Complex Made Simple

Islamic Financial Services Board announces the appointment of its new Secretary-General

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) announced the appointment of Mr. Jaseem Ahmed as its Secretary-General effective April 2011 to succeed Professor Datuk Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim.

The Council of the IFSB resolved to approve the appointment of Mr. Ahmed in its 17th meeting held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Sabir Mohamad Hassan, Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan and Chairman of the Council.

Mr. Ahmed is to succeed Secretary-General Professor Datuk Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, who has been at the helm of the international standard-setting organisation since it started operations in 2003. Professor Datuk Rifaat has been steering the IFSB from its inception. During his term of office, the membership of the IFSB has grown from nine founding members in 2003 to 195 members as at December 2010. The IFSB has also, in the eight years, issued 14 standards and guiding principles for the Islamic financial services industry, with the last three approved for issuance by the IFSB Council in the same meeting.

Prior to his appointment to the IFSB, Mr. Ahmed served as the Director, Financial Sector, Public Management and Trade, Southeast Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In this capacity, he was responsible for managing the ADB’s lending and capacity building operations in Southeast Asia for the promotion of sound banking and non-banking financial sectors, and for the strengthening of supervision and regulatory capacities in banking, capital markets and non-bank sectors. Mr. Ahmed led the ADB’s response in the Southeast Asia region to the global crisis, which includes the approval of three crisis support programmes under the ADB’s Counter Cyclical Support Facility provided to Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

Mr. Ahmed managed the ADB’s Technical Assistance (TA) programme to the IFSB, jointly funded with the Islamic Development Bank, for the development of prudential and regulatory standards for Islamic finance. He supervised the completion of the first TA in 2006, and was responsible for managing the implementation of the second TA. Mr. Ahmed also worked with, and advised, ADB operational teams working on Islamic finance and on possible Sukuk issuance.

In addition, Mr. Ahmed was also responsible for supervising the ADB’s TA and advisory work in support of integration of regional capital markets in ASEAN under a programme conducted with the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) focusing on harmonisation and mutual recognition of national regulatory frameworks. Working with the ACMF, he led the ADB team that prepared the Implementation Plan for integration of capital markets approved by ASEAN Finance Ministers in April 2009. Mr. Ahmed also worked closely with the ASEAN Stock Exchanges in their development of an Exchange Alliance, which begins implementation in 2011.

Mr. Ahmed was a member of the IFSB High Level Task Force on Liquidity Management, the group which proposed the establishment of the recently launched International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation.

Mr. Ahmed joined the ADB in 1992. He has a BA in economics from the University of Sussex and also holds two post graduate degrees in economics from Yale University. He is a national of Bangladesh.