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Stars of the future: Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, CIMB

One area in which both Malaysia and CIMB have excelled in taking an early lead is Islamic finance. Malaysia has the most sophisticated industry, and enabling framework, for Islamic finance anywhere in the world; within it, CIMB is probably the name most closely associated with innovation.

Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, CEO of CIMB Islamic 
Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, CIMB 

The man most responsible for building CIMB’s Islamic business, particularly on the investment banking side, is Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, CEO of CIMB Islamic. He made his name being a pioneer of innovative structuring techniques, among them the world’s first ijarah sukuk, and asset-backed deals using the musyarakah structures. Quietly spoken and lacking some of the more outgoing statesmanship that some of his peers assume, he is nevertheless known as one of the most effective and best-connected people in the Islamic finance industry worldwide. Beyond CIMB, he was closely involved in Bursa Malaysia’s launch of a Shariah-compliant commodity exchange, and is also closely involved in attempts to build fund flows from the Middle East to Malaysia (he is, among other things, head of corporate client solutions for the Middle East and Brunei at CIMB at a group level).

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