CEO & Executive Director
EONCAP Islamic Bank
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Could you provide a brief journey of how you arrived where you are today?
Prior to joining EONCAP Islamic Bank, I was attached to a local investment bank, heading the Islamic Unit. I was then given the opportunity to expand my exposure to the international markets, covering the Middle East and Asian region predominantly. The bank’s focus was structuring and advising on fixed income Islamic investment banking products.
What does your role involve?
What is your greatest achievement to date?
On a personal note, my greatest accomplishment was changing the work culture within the bank. The team has now shown more enthusiasm, commitment and dedication towards achieving the goals set for them. I would like to continue nurturing a positive working culture, emphasizing on human capital development, as I believe it is the key ingredient to achieving success.
Which of your products/services deliver the best results?
We have also built up a team to look into expanding the bank’s business in Islamic investment activities. Moving forward, we want to gear towards equity-based transactions in Musharakah or Mudarabah products.
What are the strengths of your business?
What are the factors contributing to the success of your company?
Our integrity in Shariah compliance, strong risk management — these are our foundation in progressing to be the “Islamic Bank of Choice”.
What are the obstacles faced in running your business today?
Branding is also an area which requires additional attention. Historically, the brand EON has been associated with car financing, hence, our strength in hire purchase-i (Auto Aitab). The bank is today embarking on a group wide market awareness exercise to position the group as a comprehensive solution provider for consumer, corporate and investment banking products.
Where do you see the Islamic finance industry in, say, the next five years?
The market is recognizing the potential deficiencies in the conventional financial system and therein lies the opportunity for Islamic finance to excel. While the consumer banking and corporate banking products have developed over the last few years, I expect to see growth in the area of true joint venture businesses, covering all sectors. Another area where there is room for further growth would be in equities.
I also see the consolidation of Islamic banks as an event that may happen in the next five years. There seems to be too many Islamic banks globally. Size and strength is crucial for an Islamic bank to obtain market presence and dominance.
Name one thing you would like to see change in the world of Islamic finance?