Opening and Keynote Addresses Speakers:

H.E. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh

H.E. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh

Undersecretary, Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry, UAE

H.E. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh has more than 20 years of experience working with the UAE government authorities. He worked with the UAE Embassy in two different cities, Washington DC in 1993-1998 and Paris in 2001-2004. In March 2004, he was appointed as the Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Affairs and International Cooperation at the Ministry of Economy.


He served the UAE Ministry of Economy as the Undersecretary from 2006 to 2008. He then served the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade in 2008 for almost five years, also as the Undersecretary. Starting from March 2013, he has been serving the UAE Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry.


H.E. Al Saleh has received over 30 gratitude and appreciation certificates for his leadership, his diligent efforts in achieving multi-functional tasks and effective contributions through memberships in a number of boards of directors. These include his role as the Head of the UAE negotiating team in GCC and regional free trade negotiations (from 2006 till date). He has developed negotiation strategy and has signed off free trade agreement with Singapore and EFTA which resulted in an increase in trade and investment with these Countries. Now, he is leading UAE team in the Negotiation of GCC- China Free Trade Agreement.


He is a Board Member of the UAE International Investors Council, the Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the World Trade Organization, who oversaw UAE fulfillment of WTO commitments and supervised the trade policy review for three terms, attaining an international praise from all WTO Members.


He has been the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee on national initiatives for multiplying exports, and the Chairman of the Industrial Sector Development Committee, who is responsible to endorse recommendations to the Ministerial Cabinet to increasing the contribution of the industrial sector to UAE economy.


H.E. Al Saleh is also the Member of the Board of Trustees of the Business and Management School at Zayed University and the Trustees of the Technology and Economics Committee at New York University Abu Dhabi.


As the Vice President of the Annual Investment Forum, he put forward this conference as well to become the one of the most important international conferences and exhibitions in the field of investments. He is also the Honorary President of the Arab-Chinese Center for International Exchange, who worked to enhance the China-Arab relations and particularly Chinese-UAE relations.


He leads regional and global promotional teams carrying out 140 events in the past three years including international governmental and business delegation visits, and supervising the development of key improvement and action plans to enhance the Foreign Trade and Industry sectors’ performance and growth.


H.E. Al Saleh holds a Masters in International Politics, from the American University, Washington D.C., USA. (1996) and a Bachelor of Political Science from the UAE University (1990).

H.E. Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori

H.E. Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori

Governor, Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates

H.E. Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori holds a Bachelor degree in Finance and an MBA degree.

He has been appointed the Governor of Central Bank of the UAE as of 22 September 2014. He has been the Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Investment Authority since May 2008, and a Board Member in Etisalat, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), Mobily in KSA, and Abu Dhabi National Co. for Building Materials (BILDCO).

He started his career at ADIA from 1991 – 2000 in the Equities Department, then he served as the Director General of Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions & Benefits Fund since its establishment back in 2000. He had also held directorship in a number of organisations including the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates, Securities & Commodities Authority of UAE (SCA), Etisalat Misr in Egypt, The Arab International Bank (AIB) in Egypt, Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) in Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan, Banco Atlantico in Spain, Tabreed and Abu Dhabi Holding Company.

Zahid Ur Rehman Khokher

Zahid Ur Rehman Khokher

Acting Secretary-General , Islamic Financial Services Board

Zahid Ur Rehman Khokher was appointed as the Acting Secretary-General of the IFSB effective 15 April 2017 by the Council of the IFSB in its 30th meeting on 6 April 2017, upon the retirement of Mr. Jaseem Ahmed.

Mr. Zahid Ur Rehman has been working with the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) since January 2008 and has more than 19 years of regulatory and standard-setting experience in the financial sector. He supervises the standard-setting and research programmes of the IFSB, including the annual flagship Islamic Financial Services Industry Stability Report. He also oversees the prudential database project on Islamic financial indicators. Apart from leading the implementation of Integrated Result Based Management Framework for the organisation, his role involves fostering relationships with the IFSB members, Multilateral Development Banks and other international organisations.

Before assuming the position of Assistant Secretary-General in June 2013, his experience with the IFSB includes working as senior project manager and team lead for preparing new standards and guiding principles for Islamic finance, while adopting global regulatory reforms on liquidity, capital adequacy and supervision. He was also closely involved in assisting the member countries in the implementation of IFSB standards.

He has also worked as Joint Director in the Islamic Banking Department, State Bank of Pakistan, where he was involved in assignments related to the introduction and enhancement of prudential and regulatory framework for Islamic banking sector in the country. His experience in the central bank also includes on-site inspection, foreign exchange supervision, and treasury.

Zahid is a Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP) from INCEIF, Malaysia (2009). He holds Masters in Business Administration (2005), Computer Science (1998) as well as Statistics (1995). He also holds PGD in Islamic banking and insurance from IIBI, London, UK (2001).

He is a member of the Basel Consultative Group.

Iqbal Khan

Iqbal Khan

Chief Executive, Fajr Capital Limited, UAE

Iqbal Ahmad Khan is the Chief Executive Officer of Fajr Capital. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Cravia Group, GEMS Education, Jadwa Investment, and National Petroleum Services. Prior to Fajr Capital, he was the founding CEO of HSBC Amanah, where he built the business and team over eight years into one of the fastest growing and most successful emerging businesses in the HSBC Group. He is a long-time advocate of the Islamic financial services industry, serving as an advisor to government initiatives in Brunei, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Physics and Chemistry, both from Aligarh Muslim University. He is the recipient of several industry and global accolades, including the Royal Award for Islamic Finance, a biannual prize presented by HM the King of Malaysia, and a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE.

Professor (em.) Dr. Volker Nienhaus

Professor (em.) Dr. Volker Nienhaus

Honorary Professor of Economics, University of Bochum (Germany) Former President, University of Marburg (Germany)

Volker Nienhaus received his doctorate and post-doctorate in economics from the University of Bochum (Germany). He was full Professor of Economics at the German universities of Trier and Bochum, Vice Rector of the University of Bochum and President of the University of Marburg. He holds an honorary professorship of the University of Bochum and was Visiting Professor at the University of Reading (UK), University of Malaya and the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. He served as consultant to the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and in several academic advisory committees and boards, including the German Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development and the German Federal Agency for Civic Education. He is a member of the Governing Council and Adjunct Professor of INCEIF (International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance) in Kuala Lumpur and of the International Advisory Panel of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF). His interest in Islamic economics and finance and his long list of publications date back to the late 1970s.



Chairpersons and Speakers:

H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman Bin Abdullah Al Hamidy

H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman Bin Abdullah Al Hamidy

Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Arab Monetary Fund

Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, a Saudi National, born in 1960, holds a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Oregon, U.S.A. since 1991.

Before serving as Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), in March 2014, H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, was Vice Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) for the period 2009-2013. H.E. Dr. Al Hamidy has also served as Deputy Governor for Technical Affairs at SAMA as well as Director General at Economic Research and Statistics and earlier as Director of Training, Research and Information, at the Institute of Banking. He has earlier taught Economics at the King Saud University.

Dr. Al Hamidy has also been a member of the Board of Executive Directors in the Arab Monetary Fund for the period 2003-2013, as well as other organisations, such as: Saudi Industrial Development Fund; Saudi Development Fund; Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority; The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance and Saudi Stock Exchange Co. (Tadawul);

Dr. Al Hamidy has participated in international meetings such as G20, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), as well as meetings of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), Financial Stability Board (FSB), and the Council of the IFSB.

In addition, with his appointment as Director General Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund, Dr. Al Hamidy also holds the position of Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board of the Arab Trade Financing Program (ATFP).

Dr. Zamir Iqbal

Dr. Zamir Iqbal

Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Islamic Development Bank

Prior to joining the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Iqbal served as head of the World Bank Global Islamic Finance Development Center in Istanbul. He has more than 25 years of experience of capital markets, asset management, risk management, and financial sector at the World Bank. Islamic finance has been his research focus and he has co-authored several articles and books on Islamic finance on the topics of banking risk, financial inclusion, economic development, financial stability, and risk-sharing. He played an instrumental role in the publication of World Bank and IDB’s first Global Report on Islamic Finance. He earned his Ph.D. in international finance from the George Washington University and served as Professional faculty at Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University.

H.E. Jameel Ahmad

H.E. Jameel Ahmad

Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan

Mr. Jameel Ahmad is presently the Deputy Governor at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). During his illustrious career with SBP he worked as Executive Director,  Banking Supervision Group and as Group Head Operations, Banking Policy & Regulations, Development Finance and Financial Resource Management. Mr. Ahmad is also a member of SBP’s Monetary Policy Committee and the Corporate Management Team and heads the Committees on Banking Policy, Payment Systems Policy and Enterprise Risk Management. He also represents SBP on Financial Stability Board (FSB)’s Correspondent Banking Coordination Group and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)’s Task Force on Prudential Treatment of Assets. As member of IFSB’s Technical Committee, he worked on its working Groups on Risk Management, Supervisory Review Process, Capital Adequacy and Determination of Alpha Factor.

From July 2009 till April 2015, Mr. Ahmad was the Advisor to Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). He represented SAMA on various working groups / task forces of the BCBS including its Large Exposures Group, High Level Task Force on Sovereign Exposures, Task Force on Prudential Treatment of Assets and Supervision & Implementation Group. He also represented SAMA on FSB Compensation Monitoring Group, G20 Task Force on Financial Safety Nets, IFSB Working Group on Capital Adequacy and IFSB Task Force on PSIFIs.

Mr. Jameel Ahmad holds an MBA from University of Punjab and is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan (FCMA) since 1994.

H.E. Chuchi G. Fonacier

H.E. Chuchi G. Fonacier

Deputy Governor, Supervision and Examination Sector, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Chuchi G. Fonacier is the Deputy Governor of the Supervision and Examination Sector, which is mainly responsible for the regulation of Banks and other BSP-Supervised Financial Institutions (BSFIs). Under her direct supervision are inclusive financial advocacy unit, technical services staff, administrative and operations group, and four (4) sub-sectors, which handle onsite examination and inspection, offsite supervision, financial literacy, consumer affairs, financial data collection, and policy studies.

She started her career at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in 1984 as a Bank Examiner and has progressively worked her way to become Assistant Governor in 2017. Among the highlights of her career as a central banker are the following: (i) her designation as the BSP’s point person of the two (2) important legislative measures passed by Congress – the Securitization Act, and the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Act, which were both instrumental in unloading Banks’ non-performing assets and improving their financial position; (ii) the recognition of the department which she headed in 2008 as BSP’s primary supervisory unit that handles specially-challenged Banks where a record number of banks were successfully resolved; (iii) the development of various programmes, in coordination with the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), aimed at strengthening the thrift, rural and cooperative banking sectors by encouraging mergers, consolidations and acquisition involving weak banks: the Strengthening Programme for Rural Banks (SPRB)/ SPRB Plus, Strengthening Programme for Cooperative Banks (SPCB)/SPCB Plus and the Consolidation Programme for Rural Banks (CPRB); and (iv) the issuance of policies and procedures intended to accelerate resolution of banks.

As Deputy Governor, she is also a member and the BSP-designated representative in different interagency and international committees such as Financial Sector Forum (FSF), Working Group on Banking Supervision (WGBS) of the Executives’ Meeting of East Asia Pacific Central Banks (EMEAP), and Credit Information Corporations Project.

Ms. Fonacier took up her Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Accounting degree at University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a holder of a Career Service Executive Eligibility (CSEE). She obtained her Master in Business Administration (MBA) at the Ateneo de Manila University.

She attended the Programme on Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Smart Design for Policy and Practice organized by the Harvard Kennedy School, and various foreign trainings, seminars and conferences such as the WB/Federal Reserve System (FRS)/IMF 17th Annual International Conference on Policy Challenges for the Financial Sector in Washington, D.C.; IADI Europe Regional Committee Annual Meeting & International Conference in Bari, Italy; CCBS Workshop for Heads of Financial Stability in London, United Kingdom; and MCM-IMF Asia Regional Conference on Banking Supervision and Regulation in Tokyo, Japan.

She also served as panelist/resource person on financial inclusion in various international conferences/fora such as the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development held at the UN Headquarters, New York, USA; UNESCAP Asia-Pacific Outreach Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia; Microfinance Forum in Shanghai, China; International Conference on Financial Inclusion and Shadow Banking in Moscow, Russia; and APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies’ Meeting in Lima, Peru.

H.E. Dr. Fahad Ibrahim Alshathri

H.E. Dr. Fahad Ibrahim Alshathri

Deputy Governor for Research and International Affairs, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority

He studied and graduated with a Ph.D. in Economics, with Major in Public Finance and Minor in Finance at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA in 2008. In 2000, he completed his Master of Science in Economics at King Saud University, Riyadh and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting on 1994 at King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA.

In 1994, he started his career as an Accountant in the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and became an Economic Researcher in 2000 at Ministry of Finance, KSA, until he become an Economic Advisor in 2008 until 2011. After that, he moved to International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA in 2011, where he worked as Advisor to Executive Director, and then Alternate Executive Director in 2012. In 2013, he was appointed as an Executive Director and Board member for Saudi Arabia at IMF – Washington DC until 2016. In July 2016, he was appointed as the Deputy Governor of Research and International Affairs at SAMA where he currently works.

Member of the Board of Directors, Saudi Social Development Bank

Member of the Board of Directors, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA)

Member of the Board of Directors, Kafalah Programme for SME Financing.

Member of the Board of Directors, General Authority of Zakat and Tax.

Member of the Board of Directors, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

Member of the Counsel of the Financial Sector Development Programme.

Member of the Counsel of the National Champions Promotion Programme.

Member of the Preparatory Committee for National Financial Stability Committee.

Member of the Preparatory National Committee for Hosting the Group of Twenty (G20).

Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad

Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad

Executive Director - Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain

Khalid Hamad was born in 1963 in Muharraq, Kingdom of Bahrain.

Khalid graduated with Bachelor Degree on Business Administration from University of Portland, USA December, 1986.  He has also obtained Strategic Leadership and Executive Management Programme Certificate from University of Columbia, New York in 1996.

His current responsibilities include supervision of all Conventional and Islamic banking institutions, licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), as well as inspection of all financial institutions, comprising banks, insurance firms, Investment business, capital market players and ancillary services.

Mr. Hamad began his career in 1987 with the then CBB. In 2003 he joined Ernst & Young in Bahrain, serving as Senior Manager and then as Executive Manager of Risk Management & Regulatory Services.

Mr. Hamad is the Chairman of the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM), Chairman of the Waqf Fund for Research, Education and Training in Islamic Banking, a member of the Board of Trustees of AAOIFI, and a member in the GCC Banking Supervision Committee.

Khalid Hamad is married with 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl.

Jaseem Ahmed

Jaseem Ahmed

Former Secretary-General, Islamic Financial Services Board

Jaseem Ahmed is a strategic policy advisor (private) and the former Secretary-General of the IFSB. He is an internationally recognised expert on both conventional and Islamic financial systems, and their regulation and supervision.

He has more than 25 years experience in financial sector reforms, and in high level international financial and monetary collaboration. His operational policy experience spans strategy formulation and design, financial sector and corporate governance, macroeconomic and financial stabilisation, regional cooperation and international financial markets, as well as ethics in finance.

As Secretary-General of the IFSB, and as a member of key international bodies such as the Basel Consultative Group and the Consultative Advisory Groups of the IAASB and IESBA,  he contributed to development of global standards for the financial sector, and for ethics in the financial sector. He has worked closely with the Governors of leading central banks in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and in European nations and participated actively in the international regulatory consultation process, including with the senior management of the IMF, World Bank, IDB and ADB.

Prior to the IFSB, he was Director of Financial Sector and Public Governance at the ADB where  he led reform programs supporting Asian countries in response to both the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, and the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 -2009.

Drawing on his prior experience in managing the largest policy lending and TA programme for financial sector reforms at the ADB, Mr. Ahmed’s tenure as Secretary-General saw the introduction at the IFSB of its results based Strategic Performance Plans, the launching of an expanding research programme addressing cutting edge regulatory and policy issues, the issuance of the IFSB’s Implementation Surveys and the widely acclaimed annual IFSB Stability Report.

He holds post-graduate degrees from Yale University, a BA in Economics from the University of Sussex and a Diploma from Harvard University.

Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi

Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Securities and Commodities Authority, UAE
  • Dr. Obaid Saif Hamad Al Zaabi who holds the PhD in Finance and Banking from Durham University has over 25 years of work experience in financial legislation, accounting, banking, finance and investment, and shari’ah-compliant finance from many leading financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates, such as the UAE Central Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Amlak Finance, and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

    Prior joining the SCA in 2008, he worked with a number of financial institutions and also with the Central Bank of the UAE. In 2017, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Issuance and Legal Affairs at the SCA.

    He has multiple memberships in Specialist, Professional Organizations and Associations which include Australia-based Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from the United Kingdom, Certified Cost Accountant (CCA) from the US-based American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM), Certified Islamic Professional Accountant (CIPA) from the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutes (AAOIFI).

    In his capacity, he becomes the member of the US-based Institute of Financial Consultants (IFC), member of the UAE-based Accountant and Auditors Association (AAA), board member at the GCC Accounting and Auditing Organization (GCCAAO), member of the US-based International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), member of the Advisory Board of the College of Business and Economics at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). SCA is also an Associate member of the IFSB.

Marzunisham Bin Omar

Marzunisham Bin Omar

Assistant Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia

Marzunisham Omar is the Assistant Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia responsible for financial sector regulation, overseeing the areas of financial surveillance and stability, prudential regulation, Islamic finance as well as consumer and market conduct regulation. As part of the senior management of the Bank, Marzunisham is a member of the Bank’s Management Committee, Financial Stability Committee and Reserve Management Committee

Prior to this, Marzunisham served as an Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), representing 13 countries in the South East Asia Constituency[1]. This role called for close engagement with the Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors from around the region. As a member of the Executive Board, Marzunisham played a part in key decisions of IMF activities, including surveillance, policy advice, technical assistance and lending programmes.

Marzunisham started his career at Bank Negara Malaysia as an economist in 1993. Almost 25 years of experience has given him the opportunity to be involved in multiple key areas of central banking, in particular economic and monetary policy formulation, financial sector development and financial inclusion. Marzunisham has held various senior positions at the Bank, most notably as Assistant Governor of the Organisational Development (2011-2013) and Monetary and Economic (2013-2015) sectors.

In addition to representing the Bank at various committees and forums both domestically and abroad, Marzunisham has participated in economic policy formulation at a national level. He was a member of the National Development Planning Committee and Inter Agency Planning Group, as well as being part of the team that devised Malaysia’s economic response to the global financial crisis. Between 2000 and 2002, Marzunisham was the Bank’s lead negotiator on financial sector liberalisation at the WTO and ASEAN.

Marzunisham continues to be actively involved in the development of the Malaysian financial sector. He is instrumental in driving key initiatives to promote financial inclusion, such as the enhancement of the framework for commercial microfinance to improve access to financing for small and medium enterprises.

Marzunisham graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge.

[1] Representing Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam.

Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin

Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin

Managing Director of Development & Islamic Markets, Securities Commission Malaysia

Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin is the Managing Director for Development and Islamic Markets at the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). He joined the SC in 2011. He is also the Chairman of Capital Markets Malaysia, an entity established by the SC to promote the Malaysian capital market.

He has over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry, primarily in the capital market segment. He began his career with Citibank Malaysia before joining MIDF Amanah Asset Management (MIDF Asset). During part of his tenure with MIDF Asset, he was seconded to Schroder Investment Management in London. He was CEO/Director of MIDF Asset and Head of the Asset Management Division of the MIDF Group until 2007 when he joined i-VCAP Management, an Islamic fund management firm, as its first CEO.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree (dual concentration in Accounting & Finance) from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. He presently sits on the Technical Committee of both the Islamic Financial Services Board and the Finance Accreditation Agency Malaysia. He is also a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants’ Islamic Finance Committee. He was previously President of CFA Malaysia, Vice Chairman of the Malaysian Association of Asset Managers (MAAM) and Chairman of MAAM Islamic Fund Management Sub-Committee.

Ashraf Mohammed

Ashraf Mohammed

Assistant General Counsel and Practice Leader, Islamic Finance, Asian Development Bank

Ashraf Mohammed is Assistant General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and is Head of the Central and West Asia Region Legal Team. Mr. Mohammed is also the Practice Leader for Islamic Finance at ADB, overseeing all of ADB’s activities in this area. He is a UK qualified Solicitor with over 30 years of legal experience. Before joining ADB in 2004, Mr. Mohammed was European General Counsel for a NASDAQ listed international telecommunications company where he was responsible for corporate finance and debt restructuring in Europe. Mr. Mohammed has also been a partner in two leading commercial law firms in London, undertaking company and commercial work, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions for a wide range of clients, including international banks and multinational corporations, as well as acting for insolvency practitioners on insolvency matters.

At ADB, Mr. Mohammed has worked in many countries across Asia on both private sector and public sector projects and programs, in numerous development sectors and financial intermediation. As ADB’s Practice Leader for Islamic Finance, he has advised on Sukûks and worked on Sharīʻah transactions including the Islamic Infrastructure Fund, the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation, and the fully Sharīʻah-compliant project financing of the Foundation Wind power projects in Pakistan. Mr. Mohammed has sat on a number of international committees including the IFSB Working Group on the Core Principle Standards on Islamic Finance Regulations.

Mr. Mohammed studied law at Kingston University in the UK where he obtained an LLB and is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Ghiath Shabsigh

Ghiath Shabsigh

Assistant Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund

Mr. Shabsigh is the Assistant Director of the Monetary and Capital Market Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the head of the Central Banking Operations division. Prior responsibilities included financial sector surveillance management, oversight of the financial sector work in the Middle East and Central Asia regions, and financial sector technical assistance management.

He joined the IMF in 1992 and worked on economic and financial sector reform programs, capacity building, and FSAPs in countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. His previous work experiences include working as a financial analyst, business development consultant, and teaching. He is also the IMF lead expert on Islamic banking and finance.

Mr. Shabsigh holds a Ph.D. degree in Monetary Economics and International Finance, a MA in Economic Development, a B.Sc. in Economics and Business, and several professional qualifications in banking and securities market operations.

Luke Ombara

Luke Ombara

Director, Regulatory Policy and Strategy, Capital Markets Authority, Kenya

Luke Ombara is currently Director, Regulatory Policy and Strategy, at the Capital Markets Authority, where he provides overall strategic leadership in Research, Policy, Strategy, Product Development, Regulatory Affairs and Investor Education functions. He has risen through the ranks, having joined the Authority in 1995 as a Graduate Trainee.

He has held various posts at the Authority including heading its research, market infrastructure and product development departments. Luke is a senior economist and policy analyst with over 22 years’ experience in capital markets research and policy formulation, during which period he has developed more than thirty research and policy advisories focusing on gaps in the securities, investments and derivatives. He is also a Balance Score Card Professional and an alumni of the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Programme.

Mr. Ombara served as the NSE Demutualization Champion between 2010 and 2011 and as Project Manager for establishment of a Derivatives Market in Kenya between November 2012 and December 2015. He currently chairs the Capital Markets Master Plan Implementation Committee (CMMP-IC, Capital Markets Master Plan Steering committee (SMMP-SC) Secretariats and Joint CMA/NSE/CDSC Market Development Committee. Additionally, he serves as a Member of the Technical Committee of the Financial Sector Regulators Forum; as an Associate Member of the Toronto Leadership Center; and as alternate to the Chief Executive on the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Luke is an ardent soccer fan, relishes a broad genre of contemporary and classical music, as well as an avid reader of innovative publications.

James O’Brien

James O’Brien

Head of Regulatory Development, Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates

James O’Brien is Head of Regulatory Development at the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates since 2012. James is responsible for the design and implementation of the Central Bank’s new regulatory strategy. This involves ensuring the Central Bank’s regulatory system continues to be aligned with international best practice and market developments. In addition to developing the traditional Basel regulatory framework for the UAE, James has also been instrumental in leading regulatory development in innovative areas such as digital payments.

James has 25 years financial regulatory and management experience across several international jurisdictions. He has worked with the financial regulators in the UK, Ireland, US, Australia and now the UAE.  He has extensive experience in regulatory policy design and implementation and in direct prudential supervision of the financial sector, including banks, building societies, credit unions and foreign exchanges.

Directly prior to joining the Central Bank of the UAE, James was a member of the Senior Management Team of the Central Bank of Ireland.  He was closely involved in the work on restructuring the Irish financial sector post the global financial crisis and the re-design and development of the regulatory and supervisory framework. James has been a member of committees established by the Irish Government on financial regulation. He was also responsible for representing the Central Bank in addressing Parliamentary Committees on regulatory matters.

James has been a member of various international regulatory and supervisory policy committees, including the European Central Bank, the Bank for International Settlements, the OECD and the International Credit Union Regulatory Network. He has led international expert teams on financial sector assessment missions on behalf of the European Commission, with responsibility for producing and presenting final reports and recommendations to the Commission.

James has also advised Irish universities on the development of financial education programmes towards the better implementation of regulation within financial institutions and the protection of consumers.

Robert Scharfe

Robert Scharfe

Chief Executive Officer, Luxembourg Stock Exchange

Robert Scharfe is the CEO of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange since 2012 and he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges as well as the Chairman of the Nomination Committee of the World Federation of Exchanges.

He’s a recognised expert in Capital Markets matters and a specialist in Green finance.

Before joining the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, he spent 35 years in the Banking industry, mostly in Corporate Finance and Financial Markets. Between 2000 and 2012 he was a Member of the Management Board of BGL BNP Paribas in Luxembourg. During that time he also assumed senior responsibilities within Fortis Bank in the areas of Institutional Banking and Global Markets.

During his banking career, he acquired extensive knowledge in International Capital Markets and gained solid experience in Asset Management and Investment Funds.

He holds a Master Degree in Economics from the University of Nancy and he is an alumni of Insead and Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palo Alto.

Irfan Siddiqui

Irfan Siddiqui

President and Chief Executive Officer, Meezan Bank Limited, Pakistan

Mr. Irfan Siddiqui is the founding President & CEO of Meezan Bank. He initiated the formation of Al-Meezan Investment Bank in 1997, which was converted into a full-fledged scheduled Islamic Commercial Bank in May 2002 – the first ever Islamic Commercial Banking license given in Pakistan. Meezan Bank is now the largest Islamic Commercial Bank in Pakistan with 570 branches spread across 146 cities.

Mr. Irfan Siddiqui is a Chartered Accountant from Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and was trained at Coopers & Lybrand, London. He has held several senior management positions including Chief Executive Officer at Al-Meezan Investment Bank Limited, General Manager at Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company, Manager Finance and Operation at Abu Dhabi Investment Company and Senior Business Analyst at Exxon Chemical (Pakistan) Ltd.

Mr. Siddiqui is:

  • Member of the Government of Pakistan Steering Committee for ‘Promotion of Islamic Banking in Pakistan.
  • Board of Trustees of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Bahrain

Chairman of IBP Sub Committees for Academic Board and Finance Committee.

Dr. Mohamed Damak

Dr. Mohamed Damak

Senior Director, Global Head of Islamic Finance, S&P Global Ratings, United Arab Emirates

Mohamed Damak is a Senior Director within the Financial Services at S&P Global Ratings. He covers financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa region. Mohamed is also the Global Head of Islamic Finance within S&P Global Ratings, leading a global team of Islamic Finance analysts.

Before re-joining S&P Global Ratings, Mohamed worked as a Principal Credit Risk Officer for the African Development Bank in Tunis. From 2006 to 2010, Mohamed worked for S&P Global Ratings covering conventional and Islamic financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Mohamed holds a PhD in Finance and Master in “Money, Banking and Finance” from University of Paris 2, Pantheon Assas and a Master degree in Financial Institutions Management from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Tunis.

Lilian Le Falher

Lilian Le Falher

Executive Manager, Head of Treasury and Corporate Banking Group, Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain

Lilian Le Falher has 20 years’ experience of Investment Banking. He is an Executive Manager of Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain, heading Treasury, Financial Institutions and Capital Markets. As representative of KFH, he is a board member of the International Islamic Financial Market and he is the vice-chairman of its Executive Committee. He has contributed to the development of various Shari’a compliant structured products and investment schemes.

Prior to joining KFH in 2005, Lilian spent 8 years with BNP Paribas in Europe and the Middle East. He ended his duty at BNPP as Head of Investment Products for the Middle East region, dealing extensively in Equity, Bonds and Structured Products.

Lilian Le Falher holds a Master in Banking and Finance from Toulouse Business School (France) and he is a CFA Charter holder.

Mustafa Serdar Bosca

Mustafa Serdar Bosca

Principal, The Boston Consulting Group, UAE

Mustafa Bosca is a Principal at the UAE offices of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He is a member of BCG’s Financial Services and Corporate Development practice areas. He leads BCG’s Islamic Finance offering and work with securities exchanges and capital markets authorities in the GCC region. Over the last 10 years, he supported leading Islamic financial institutions on strategy, transformation, new business setup, product development and organizational change. Prior to his career in consulting, Mr. Bosca served as a Trade Finance Officer at the Islamic Development Bank covering Bangladesh, Turkey and Central Asia. During his tenure at IDB, he also supported the setup of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Vision 1440H initiatives. Mr. Bosca holds an MBA from INSEAD and a BS in Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Turkey.

Sheikh Osaid Mohammed Adeeb Kailani

Sheikh Osaid Mohammed Adeeb Kailani

Global Head of Shariah, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, United Arab Emirates

Sheikh Osaid Kailani has more than 18 years of experience in the Islamic banking sector, specializing in Shari’a issues. Prior to working at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Sheikh Osaid served as a faculty member of Shari’a and Law at the UAE University. He is currently member of Shari’a council of Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and regarded as an expert in International Islamic Fiqh Academy. He is an executive member of Shari’a board of Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company and a member of Shari’a board of Bosna Bank International (BBI) and Islamic International Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM). Sheikh Osaid holds a PhD in Comparative Islamic Jurisprudence.

Craig Moore

Craig Moore

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Beehive Group, United Arab Emirates

As Founder and CEO, Craig is responsible for overseeing the overall strategic direction and managing the day-to-day operations of Beehive.

Before founding Beehive, Craig was a Founder & COO of Butterfly Software, a data analytics and migration software company acquired by IBM in September 2012. Prior to Butterfly his experience includes various sales, consulting and finance roles at numerous multinational companies such as Dell, EMC, Hitachi and HSBC with an emphasis on shaping effective go to market and value propositions.

Vineeta Tan

Vineeta Tan

Editor, Islamic Finance news

Vineeta Tan is the Editor of Islamic Finance news (IFN), the world’s leading Islamic finance news provider, and IFN Fintech, the industry’s first and only publication dedicated to fintech for Islamic finance. A multimedia journalist with almost a decade of experience in the journalism and publishing industry working independently and leading a team, Vineeta specializes in Islamic finance reporting and analysis, covering regions including the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

As Editor of IFN, she is responsible for the editorial direction of IFN and its other sister publications in addition to authoring reports on hard-hitting topics, producing podcasts and conducting video interviews. She has interviewed senior industry players, key stakeholders and senior dignitaries including the finance/economic ministers of Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka and the Maldives among others. Vineeta is also a regular in the Islamic finance conference circuit, moderating on-stage panel sessions and high-level dialogues.

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, she was attached to a research company in the US and was a freelance journalist writing for publications in the US and Malaysia.