The Responsible Finance Summit is organized by RFI Foundation and co-organized by ME Global Advisors, two leading institutions spearheading the agenda of sustainable and inclusive economy and connections within the broader responsible finance industry. This inaugural annual Responsible Finance Summit will bring together key stakeholders from the traditional responsible and Islamic finance sectors to build connections to support rapid growth and increase the measurable impact of the industry. The Summit will play a vital role in enabling representatives from across the responsible finance industry to develop new relationships to build cooperation across sectors with a key focus on building the presence of responsible finance in the emerging markets across the Islamic crescent from Morocco to Indonesia.
The Responsible Finance Summit is organized by RFI Foundation and co-organized by ME Global Advisors, two leading institutions spearheading the agenda of sustainable and inclusive economy and connections within the broader responsible finance industry.
This inaugural annual Responsible Finance Summit will bring together key stakeholders from the traditional responsible and Islamic finance sectors to build connections to support rapid growth and increase the measurable impact of the industry. The Summit will play a vital role in enabling representatives from across the responsible finance industry to develop new relationships to build cooperation across sectors with a key focus on building the presence of responsible finance in the emerging markets across the Islamic crescent from Morocco to Indonesia.
Benefits from responsible finance
Identify the benefits of an inclusive approach that includes Islamic finance
Develop a longer term time horizon and couple it with asset-based Islamic finance to attract more patient and reliable capital to emerging markets
Attracting responsible finance
Use Islamic finance to expand responsible finance participation in emerging markets
Improve integrated reporting standards to attract responsible capital to emerging economies and strengthen Islamic finance
Sharing the benefits
Expand cooperation with existing Islamic social welfare institutions (waqf, sadaqa and zakat) to improve impact
Go beyond the feel-good benefit and support a rising EM middle class
Measuring the impact
Increase the quantity and quality of stakeholder impact data
Calibrate impact measurement to align with expectations of stakeholders in majority Muslim emerging markets
Broadening the base
Widen the consumer base for responsible finance to increase financial inclusion
Use responsible finance to support equitable, sustainable and inclusive economic development
Malaysia – leading the convergence of responsible finance industry
Malaysia is an ideal place to host the responsible finance summit given its leading role in driving the growth of Islamic finance but most importantly due to its pioneering initiatives of connecting socially responsible investments with Islamic finance.
Conference Day 1
08:00 - 9:00 Registration and Morning Refreshment
09:00 - 09:05 Moderator’s Opening Remarks
Regional Director for GCC and Asia
The Business Year
09:05 - 10:20 Welcome Remarks and Keynote Address
Welcome and introduction to the RFI Foundation by Blake Goud, CEO, RFI Foundation
Opening Remarks by Professor Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, Chairperson, RFI Board of Trustees and Ex Officio Member of RFI Council of Advisors
Keynote Address by Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia
Keynote Address by Georg Kell, Vice Chairman, Arabesque Partners and Founder & former Executive Director, UN Global Compact
10:20 – 11:10 Panel 1 – Going the distance - Hot money versus patient capital
Discussion Leader: Stuart Hutton, Chief Investment Officer, Simply Ethical
Dr. Zamir Iqbal, Lead Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group
Dr. Azmi Omar, Director-General, Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI)
Hon Cheung, Regional Director, Official Institutions Group, State Street Global Advisors
Rushdi Siddiqui, Co-Founder & CEO, Zilzar Tech Sdn. Bhd.
– Do responsible investors naturally have a longer time horizon?
– Are Islamic finance investors more sticky?
– Does a link to the real economy in Islamic finance act as a commitment mechanism and can other responsible finance areas use similar approaches?
– Does responsible finance act as a stabilizing force in emerging market economies?
– How can responsible finance manage the higher volatility in emerging market economies and currencies?
11:10 - 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:20 Panel 2: The greenies, do-gooders and religious fundamentalists - Addressing popular perceptions of responsible finance
Discussion Leader: Daud Vicary Abdullah, President & CEO, INCEIF
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC)
Julie Moret, Director, Investment Risk-ESG, Franklin Templeton Investments
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Akram Laldin, Executive Director, ISRA
– How does media perception of responsible finance and in particular Islamic finance affect its ability to expand from current levels?
– Is there a gap between what existing standards have delivered and what stakeholders expect?
– How do the Islamic finance and ESG sectors view one another and what is needed to break down barriers for cooperation?
– ESG has the data behind it as a force for good (in impacts and returns) but the message is not reaching the wider market – how does responsible finance communicate better?
12:20 - 14:10 Lunch and Prayers
14:10 - 15:00 Panel 3 – Integrated reporting & Islamic finance – Addressing impact
Discussion Leader: Omar Selim, CEO, Arabesque Partners
Hardik Shah, Sector Manager – ESG Research Products, Sustainalytics
– Will Islamic finance benefit from wider adoption of integrated reporting in its largest markets?
– Can integrated reporting shape how Islamic finance defines its positive impact?
– Does a focus on reporting only what can be quantified skew the focus of responsible finance in a way that compromises its values?
– How can Islamic finance be mobilized in support of greater transparency through integrated reporting requirements?
15:00 - 15:50 Panel 4: CEO One-on-One - How can Islamic finance support and develop responsible finance?
Discussion Leader: Dr. Sayd Farook, Co-Vice Chairperson & Trustee, RFI
Hasan AlJabri, Chief Executive Officer, SEDCO Capital
– Financial institutions and their leaders are quick to promote their support for responsible finance principles, but what have their institutions really done?
– How can Islamic banks contribute to responsible finance become change agents for the wider financial industry?
– What will you as CEO commit to and how will get your stakeholders and shareholders to buy-in to the value proposition of responsible finance principles even if it has short-term costs?
– What do you want to be your legacy not within Islamic finance but within the wider responsible finance ecosystem?
15:50 - 16:10 Coffee Break
16:10 - 17:00 Panel 5: The impact of leadership and policy in developing responsible finance – finding role models for growth
Discussion Leader: Stella Cox, Managing Director, DDCAP
Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin, Exec. Director, Islamic Capital Market, Securities Commission Malaysia
Omar Khan, Director of Strategy & Development, Crescent Wealth
Jessica Robinson, Head of Asia (ex-Japan), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
Emily Chew, Vice President & Asia Pacific ESG Research Lead, MSCI
– Have visionaries in the financial sector or customer demand that has driven the emergence of responsible finance?
– What government policies have been most effective at stimulating responsible finance and investing?
– Does the government’s role come from a regulatory objective or an investment promotion objective?
– Is there a different role for governments in responsible finance in emerging markets where governance institutions are weaker?
– Can smaller emerging markets attract foreign capital more readily (relative to other emerging markets) if it can use data to establish a link between its public companies and environmental and social development in the wider economy?
Conference Day 2
08:00 - 09:00 Registration and Morning Refreshments
09:00 Welcome Address and Introduction of Keynote Speaker
Regional Director for GCC and Asia
The Business Year
Keynote Talk by HRH Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, Nigeria
9:50 - 10:40 Panel 6: Measuring the impact of responsible investment and reporting to stakeholders
Discussion Leader: Kurt Lieberman, CEO, Magni Asset Management
Datuk Darrel Webber, Secretary General, RSPO
Muhd Ramadhan Fitri Bin Ellias, Executive Vice President & Head of Shariah, Maybank Islamic
Benjamin McCarron, Founder and Managing Director, Asia Research and Engagement (ARE)
– Are investors and lenders able to influence behavior by companies they finance or does their ESG integration go just skin deep?
– What misunderstandings are there between non-financial companies and banks/investors about the proper role of responsible finance in financing decisions?
– Can multi-stakeholder groups bridge the gap between consumers, industry and the financial sector to support financial institutions ability to influence positive change in addition to mitigating risk?
– How can the stakeholders of financial institutions (Shareholders, NGOs, regulators, depositors) influence the approach to sustainability?
10:40 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:50 Panel 7: Harnessing techies for good: Broadening the base of finance through the use of technology
Discussion Leader: Paul Loomis, Regional Director for GCC and Asia,The Business Year
Jason W. Best, Co-Founder & Principal, Crowdfund Capital Advisors LLC (CCA)
Sam Quawasmi, MD/Co-Founder, Eureeca
Robin Newnham, Head of Policy Analysis and Capacity Building, Alliance for Financial Inclusion
Isvary Sivalingam, Senior Manager, MicroSave
– How can institutional money connect to real economic enterprise – SMEs and what is the role of crowdfunding?
– Can past experience in emerging markets where mobile phones enabled countries to leapfrog over landlines be replicated in the financial sector?
– Can people using disintermediated financing (crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending) more efficiently provide financing to underserved communities?
– Do brick-and-mortar bank networks have a role to play in financial inclusion or can it be efficiently and effectively decentralized?
11:50 - 12:40 Panel 8: Connecting with the man on the street: Expanding responsible finance at the retail level
Discussion Leader: Mohd Daud Bakar, CEO & President, Amanie Advisors
Monem Salam, President and Fund Manager, Saturna Sdn Bhd
Najmuddin Mohd Lutfi, Chief Executive Officer, BIMB Investment Management Bhd
Waheed Qaiser, Chairman, Varcale Capital Management
– Has responsible finance failed to connect with retail consumers?
– How do retail-focused product developers balance their distribution costs against the need for consumers to have cost-competitive investment options?
– What is the role of pensions and other savings programs to drive the responsible finance agenda from within emerging markets?
– Do foreign investment managers have an opportunity to connect domestic (retail) financing to domestic projects through infrastructure funds, retail bonds and sukuk?
– Does the retail sukuk offered by Malaysia and Indonesia, and Shariah compliant National Bonds in the UAE provide a template for other countries to open up fixed income markets to all retail investors?
12:40 - 13:30 Panel 9: Making an impact: How can impact investing become more prominent within responsible finance?
Discussion Leader: Blake Goud, CEO, RFI Foundation
Anne Contreras, Chairwoman – European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and Of Counsel – Arendt & Medernach
Umar Munshi, Founder, Club Ethis/Kapital Boost
P. Ming Wong, Co-founder & CEO, Asia Community Ventures
Margie Ong, Chief Executive Officer, Thoughts In Gear (TIG)
Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Manager – Narwi Platform, Silatech
– Why has impact investing remained a niche?
– How can Islamic financial institutions better incorporate impact investing as part of its investment and finance policies? What needs to be done on a regulatory level to encourage such allocations?
– Have microfinance funds finally earned the credibility to now market themselves to institutional investors?
– Is there a role for impact investment to supplement aid, trade and government programs within emerging markets?
– How can social enterprises complement the activities of other responsible finance sectors and how can impact investment and investment in social enterprises be developed as an asset class?
13:30 - 13:40 Closing Remarks and Key Action Items
13:40 - 15:00 Lunch, Prayers
RFS gives you an exclusive opportunity to engage with key leaders in responsible finance and Islamic finance gathered at a single platform as they set to chart a new direction for the industry. Here are the few important reasons to attend the summit.
- Become a part of the pioneering initiative to bring the emerging and developed markets together to make the responsible finance industry more resilient
- Learn from the global thoughts leaders in responsible and Islamic finance about the new trends in the industry
- Be the first to learn about new vision and initiatives from policy makers and regulators in the industry
- Meet more than 150 professionals in the industry from around the world who are interested in connections between the emerging and developed markets
- Become a part of the critical conversations that proliferates globally via the social media and engage with the global community in the responsible and Islamic finance
- Contribute to the development of the industry by sharing your views in the live voting on key issues in the industry
In addition to the board of trustees of the RFI Foundation, the summit will be attended by:
- International business leaders in the responsible and Islamic finance industry
- Dignitaries, Policy makers, regulators
- CIOs, Economists, Strategists, Business specialists and professionals, mid-level management, business development managers, analysts.
- Leaders in rating, accounting and professional services
- Global thought leaders and experts in research
- Lawyers and legal experts
- Professors, academics and journalists
Subscribe now for
Your definitive source of intelligent insights on the financial and political economy of the MENASEA region.