The current financial global crisis emanating from the sub-prime meltdown have demonstrated that Islam, properly understood, presents a viable alternative to conventional western financial practices for managing the modern global economy.
Some even argued that if Islam offers a viable set of contemporary financial and commercial practices, then it also offers an appropriate structure for social order as well. Wasn’t the crisis the result of riba or the prohibited interest?
Islamic finance is based primarily on the Quranic and hadith dictate on the prohibition of riba, structured upon stringent governance standards that emphasizes the importance of universal values and the need for real sector growth.
A financial consulting group specialising in Islamic banking & finance, capital market, takaful, wealth management and other areas of Islamic financial services including but not limited to consultancy, advisory and training.
The First International Consulting group is supported by a team of qualified and experienced professionals in the areas of Islamic banking, finance, capital market, takaful and wealth management to undertake consulting, training and advisory tasks
To actively spearhead and promote the quality growth and development of pure and holistic Islamic financial practices
- To provide world class support and advisory services to financial institutions in establishing and managing Islamic banks and non-bank financial institutions.
- To identify opportunities in the public and private sectors that could function as engines of growth for Islamic banking and takaful.
- To promote Islamic finance, banking, and takaful services as robust and viable financial operations.
- To expand, pioneer and spearhead the innovation and development of Islamic banking and takaful services in OIC and/or IDB member countries and other jurisdictions
We provide added value drawn from our experiences as industry pioneers with extensive first mover advantages, particularly:-
As a group, we have more than 100-years of combined hands-on experience in successfully planning, establishing and operating Islamic finance banking, capital market, takaful, wealth management and retakaful operations.
Our resources include renowned international industry experts and acknowledged pioneers in the industry – Dato’ Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Rahman, Dato’ Mohd Fadzli Yusof and Mr. Wan Abdul Rahim Kamil, supported by a team of dedicated and highly qualified practitioners from various related disciplines.
FIC is focused on pursuing its objectives of providing support and advisory services in Islamic finance and takaful, as exampled in some of our engagements:
- Advisory services in the establishment of Noor Takaful UAE and formulation of its business model, initial products and providing of on-site interim support team.
- Advisory services for the establishment of the Asian Finance Bank, a joint-venture between the Qatar Islamic Bank, Rusd Bank (Saudi Arabia) and the Global Investment House, a recently established Islamic bank in Malaysia
- Advisory services for Partner-Re, Switzerland, to facilitate its entry into takaful operations in local and offshore operations in Malaysia.
- Joint due diligence on Sigma Shariah, an Islamic banking software developed primarily for the Indonesian market
- Bai Mauritius
Designing Islamic banking and takaful products
- Takaful House, Dubai
Design and product documentations for rolling out of operations of general takaful including training
- Takaful Gambia Ltd
Design and product documentations for rolling out of operations of general takaful including training
- Mauritius Leasing
Product design and documentation for ijarah
- Amanah Asset Management Singapore
Paper presentation and product designing and rolling out.
- Authored “Fundamentals of Takaful” published by Islamic Banking & Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM)
- Design and implement modular stand-alone takaful solutions for Takaful Bank Pembangunan Islam Brunei
- Consulting services for putting into operation Safat Takaful Kuwait
- Module writing for INCEIF Islamic banking specialised CIFP programme
- Designed and implemented modular stand-alone takaful solutions and systems for Takaful operations and companies in Brunei, Gambia, Thailand, Kuwait and Mauritius
- Designed and conducted seminars and training for Islamic banking and takaful companies in Labuan, Brunei, Indonesia, Mauritius and United Kingdom
- Undertake recruitment exercise for Islamic banking, takaful and shariah personnel for clients in the GCC countries and the Asean regions
- Designed and conducted training programme on Islamic finance for senior officers of the Central Bank Nigeria.
1. Establishment of Islamic financial institutions
2. Migration of conventional banking to Islamic banking operations
3. Provision of support and advisory services related to Shari’ah-based financial / banking operations covering inter alia:-
- Shari’ah advisory and consultancy
- Corporate governance
- Risk management and compliance
- High level policy and procedure
- IT system, design and implementation.
- New product design and development.
- Fund management product design.
- Capital Market.
- Wealth Management
- Setting up of takaful operations.
- Best practice standards.
- Product development and designs.
- Risk and actuarial advisory.
- Arrangement of retakaful needs
Project Advisory Services
- Preparation and/or evaluation of financial feasibility studies (incl. structuring financial needs)
- Fund raising related activities (sourcing of financing & negotiation with funders)
Corporate Advisory Services
- Mergers & acquisition advisory and corporate finance functions
- Transformation/conversion of conventional banks/insurance into Islamic banks/takaful
- Project management of financial institutions initiatives
Due Diligence Services
- Financial, operation, technology and shariah due diligence
- Risk evaluations, control measures and risk management
- Client evaluation & milestone achievements and testing of financial models
- Market reassessment, monitoring and evaluation processes
- Design and conducting of training programme on Islamic banking, finance and takaful
- Compilation, assembling and writing of training materials for products and operation
- Review, amend and update of training materials and modules including Shariah discussions and deliberations
- Facilitating customised and specialised teaching and guiding on the job training
- Sourcing for and undertaking management staff recruitment for Islamic banking and takaful as well as Shariah personnel.
- Interpretation of the Shari‟ah differs between various schools of jurisprudences. In some countries, these rules are established centrally whereas in others they are open to local interpretation. There is no internationally agreed standard approach.
- For banks or takaful operators creating new products, this presents the first challenge – even to those with established Islamic financial services.
- Assist in drawing up the framework for Shari‟ah decisions and the governance principles for compliance requirements and the Shari‟ah audit processes.
- Islamic Finance
- Islamic Capital Market
- Shariah Audit and Compliance
- Corporate Finance
- Microfinance and Governance
- Islamic Wealth Management
DATO’ AHMAD TAJUDIN ABDUL RAHMAN
Director and Principal Consultant at FIC
Acknowledged as being one of the key figures in Malaysian Islamic banking and finance, Dato’ Ahmad Tajudin was among the pioneers that established Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, Malaysia’s first Islamic bank in 1983. He played an integral role in developing Islamic stock broking, asset management, venture capital and professional training and education during his tenure as the Bank’s Managing Director until his retirement in 2004. He was also the founder President of the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM). He was accorded the ‘Deal Maker of the Year’ award by the prestigious Islamic Banking and Finance Forum in 1998. Dato’ Ahmad Tajudin is currently a member of the Shariah Advisory Council of the Securities Commission of Malaysia.
Dato’ Ahmad Tajudin is recognised as an Islamic finance expert internationally and continues to share his knowledge and expertise to nations and organisations until today. He was a former Deputy Chairman of Bahrain-based General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) and member of Board of Trustees of the Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the international Islamic accounting standards body. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in 2005 appointed him to review its 10-year Master Plan for Islamic Banking. In 2006, he was assigned by AAOIFI to review the governance structure of the organisation. He was engaged by IDB and the Mauritius government on a 3-month assignment in Mauritius to assist the country’s foray into Islamic finance. He is now appointed as advisor to the Mauritius Central Bank in the development of Islamic banking for the country.
In the field of academia, Dato’ Ahmad Tajudin is currently an Adjunct Professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and previously, at the Universiti Utara Malaysia. He holds a Diploma in Shariah and Islamic Studies from Institut Pengajian Ilmu Islam, Malaysia, a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Universiti Malaya and an MBA (Finance) from Iowa University.
Dato’ Ahmad Tajudin is a director and principal consultant at FIC.
DATO’ MOHD FADZLI YUSOF
Director and Principal Consultant at FIC
Dato Fadzli is a director and principal consultant at FIC. His contributions to global Islamic finance included providing primary assistance in the establishment of Takaful operators in Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, UAE and several African countries including Gambia and Nigeria. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Amana Takaful Group, Sri Lanka. He served as a Board member of Noor Takaful Nigeria Ltd from inception in 2015 until 2017. Apart from previously being a Board member of Arab-Malaysia Takaful Company Ltd, Saudi Arabia, he was involved as Board member and Chairman respectively, in the pioneer Indonesian Takaful operators, PT Syarikat Takaful Indonesia and PT Asuransi Takaful Keluarga. He led as Chairman in 1997 of the newly-formed Asean Retakaful International (L) Ltd. (arguably the world’s first full-fledged dedicated retakaful operator). He was also a past Chairman of the Consultative Council for the Islamic Corporation for Insurance and Export Credit (ICIEC), e member of Islamic Development Bank group. He was founder chairman of Asean Takaful Group.
His contribution to the industry includes co-authoring three IBFIM publications namely “Fundamentals of Takaful”, “Takaful: Operations and Business Competence” and “Islamic Wealth Management”. Assisting in bridging the gap with academia, he sits since 2008 as a member of the Council of the International Islamic College Ismail Petra, Kelantan, was an Academic Fellow from 2008 to 2014 at Universiti Kolej Sultan Abdul Halim Shah, Kedah and from 2015 to 2017 at Universiti Islam Malaysia, Cyberjaya. Dato Fadzli holds a Diploma in Communication, Advertising and Marketing, United Kingdom.
Initially a radio broadcaster, in Malaysia and later BBC Radio World Service in London, Dato Fadzli joined Bank Bumiputera upon his return to Malaysia. He later moved to the Malaysia National Insurance (MNI). Whilst with MNI he was selected as a member of the Task Force to study the Establishment of an Islamic Insurance Company in Malaysia. Dato’ Fadzli was appointed in 1984 as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad (Takaful Malaysia), Malaysia’s pioneer Takaful operator, and served until he retired in 2005.
He led Takaful Malaysia to be the first Takaful operator listed on Main Board of Malaysian stock exchange in 2001. In 2004, Takaful Malaysia was accorded ‘Best Provider for Takaful Services’ by Euromoney, a London-based financial publication.
Currently a member of the Board of Directors of Heitech Padu Berhad, a Malaysian-listed company, Dato Fadzli is also a member of the Board of Advisors, Kooperatif Syariah Angkasa Berhad (KOPSYA). He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Sultan Mizan Royal Foundation.
WAN ABDUL RAHIM KAMIL
Director and Principal Consultant at FIC
Wan Abdul Rahim is a director and principal consultant at FIC. He brings with him years of experience in the financial services industry. Wan Abdul Rahim is personally credited with several Islamic finance innovations in the market such as Rahnu (for Islamic ‘pawnshops’), Murabahah Notes Issuance Facility (MuNIF) commercial papers, Islamic bonds issued under the contracts of Musharakah, Qardhul Hasan and Bai’ Bithaman Ajil (BAIDS) and the first Islamic Asset-Backed Securities (ABS). Among his key involvements are:
- Responsible for the development and origination of the first Islamic Capital Market Debt Securities for the Shell group and Petronas Dagangan Berhad.
- Lead Consultant in the Liquidity Management Study and the Structuring of Islamic Instruments for the Islamic Development Bank in 1996-1998. The study recommendations were proposed to be adopted by the OIC member countries Islamic banks as part of the liquidity management process.
- member of the Securities Commission of Malaysia’s Islamic Capital Markets Working Group and Bank Negara Malaysia’s Private Debt Securities Task Force.
- member of Task Force on Islamic Banking and Takaful for Labuan IOFC and represented Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority as member of the Market Products Development Committee under the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM), Bahrain
- Industry expert of International Centre of Islamic Finance (INCEIF) the Malaysian global university for Islamic Finance and a Fellow of the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute of Malaysia
Wan Abdul Rahim is currently a Consultant at the Securities Commission of Malaysia. Prior to his current role, he was the Managing Director/CEO of ABRAR Discounts Berhad. During his tenure, he was responsible for heading the team that successfully turned around the fledgling discount house, which had a shareholders’ fund of negative RM12.0 million into one which, as at end-2004, had a total net worth of RM325 million.
ABDUL KHUDUS MOHD NAAIM
Associate Director of FIC
Mr Khudus is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) United Kingdom, a Chartered Accountant with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants and an Associate of Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia.
He started his career with Messrs Arthur Young, an international accounting firm based in Kuala Lumpur. He later relocated to London for the next five years, where he was with Messrs Ramoss Jassen, Chartered Accountants for four years followed with a stint as an Accountant at the Islamic Finance House PLC.
Upon his return to Malaysia, he served for the next seven years in Malaysia’s first and only Takaful operator then, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad, a Malaysian Securities Exchange listed company. His last position there was Senior Manager, Finance & Administration. He was later appointed as Director of Corporate Affairs of Emile Woolf Group of Colleges Malaysia where he managed the private college that was later transformed into a private university. Khudus rejoined public accounting practice in 1997 as a partner in a firm that later merged to become Messrs AKN Arif, Chartered Accountants, a medium-sized public accountancy firm. He is a member of the Technical Committee of the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board (MASB) since 2007. Currently he is a member of the Board of Directors and Audit Committees of several companies listed on securities exchanges of Malaysia, United Kingdom and Thailand as well as Malaysian state-owned corporations.
As an Associate Director of First International Consulting Sdn Bhd (FIC), Khudus is involved in Islamic finance consulting, training and advisory particularly in the operations of Takaful companies in Malaysia and the region as well as in several GCC countries, Indo-Pak sub-continent and West Africa. He co-authored “Fundamentals of Takaful”, “Takaful: Operations and Business Competence” and “Islamic Wealth Management”. He has been writing Takaful learning modules, moderating and developing questions for industry certifications. He is also on the Accreditation Panel of Finance Accreditation Agency, Malaysia (FAA).
WAN ZAMRI WAN ISMAIL
Consultant in FIC
Wan Zamri Bin Wan Ismail is a consultant in FIC. An Associate of the Malaysian Institute of Insurance, he graduated in 2015 with M.Sc (Islamic Banking & Finance) from the International Islamic University of Malaysia. Currently he is writing his PhD thesis on Takaful.
His thirty years’ experience in the industry of which twenty five years was with Takaful included earlier stints in Mayban Insurance, Trust International and Malaysian Re. After serving as a branch manager in Takaful Malaysia’s regional offices, in 1997 he was entrusted to set up and serve for the next seven years as the first CEO of Asean Retakaful International (L) Ltd.
From 2004 to 2006 he was CEO of Syarikat Takaful Indonesia, overseeing its two subsidiary companies namely PT Asuransi Takaful Umum (General Takaful operation) and PT Asuransi Takaful Keluarga (Family Takaful operation). In 2007, Wan Zamri took up the position as the CEO of Dar Al Takaful PLC, a newly-established Takaful company listed on Dubai Stock Exchange, which he served for the next three years. He was also a member of Advisory Committee on Islamic Banking and Takaful for Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority (LOFSA) from 2005 to 2009. Between 2016 to mid-2017, Wan Zamri was based in Nigeria where he was the first CEO of Noor Takaful Nigeria.
He co-authored three books namely “Fundamentals of Takaful”, “Takaful: Operations and Business Competence” and “Islamic Wealth Management”.
PROF. DR. ASHRAF BIN DATO’ HJ MD HASHIM
General Takaful and Retakaful Specialist
Prof. Ashraf is currently a Senior Research Fellow at International Shariah Research Academy (ISRA) and at the same time Professor of Shariah at International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF). He holds a B.A. (Hons) in Shariah from Al Madinah Islamic University of Saudi Arabia, M.A. (Fiqh & Usul Fiqh) from University of Jordan and PhD in Islamic Law from University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He also holds a postgraduate Diploma in Shariah Law and Practice from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
Prof. Ashraf is a member of the Shariah Advisory Councils of both the Central Bank of Malaysia and Securities Commission of Malaysia. He is also a member of the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia. Prof Ashraf has been shariah advisor and/or member to Shariah Advisory Boards of numerous institutions including Al-Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation Malaysia, Alliance Bank Group Malaysia, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia, ACR Retakaful SEA Malaysia, BAI Investment Group Mauritius, Sabana REIT Singapore, Amana Takaful Sri Lanka and Noor Takaful Nigeria.
He was a visiting Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic studies, UK in 2006/2007. His academic career started as an Assistant Lecturer at IIUM in 1991 and he left the university in 2006 as an Associate Professor. He was the Deputy Rector (Academic) at Al-Madinah International University Malaysia before joining ISRA and INCEIF in 2010. Prof. Dr. Ashraf authored a book “Rights of Suspect and Accused under Islamic Malaysian Law” published by International Law Book Services, Kuala Lumpur in 2004.
Family Takaful and IT Specialist
Zolkiffly Aziz graduated with an honours degree in Actuarial Science from the Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He is also admitted as a Fellow with distinction to Life Management Institute, United States of America.
Zolkiffly‟s initial working career from 1980 to 1985 was with ULGI where he worked at Universal Life and General Insurance Sdn Bhd as actuarial assistant and progressed to become a manager until 1985 when he joined Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad as Head of Family Takaful Division. He left Takaful Malaysia in early 2007 as General Manager, IT and Actuarial Division.
At Takaful Malaysia, Zolkiffly has been responsible to develop and manage the entire operation of the Family Takaful Division from underwriting, certificate servicing, claims, actuarial and product development. Zolkiffly is also at the same time responsible for developing and managing the computer system for the Family and General Takaful Business operation.
Towards the later part of his stay at Takaful Malaysia, Zolkiffly is a key member of the team that develops a fully integrated multi- modal multi-currency takaful system solution, the Takaful Integrated System (TIS) until its full implementation in early 2006. Zolkiffly has since left Takaful Malaysia and is now doing takaful and system solution consulting engagements.
Zolkiffly is a through family/life insurance as well as IT and solution subject matter expert. He is consultant to Heitech Padu Berhad for their takaful solution resource person.