Bank Rakyat taps INCEIF’s Obiyathulla as director

Islamic finance expert Prof Dr Obiyathulla Ismath Bacha (picture) has been appointed as a director at Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd (Bank Rakyat) effective April 1, 2019.

With the appointment, the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance’s (INCEIF) faculty member becomes the sole representative from the academic world on Bank Rakyat’s board.

The move will certainly add diversity to the bank’s current board composition, INCEIF said in a statement.

The bank also recently appointed INCEIF president/CEO Prof Datuk Dr Azmi Omar to its Shariah committee.

Bank Rakyat is the country’s largest development financial institution, and one of the largest Islamic cooperative banks in the world. As at April 2018, its total assets of RM105.45 billion have made Bank Rakyat the second-largest Islamic lender after Maybank Islamic Bhd.

Obiyathulla, who also writes a column for The Malaysian Reserve (TMR), began his working career as a credit officer at Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank).

Subsequent to completing his doctoral studies, he was appointed an assistant professor of finance at Boston University, where he taught at both the MBA (Master of Business Administration) and undergraduate levels and won the Allen E Beckwith Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He has also been a trainer at a number of institutions including the Securities Commission of Malaysia and Bank Negara Malaysia. He has conducted training programmes in Islamic capital markets at the University of Luxembourg, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Waseda University, Japan.

Obiyathulla holds a Bachelor of Social Science from University Sains Malaysia, MBA (High Honors), Master of Arts (Economics) and Doctor of Business Administration specialising from Boston University, US.

He has more than 40 research publications in areas such as Islamic banking and finance, financial derivatives, Islamic capital markets and international finance, among others. He has authored a graduate level textbook in Financial Derivatives and another in Islamic Capital Markets. — TMR