Tariq Al-Rifai – Chief Executive Officer
Tariq Al-Rifai has been involved in the Islamic banking and finance sector for over 20 years and is viewed as a leading authority on Islamic investments, private equity and Sukuk. He has written for prestigious publications such as Euromoney and The Harvard Forum on Islamic Finance and is the author of Islamic Finance and the New Financial System: An Ethical Approach to Preventing Future Financial Crises, published by Wiley in April 2015.
He is often quoted in print and electronic media, including the Financial Times, Bloomberg and Reuters. He has also appeared as a guest on Bloomberg Television, CNBC Arabia, Sky News Arabia and Al-Arabiya Business Channel.
Most recently, he served as the Head of Research and Investor Relations at Kuwait Finance House in Kuwait, one of the largest Islamic financial institutions in the world. He also served as Global Director of Islamic Indices at S&P Dow Jones Indices (Dubai) and as vice president of UIB Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm which managed a $300 million Shariah-compliant investment portfolio.
Previously, Tariq was a partner in the London office of The International Investor, a Kuwait-based investment bank, where he was responsible for building distribution relationships with financial institutions in Europe and the Middle East. He also was vice president and manager of HSBC Bank’s Islamic Finance Program in New York. In 1996 Tariq founded Failaka Advisors, which was the first-ever organization to monitor and publish research on Islamic funds.
Tariq Al-Rifai holds an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in international finance from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.
Abdullah AlSaif is one of the pioneers of Islamic banking having started his career in 1979 at Kuwait Finance House in Kuwait. He spent more than 18 years at the bank helping build it up to the second largest Islamic bank in the world. Few in the industry share his expertise in starting and building financial institutions across the Gulf countries.
In 1997, Abdullah was among the founding executive management team brought on board to establish Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, which today is among the leading Islamic banks in the region. In 1999, he was hired by Gulf Investment House of Kuwait to setup and run Osoul Leasing & Finance Co., a consumer finance company where he also served as its CEO. He also helped establish and manage Wethaq Takaful Insurance (Kuwait), Wared Leasing and Finance Co., and QAF Holding Co. (Jafza).
Abdullah has also advised conventional banks on converting into Islamic banks. In 2003, he advised Kuwait Real Estate Bank in its conversion into an Islamic bank under the supervision of the Central Bank of Kuwait and served as General Manager. The bank was later renamed Kuwait International Bank. In 2008, he advised Ahli United Bank of Kuwait on a similar conversion process.
Abdullah has served on numerous boards of financial institutions across the Gulf, including the Credit Rating & Collection Co. (Kuwait), The Investor for Securities (Saudi Arabia), and Wethaq Takaful Insurance to name a few. Abdullah received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Jones College in Florida in 1977.
Nabil Ameen’s career in banking spans over 30 years. He has a wide-range of expertise in this field from Islamic banking and financial services to asset management and private equity. Nabil is currently the Vice Chairman and CEO of Almadar Finance & Investment Company, a Kuwait-based publicly listed company specializing in Islamic finance, private equity and real estate investments.
Nabil has served on the boards of many different banking and investment companies over the years helping steer their vision and lead them to profitability. He previously served on the boards of Bahrain Islamic Bank in Bahrain, Boubyan Bank in Kuwait and Cham Islamic Bank in Syria.
He began his career in 1983 as a credit officer at Kuwait Finance House (KFH), currently the second largest bank in Kuwait with assets over $56 billion. He spent the next 18 years at the bank working his way up to Deputy General Manager responsible for the Retail Banking and Financing Support Services departments by the time he left the bank in 2000. Nabil is a graduate of The American College in Switzerland where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business Administration in 1981.
Fahed Al-Sumait is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Mass Communication Department at the Gulf University for Science and Technology where he has also served as an Advisor to the Vice President of Academic Services in the capacity of Interim Dean for Student Affairs. He currently teaches various courses on strategic communication, ranging from political communication to public relations. He was previously a Fulbright-Hays fellow for his research into contested discourses on Arab democratization and a post-doctoral research fellow at the Middle East Institute in the National University of Singapore. Dr. Al-Sumait is also a founding member of the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies through the Middle East Studies Association.
His notable publications include “Terrorism’s cause and cure: The rhetorical regime of democracy in the U.S. and UK” (2009); as well as chapters in Transforming International Communication: Media, Culture and Society the Middle East (2014) and State Power 2.0: Authoritarian Entrenchment and Political Engagement Worldwide (2014). He is also co-editor of the books, “The Arab Uprisings: Catalysts, Dynamics and Trajectories” (2014, Rowman & Littlefield), and “Covering bin Laden: Global Media and the World’s Most Wanted Man” (2015, University of Illinois Press). He holds an MA and PhD both in communication from the University of New Mexico and the University of Washington, respectively.
Arshad Majid is a former New York prosecutor with over 15 years of expertise in State and Federal criminal cases, white collar crime, violent crime, gang violence, human trafficking, terrorism, sex crimes, civil rights, computer/cyber-crimes, money laundering and financial fraud.
He counsels US and global financial institutions on Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). He also represents private parties and corporations for civil and criminal litigation in Federal and State courts. Arshad has assisted FBI’s Mortgage Fraud Unit in the detection and prosecution of financial fraud and the NY State Attorney General’s Economic Crimes and Mortgage Fraud Divisions in the detection and prosecution of white collar crimes.
Arshad previously worked as Assistant District Attorney, Suffolk Country, New York covering the White Collar Crime Bureau. He was nominated for New York State Supreme Court Justice and is currently admitted to the New York, Illinois and Federal Bars.
Paul McNamara is a writer, journalist, editor and author with a specialization in wholesale financial markets including: Islamic finance, investment banking, project finance, trade finance, wealth management, private equity, hedge funds and alternative investments, the Middle East banking and finance industry, GCC capital markets and the world of interest rate securities. He has previously worked in Europe and the Middle East for international media and publishing companies.
An avid author and publisher, Paul has published numerous books including; A Primer: Islamic Wealth Management, A Primer: Islamic Investment Banking, The Sukuk Book: Essential Case Studies, Understanding Interest Rate Securities, Half a Century of Banking in the UAE – with Philip Dew, 35 Years of Dubai Islamic Bank – with Philip Dew, and The Journey of a Palestinian in the Diaspora – the biography of Adnan Nourideen Bseisu (editor).