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The Islamic finance industry’s longest running and leading European event will again be held in London, at Mansion House under the patronage of the Lord Mayor of London and fully supported by Her Majesty’s Government, TheCityUK and The City of London. The annual IFN UK Forum, now in its 13th year, is the most significant day for Islamic finance in Europe, attracting regulators and the industry elite from around the world in possibly the most historic and stunning venue available.

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Expert Speakers

  • John Glen MP,
    Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister

    John Glen was appointed the economic secretary to the Treasury and city minister on the 9th January 2018. He was the parliamentary undersecretary of state for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport from the 14th June 2017 to the 8th January 2018. He was the parliamentary private secretary to Philip Hammond from July 2016 until June 2017.

    John was first elected to parliament as the member of parliament for Salisbury in 2010. He previously worked for Eric Pickles and Sajid Javid as a parliamentary private secretary.

  • William Russell,
    The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of the City of London

    Alderman William Russell took office as the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London on 8th November 2019. He served as a Sheriff of the City of London in 2016-17 and, in that capacity, supported the then Lord Mayor, undertaking numerous visits and official functions. On 30th September 2020 William was elected to serve a further year in office, to provide continuity of civic governance during the Coronavirus emergency. His second term began on 13 November 2020.

    His mayoral theme for his time in office is “Global UK – The New Future”, supporting businesses through the COVID19 crisis, speeding the recovery and seizing the opportunities of the new future. William has over thirty years’ experience in the financial and business City including holding senior positions in the national and international Banking sector. In 1987 he went to work for First Boston Corporation before joining Merrill Lynch in 1992 as an Investment Banker in Institutional Equity Sales, working in Asia, New York and London. William is currently Chair of CDAM, a London based Asset Management business and Senior Advisor to STJ Advisors.

  • Andy Thomson,
    Founder and CEO, CrowdToLive

    Andy Thomson is the head of real estate in the Bank of London & The Middle East and his role covers three areas:

    • Real estate finance — leading a team focused on origination of development and investment debt for commercial and residential property.
    • Real estate investment — leading a team focused on buying real estate assets in the UK and selling down equity to ultra-high-net-worth individuals in the GCC.
    • Mortgages — leading a team that provides high value buy-to-let and holiday home mortgages.

    Andy is an experienced real estate finance professional with a 25-year track record in origination, portfolio management, credit, debt advisory, special servicing and restructuring. He has experience in development and investment finance.

  • Andrew Cunningham,
    Founder and Managing Director, Darien Analytics

    Andrew Cunningham is the founder and managing director of Darien Analytics, a consulting firm that focuses on risk, regulation and governance in both developed and emerging markets. He is the editor of Arab Banker magazine and has a long involvement with Islamic finance.

    Andrew’s recent projects have included advising a North African construction company on anti-corruption measures, developing corporate governance policies for an East African logistics firm, teaching corporate governance best practices in Cairo as part of the launch of the International Finance Corporation’s Director Certification Programme and designing a banking best practices course for risk managers at the European Investment Bank.

  • Ayda Habboush,
    Partner, Trowers & Hamlins

    Ayda Habboush has almost 15 years of experience as a corporate solicitor and has been involved in a broad range of work, including mergers and acquisitions (both in the UK and international), with a particular focus on inward investment (from the MENA and ASEAN regions) in the real estate and hotels and leisure sectors, advising both owners and operators.

    Ayda specializes in advising clients on the acquisition of commercial real estate including offices, hotels, serviced apartments and student accommodation, as well as advising clients on the structuring of cross-border investments. She also has particular interest in the corporate structuring of Shariah compliant acquisitions of shares and assets and establishing Shariah compliant offshore funds. Ayda also regularly provides general corporate advice regarding joint ventures, group reorganizations and corporate insolvency.

    Ayda is head of Trowers's Hotel & Leisure Group and a member of the Islamic finance team. Ayda is also a member of the Arab Bankers Association and Arab British Chamber of Commerce.

  • Rofiya Hussain,
    Chief Product Officer, NOMO

    Rofiya has worked in Product and User Experience roles for the past seven years. Passionate about fulfilling customer need and with expertise across technical, design, regulatory, commercial, and operational functions, she is adept at liaising and communication with a broad range of stakeholders, from start-ups to global organisations. Rofiya has experience in defining and designing market leading customer propositions and building high functioning delivery teams, allowing for a
    deep understanding of how to deliver products in an efficient and streamlined manner through cross-functional teams.

    Rofiya principally works with BLME’s digital bank, Nomo, leading development of its customer offering and ensuring users across the UK and GCC experience the smooth running of the application. Nomo, the world’s first international Islamic digital bank, was launched in July 2021. Rofiya is a graduate of the University of Warwick and has a Masters degree in Physics.

  • Allan Walker,
    Green Finance Specialist, Financial and Professional Services, Department for International Trade

    Allan Walker joined the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) in London as the head of project finance in the capital investment team in 2015. In 2018, he joined the financial services team as a specialist in green finance, helping to attract large-scale overseas investment into UK energy and infrastructure projects (and UK-based specialist green funds) and exporting UK-based green finance expertise globally. He works closely with other ministries, quasi-government entities such as the Green Finance Institute, City of London Corporation and UK embassies worldwide.

    Allan has over 35 years of experience in private sector project finance, corporate finance, capital markets and private equity, focused primarily on the renewable energy, sustainability and infrastructure sectors. He has extensive senior-level contacts among global institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, multilateral and commercial banks, funds, export credit agencies and project developers.

    Prior to joining DIT, Allan ran the fund management group for Masdar, the Abu Dhabi government’s renewable energy investment company. His previous roles have been with global financial institutions such as JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Black River (Cargill) in London, New York and Sao Paulo. He graduated with a Master of Arts degree in economic geography from Cambridge University.

     

  • Alisher Djumanov,
    Managing Partner, Bukhara Wealth

    Alisher Djumanov has over 25 years of international experience in advisory, investment banking, venture capital, private equity and investment management. He is the managing partner of Bukhara Wealth, a Central Asia-based family office investment management firm focused on global investments across various asset classes. His work experience includes investment banking and advisory roles at Credit Suisse, Renaissance Capital, Booz Allen Hamilton and EY. Alisher has founded award-winning investment banks in several developing countries. He has advised governments, state-owned enterprises, sovereign wealth funds and multinational corporates on foreign direct investments across emerging and frontier markets in the Eurasia region. He has also made media appearances on Bloomberg, CNBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, Reuters, Dow Jones, Channel NewsAsia as well as AP, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Euromoney, Global Finance and Institutional Investor. Alisher graduated from the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies, received his Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Oxford University.

  • Anouar Adham,
    Founder and CEO, CrowdToLive

    Andy Thomson is the head of real estate in the Bank of London & The Middle East and his role covers three areas:

    • Real estate finance — leading a team focused on origination of development and investment debt for commercial and residential property.
    • Real estate investment — leading a team focused on buying real estate assets in the UK and selling down equity to ultra-high-net-worth individuals in the GCC.
    • Mortgages — leading a team that provides high value buy-to-let and holiday home mortgages.

    Andy is an experienced real estate finance professional with a 25-year track record in origination, portfolio management, credit, debt advisory, special servicing and restructuring. He has experience in development and investment finance.

  • Areeb Siddiqui,
    Founder and CEO, KESTRL

    Areeb Siddiqui is the founder and CEO of Kestrl, an award-winning app that makes it easy for Muslims to budget, save and invest in line with their values. Areeb has a Cambridge MBA with a background in consulting and risk advisory at Deloitte and PwC, specializing in working with banks and wealth managers in the digital space.

  • Arshadur Rahman,
    Manager, Bank of England

    Arshadur (Ash) Rahman is a manager in the Bank of England’s Sterling Markets Division, and is also the bank’s Islamic finance specialist. In this joint capacity, he leads the bank’s Shariah compliant facility project which aims to establish a central bank deposit facility on a non-interest-bearing basis for the first time in the UK. Ash previously worked in the bank’s OTC Derivatives Data and Policy team, analyzing the impact on derivatives markets of the central clearing obligation under EMIR and Dodd-Frank.

    Prior to joining the bank, Ash spent over a decade at the Financial Services Authority, supervising a range of banks, investment firms and insurance sector firms. During this period, he co-authored the 2007 paper on the regulation of Islamic finance. Ash holds a first degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in finance from the London Business School.

  • Ayman Sejiny,
    CEO and General Manager, The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

    Ayman Amin Sejiny is CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the IsDB Group. Ayman is a highly accomplished financial industry leader. He served as CEO of Ibdar Bank, Bank Alkhair, Barclays Capital Saudi Arabia and as the chairman of Open-Silicon and Bahrain Financing Company Group as well as a board member of Unicorn Bahrain. Ayman has in-depth knowledge and more than 24 years of experience in investment and corporate banking in the local, regional and international markets. He held a senior role in a number of regional and international financial institutions, including Citibank and the ABN AMRO affiliate in Saudi Arabia (Saudi American Bank ‘SAMBA’ and Saudi Hollandi Bank). Ayman is a board and C-Level performer with vast experience in innovating financial processes and products. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from Eastern Michigan University in the US.

  • Dr Bello Lawal Danbatta,
    Secretary-General, Islamic Financial Services Board

    Dr Bello Lawal Danbatta, previously the director of the Centre of Consultancy and Executive Programmes at INCEIF, has over 26 years of combined experience in the private sector and academia, as well as in the financial services regulation and supervision sectors across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He is a member of the AAOIFI, the Basel Consultative Group, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and has chaired various working groups for the issuance of financial accounting standards for Islamic financial institutions. He has also been involved in the development and drafting of standards, guidelines and frameworks for capital adequacy and accounting, as well as for the supervision and regulation of Islamic finance for various countries.

    Dr Bello holds a PhD in Islamic banking and finance from the International Islamic University Malaysia and an MBA in corporate finance. He is a chartered accountant (fellow) with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (UK), a licensed international financial analyst (UK), a member of the Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals, a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a member of the International Council for Islamic Finance Educators. Dr Bello is a known Islamic banking and finance consultant, and has been active in providing Islamic finance training and consultancy to central banks, securities commissions, deposit insurance corporations and Islamic banks. He also has a number of publications on Islamic banking, corporate governance and earnings management.

  • Farmida Bi,
    Chair, Europe, Middle East and Asia, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

    Farmida Bi is the EMEA chair and is based in London. She has more than 20 years of experience in capital markets and Islamic finance transactions, advising on English and New York law. She is also Norton Rose Fulbright’s European head of Islamic finance.

    In addition to her role as the EMEA chair, Farmida continues her client work, acting on high-profile and award-winning transactions, such as advising the International Committee of the Red Cross on the world's first humanitarian impact bond, an initiative that drew investment from the private sector to design, build and operate rehabilitation centers in Africa.

    Farmida joined the firm as a partner in 2008. She has been named as a “leading individual” for Islamic finance and for debt capital markets in Legal 500 UK 2019 and won the 'Best in Banking and Finance' award twice at the European Women in Business Law Awards. She was also named as one of the five most powerful Muslim women in the UK in The Times newspaper’s inaugural Muslim Women Power List.

    Farmida is a graduate of Downing College, Cambridge and qualified as a solicitor in 1992, and as a New York attorney in 1999.

  • Martina Macpherson,
    Global Head of ESG Strategy, ODDO BHF Asset Management & Private Equity

    Martina Macpherson is the head of environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy and an exco member of ODDO BHF Asset Management & Private Equity. She is also the president of the Network of Sustainable Financial Markets, a NextGen think tank in sustainable finance.

    Martina has held several global leadership roles in ESG strategy, product development and innovation, including senior vice-president of ESG and engagement strategy at Moody’s Investors Service, global head of ESG index products and research at S&P DJI, managing director of Sustainable Investments Partners and vice-president of ESG solutions at MSCI. Prior to this, she worked in (ESG) product, research and engagement roles at Insight Investment, F&C AM and at Deutsche Bank.

    Martina is involved in various academic research projects in the field, and is a visiting fellow in sustainable finance at the University of Zurich and Henley Business School. She has an MBA certificate in finance and business from the London School of Business and Finance in the UK, and a Master of Arts degree in law and human sciences from the University of Frankfurt in Germany. She is a fellow member of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability UK, is an honorary doctoral fellow of the Institute for Certified Risk Management Professionals UK and an alumnus of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes).

  • Dr Martin Carkett,
    Policy Lead – Science and Innovation, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

    Dr Martin Carkett is a policy lead for science and innovation at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, based in London in the UK. His work focuses on a broad range of areas including innovations in financial markets, health and biotech and in the structures of science and research. Dr Martin previously spent six years at Her Majesty’s Treasury, where he most recently co-headed the innovative financing team, which led on the design and delivery of the UK’s second sovereign Sukuk and the UK’s inaugural sovereign green bond. Prior to his time at  Her Majesty’s Treasury, Dr Martin completed a doctorate in genetics and developmental biology at University College London.

  • Natalie Schoon,
    CEO, Redmoney Consulting

    Dr Natalie Schoon is a results-driven professional with a varied background across the financial industry including investment banking, treasury change management, capital adequacy, wholesale banknote operations, regulatory change (Basel Accords), risk management, compliance and Islamic finance. She has lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Africa and works for both small and large international organizations globally.

    Among others, Natalie was responsible for the design, implementation, management and succession planning for the Islamic financial infrastructure for the Agricultural Development Fund (a USAID-funded program in Afghanistan) and has been instrumental in the design of a stand-alone solution for access to finance for women (Zahra). On behalf of GIZ, she has researched the lag of Islamic MSME finance. In her capacity as the head of product development for Bank of London and The Middle East, she was responsible for responding to consultation papers from the UK regulators, the Bank Operating Model and engaged with the regulator to complete the application for the banking license, as well as the development of new Shariah compliant product lines for the bank.

  • Nick Villiers,
    Director of Sustainable Finance, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

    Nick Villiers is the director of sustainable finance at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Nick leads the Centre for Sustainable Finance, which helps financial institutions play a leading role in building a more sustainable economy. The center works with banks via the Banking Environment Initiative, the insurance industry through ClimateWise and the investment industry through the Investment Leaders Group, ensuring that the research, tools and frameworks produced are cutting-edge, practitioner-relevant and impactful in driving change. Prior to joining CISL in September 2019, Nick spent 18 years in investment banking working in debt capital markets, primarily advising financial institutions on balance sheet structure, capital-raising and post-crisis regulations.

  • Razvan Dumitrescu,
    Principal, Local Currency and Capital Markets Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

    Razvan Dumitrescu joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) via the flagship IPP program and had the opportunity to work as part of various teams: Financial Strategy, LC2, Power & Energy (Istanbul) as well as the President’s Office.

    In his current LC2 principal role, Razvan focuses on promoting capital market transactions and advisory projects across the Baltics, Central and South Eastern Europe (CSEE), Greece and Turkey. His key past contributions include development of a wide range of conventional and Islamic compliant debt products, sustainable finance — including green bonds and the environmental, social and governance index — and corporate bond frameworks in Greece and Turkey.

  • Rizal Mohamed Ali,
    Vice-President, Responsible Investment, Retirement Fund (Incorporated), Malaysia, (KWAP)

    Rizal Mohamed Ali was a legal officer for a public listed conglomerate prior to joining KWAP 10 years ago. He presently heads the Responsible Investment Section at KWAP, which was set up to manage all environmental, social and governance-related initiatives at KWAP.

    Rizal is a member of the Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals, Malaysian Institute of Integrity and Malaysian Institutional Investors Council Working Committee.

    Rizal obtained a Bachelor of Laws (Honors) degree from Brunel University, London and the Chartered Islamic Finance Professional qualification from INCEIF.

  • Sharjil Ahmed,
    Co-Founder and CEO, Cykube

    Sharjil Ahmed is a tech entrepreneur and spent the early part of his career as a seasoned investment banker. He is the co-founder of Cykube, a UK-headquartered blockchain and fintech advisory and solutions provider. He is working on promoting fintech and blockchain solutions in the areas of finance, government, healthcare, Shariah compliant investments, Halal economy, sustainable development goals and financial inclusion.

    Sharjil gained training and certification from Oxford University in fintech and blockchain post-completing his MBA degree in international business from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK. Sharjil is also an industry associate at University College London, Centre for Blockchain Technologies. He has 15 years of experience in Islamic investment banking and has been involved as a founding team member of BLME, Al Rayan (Islamic Bank of Britain), Dux Capital and Dubai International Financial Centre, to name a few.

    Sharjil is one of the early starters in the UK Islamic finance scene and worked with the UK government to make London the leading western hub for Islamic finance. For this, he has worked closely with UK government bodies like UK Trade & Investment, HM Treasury and the Lord Mayor’s trade delegations, including writing a report on the history of Islamic finance in the UK commissioned by the UK government Islamic finance task force. He is an alumnus of the International Visitors Leadership Programme on special invitation from the US State Department representing the UK.

  • Dr Usman Chaudry,
    Chief Risk Officer, Gatehouse Bank

    Dr Usman Chaudry joined Gatehouse Bank as the chief risk officer in January 2018. Prior to this, he was the risk director at Tandem, a digital challenger bank, responsible for risk management and compliance, and part of the management team that completed the acquisition of Harrods Bank. Prior to Tandem, Dr Usman held the role of global head of risk governance and policy at Standard Chartered, responsible for risk oversight across some 80 countries. Prior to this, he was at KPMG advising UK banks on risk and regulatory matters, and at Barclays and GE Capital helping  to set up greenfield operations and risk management in retail and commercial businesses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He started his career at FICO, where he used advanced analytics to help banks drive better risk decisions. Dr Usman holds a PhD in computational chemistry from the University of Manchester.

  • Trevor Norman,
    Director – Islamic Finance and Funds, VG

    Trevor Norman joined VG in 1988. He is responsible for heading up the funds and Islamic finance team, as well as overseeing both client facing and internal matters. Trevor has over 20 years of experience within funds and real estate and corporate and Shariah compliant structures and is highly involved in business development activities in the Middle East, involving regular trips to the region to meet clients and their advisors.

  • Abdulkader Thomas,
    Group CEO, SHAPE™ Knowledge Services

    Abdulkader Thomas is the president and CEO of SHAPE for Economic Consulting doing business as SHAPE® Knowledge Services, Kuwait. Abdulkader has over 30 years of diversified financial services experience. Abdulkader’s background includes capital markets, real estate finance and trade finance. Abdulkader served in various international banks and dealt with the regulatory approval for Islamic products in different countries. Abdulkader consults for and trains financial institutions, regulators, and businesses about Islamic finance.

    Along with his team at SHAPE®, Abdulkader works on projects that include launching de novo Islamic banks and Islamic banking windows, funds, Sukuk, regulations, policies and procedures including Shariah policies, Shariah compliance, product development and structuring. Clients include a diversified universe of financial institutions and regulators from North America, the MENA region, Southeast Asia, Africa, America, and Europe.

  • Hichem Bouqniss,
    Executive Director, Business Operations, The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation

    Hichem Bouqniss is the Executive Director for Business Operations at the IILM, and isresponsible for the execution of business strategies, the regular issuances of the IILM Sukuk, the distribution of the IILM Sukuk internationally, the origination and structuring of new assets in accordance with Sharῑ’ah rulings and ratings criteria, as well as the smooth running of the USD 3.51 billionshort-term certificate programme while ensuring all market risks are monitored and addressed.Prior to joining the IILM, Hichem Bouqniss has eightyears of experience at BNP Paribas, specialising in the distribution and structuring of Derivative Hedging Solutions to Corporate and Financial Institutions (Fixed Income, Foreign Exchange, and Interest Rate). He was based in the Middle East with assignments in London and Paris.Hichem Bouqniss holds a Master’s degree in Management (Banking and Finance) from Toulouse Business School, France.

  • Dr Simon Lord,
    Independent Sustainability Adviser

    Dr Simon Lord has 34 years of experience in agricultural production systems and sustainability initiatives. Until recently, Dr Simon held the position of chief sustainability officer at Sime Darby Plantation, where he led sustainability and quality initiatives across the group. Dr Lord’s move to Sime Darby followed its successful acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil, where he directed all sustainability programs across the New Britain Group. He is an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at the National University of Malaysia and a trustee of the Forest Conservation Fund.

  • Stella Cox,
    Managing Director, DDGI

    Stella Cox has been the managing director of DDCAP group, a leading provider of intermediary services to the Islamic wholesale markets, since 1998.

    Previously, Stella was a director of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson with responsibility for Middle Eastern institutional relationships and Islamic product development. She was involved in structuring the Islamic Fund, the first Shariah compliant global equity product and the Al Meezan Commodity Fund that invested in non-ferrous metals traded on the London Metal Exchange.

    Stella served as a member of the IFSB Task Force on Markets and Instruments for Shariah Compliant Liquidity Management. Stella represents DDCAP on the Market and Product Development Committee of the International Islamic Financial Market.

    On the 13th March 2013, the UK government launched the first Islamic Finance Task Force. The ministerial-led task force has been established to refocus on Islamic finance and the UK proposition. In addition to the four ministers, Stella is one of a small group of non-ministerial industry experts.

  • Laurie Mayers,
    Associate Managing Director, Financial Institutions Group, Moody’s Investors Service

    Laurie Mayers is an associate managing director in Moody’s European banking team. Laurie has responsibility for the analytical teams covering bank and non-bank financial institutions in the UK and Ireland as well as for the global investment banks located in EMEA and North America. Leveraging her risk and regulatory background, she also provides leadership within the financial institutions business unit on the cross-jurisdictional implications for banks of the implementation of Basel III, the BRRD and TLAC/MREL requirements, UK ring fencing and Brexit.

    Prior to Moody’s, Laurie’s most recent role was as the manager of the capital management team at the UK Financial Services Authority (now the Prudential Regulation Authority), where she had responsibility for Pillar 2 capital assessments and firm-wide stress testing for the largest UK banks and building societies.

    Laurie’s previous roles include partner of risk and regulatory advisory at EY; group head of Basel 2 and a member of the Group Risk Executive Team at RBS; global head of counterparty credit risk at RBS and previously, principal and EMEA head of credit for Morgan Stanley International.

    Laurie began her career as a staff economist at the New York Mercantile Exchange, and subsequently worked as a lending officer in the Commodity Finance Division at Chase Manhattan Bank following the completion of its credit analyst training program.

  • Celia de Anca,
    Director, Saudi-Spanish Center for Islamic Economics and Finance, IE Business School
  • Vineeta Tan,
    Managing Editor, Islamic Finance news

    Vineeta Tan is a global Islamic finance journalist with over five years of experience in the journalism and publishing industry working independently and leading a team. She joined REDmoney in 2013 and is responsible for the editorial direction and content of Islamic Finance news (IFN). Vineeta authors the IFN daily cover stories, produces reports, research and analytical pieces as well as interviews senior industry players and regulators. In addition to her role as the editor of IFN, Vineeta also manages, produces and oversees all editorial content of REDmoney’s sister publications: IFN Education and MY Islamic Finance.

    Trained in journalism and sociology, Vineeta holds an Islamic Finance Qualification awarded by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments in the UK. Prior to joining REDmoney, Vineeta was attached to a research company in the US and was a freelance journalist.

  • Zaineb Sefiani,
    Founder, Carrera Learning

    Zaineb Sefiani is the founder of Carrera Learning, an innovative e-learning platform. Zaineb is also a lecturer at University Paris Dauphine and at the University of Dubai. Preceding her current roles, she worked as a consultant at the African Development Bank, where she carried out research on the African stock exchanges as well as led an Islamic finance strategic workshop for regulators, policymakers and central banks of Kenya, Mauritius, Senegal, Sudan and Tunisia.

    Zaineb was also commissioned by the Ethiopian government to conduct a policy and strategy analysis on interest-free banking. In 2010, she worked for Morningstar Europe in London and was responsible for Morningstar’s Islamic mutual funds. Prior to that, she was a client relationship manager at the Shariah advisory arm of BMB Group, a multi-family office.

    Zaineb holds a Master’s degree in investments from the University of Birmingham. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing and participated in an exchange program at Boston College in the US during her undergraduate studies. Zaineb was twice included in the list of ‘Top 100 Leading Women in Islamic Business and Finance’.

Agenda

Welcome

  • 9.00 – 9.05
9.00 – 9.05
9.05 – 9.15

Keynote Address

  • 9.05 – 9.15

The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of the City of LondonWilliam Russell

Keynote Address

  • 9.15 – 9.30

John Glen MPEconomic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister

9.15 – 9.30
9.30 – 10.50

Re-evaluating the Value Proposition of Islamic Financial Services in the UK

  • 9.30 – 10.50

Reflecting on an economic recovery and a stable EU departure, is now an opportunity for the UK Islamic financial services industry to reassess its strategy, activities, goals and global competitiveness? Should we ask how the industry has grown and developed over the past five years, how viable Islamic retail, wealth management or pension offerings can be successfully mass positioned in the UK, and how we build more confidence in such products? How do we shift perceptions of Shariah compliant finance from alternative, to complementary and supplementary? How does the recent UK sovereign Sukuk widen the investor base for the UK Islamic capital markets and what does the Bank of England liquidity facility mean for UK Islamic banks? Finally, how can UK Islamic finance continue to collaborate with social, sustainable and responsible finance, across a wide range of activities, to the advantage of both?

Moderator:

Stella Cox CBEManaging Director, DDCAP Group™

Panelists:

Abdulkader ThomasGroup CEO, SHAPE™ Knowledge Services
Dr Bello Lawal DanbattaSecretary-General, Islamic Financial Services Board
Laurie MayersAssociate Managing Director, Financial Institutions Group, Moody’s Investors Service
Dr Martin CarkettPolicy Lead – Science and Innovation, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
Dr Usman ChaudryChief Risk Officer and Executive Director of the Board, Gatehouse Bank

Coffee

  • 10.50 – 11.15
10.50 – 11.15
11.15 – 12.45

Green, Social, Transition and Sustainability-Linked Finance and Investment – Shariah Compliant Options

  • 11.15 – 12.45

As host of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in November, the UK has an opportunity to drive an important agenda. However, alongside ‘Transition to Net Zero’ and decarbonisation targets, what is realistically achievable and what does net zero mean for sectors such as aviation, oil and gas and other asset-based industries? How are Shariah compliant financing products and assets playing a role in this hugely important transition? How also are Shariah compliant assets funding social impact initiatives in the UK, while contributing to the achievement of the UN SDGs and the Paris Accord? Is a UK sovereign sustainability Sukuk viable in the short term? Beyond the UK, what are the views and priorities of overseas asset owners and what opportunities does ESG investing present for further international collaboration and alignment? Finally, where and how do ESG investing and Shariah compliant investing complement each other, and how can we further leverage this important linkage? We ask an expert panel.

Moderator:

Farmida BiChair, Europe, Middle East and Asia, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Panelists:

Allan WalkerGreen Finance Specialist, Financial and Professional Services, Department for International Trade
Martina MacphersonGlobal Head of ESG Strategy, ODDO BHF Asset Management & Private Equity
Nick VilliersDirector of Sustainable Finance, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Rizal Mohamed AliVice-President, Responsible Investment, Retirement Fund (Incorporated), Malaysia, (KWAP)
Dr Simon LordIndependent Sustainability Adviser

Presentation

  • 12.45 – 13.00

Rofiya HussainChief Product Officer, NOMO

12.45 – 13.00
13.00 – 13.45

Luncheon

  • 13.00 – 13.45

Driving Development in UK Islamic Corporate Banking and Capital Markets

  • 13.45 – 15.00

What will the second Sovereign Sukuk achieve and what does it represent for UK Islamic financial services, and UK Islamic banks in particular? What does the UK offer as a listing destination for sovereign, supranational and corporate Sukuk issuance, as well as other products such as investment trusts and ETFs? Is there an effective secondary market in the UK for Sukuk? How can Shariah compliant instruments, including Sukuk, be further applied to the funding of alternative asset classes and sustainable assets? How is technology such as blockchain shaping and influencing Islamic corporate banking and capital markets, considering notable recent innovations by GCC Islamic banks? Finally, how can global and domestic incentives, regulation and standards applicable to the issue of Shariah compliant financing products, be more effectively aligned for the good of the market?

Moderator:

Natalie SchoonCEO, Redmoney Consulting

Panelists:

Arshadur RahmanManager, Bank of England
Ayman SejinyCEO, The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector
Hichem BouqnissExecutive Director, Business Operations, The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation
Razvan DumitrescuPrincipal, Local Currency and Capital Markets Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

13.45 – 15.00
15.00 – 16.00

Investors Roundtable: UK Opportunities for Shariah Compliant Direct Real Estate and Private Equity Investment

  • 15.00 – 16.00

Through a panel of international investment professionals, we explore current and potentially innovative Shariah compliant investment types and asset classes. What are the latest opportunities and demands for Shariah compliant direct investment into UK real estate market? Considering the evolution of working practices in the UK, what is the future of the office and what are the implications for UK commercial real estate investment? With an active private equity market, what are potential targets for investment into the UK market and what structures are being employed? Aside from these, what new and interesting asset classes have presented themselves in the past year?

Moderator:

Celia de AncaDirector, Saudi-Spanish Center for Islamic Economics and Finance, IE Business School

Panelists:

Alisher DjumanovManaging Partner, Bukhara Wealth
Andy ThomsonHead of Real Estate, Bank of London & The Middle East
Ayda HabboushPartner, Trowers & Hamlins
Trevor NormanDirector – Islamic Finance and Funds, VG

The Evolution of UK Financial Technology

  • 16.00 – 17.00

The IFN Fintech Landscape identifies 39 Islamic fintech providers in the UK, making it the world’s largest Shariah fintech centre. Considering this, how do we assess the rapid evolution of the sector? What is the value proposition and market positioning of UK Islamic fintech offerings and what can Shariah compliant challenger banks learn from their conventional counterparts? How can UK Islamic fintech fulfil its potential through offering Shariah compliant financial solutions to minorities, particularly in retail finance, pensions and wealth management? How can traditional Islamic financial institutions effectively maintain competitiveness in these product areas through innovation and investment? What are the potential implications, if any, of the findings of the Kalifa Report for UK Islamic financial technology companies? What is the potential for a government-sponsored tech growth fund and how would this drive innovation? We seek the views of an expert panel.

Moderator:

Vineeta TanManaging Editor, Islamic Finance news

Panelists:

Andrew CunninghamFounder and Managing Director, Darien Analytics
Anouar AdhamFounder and CEO, CrowdToLive
Areeb SiddiquiFounder and CEO, KESTRL
Sharjil AhmedCo-Founder and CEO, Cykube
Zaineb SefianiFounder, Carrera Learning

16.00 – 17.00

Register

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