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DDCAP Managing Director Stella Cox, CBE heads the list of Top 10 Women in Islamic Banking and Finance.

DDCAP Managing Director Stella Cox, CBE heads the list of Top 10 Women in Islamic Banking and Finance.

Islamic Finance Review (ISFIRE), a bi-monthly unique magazine produced by the Edbiz Corporation Limited, with the objective of articulating innovative idea around challenging areas in the Islamic finance industry recently disseminated a list of top 10 women in Islamic banking and finance.

The list looks at various individuals within the Islamic finance Industry and the influential roles they play in bringing innovative ideas to the finance sector globally.  The list brings to bear the accomplishments and achievements of female senior practitioners in the Islamic Finance Industry

Our very own managing Director Stella Cox, CBE, sits atop the list with other influential leaders in the Islamic Banking and Finance Industry. This list is detailed below:

1. Stella Cox CEO & Managing Director of DDCAP Group UK

Stella Cox has played a pivotal role in the field of Islamic liquidity management since the time when there were not very many tools available to do so. The execution of the much talked about commodity murabaha structure was not possible had this been not Stella’s practical efforts and visionary approach in making DDCAP a key player in the Islamic financial services industry.

She has championed the cause of IBF on the industry level and beyond. Her advocacy role in academia and her engagement with regulators, especially the UK Government, have tremendously helped IBF. She deserves to capture Number One position as the most influential woman in IBF (*).

2. Dr. Sofiza Azmi CEO of Edbiz Consulting UK/ Malaysia

Dr. Sofiza Azmi has emerged as one of the most influential female opinion makers in IBF. As Editor-in-Chief of Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR) the oldest yearbook in IBF, which is deemed as the most authoritative account of developments in the global Islamic financial services industry she

finds herself in a position to guide the future path of developments in IBF. She is also Editor-in-Chief

of Islamic Wealth Management Report (IWMR), and Editor of ISFIRE, a bimonthly magazine (journal magazine) published from London.

Dr Sofiza Azmi is also Programme Director of Cambridge Islamic Finance Leadership Programme (CambridgeIFLP). As a member of Awards Committee of Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) and Islamic Retail Banking Awards (IRBA), she is in a position to exercise her influence on the industry in a very unique way.

Dr Sofiza Azmi’s co-authored book on Islamic finance has been translated into Russian and Mandarin, and is considered as the main reference book in China, Russia and the Russian speaking block of countries in the Central Asia.

3. Fozia Amanullah CEO of Alliance Islamic Bank Malaysia

Fouzia Amanullah has the distinction of being the first female CEO of an Islamic bank anywhere in the world. Her experience as CEO of an Islamic bank (first CEO of EON Capital and now as CEO of Alliance Islamic Bank) is perhaps the longest tenure held by a woman CEO of an Islamic bank, not only in Malaysia but perhaps worldover.

Despite all these distinctions, she is a very downtoearth person whose only focus remains on the job at hand. No wonder, she remains an invisible woman leader in the global Islamic financial services industry.

4. Farmida Bi European Head of Islamic Finance at Norton Rose Fulbright UK

Farmida Bi is Head of Islamic Finance Europe at Norton Rose Fulbright, and is the only female named as a “leading individual’ for Islamic finance in Chamber UK 2016. She has worked on a number of milestone Islamic financial transactions, including, but not limited to, Goldman Sachs US$500 million debut sukuk, the Tamweel securitisation (recognised as the first Islamic true securitisation, and the first UK sukuk, namely, the Innovative Technologies Sukuk.

She is a regular speaker on topics related with IBF, and supports causes related with female inclusion in the labour force for IBF.

5. Sharizad Jumaat CEO of RHB Islamic International Asset Management Malaysia

A woman with impressive asset management credentials, Sharizad Jumaat is an exceptional female Islamic fund manager. She has served in previous CEO roles, most notably with Amanah Raya Investment Management.

6. Sabeen Saleem CEO of Islamic International Rating Agency Bahrain/ Pakistan

Sabeen Saleem is the only women form Pakistan, who enjoys global influence in Islamic finance. As CEO of IIRA, she has been playing an important role in bringing the required degree of risk management and governance practices in the institutions offering Islamic financial services. She is currently based in Bahrain, where IIRA is located.

As one of the two ladies on this list, who are based in the GCC, one can very well imagine the critical position she holds in the IFB industry and the mentorship opportunities she provides to other young women aspiring to become leaders in IBF.

7. Dr. Engku Rabiah Adawiah Ali Professor at IIUM Institute of Islamic Finance Malaysia

Professor Engku Rabiah’s most significant contribution to IBF is her mentoring for dozens of women, in Malaysia and elsewhere, who themselves have become influential leaders in IBF. If Professor Engku Rabiah had not played the role of an anchor and mentor, we wouldn’t have had as many Malaysian woman leaders on this list. Period.

8. Dr. Aishath Muneeza Former Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs, the Maldives/ Malaysia

Dr. Aishath Muneeza has emerged as an influential leader in IBF. She is involved in a number of initiatives related with IBF in the Maldives as well as in Malaysia. Currently, she is serving as an Associate Professor at INCEIF, but her real contribution to IBF is beyond academia.

As the first female Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs in the Maldives and even before that, she attempted to introduce a number of things, most notably establishment of the Maldives Hajj Corporation.

9 Fatima Qasimi CEO of Aseel Islamic Finance UAE

In an environment characterised by male chauvinism, a few women leaders in IBF have emerged in the MENA region, Fatime Qasimi is one of them. As CEO of Aseel Islamic Finance, she has been active in IBF for some time. Under her leadership, Aseel Islamic Finance has developed itself into an award-winning Islamic nonbank retail finance institution (e.g., Best NonBank Islamic Retail Finance Institution 2015 from IRBA).

Since 2015, she has managed the business extremely well, and one should hope that the company will further excel after the merger between its parents company, First Gulf Bank (FGB), and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). As an Islamic subsidiary of the largest bank in the MENA region, Aseel Islamic Finance is expected to play a bigger role under the leadership of Fatima Qasimi.

10. Dr. Azura Othman CEO of CIIF Malaysia

Dr. Azura Othman serves as CEO of Chartered Institute of Islamic Financial Professionals (CIIF) and is one of the youngest women who are playing lead roles in IBF. She leads a team of young professionals to provide professional services to the employees of Islamic financial institutions worldwide.

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