Iqbal Khan
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Iqbal Khan

Chief executive officer, HSBC Amanah Finance

Iqbal Khan

Any investigation into Islamic finance will lead you to Iqbal Khan. Everybody in this fast-growing sector insists you must meet the man who has headed the Islamic finance operations of two global banking giants - Citigroup and HSBC - and who was a driving force behind the first Islamic global bond earlier this year.

Getting time with the CEO of HSBC's global Islamic finance arm is a challenge, though. The well-groomed and smooth-talking Khan seemed to have a third of the people at last month's Islamic finance conference in Malaysia hanging around him, another third looking for him, and the last third moving on having met him.

"The office here said I would not have time to meet you," says Khan in as friendly a way as possible, "but our PR manager in Dubai told me I had to."

Now based in Dubai, where HSBC Amanah has its global headquarters, Khan spends much of his time travelling between Bahrain, Malaysia, London and New York. So much so that he seems a little out of touch with his new home town.

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