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Islamic Finance: The New Regulatory Challenge

Islamic Finance: The New Regulatory Challenge is a new book co-authored by ICMA Centre Visiting Professors Simon Archer and Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim. The book was launched recently at the International Centre For Education In Islamic Finance (INCEIF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We caught up with Professor Simon Archer to discuss his role at the ICMA Centre and the new book.

What are you currently teaching at the ICMA Centre? I am currently teaching on the MSc Investment Banking and Islamic Finance (MSc IBIF), which I helped to design, and supervising PhD students.

What is your academic and professional background? After attending Harvard Business School in the late 1960s, I decided that I would like to move from consultancy into academia. I was then a partner in charge of Management Consultancy Services in Price Waterhouse, Paris. My first academic appointment was at the City University (now Cass) Business School in London, followed by appointments at the London Business School and Lancaster University Management School, and the University of Bangor (where I held the Midland Bank Chair of Financial Sector Accounting). In 1992, I returned to the London area as Professor of Financial Management at the University of Surrey. In 2008 I was appointed Visiting Professor at the ICMA Centre. I am also Adjunct (i.e. Visiting) Professor at the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Kuala Lumpur.

What does your research focus on? My main research interests are in the fields of International Accounting, Accounting Theory and, increasingly, Financial Sector Accounting, including the financial reporting, capital adequacy, risk management, corporate governance and supervision of financial institutions. My recent research and work as a consultant have been particularly concerned with Islamic financial institutions. I am currently working as a consultant for the Islamic Financial Services Board, an international regulatory body, and the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation, an international body set up in 2011 to issue tradable short-term Islamic investment certificates to assist Islamic financial institutions in their liquidity management.

What is the subject of your new book? This is a second edition of a book that Rifaat and I edited in 2007. A second edition was needed (and sought by our publisher, John Wiley) to reflect the implications of the grave financial and economic crisis which became apparent in 2008 and which shook the financial sector and its regulatory regimes, leading in particular to the new international standards for re-regulation of the banking sector known as Basel III, As with the first edition, we were able to put together a first-class team of authors, and we contributed a number of chapters ourselves. An event to launch the book formally was organised by our colleagues at INCEIF in Kuala Lumpur and was attended by the Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia.

What advice would you give to students wanting to work in this sector? To start a career in the Islamic financial sector, students should acquire a qualification such as a Masters degree, which includes conventional as well as Islamic finance (for example, 30% of the content of our MSc IBIF is devoted to Islamic finance). As the Islamic financial sector is much smaller than the conventional financial sector (the individual institutions also being comparatively small), graduates should be prepared initially to work in the conventional sector in order to gain experience. Alternatively, they should consider working for a central bank or other supervisory body which supervises Islamic financial institutions.

Islamic Finance: The New Regulatory Challenge is now available here. You can find out more about the ICMA Centre’s MSc in Investment Banking and Islamic Finance here or contact for further details.

Published 13 August 2013
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