Some 200 bankers and financiers from around the world came together at last night’s prestigious annual Islamic Business & Finance Awards, where a total of 36 accolades were granted. Held at Emirates Towers hotel in Dubai, the gala ceremony celebrated achievement among top Islamic bankers, financiers and Islamic banking and finance institutions across three continents.
With Awards winners from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe, the Islamic Business & Finance Awards recognised another year of impressive growth for Islamic finance.
Five institutions had especial reason to celebrate on the night, four picking up two Awards each and one three as winners of the open voting process among their peer group.
IBFIM, the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia, won both Best Advisory Firm and Best Training Institution; South African group ABSA saw its ABSA Takaful win Best Takaful Operator (Africa) and ABSA Islamic Banking win Best Corporate Bank (Africa); Qatar’s Barwa Bank won both Best Branding and Best Domestic Corporate Bank (Middle East); Dubai Islamic Bank won Awards for Best Sukuk Arranger and Best Private Bank while Kuwait Finance House, which picked up Best Regional Corporate Bank, saw subsidiaries in two continents pick up Awards – Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) won Best Investment Bank (Asia) while Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain won Best Real Estate Investment.
In fact, both Barwa Bank and Kuwait Finance House had further reason to celebrate! Barwa Bank was named overall Best Bank and Kuwait Finance House saw its Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Omar named Banker of the Year for the second time, having previously won this Award in 2009.
Short-lists in 34 corporate categories were compiled by an international panel of judges and offered to voters to determine the winners. The accolade of Best Bank was awarded to the institution achieving the highest average vote across the various banking categories while the Award for Banker of the Year was selected by Islamic Business & Finance.
The Islamic Business & Finance Awards, running for its seventh year, has always been one of the most prominent events in the Gulf finance industry – increasingly it has global stature. The annual ceremony is designed to highlight, encourage and reward the exceptional performance and growth of the international Islamic business and finance community. These awards are the benchmark of excellence in the industry.
“We are proud to honour the top achievers in Islamic finance as the industry continues to grow and develop. Our Awards reflect, reward and underline the success of the best in the business as it continues to evolve,” said Adam Broom, Chief Operating Officer of CPI Financial, publisher of Islamic Business & Finance.
Nominees for the awards were short-listed from hundreds of top Islamic institutions. Tens of thousands of votes were cast by the readers of Islamic Business & Finance and the registered users of the financial news websitewww.cpifinancial.net.
Robin Amlôt, Managing Editor of CPI Financial said, “I never get tired of saying this but yet again, what a record year for the Islamic finance industry! Sukuk issuance at record levels (and in the Gulf region outpacing conventional issues) together with encouraging signs of maturity in addressing standardization issues; and continued double digit growth. The Islamic finance industry is no longer just a ‘viable’ alternative to conventional finance it is surely a ‘better’ alternative!”