Dr. Omar Hafiz serves as an Associate Professor of Islamic Finance at King Abdulaziz University. He earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University Bloomington in the USA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Islamic Studies from King Abdulaziz University. Following his graduation, Dr. Hafiz joined the university's Department of Economics, where he notably served as both Chairman of the Department and Director of the pioneering International Research Center in Islamic Economics for about nine years. Subsequently, he ventured into the professional sphere of Islamic Finance, contributing approximately 15 years at the Islamic Development Bank and over a decade at various Islamic finance and Takaful institutions.
Dr. Hafiz is a prolific author, having published several books in Arabic on Islamic economics, and has supervised a significant number of dissertations in the field. He later returned to King Abdulaziz University, where he continues his work at the Islamic Economics Institute.
Ahmed Darwish is the CEO of BOK International. He achieved various milestones in the past few years, where he established the finance departments in both Bahrain and UAE branches.
Mr. Darwish brings with him more than 15 years’ experience in the banking and investments sectors. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy, Certified Islamic Professional Accountant (CIPA) from Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University of Bahrain.
Prior to joining BOKI, Mr. Darwish worked at Sage Capital as Vice President – Head of Financial Services, where he was an active member of the board of directors of several subsidiaries, charged with representing and protecting the interests of shareholders. He was also responsible for establishing the Finance, Operations, Human Resources and Administration departments at Tadhamon Capital, as Director of Finance and Operations. Prior to that, Mr. Darwish worked at Ernst & Young as an external auditor of leading banks and financial institutions in Bahrain.
President - Strategic Planning and Global Relationships
Recognized among top personalities by https://pakwired.com/top-ceos-pakistan-2015/
https://pakwired.com/top-ceos-pakistan-2016/ (Listed among the top 5 CEOs in Pakistan 2015/2016)
Faheem Ahmad is the founder of the VIS Group, Pakistan.
He has top level management experience at international level in the fields of credit rating, Islamic and conventional financial risk assessment modeling.
In 2001, Faheem participated in the establishment of Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) in Bahrain. In 2011, he developed and launched ‘Fiduciary Ratings’; capturing Mudarib's quality, governance and compliance with Shari’ah principles. IIRA now has mandates in 14 Islamic countries.
In 2002, he a member of the founding team that established the Association of Credit Rating Agencies in Asia (ACRAA), with an office in Manila.
Mr. Ahmad served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ACRAA from 2014-17 and Vice Chairman from 2018-23. He is now serving as a Director on the Board. ACRAA has members from 30 rating agencies in Asia. In 2010, as the Chairman of the Best Practices Committee, he contributed to “ACRAA Code of Conduct Fundamentals for Domestic Credit Rating Agencies” and important publications, including ‘Credit Ratings – The Basics Revisited’, ‘Rating Shopping'.
Mr. Ahmad in 2012, conducted a study, funded by ADB, for the development of ‘Idealized Default Curves’ for mapping national scale ratings to facilitate cross border fund flows.
In 1997, he formed a JV with a leading rating agency in the USA, to form DCR-VIS. JCRA joined JCR-VIS subsequent to the DCR’s merger with Fitch in 2001. In 2019 JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company was renamed as VIS Credit Rating Company Ltd., after JCRA sold its interest, however, remained a technical partner.
As a founder in 2003 and 2005, he helped to establish CRISL, Bangladesh and Islamic International Rating Agency, Bahrain. He is also the founder of Borhan Credit Rating Agency Iran.
Dr. Abdulrahman Shehab is a holder of DBA in Islamic Finance from EU School of Business Switzerland, and holder of Master in Business Administration, University of Hull, UK.
He Has over 40 years of banking experience gained in senior positions with various international financial institutions, both Islamic and conventional.
He commenced his career with Habib Bank Ltd in 1973, later worked with (then) Chase Manhattan Bank, Bahrain, Bank of America, Bahrain, American Express Bank, Bahrain and Bahrain Middle East Bank, Bahrain.
After a successful career with Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain, he was appointed as Assistant Chief Executive Officer – Head of Operations at Bahrain Islamic Bank in 2002, and thereafter joined Al Baraka Banking Group in May 2006 till retiring in December 2020. Mr. Shehab served as Board member of Banque Al Baraka D’Algérie, and Al Baraka Bank Ltd Pakistan and serving IIRA as board member since 2011.
Mr. Zubair Nawaz Chattha has been associated with the Gourmet family business since his early days. Gourmet Group, a family enterprise, is the most diversified food and beverage manufacturing group of companies in Pakistan, with a product range of approximately 800 items of confectionery, bakery, dining, dairies, ice cream, traditional delicacies (Sub continent sweets), carbonated drinks, juices, jams and condiments.
Mr. Zubair bears an impressive profile detailing an unprecedented track record bedecked and evenly interspersed with illustrious achievements and services on various fronts during his professional career.
From his educational record to professional acumen, Mr. Zubair Nawaz Chattha stands out par excellence. After completing his B.A, he went for a graduation in law and completed his LLB in 1992. He also holds degree of LLM. On the academic front he has had renowned institutions among his alma maters, including University of Punjab, Lahore and Harvard Law School USA.
Mr. Husam Alakhal holds master’s degree in finance and bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Jordan. He has more than three decades of experience in banking in recognized commercial and development banks with focus on credit and risk management. His expertise covers managing and reporting on portfolio risk profile and risk assessment of all types of financing and investment operations; covering sovereign lending, project finance, corporate finance, trade finance, financial institutions, treasury transactions, and equity investments.
Mr. Husam worked with Arab Bank, Jordan from 1988 to 2002 and his latest position was head of specialized financing unit. During his work with this major regional financial institution, he played important roles in establishing the Bank’s leasing subsidiary, Arab National Leasing Company, the Bank’s acquisition of Amman Investment Bank, and the Bank’s proposals for the privatization of some public entities.
Mr. Husam joined Islamic Development Bank in 2002. Throughout his work with this multilateral financial institution, he worked, as head of credit risk division, on building the infrastructure of the credit risk function in terms of frameworks, policies, guidelines, systems, models, processes etc., covering loan origination, risk measurement, exposure management of loan and banking books, portfolio management and reporting, etc. He was a member of Bank’s rating team and the risk management roadmap team for instilling an ERM solution for the Bank.
Fellow Member of Association of Certified Chartered Accountants –UK, Certified Public Accountants –PAK, Fellow member of Chartered Accountant -PAK, and Founder of Institute of Certified Public Accountant -ISLAMIC (Only professional Islamic Finance institution) and ALARDZ platform to provide fin-tech solutions to the realtor sector globally.
Served as Board of Director for one of the Islamic Financial institution in Sudan governed under central bank of Sudan and Representative Board member of financial institution in London for managing Global investment portfolio. Served as CEO and CFO for one of reputed Islamic Financial institution in Dubai, UAE where through fin-tech solutions integrated UAE Govt. financial transactions related to central bank, Ministries and Etihad Credit Bureau that has been recognized globally on Global Banking and Finance Review Platform as best smart solutions in GCC and ultimate leads that organization as fastest growing Islamic financial institution.
Represent Forum as UAE Business Leader to discuss Impact on VAT in UAE. Served as Audit Partner and Group Quality Director in 7th biggest global network of audit firm for 4 years Crowe Horwath in Dubai. Served as finance head in multiple listed textile institutions in Pakistan for more than 6 years.
Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Sabeen Ahmad is the Chief Executive Officer of IIRA. Ms. Sabeen has 25 years of multifaceted experience in economic and financial risk evaluations spanning Sovereign risk, Banks and non-Financial firm-level and instrument risks, as well as Fund Managers and Insurance Companies, with specialized focus on Islamic finance in all of these areas. She has been associated with the credit ratings industry for over two decades and has pioneered ratings in the social sector of Pakistan, while also being actively involved in research endeavors of significance in the area of Islamic finance. Notable among these is the development of concept papers embedding an appreciation of Islamic finance related risks within credit ratings, delineating approaches to evaluate Fiduciary risks in Shari’ah complaint entities, contributing to industry level efforts at standardizing such evaluations and developing and extending financial and non-financial risk evaluation models.
She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has a Masters Degree in Business Administration.