BOARD OF ADVISORS
     
Daud Vicary Abdullah (David Vicary)
Chairman Global Islamic Finance Group
Deloitte

Daud Vicary Abdullah can be considered a globe-trotter. His work experience has taken him to Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America. Daud has developed extensive international experience in the field of banking operations and consulting, having assisted banks in their restructuring for greater efficiency, cost control and to better meet customer expectations. His areas of expertise include enterprise transformation, technology implementation, process control, treasury back office operations and change management including Islamic finance. Since December 2003, he has been an Auditing and Accounting Committee Board Member of AAOIFI (Auditing and Accounting Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions). Daud is a well-known Islamic finance speaker in the Islamic Financial Services Board and global Islamic banking seminars, particularly on matters relating to the growth and development of the industry. In his previous position as managing director of Hong Leong Islamic Bank, Daud was involved in the successful establishment of its Islamic banking subsidiary. Today, as part of the senior management team at Asian Finance Bank, Daud leverages on his vast knowledge and experience to help make Asian Finance Bank a player to be reckoned with in Malaysia’s fast-growing Islamic financing arena.

 
Professor Dr Mohd Masum Billah
Chairman
Middle Eastern Business World (MBW) Group

Ma’sum is the chairman of the Middle Eastern Business World (MBW) Group of Companies, which includes businesses in oil and gas, export and import, investment and costruction. He was previously the director of Global Trade & Investment Cooperation (OIC Countries) of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ICCI) in Jeddah. Ma’sum was also a former associate professor in the Department of Business Administration at the International Islamic University Malaysia.

He is an advisor and consultant to several, Asian region and international companies and institutions on applied Islamic finance, banking, Takaful, re-Takaful, capital market insurance, e-commerce, wealth and asset management, Sukuk, money markets, and the gold dinar, among others. Ma’sum is the author of numerous books on Islamic and comparative finance, trade and commerce, and also writes articles for numerous international and regional publications and medias. He holds DBA (Shariah e-Commerce) and Ph.D (Takaful), MBA (I-REITs), MCL in Comparative Regulations, MMB in Hadith-Corporate Mu’amalat and an LLB (Hons).


Dr Humayon Dar
Chief Executive Officer
BMB Islamic

Dr Humayon Dar is among the foremost Shariah specialist in the world, renowned for pioneering numerous industry-setting techniques in Islamic banking and finance. His name is synonymous with many of the most sophisticated Islamic products available. Well connected with leading royal and industrialist Muslim families, he is one of the world’s key liaison figures in bringing leading Western financial institutions exposure to the world’s most distinguished Shariah scholars. Known as a champion of the integration of Islamic banking and finance in the mainstream financial markets, he continues to play the role of a catalyst in bridging the gap between Islamic and conventional finance.

Humayon belongs to the first generation of qualified Islamic economists, with formal training in conventional and Islamic economics, as well as classical Islamic jurisprudence at the International Islamic University Islamabad, where he was personally tutored by the world’s leading Islamic economists, jurists and thinkers. His higher studies include an M Phil/Ph D (both in Economics) from Cambridge University, where he conducted research on Islamic finance. His post-doctoral research has exclusively been on Islamic economics, banking and finance.

As a technical member of BMB Islamic’s Shariah Supervisory Board, he also participates in Shariah coordination in addition to his responsibilities as CEO. Before founding BMB Islamic, he developed Dar Al Istithmar (a majority-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank) into an Euromoney award-winning team of acclaimed Islamic financial innovators. Prior to that, he was involved in setting up a first-of-its-kind M Sc course in Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance at Loughborough University. He also helped Cass Business School (City University London) – where he is honorary senior visiting fellow - develop the curriculum for an Executive MBA in Islamic Finance.

Deeply committed to the industry, Humayon’s external appointments are numerous. Among others, he sits on the board of directors of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce and Charity Bank. He is on the editorial boards of New Horizon (a flagship publication of the Institute of Islamic Banking & Insurance) Review of Islamic Economics and International Journal of Islamic Financial Services.

Badlisyah Abdul Ghani
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director
CIMB Islamic Bank

Badlisyah Abdul Ghani was appointed executive director and chief executive officer of CIMB Islamic Bank on the 28th February 2006. He joined Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd (CIMB) in 2002 and was attached to the corporate finance division, prior to his appointment as the head of CIMB Islamic. He is responsible for the Islamic banking and finance business division of the CIMB Group. He also sits on various group management committees. Prior to CIMB Group, he was attached to an offshore banking subsidiary of a premier Malaysian Islamic financial group in structured finance, capital markets and syndications.

As a thoroughbred Islamic banker, he has been involved in more than US$10 billion Islamic financial deals locally and globally. Among his notable accomplishments is the creation and introduction of the first Sukuk al Ijarah in the world, the first Istisnah Sukuk in the world, and the first Musharakah asset backed securities and residential mortgage backed securities in the world. In the December 2004/January 2005 edition of Euromoney, Badlisyah was named one of the “Global Top 20 Pioneer in Islamic Finance” for his contribution to the development of the Islamic financial sector in Malaysia and globally. He holds a Bachelor of Law’s from the University of Leeds, UK. He is also a director of CIMB-Kanoo Islamic Investment Co BSC, Bahrain.

Baljeet Kaur Grewal
Group Chief Economist
Head, Global Research
KFH Research Limited

In her capacity as chief economist, Baljeet heads the global economic and investment research team at KFH, the first Islamic bank worldwide to have a notable research presence. Prior to this, Baljeet was attached to Aseambankers Malaysia, ABN Amro Bank as chief economist and Deutsche Bank, London, with experiences ranging from credit structuring to economic & capital market research. She has broad experience in investment banking, having participated in notable Islamic fund raising transactions in Asia and the Middle East. To date, she has undertaken research in Islamic finance with a principal focus on debt capital markets and Sukuk. She has written and published numerous articles on developing economies and debt markets, Islamic debt structures and Asian economies. She has also addressed numerous international Islamic conferences and forums. Baljeet is a first Class Honors holder in International Economics from the University of Hertfordshire, UK and has undertaken extensive research with the London School of Economics. She is also the award recipient of the prestigious Sheikh Rashid al-Makhtoum award for Regional Contribution to Islamic Finance in Asia 2006.

Sohail Jaffer
Partner and Chief Executive Officer
FWU Group

Sohail is a partner and the head of international business development for “white label” bancassurance and investment services within the FWU Group, an independent financial services group headquartered in Munich. The group’s main activities include asset management, bancassurance and individual pension plans. Its international network includes Luxembourg, Italy, UAE and Malaysia.

From June 1998 to June 1999, Sohail was senior vice-president within the International Mutual Funds Group of Scudder, Stevens and Clark Ltd, based in London and responsible for international product development in Europe and Japan.

From January 1989 to May 1998, Sohail was a vice president with Citibank London. He was with the Financial Institutions group until 1996 and later joined the bank’s Alternative Investment Strategies (AIS) Group. He was an AIS director and his responsibilities included international business development and asset gathering from institutional investors in Europe and the Middle East region. He was also a member of Citi’s hedge funds policy and strategy committee.

A UK qualified accountant (FCCA), Sohail was an audit partner with the Price Waterhouse practice in Africa from July 1984 until September 1988.

He is currently a council member of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) and past chairman from 1997 to 2000. He has written extensively on alternative investments and edited several Euromoney publications on hedge funds, multimanager and Islamic finance and banking. He is also a member of Association of the Luxembourg Funds Industry’s asset management advisory committee and of their Hedge Fund Committee. ALFI is the Association of the Luxembourg Funds Industry.

Dr Monzer Kahf
Consultant/Trainer/Lecturer
Private Practice

Dr Monzer Kahf has written more than 25 books in English and Arabic on Islamic banking and finance, Islamic economics as well as zakat and awqaf, some of which have become the standard reference manuals in the field. He has had more than 70 articles and encyclopedia entries published on those topics, including entries in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Kahf has undertaken scores of training programs and served for 15 years as a senior research economist, specializing in Islamic economics, finance and banking, at the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His training programs, both public and private, have been conducted throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. In 2001, Kahf was awarded the Islamic Development Bank Prize in Islamic economics in recognition of his valuable contributions to the sector. Kahf graduated with a BA in Business from the University of Damascus, Syria, and obtained his Ph D in Economics from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA. He is a founding member of the International Association of Islamic Economics and of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists of the United States and Canada.

Mohd Ridza bin Mohammad Abdullah
Managing Partner
Mohamed Ridza & Co

Ridza graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honors) degree from the International Islamic University Malaysia. Prior to starting his own practice, he was a partner and head of the Islamic banking and finance division at Zaid Ibrahim & Co. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (London), an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the Corporate Governance Committee and the National Investigation Committee of the Malaysian Association of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. Ridza was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1993. His current practice includes oil and gas, corporate and commercial law, construction law, and Islamic banking and finance. He has advised clients locally and internationally on Islamic banking documentation utilizing various Shariah concepts ranging from Islamic trade finance and Islamic corporate and retail banking to Takaful. He also advises clients on Islamic offshore financing, Islamic private debt securities and Islamic asset backed debt securities. He is instrumental in developing Islamic banking documents for several financial institutions. He has spoken extensively in seminars involving corporate matters and Islamic banking and finance. He co-authored ‘Law & Practice of Islamic Banking & Finance’. He is a director of Tabung Haji Travel & Services, an independent director of Pelangi Berhad and KPI Land Corporation, Philippines. He is on the audit committee of Tabung Haji Travel & Services and Pelangi Berhad.

Professor Bala Shanmugam
Director of Banking and Finance, School of Business
Monash University Malaysia

In addition to his role as director of the banking and finance unit, Bala holds the Chair of Accounting and Finance. His last appointment was associate professor of banking and finance at the University of New England, Armidale Australia. He holds a Ph D in finance from the University of Wollongong; a Master of Business Studies (Banking) Honors from the National University of Ireland, Dublin; and a Bachelor of Arts Honors (Banking) from the University of Wales, Bangor (UK). Bala has extensive industry experience, having published extensively (over 40 refereed publications and 15 books), and served as editor for a number of journals. His book on bank management has been the standard text for tertiary level as well as professional studies in banking in several Commonwealth countries (including Australia and Malaysia). Bala is a co-author of E-Banking in Malaysia (2002).

Dr Muhammad Nejatullah Siddiqi
Author/Scholar/Speaker/Trainer

Dr. Nejatullah is an Islamic scholar and economist, mixing traditional knowledge and modern know-how. Currently, he is professor of economics, Center for Research in Islamic Economics at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He has written numerous books and papers on economics from an Islamic perspective.

Mr Rushdi Siddiqui
Head of Islamic Finance
Thomson Reuters

Rushdi Siddiqui is the global head of Islamic finance at Thomson Reuters. In this role, Siddiqui works closely with Islamic finance and banking professionals, including fund managers, treasury, financial hubs, regulators, stock exchanges, central banks, Takaful (insurance) entities, halal industry, and intra-OIC (57 Muslim countries), to further strengthen Thomson Reuters business.

Siddiqui joined Thomson Reuters from Dow Jones, where he was the global director for their Islamic market indices. Over his 10 years there, Siddiqui led the entry and expansion of the Dow Jones Indexes into Islamic finance, resulting in numerous awards from leading finance organizations and media outlets. Siddiqui has considerable experience in the financial markets, having worked at a Wall Street investment bank and commercial bank in the 1990s.

Siddiqui has authored a number of white papers and articles on Islamic indexes for publications including ABANA Review, CPI Financial, the Chicago Journal of International Law, and Euromoney. He is a frequent speaker at industry events hosted by Harvard, Columbia Business School, London Business School, Oxford, the Economist, Islamic Development Bank, Malaysia’s MIFC, IIRME (Dubai), and more.

Siddiqui holds a juris doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University, an MBA in international business from Baruch College, and a Bachelor of Science in Management and Marketing from New York University.


Dawood Yousef Taylor
Head of Takaful Taawuni
Bank Aljazira

Dawood Yousef Taylor has spent the last six years researching, developing and introducing to Saudi Arabia, the first Takaful Taawuni (Islamic Life Insurance) program in the Middle East, heading an experienced Takaful Taawuni team at Bank Aljazira. Uniquely, the Takaful Taawuni model adopted is based on a Wakalah contract for both underwriting and investment aspects of the program. This is the first time a single Wakalah contract has been adopted for a Takaful Taawuni operation. The Bank Aljazira Takaful Program is the first Shariah complaint and Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency approved Takaful Taawuni program in Saudi Arabia. This development also resulted in the first commercially available software being designed and produced for the Takaful Taawuni international market. A full suite of individual and corporate Takaful Taawuni products covering both risk and investment was introduced to the Saudi market in late 2001. Sales in the first two years of operation exceeded expectations and a full rollout of the Takaful Taawuni program nationwide took place in late 2003, with regional offices now operating in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. Prior to his current appointment, Taylor was assistant general manager at Arab National Bank successfully introducing the Al Hilal Islamic Mutual Investment Fund to the local market, one of the first Dow Jones Islamic Index funds launched in the kingdom. From the early 80s to until he joined Arab National Bank, Taylor was western region manager, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for a major offshore insurance broker. He has given speeches on Takaful at numerous international conferences and seminars throughout the world and has had a number of articles on Takaful published in prominent Islamic financial magazines. Taylor, a British Muslim, has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia since 1974.

Abdulkader Thomas
President and Chief Executive Officer
SHAPE – Financial Corp

Abdulkader has over 25 years, experience in diversified financial services. A graduate of the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in international trade, Abdulkader earned a BA with honors in Arabic & Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago. Based in Kuwait, Abdulkader has worked in Bahrain, New York, London and the US. His areas of activity have included trade finance, real estate finance, securities and Islamic finance at Citibank, Credit Lyonnais, Sumitomo Bank Ltd, The United Bank of Kuwait and MEF Money/Guidance Financial Group. Abdulkader is responsible for shepherding the first US banking regulatory approvals of Islamic financial instruments for Ijarah wa Iqtina and Murabahah. More recently, he secured regulatory approval for an Islamic profit sharing deposit to be applied in the US. Abdulkader also structured the first real estate investment trust (REIT) of REITs structured to allow Muslims to invest in listed US REITs while complying with Shariah. Abdulkader has also been involved in the structuring of inbound foreign investments for the US, Europe and the UK. He has supervised marketing and consumer demographics in conjunction with new business launches.

Abdulkader is a frequent speaker and author on Islamic financial and banking matters. He is has written or edited several works in the field including Structuring Islamic Financial Transactions with Stella Cox and Bryan Kraty (London: Euromoney, 2005); Islamic Bonds: Your Guide to Issuing, Structuring and Investing in Sukuk with Nathif Adam (London: Euromoney, 2004); and Interest in Islamic Economics: Understanding Riba (Oxford: Taylor & Francis, 2005). Co-editor and contributor to the Securities Institute of London’s Islamic Finance Qualification. His translation of the memoirs of Dr Ahmed Elnagger is forthcoming.

Paul Wouters
Lawyer, Antwerp Bar Association (Belgium)
Resident of Counsel – Bener Law Office Istanbul (Turkey)

Paul Wouters has 20 years of practice as a lawyer–consultant in financial services, stock exchange regulations and contracts, both on the institutional level (setting up financial institutions, regulatory counseling), related “white collar criminality” (money laundering, insider dealing), drafting and negotiation of contracts and syndications, as well as on internal structuring (governance, compliance). He has been a speaker or panelist on several international conferences and has written various articles in related areas. Bener Law Office carries high standards and credentials on (inter)national consulting, impact assessment and guidance on cross-border restructuring and has been involved in turnkey projects, engineering, project finance, international mergers and acquisitions, due diligence related to the banking and financial sector, telecom, energy and media sectors, industries (gas, cement, textile and yarn, power plants), manufacturing and service providers. They have successfully assisted construction tendering, national and international privatization procedures.

Professor Rodney Wilson
Director, Postgraduate Studies
Durham University

Professor Wilson is director of postgraduate studies at Durham University's Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and a professor of economics. He has worked for the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, and currently chairs the academic committee of the Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance in London. His recent academic publications include books on The Politics of Islamic Finance (co-edited with Prof Clement Henry of the University of Texas), Edinburgh University Press and Columbia University Press, 2004 (reprinted by Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2005); Economic Development in Saudi Arabia, Routledge/Curzon, London and New York, 2004; Islamic Perspectives on Wealth Creation (co-edited with Dr Munawar Iqbal of the Islamic Development Bank), Edinburgh University Press and Columbia University Press, 2005; and Islamic Economics: A Short History (with Prof Ahmed El Ashker), Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, 2006.

Wilson has contributed to numerous professional publications including the Euromoney books on Islamic Retail Banking and Finance: Global Challenges and Opportunities (2005); Islamic Bonds: Your Guide to Issuing, Structuring and Investing in Sukuk (2004); Islamic Asset Management: Forming the Future for Sharia Compliant Investment Strategies (2004) and Islamic Finance: Innovation and Growth, (2002). Wilson teaches Masters level courses on Islamic economics and finance and has supervised over 30 Ph D students working on Islamic finance. He has been a course director for training courses in London, Kuwait, Bangkok and Singapore, and provided courses for the Kuwait Investment Authority, the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Arab Banking Corporation, Citibank and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Sohail Zubairi
Chief Executive Officer
Dar Al Sharia Legal & Financial Consultancy

Sohail Zubairi is CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB)'s recently announced Shariah Consultancy firm. Until recently, he was head of Shariah structuring, documentation and product development at DIB. He is a qualified banker, having held senior corporate, structured and project finance and risk management positions in prestigious organizations in the UAE. He has significant experience of the Middle Eastern market (over two decades) attained mainly in large corporate finance, risk management and syndication. Since joining Islamic banking, Sohail has taken several initiatives in promoting the cause, including starting a weekly column in Dubai’s widely circulated daily Gulf News. In credit risk management, he was instrumental in setting up a focused RMD function at a prime European bank for its GCC operation and a large PJSC with activities including acquisition and takeover.

Sohail has completed acquisitions of four medium to large industrial businesses in the UAE and was instrumental in substantial improvements in their performance by way of introducing new measures to enhance efficiency. On behalf of DIB, he has played a significant role in large to mega projects based in the UAE and abroad, including ENOC Condensate Refinery, Dubai World Trade Centre, Emirates Airline, Sahara Center, Taweelah/Umm Al Nar/Shuweihat Power Projects, Tabreed (district cooling company), Brunei Gas Carriers, Malaysian Sukuk, DCA Sukuk, PCFC Sukuk, Nakheel Sukuk and NBC Mudarabah Sukuk (innovative national savings scheme) and many others.

 

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