Ma’asoom Mahmood is a MSc Islamic Banking and Finance student from Salford Business School. In September 2017, Ma’asoom was part of a group of students who attended the second Global Ethical Finance Forum, hosted by the Scottish Government in Edinburgh.

We caught up with Ma’asoom to find out about the event and his experience rubbing shoulders with academics, CEOs and investment bankers.

Hi Ma’asoom, tell us about your class trip.

I attended the Global Ethical Finance Forum (GEFF) 2017. The forum is a response to the growing interest in collaboration and convergence across the sphere of ethical finance.

Just a few years after the Financial Crisis, ethical finance is on track to developing its global value proposition.

However, encouraging wider adoption requires concerted efforts to build meaningful dialogue between the two main areas of ethical finance: one segment that integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors; and Islamic finance, which is expected to rise from USD 2 trillion to USD 3.5 trillion by 2021.

There is a unique opportunity for ethical finance players in developed markets to connect with the Islamic/faith-based financial sector which enjoys a strong foothold in Muslim-majority emerging markets.

What was the highlight?

The sessions that involved experts from around the globe. For example, one of my favourite sessions was ‘Financing a Green Tomorrow’. It focused on the potential of the green bonds and had professionals on the panel like Lim Say Cheong, Executive VP at Tawreeq Holdings.

What did you learn?

  1. To analyse Islamic economics as a unique system of economic policy and compare and contrast Islamic and conventional economic systems.
  2. To critically evaluate the juristic method and its applications in resolving issues related to Islamic financial transactions. As well as how to analyse the operations of financial markets, institutions and instruments within the Islamic system.
  3. To evaluate the mechanisms used to promote efficiency in Islamic financial markets and demonstrate a critical understanding of risk management and governance practices in promoting stability and sustainability of financial systems.
  4. To analyse Islamic banking products, services and operations and differentiate between Islamic banks and conventional banks.
  5. How to identify and compare key issues in Islamic finance and banking with those in “commercial” banks.

How would you sum up the experience and its value to you?

The event had inspirational speakers, motivational conferences and was very interactive in the sense that both audience and speakers communicated well. Our module leader, Dr Nazam, spoilt us in exotic restaurants and the people of Edinburgh are really welcoming too! GEFF 2017 endeavours to play a critical role in enabling stakeholders from the traditional responsible and Islamic finance sectors to forge and nurture new relationships aimed at building cooperation across sectors and continents.

A big thank you to Ma’asoom for telling us about his experience at the Global Ethical Finance Forum. Interested in the world of finance? Head to the Salford Business School website to find out how a postgraduate course could help you to launch your financial career.