Chris scoops cash in Dubai

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Mur­ray Spooner

A Ruther­glen man suc­cess­fully pitched to an au­di­ence of fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als in Dubai to win his com­pany a $100,000 re­ward.

Chris Tait (36) saw off com­pe­ti­tion from over 200 or­gan­i­sa­tions from across the globe to win the industry de­vel­op­ment award at the Eth­i­cal Fi­nance Chal­lenge and In­no­va­tion Awards (EFICA).

The two-man team of Chris and Omar Shaikh ( 37) from Scot­tish­based Is­lamic Fi­nance Coun­cil UK (IFC) were in the United Arab Emi­rates ear­lier this month and were pre­sented with the prize by key­note speaker and No­bel Peace Prize lau­re­ate Muham­mad Yunus.

The prize was recog­ni­tion of the IFC’s work in es­tab­lish­ing a pro­gramme of eth­i­cal fi­nance events, bring­ing to­gether a range of stake­hold­ers, which now forms the UK’s lead­ing dis­cus­sion plat­form seek­ing to pro­mote a fairer and more so­cially re­spon­si­ble financial sys­tem.

The IFC and the other fi­nal­ists, Malaysian sov­er­eign wealth fund Khaz­anah Na­sional Ber­had and Bank Ne­gara Malaysia, who backed the In­ter­na­tional Shari’ah Re­search Academy for Is­lamic Fi­nance, each de­liv­ered a ten-minute pitch to the 350 guests at the EFICA gala din­ner, who then voted for the win­ner.

Chris, a fa­ther-of-two and a former Calder­wood Pri­mary and Stonelaw High school pupil, said: “We were un­der a lot of pres­sure and I had to slow down the ac­cent when we were pre­sent­ing.

“It was pretty in­tim­i­dat­ing as it was with a very high-pro­file au­di­ence.

“We saw off some tough op­po­si­tion. We were short­listed from a list of 200 and were one of six or­gan­i­sa­tions to travel to Abu Dhabi.

“It was pretty in­tim­i­dat­ing but it was incredible when our names were read out.

“We didn’t con­tem­plate win­ning but we had good vibes with how well we were do­ing.”

The IFC is an ad­vi­sory and de­vel­op­ment body es­tab­lished to pro­mote the global Is­lamic and eth­i­cal fi­nance industry.

The other prizewin­ners on the evening were crowd­fund­ing plat­form Narwi and former UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Kofi An­nan, who re­ceived the life­time achieve­ment award.

IFC co-founder Gra­ham Burn­side said: “It is tremen­dously ex­cit­ing for us to have won this ma­jor award in the face of com­pe­ti­tion from much larger or­gan­i­sa­tions based in the heart­lands of Is­lamic fi­nance and a very grat­i­fy­ing recog­ni­tion of our work in bring­ing to­gether the di­verse strands of the eth­i­cal fi­nance arena.

“The prize will make a gen­uine dif­fer­ence to what the IFC is able to achieve.”

EFICA was launched in 2013 by Abu Dhabi Is­lamic Bank ( ADIB) and Thom­son Reuters with the aim of in­spir­ing and recog­nis­ing fresh ways of think­ing and pro­mot­ing the most dy­namic so­lu­tions that ad­vance ethics in the world’s financial ser­vices.

ADIB CEO Ti­rad Al Mah­moud said: “Our win­ners are the fu­ture of the fi­nance industry and thought lead­ers for a world in which work­ing for profit and work­ing for so­cial good can and should be one and the same.

“Those recog­nised at th­ese third an­nual EFICA awards have not only shown this to be true. They have taken bold new steps in ex­pand­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of eth­i­cal fi­nance.”

Deputy first min­is­ter John Swin­ney said: “Eth­i­cal fi­nance is an area where Scot­land has a real op­por­tu­nity to make an im­pact and the Is­lamic Fi­nance Coun­cil’s suc­cess at the Eth­i­cal Fi­nance Chal­lenge and In­no­va­tion Award has raised the pro­file of the eth­i­cal fi­nance sec­tor here in Scot­land as well as rais­ing Scot­land’s pro­file in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

It was very in­tim­i­dat­ing as it was a high-pro­file au­di­ence

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