The Scottish-based Islamic Finance Council UK (IFC) has won a $100,000 Industry Development Award after beating off stiff competition from the likes of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad and the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance at the Ethical Finance Challenge and Innovation Awards (EFICA) in Dubai earlier this week.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Muhammed Yunus presented the award, which the IFC landed for its work in establishing a programme of ethical finance events – bringing together a range of stakeholders – which now forms the UK’s leading discussion platform designed to promote a fairer and more socially responsible finance system.
The IFC and its fellow finalists each delivered a 10-minute pitch to 350 guests at the EFICA Gala Dinner who then voted for the winner.
IFC Advisory Board member and co-founder Graham Burnside said: “It’s tremendously exciting for us to have won this major award in the face of competition from much larger organisations based in the heartlands of Islamic finance and a very gratifying recognition of our work in bringing together the diverse strands of the ethical finance arena. The prize will make a genuine difference to what the IFC is able to achieve.”
The EFICA was launched in 2013 by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Thomson Reuters to inspire and recognise fresh ways of thinking and promoting the most dynamic actionable solutions that advance ethics in the world’s financial services.
ADIB CEO Tirad Al Mahmoud said: “Our winners are the future of the finance industry and thought leaders for a world in which working for profit and working for social good can and should be one and the same. Those recognised at these third annual EFICA awards have not only shown this to be true, they have taken bold new steps in expanding the possibilities of ethical finance.”
Deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for finance, constitution and economy John Swinney said:
“Ethical finance is an area where Scotland has a real opportunity to make an impact and the Islamic Finance Council’s success at the Ethical Finance Challenge and Innovation Award has raised the profile of the ethical finance sector here in Scotland as well as raising Scotland’s profile internationally.”
The other prizewinners were crowdfunding platform Narwi and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who received the lifetime achievement award.