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Islamic finance in Europe

October 22, 2015From 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Pavilion 2 at the Madrid Fairgrounds (IFEMA) (address: Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I, s/n). From 4:00-5:30 p.m. You must register in advance to attend.
Sign up by sending an e-mail message to  Those attending will receive a code for free entrance into the fairgrounds.
The round table discussion will be held in English and Spanish, with simultaneous translation.

Round table discussion held as part of Expo Halal 2015, at which the challenges and prospects for developing this sector will be analyzed.

With total assets of more than 1.8 trillion US dollars globally, the development of Islamic banking and finance in Europe has created great expectation in recent years in various sectors, from financing Infrastructures and projects to trade and mortgage markets. With six completely Islamic (Sharia-compliant) banks and twenty international banks doing business in the field of Islamic finance, the United Kingdom has positioned itself as the industry leader in Europe, though other countries such as France have also made important strides ahead, not always without difficulty. The industry’s potential in Spain has yet to be explored and evaluated.

As part of the chain for supplying halal goods and services, accessing Islamic finance has become a factor that allows some to stand out when promoting these goods and services among Muslim communities both inside and outside of Europe. Organized as part of Expo Halal 2015, the objective of this round table discussion is to talk about the challenges and prospects foreseen for Islamic finance in Europe with Spanish and international representatives from the worlds of finance, law and consulting who specialize in these matters, as well as analyzing the advancements which are needed to promote the development of this industry.

The round table will include interventions by Tomás Guerrero, an associate researcher of the IE Business School and director of the Halal Institute office in Madrid; Fernando Mínguez, banking partner of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira; Umer Suleman, who is responsible for special projects at the UK Islamic Finance Council, and Khaled Zarrugh, of the Real Estate Investment & Business Serving Bank of Libya and a member of the Islamic Consulting Committee (Libya). Olivia Orozco, Casa Árabe’s Training and Economics Coordinator, will moderate the talk.

Round table discussion information sheet (ENG)
Islamic finance in Europe
Tomás Guerrero
An associate researcher at the IE Business School’s IE-Sovereign Wealth Lab, director of the Halal Institute office in Madrid, a WIEF young global leader, a SovereigNET Research Affiliate at the Fletcher School (Tufts University) and a doctoral candidate at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, Guerrero specializes in the halal industry, sovereign funds and border markets. He has had several articles and work documents published on these subjects. He contributed to developing the first four editions of the reports on Sovereign Funds in Spanish and is working on the fifth edition, as well as three ground-breaking halal projects: Halal Haute Cuisine, Al-Andalus Culinary Lab and Halal International Tourism. Before joining the IE-Sovereign Wealth Lab, he worked at the ESADE Business School’s ESADEgeo-Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, at the Technical Secretariat General of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior and at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid as an assistant researcher in the Departments of Labor Law and Economic History. He has a university degree in Economics, another in Law and a Master’s degree in Development and Economic Growth from the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid.
Fernando Mínguez
Mínguez is a banking partner at Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, where his work revolves mainly around corporate and institutional consulting for credit entities on topics related with the specific administrative system governing such entities or transactions in which sector-based regulations play a relevant role. He is a well-known specialist on all types of subjects in banking and financing, above all in the administrative regulations applicable to credit entities, as well as the firm’s French and Middle East Desk. An inspector of credit and savings entities of the Bank of Spain currently on leave, before joining Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, he had spent a long career as an in-field inspector and on tasks analyzing Spanish and international regulations. A regular collaborating writer in the economic and financial press, one of his latest articles was titled “Banking Resolution: New rules or a change of paradigm?,” published in Financier Worldwide. Holder of a diploma in investigative sufficiency from the Civil Law Department of the UNED, he has a degree in Law from that university, as well as a Master’s degree in Account Auditing from the Institute of Official Account Auditors of Spain (University of Alcalá de Henares) and a degree in Economics and Business Sciences from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. A lawyer recommended by different legal journals such as Best Lawyers for practices in Banking and Finance, and Corporate and M&A.

Olivia Orozco
Orozco coordinates Casa Árabe’s program in Training and Economics, as well as organizing that area’s activities. She is the main editor of the economic publications by Casa Árabe (finance, business, industrial policy, water, migration, development and economic consequences of conflicts). Ms. Orozco holds a doctorate in History and Civilization from the European University Institute of Florence (EUI, 2008) and also earned a Master’s degree in Contemporary Arab Studies from the University of Georgetown (MAAS, 2003), as well as a university degree in Economic Sciences from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM, 1998). She co-authored the first book in Spanish about Islamic Economics and Banking (AECID, 1999) and has published articles on this topic, as well as the history of economic thought in the Mediterranean and today’s Arab world economies.

Umer Suleman
Currently the Business Risk Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for a large global bank, Umer Suleman works on a voluntary basis for the Islamic Finance Council, where he is responsible for Special Projects. He has worked on key projects, such as the proposal to the British government on student loans compliant with the Sharia, and he has managed the CPD flagship program of experts on the Sharia. Umer is an enthusiast about the development of legitimate innovation in Islamic finance and is working on a research document about “An Islamic Focus on Doing Business.” The financial editor of a popular website called islam21c, he has appeared in various media such as the BBC, Bloomberg and The Times Newspaper, in debates over Islamic finance. Umer is a graduate of the prestigious Royal Holloway University of London and is completing graduate studies at the Manchester Business School.