Chris scoops cash in Dubai
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