Humayon departs from IRTI, 
Zahid leaves IFSB for Oman

Humayon plans to develop Cambridge Institute of Islamic finance, while Zahid assumes role of Islamic banking expert at Oman’s central bank

By HABHAJAN SINGH

Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), two major Islamic finance organisations, will each see the departure of a senior staff.

Jeddah-based IRTI will soon have a new DG as Dr Humayon Dar (picture) departs from the training arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) after a six-month stint.

At IFSB, assistant secretary general (ASG) Zahid ur Rehman Khokher has left the Kuala Lumpur-based organisation to join the Central Bank of Oman as an Islamic banking expert.

Humayon, an Islamic banker and consultant, will be returning to the space of education and consulting, an area that he is very much familiar with, with the setting up of Cambridge Institute of Islamic Finance.

We were also able to formally commence the collection and dissemination of data from 21 countries and build PSIFI, recounts Zahid on his stint at IFSB

“I intend to transform it into a global centre of excellence for research and training, and capacity building in the economies of the Muslim world and Muslim communities in other parts of the world,” he wrote in a note shared at his LinkedIn account.

In a response to a query from The Malaysian Reserve (TMR), Humayon said the newly formed institute will follow the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies model.

“In the beginning, we shall develop the institute as an independent entity, with linkages with the university.

“Cambridge Institute of Islamic Finance will be peripheral to the University of Cambridge, allowing its members to benefit from the vast resources of the university. A number of our staff (including myself) are members of different colleges of the university. This will serve as a bridge between the institute and the university,” he said.

Prior to joining IRTI, Humayon led HD-Edbiz Group of Co as its chairman, which developed a global financial advisory business for Islamic financial institutions, government bodies, regulators and multilateral organisations.

On his short stint at IRTI, Humayon told TMR: “It was for personal reasons. I didn’t anticipate fully the problems associated with living away from a young family.” His family is based in the UK.

He added: “It was a privilege leading the oldest research and development organisation in Islamic finance, albeit for a short span of time. IRTI has huge untapped potential to play a lead role in Islamic financial intelligence.”

On his part, Zahid will be leaving IFSB after an 11-year stint, including a short stint as the organisation’s acting secretary general.

During his role as an ASG, he said the IFSB had accomplished nine standards and guidance principles, three technical and guidance notes, and 10 research and issues papers covering Islamic banking, Islamic capital market and takaful sectors.

In that period, IFSB had also released five editions of its flagship Islamic Financial Services Industry (IFSI) Stability Reports.

“We were also able to formally commence the collection and dissemination of data from 21 countries and build the most reliable Islamic finance database — PSIFI — which covers over 95% of Islamic banking activity worldwide,” he said in a note shared at his LinkedIn account.

PSIFI is short for IFSB’s Prudential and Structural Islamic Financial Indicators project which was designed to facilitate macroprudential analysis, and help assess the structure and state of development of the IFSI.

IFSB is one of the two major global rule-making bodies for Islamic finance. The other major outfit is the Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions.

Prior to IFSB, Zahid spent close to nine years at the State Bank of Pakistan, including as a joint director of the Islamic banking department.