Some of the world's most outstanding individuals in Islamic finance are now being considered for The Royal Award for Islamic Finance. Unlike commercial awards which are deal-based, this Award focuses on an individual's record of achievement and outstanding contribution towards the advancement of Islamic finance globally. These 30 nominees represent the diversity and global acceptance of Islamic finance - from across all regions of the world, including the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia, Africa and Australia.
This pool of influential drivers of global Islamic finance also includes non-Muslims and both genders. Nominations have come from every sector of the industry including Shariah, academia, industry practitioners, Islamic finance institutions, research institutions, Government agencies and NGOs. Nominees range in age from 40 to over 80 years. This response supports the creation of The Royal Award to serve as a benchmark recognition of the global Islamic finance industry. The Royal Award is spearheaded by the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative and supported by Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission Malaysia. The nominations are being deliberated by an independent international jury, chaired by Musa Hitam a former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation. The 7-member jury comprises eminent individuals, Shariah scholars, academicians and Islamic finance practitioners from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States of America. The result will be announced and the recipient will receive the inaugural Royal Award from His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia during the Royal Gala Dinner and Award Presentation to be held on 25 October 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. The recipient of The Royal Award for Islamic Finance will serve as a role model to inspire others to contribute to the advancement of the industry.
In August 2006, the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative was launched to position Malaysia as a hub for international Islamic finance. The MIFC initiative comprises a community network of the country's financial and market regulators, including Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia), Securities Commission Malaysia, Labuan Financial Services Authority and Bursa Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange), Government ministries and agencies together with industry participation from the banking, takaful, capital market institutions, human capital development institutions and professional services companies which are participating and working collaboratively in Islamic finance. The MIFC initiative is supported by global legal, regulatory and Shariah best practices that enable industry practitioners to conduct international business in Islamic finance in Malaysia in the areas of Sukuk Origination, Islamic Fund and Wealth Management, International Islamic Banking, International Takaful and Human Capital Development, while enjoying attractive incentives. The MIFC Executive Committee (ExCo) comprises a high-level group of officials from key Government ministries, and agencies; financial and market regulators and financial institutions. It aims to review/provide policy direction towards ensuring the efficient coordination and effective implementation of the MIFC initiative. About Bank Negara Malaysia Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was established in 1959, under the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 1958 (Revised in 2009). The central bank is principally entrusted to uphold monetary and financial stability and maintain oversight over the payments system in the country. Over the years, BNM has significantly contributed to the development of a comprehensive, efficient and resilient financial sector that has been able to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of consumers and businesses. Malaysia's financial sector now distinctively encompasses both the conventional and Islamic financial services. Focusing in Islamic finance where Malaysia has a comparative advantage, BNM has taken the lead in promoting Malaysia as an International Islamic Financial Centre. Within this initiative, BNM approves licences for the establishment of International Islamic Banks and International Takaful Operators as well as focusing on institutional building, including the establishment of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) in promoting training, education and research to advance the talent development for the Islamic financial services industry. Meanwhile, the BNM Shariah Advisory Council ascertains applications of Shariah principles on Islamic financial services by providers under the purview of BNM and acts as an advisor to BNM on Shariah matters on such services. About Securities Commission Malaysia Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), established under the Securities Commission Act 1993, is a statutory body that reports to the Minister of Finance, Malaysia. The SC has direct responsibility for supervising and monitoring the activities of market institutions including the exchanges and clearing houses, as well as all persons licensed under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 (CMSA). Underpinning these functions is the ultimate aim of protecting investors. SC is also responsible to promote and develop securities and futures markets in Malaysia. The SC spearheads the development of the Malaysian Islamic capital market (ICM) by establishing a Shariah Advisory Council (SAC) to advise on matters relating to Islamic capital market activities and products. Over the years, the SC has built a comprehensive and facilitative framework for Islamic funds and wealth management. In addition, the SC has been driving product innovation in the Islamic equity and sukuk (Islamic bond) sectors; on top of promoting education, training, consultancy and research for the ICM.
Musa Hitam - Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia - Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation - Chairman of Sime Darby Berhad - Member of International Advisory Council of Brookings Doha Center Abdul Hamid Mohamad - Former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia - Member of the Shariah Advisory Council of Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia - Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Advisory Council of the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Professor Dr. Volker Nienhaus - Former President, University of Marburg, Germany - Member of the Governing Council of INCEIF - Consultant to the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) - Published numerous books and articles on Islamic economics, banking and finance Professor Dr. Abbas Mirakhor - Former IMF Executive Director - Received the IDB's 2003 prize in Islamic economics - Has publications in a variety of areas, including Islamic finance, microeconomics theory and mathematical economics - Holder of 1st INCEIF Chair in Islamic finance (2010) Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari - Professor of Islamic Economics at King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia - Former Director of Center for Research in Islamic Economics, King Abdul Aziz University - Expert in Islamic Jurisprudence - Academies of the Organization of Islamic Countries and the Islamic World League A. Riawan Amin - Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Islamic Banks - Director of the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions Indonesia - Former President of Bank Muamalat Indonesia Dr. Yahia Abdul-Rahman - Founder, Chairman and CEO of LARIBA Bank of Whittier, USA - Former Chairperson of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California - Has spoken, lectured and presented papers at various Islamic finance forums across the world.