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Meet the gatekeepers of Islamic finance.

Summary: Need to know who's who in Islamic finance? Failaka Advisors, in partnership with Paris- based Grapes Market Research and Advisory, has released the second edition of The Shariah Report, the world's first comprehensive report on Shari'ah scholars

S hari'ah scholars have proved to be something of an elusive breed - although once believed to be in short supply, it is now known that the much- hyped scholars' shortage is a bit of a misconception. With this in mind, the 2012 version of The Shariah Report is a valuable resource for the industry, with detailed profiles of more than 120 of the world's top Shari'ah scholars. While a prominent few Shari'ah scholars enjoy the limelight, there are many more silently waiting in the wings. Essentially, there are up to 20 scholars that are well known to market participants holding more than 54 per cent of all positions covered by the 300 plus scholars, and little knowledge of others. Hence, The Shariah Report is an indispensible guide to the lesser known people who play a central role in the industry. Islamic finance has long been crying out for greater disclosure about the compliance process, better transparency, and a more equal spread of scholars across boards, and objective reports such as this are a step in the right direction.

"Spanning from East to West, The Shariah Report profiles Shariah Scholars from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America, providing insight into the depth and breadth of the industry," said Anne-Sophie Gintzburger, Founding Director at Grapes.

Each scholarly profile comprises country of birth, academic qualifications, a cross-referenced list of institution where each scholar serves as a Shari'ah Board member, and a list of their important works on Islamic finance.

Mark Smyth, Managing Director of Failaka, said, "We are pleased to be working with Grapes Market Research & Advisory on this project. It was a long and diligent process, which will surely help to improve still further the openness and transparency of theindustry."

Standard & Poor's Islamic Finance outlook projects that the current value of the Islamic financial services industry is more than $1 trillion and that the industry is predicted to grow to $4 trillion by 2020 at a rate of 10 per cent per annum. In addition, there is $50 billion in existing managed funds invested in equities according to Islamic principles, according to Ernst and Young's Islamic Funds and Investment Report 2010.

With impressive annual growth forecast over the next eight years, the role of scholars will become increasingly important as more pressure is placed upon Shari'ah board members to ensure that the operations and activities of the banking institutions comply with Shari'ah principles.

"We expect strong demand for the second edition as the industry continues to expand and new scholars and institutions enter the field," said Smyth.

The potential prosperity and the inherent complexity of the Islamic financial services sector renders The Shariah Report 2012 an enlightening publication for anyone looking to negotiate their way around the industry and its leading thinkers.

The Shariah Report 2012 is published in book form and may be ordered from Failaka's website: customer/products.html

2012 CPI Financial. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Islamic Business & Finance
Date:May 17, 2012
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