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July 2011

IIBI holds 5th Annual Workshop at Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK 

As part of its continuing commitment towards practice-based training, IIBI held its 5th Annual Three-Day Residential Workshop on ‘Structuring Innovative Islamic Financial Products' at the renowned University of Cambridge from 22nd to 24th July, 2011. The workshop had international participation that included Islamic and conventional bankers, lawyers, accountants, regulators who travelled from as far a field as South Africa and Oman. The workshop was sponsored by Path Solutions – provider of Islamic and investment software solutions worldwide.

Mr Keith Phillips, Executive Director at the UK Islamic Finance Secretariat (UKIFS), in the opening address, highlighted UK's position as a leading Islamic finance centre which is home to five fully fledged Islamic banks as well as many conventional banks which have Islamic windows. Islamic finance is a growing industry with increasing global demand for human resources. UK is (and has been) at the forefront of providing qualifications for the Islamic finance industry. The UKIFS has set up an Education, Training & Qualifications (ETQ) Working Group which is engaging academia, business schools, professional institutions and trade associations, and partnering with leading institutes such as the Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance.

The workshop provided an in-depth practical analysis of the key innovative Islamic financial products in the market with special focus on the corporate and capital market instruments. It looked on the main structures of Murabaha, Ijarah, Salam, Istisna'a, Mudarabah and Musharakah and important requirements for their practical applications. It also analysed the major innovative products and product features currently being used in the industry, and also explored both the nature of the innovations as well as the underlying rationale and philosophy for such innovations within the Shari'ah parameters. The use of case studies and an interactive format enriched the discussion and helped the participants to grasp the subject matter more comprehensively.

The workshop was led by Dr Salman Khan, Head of Shari'ah Office (Dubai) at a leading GCC-based Islamic bank. He was joined by Richard de Belder, partner at SNR Denton - an International Law firm; Mohammed Amin, Islamic finance consultant and Muhammad Ali Jinnah Ahmad, Co-ordinator of Takaful Research Unit at the International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) Malaysia.

In the closing address, Mr Mohammed A. Qayyum, Director General of the Institute emphasised that genuine product innovation is crucial for the reputation and development of the Islamic finance industry. This workshop provides a unique platform for advancing technical knowledge and developing the skill base for the industry. At the close, ‘Certificate of Attendance' were awarded to the participants.

‘Excellent workshop. I enjoyed the content and spirit of the workshop'
Mr Jonathan Lawrence, Partner, K & L Gates, UK
‘Great overall setting. IIBI did not spare anything on the course and the facilities.'
Mr Ahmad Quandour, lawyer, Jordan
‘An excellent workshop giving a detailed insight into the issues with current Shari'ah-compliant products.'
Ms Bilkis Ismail, Barrister (Senior Associate), SJ Berwin (MENA), Dubai, UAE
‘The workshop was very informative. Interactive methodology used is commendable.'
 Mr Tajelkhatim Daoud Khari, Sharjah Islamic Bank, UAE
‘The workshop was excellent.'
Ms Naseeha Mahomed, Assurance Senior - Banking and Capital Markets, Ernst & Young, South Africa


The IIBI’s 6th Annual workshop will be held in July 2012; for more information, please contact Mohammad Shafique at 0207 2450404 or email







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