The Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) took place on the 19th of November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to recognize the outstanding contributions made by institutions and individuals within the Islamic finance banking industry for 2012. The ceremony followed the close of the first day of the Asian Finance Forum (AFF), a two day forum for international banking and finance, which this year focused on “The Ascent of Asia: Transforming the Financial Ecosystem”
The awards ceremony was held at the The Royale Chulan Hotel, and was attended by leading figures in Islamic banking and finance industry. Honoured guests included HRH Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Regent of the State of Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim Raja Puan Besar of the State of Perak, and Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman Securities Commission Malaysia, who cordially presented the awards to the winners.
The event commenced with an introduction on the GIFA by Professor Humayon Dar,Chairman & CEO of Edbiz Consulting, a Shari’a advisory and structuring arm of Edbiz Corporation with offices in London and Islamabad. He highlighted the importance of awards for the Islamic banking and finance industry in increasing exposure of current and potential luminaries in the industry. He stated, “The purpose of any award ceremony is to celebrate the achievements of individuals and institutions in strengthening and advancing the specific industry in question. GIFA is no different. Islamic finance is a niche industry and we need to honour the stalwarts of the industry. By appreciating their achievements, we are, together, honouring the industry we are so proud of and wish to advance. Without them, there is no Islamic finance.”
The annual GIFA awards began in 2011 in Oman coinciding with the first international conference in Islamic finance in the Sultanate, Oman Islamic Economic Forum. The awards roster consists of 22 general categories, taking account of the multiple facets and layers of Islamic finance. Sectors highlighted included asset management, corporate law, IT, social responsibility, the capital markets, education, etc. Such a range is a testament to the growth of the Islamic finance industry. Some of the winners included CIMB Islamic, FWU Takaful Solutions, Zaid Ibrahim & Co, Durham University, KPMG and Islamic Relief.
One of the purposes of the GIFA is highlight the achievements of individuals. The prestigious award for “Global Leadership in Islamic Ginance” was presented to HRH Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, recognizing his committed support of Islamic finance and the praiseworthy work carried out in the sector by the Malaysia International Islamic Finance Centre (MIFC) for which HRH Raja Dr Nazrin Shah acts as the MIFC Financial Ambassador. Mr Sohail Jaffer, Deputy CEO, FWU Takaful Solution, Takaful Group won the award in the category of “Islamic Finance Personality of the Year 2012″. Professor Humayon Dar praised Mr Jaffer’s pioneering role in Islamic finance, saying “Sohail Jaffer has been a tireless advocate for the growth of Islamic finance. Beyond his professional success, he has taken it on himself, to help organizations realize the value of Islamic finance.”
“GlFA 2012 was a very successful event that attracted a number of leading practitioners from different parts of the word. We thank HRH Raja Nazrin Shah, Tuanku Zara Salim, organisiers AFF and other industry players in assisting Edbiz Consulting in putting together such a wonderful gathering” said Rizwan Malik, Edbiz Consulting, Head of Business Development.
Published in The zawya.com, November 21th, 2012.