As the activities of UKIFC continue to successfully grow the UKIFC has begun a process of expanding its Advisory Board. The Islamic finance industry is now worth over $2trillion and the increasing demand and interest in the sector has resulted in multiple organisations reaching out to the UKIFC for assistance.

Tariq Masood, UKIFC Chairman, commented “Over the past few years the UKIFC has grown considerably as our pioneering activities begin to make impact and achieve global recognition. We have been the main UK Islamic finance body driving the ethical finance debate focusing on the convergence of Islamic and ethical finance, holding the first ever interfaith ethical finance roundtable with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Our work empowering shariah scholars through a conventional markets training programme and our seminal research, Enhancing Shariah Assurance, has led to a number of international regulators upgrading their regulatory frameworks in line with our recommendations. This along with our other work has made real impact and Alhumdulilah credit is due to the dedication, expertise and professionalism of our multi-award winning team.”

“I am delighted to announce our first wave of new Board Members Dr Nasir Ahmad and Richard de Belder. I am sure with their extensive experience and enthusiasm they will help take the UKIFC through the next stage of its journey.”

Dr Nasir commented, “I believe the Islamic Finance Council UK has made a positive contribution, over the years, to the development of Islamic finance in the UK and overseas via its broad but focused set of activities and its dedicated staff. I welcome the opportunity to join the UKIFC as an Advisory Board member. I am looking forward to supporting the Council’s efforts, to enhance the global Islamic and ethical finance industry, especially in the areas of risk and financial regulation, given my experience and the increasing importance of both these aspects across financial services. ”

Dr Nasir Ahmad is currently a partner at Ernst & Young and specialises in risk and regulatory services to financial institutions. He has 20 years of international experience in financial risk management in banking, consulting, and academia, based out of Europe, Middle-East and Canada. Dr Ahmad has lead several risk and regulatory engagements, covering credit, market, operational and liquidity risks, including the implementation of Basel II and III programmes, Eurozone instability planning, stress testing, quantitative model development for complex derivatives, risk MI, internal control systems.

The UKIFC have recently become the only UK Islamic finance promotional body to become members of IFSB. Benefiting from Dr Nasir’s expertise in Basel III, the IFC aim to promote IFSB activities through our footprint in the UK and beyond.

Also joining Dr Nasir, is Richard de Belder a partner with the international law firm Dentons who heads up the global co-ordination of the firm’s Islamic Finance practice. Since the late 1990s he has been involved in a wide range of Shari’ah-compliant finance transactions working with leading Shari’ah scholars to create ground breaking structures and internationally recognised solutions. He previously chaired the Legal Group of the UK Islamic Finance Secretariat (UKIFS) and in 2013 was one of seven non-ministerial members of the UK Government’s Islamic Finance Task Force.

Commenting on his appointment he said, “‘I have known Omar Shaikh for a long time and have admired the work that the Islamic Finance Council UK has done to promote Islamic finance in a range of areas, including developing the ethical values of Islamic finance, encouraging research into areas that could be developed and its training initiatives such as its programme to assist Shari’ah scholars – which I have had the opportunity to engage in.  So the opportunity to assist the UKIFC in its work is something that I am very excited about and I am looking forward to working with the other team members to develop and expand its initiatives to encourage and facilitate the growth of Islamic finance.”