oversee the further expansion and development of our business offerings across origination and trade execution and also within the systems development and post trade environments.
David Testa has, with effect from 1st August 2017, joined the group as an Executive Director. Working directly with Managing Director, Stella Cox CBE, David will focus on adding to DDCAP’s current portfolio of products and services. David was previously CEO of Gatehouse Bank, leading the team that obtained its banking license, and he has continued to specialise in Islamic capital markets and investment products generally.
Most recently, David worked for the Kuwaiti European Holdings Group, owned by the Al-Humaidi family in Kuwait, where he was CEO of its two UK operating companies, including an FCA-authorised advisory boutique focusing on Sharia’a-compliant investment opportunities in the UK.
Stella Cox commented: “David and I previously worked together on the Board of Gatehouse Bank, as well as through several transactional situations both before and after that time. I am delighted to welcome him to DDCAP. I look forward to working with David in the further development of DDCAP’s exciting growth and business momentum.”
Additionally, Martin Harris has been appointed to lead DDCAP’s corporate and business infrastructure development as Executive Director with responsibility for Automated Business Systems, IT & Post Trade Infrastructure.
Most recently, Martin has been the Senior Director responsible for Business Operations and Change at NASDAQ NLX. Prior to that, Martin spent 8 years with NYSE group entities, initially as Vice President and Head of Systems Development at NYSE Euronext and then as Vice President and 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.
Managing Director, Stella Cox CBE, further added that DDCAP “places great emphasis on technology investment, thereby evolving our business and services offering continually to assure it is equal to the changing requirements of the post trade environment. We are delighted that, in Martin, we have been joined by a senior executive with a skill set that both complements and brings another perspective to those of our existing Directors.”
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.