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UK: Cambridge launches new Islamic Finance programme

By Robin Amlôt CPI Financial


A new Islamic Finance education programme for the UK opens its doors today at Cambridge Judge Business School. The CJBS Islamic Finance Executive Education Programme will be offered in Cambridge, London and Dubai, led by Dr Kamal Munir, CJBS Reader in Strategy and Policy and Professor Khaled Soufani, CJBS Senior Lecturer in Finance.

The programme lays the essential groundwork for competing effectively in the Islamic finance environment and explores the business opportunities and challenges of the field. Delegates enrolled for the first programme come from backgrounds in conventional and Islamic banks; investment, fund and wealth management; regulation and consulting. They will study IF from the fundamentals of the model through risk assessment, choosing the right business models, balancing profit and social need, assessing complementing conventional products and the financial catalysts and determinants of success in Islamic finance.

Dr Munir said, “We are delighted to be offering this new programme in Islamic finance which is fast becoming a hugely attractive field in the global finance industry, with asset growth of 150 per cent since 2006. The UK government is showing increasing commitment to this much admired ethical framework for conducting financial transactions. We feel there is no better time to offer a course that will cover not just the conceptual apparatus, but the various opportunities and challenges that face Islamic finance, whose growth shows no signs of abating.”

Cambridge Judge Executive MBA student Baljeet Kaur Grewal is one of the first intake on the new IF course and a driving force behind establishing the programme. Managing Director and Vice Chairman of KFH Research, an investment research subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House, Baljeet has received the Sheikh Rashid al-Makhtoum award for her contribution to Islamic finance research and development in Asia.

She said, “The Islamic finance programme is a tremendous opportunity which allows participants to explore Islamic finance as an ethical option to conventional finance. As the Islamic finance industry is expected to grow to $1.8 trillion by 2015, the number of participants and global financial players is set to increase, making the programme timely and the content structured around important themes including strategy, banking models, innovation and risk management.”

The Cambridge Judge programme was promoted by Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech to the World Islamic Economic Forum in London last month, as part of the evidence he put forward to position the UK as a major centre for Islamic Finance.

Dr Kamal Munir has taught at Cambridge Judge Business School since 2000. Dr Munir’s research focuses on social change and stability, innovation and technological shifts in society, the competitive advantage of nations, emergence of new markets, socio-economic changes in South Asia and economic development and competitiveness of developing countries. Dr Munir has advised organisations including the World Bank; the Department of Trade and Industry, UK; the Asian Development Bank; the Ministry of Finance, Thailand; the Textile Association, Pakistan; the Government of Pakistan; the State Bank of Pakistan; McKinsey & Co; Shell Petroleum; and British Telecom, among several others.

Professor Khaled Soufani is a Senior Teaching Faculty member in Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, Professor Soufani holds a Masters’ degree in Applied Economics and a PhD in Financial Economics. His research interests include corporate finance, financial economics and financial and managerial strategy. Professor Soufani has published extensively in the area of financial management, corporate restructuring, M&A, private equity, venture capital and family business, and the financial and economic affairs of small-medium enterprises. His work is widely cited and included in policy reports by the EU, OECD, and the Institute of Directors and he is on the editorial board of a number of international academic journals. Before joining academia, Professor Soufani worked in investment banking in the area of bond and money market trading.

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