Bankers to Speak to Bankers on Islamic Wealth Management

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First annual Islamic Wealth Management to be held in Geneva, sign of growing importance of Islamic wealth in Swiss banking system

Michael Gassner Consultancy of Cologne, Germany, will host Geneva’s first private banking seminar for bankers on Islamic Wealth Management for two days, June 8 & 9, at the Mandarin Hotel du Rhone.

The seminar is meant to update and educate bankers in Geneva on the growing trend among Muslim communities everywhere to adapt their banking needs to Islamic principles. There is a very wide perceived gap between general education and experience in Islamic banking among Geneva bankers, but evidently a very sizeable amount of business from Muslim clients is held in custody or actively managed in banks in Switzerland. Some banking professionals guess the funds from Muslim clients in Geneva alone amount to $100 billion or more, yet very little of it today is actively managed according to Islamic principles.

Islamic finance is the fastest-growing sector of the world’s entire financial industry. Growth rates of 15 % are frequently cited, with new Islamic banks set up almost each month. The volume of assets in Islamic financial institutions should reach $270 billion worldwide, with a similar amount managed by conventional banks according Islamic sharia investment criteria.

Seminar Topics & Speakers

Wealth management is at the heart of Islamic finance, and Geneva is the world’s capital of wealth management. The Islamic Wealth Seminar will explore underlying principles of Islamic finance, discuss the needs for Islamic certification of investment products, identify market trends for various Muslim communities, and will review what is available today for Muslim investors among different asset classes. The seminar’s topics and speakers are:

·    Development & distribution of sharia-compliant products, Dr. Humayon Dar, Vice President, Dar Al Istithmar Ltd., London

·    Islamic markets and clients of Islamic banking, John A. Sandwick, Managing Director, Encore Management S.A., Geneva

·    Islamic stock funds and real estate funds, Tariq Al Rifai, Failaka, Chicago, United States

·    Tax & inheritance management for Muslim clients, Trevor Norman, Volaw Trust & Corporate Services Ltd., Jersey

·    Islamic finance for investors in real estate, Jan Duhrkoop, IVG AG, Bonn, Germany

The event is organised by Michael Gassner Consultancy, a German firm specialised in Islamic finance; advising primarily financial institutions on structures, distribution and marketing of Islamic products. Michael Gassner is founding editor of the industry's bulletin IslamicFinance.de —Executive News, which is available monthly free of charge on the company’s website.

Silver sponsors of the seminar include Dar Al Istithmar of London and IVG Immobilien, the listed German real estate real estate firm. Encore Management S.A., a Geneva independent asset manager, is a gold sponsor of the seminar.

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Michael Gassner