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MENAFN Press - 01/10/2012

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(MENAFN Press) Dubai, UAE, 30 September 2012:

Representatives from various sectors involved in banking are scheduled to convene at the World Islamic Retail Banking Conference on 9-10 October in Dubai, to tackle one of the fastest growing banking sectors in the MENA region rivalling its conventional counterpart.

International Turnkey Systems Group (ITS), a global leader in ethical banking solutions for Islamic banks and Islamic finance organisations, stated, "The Islamic finance market has been growing by more than 30% annually and is set for continued growth. Since its inception in 1981, ITS has been a golden player in the financial services industry and is viewed as a pioneer in the arena of Islamic banking."

Participating this year as one of the gold sponsors, Haitham Abdou, Group Director Marketing & Banking Business Solution of ITS Group, aims to connect with pioneers, professionals and executives in the field, explore opportunities for market growth, share views on the future of Islamic retail banking and continue to contribute to the industry by devising innovative software (ETHIX Islamic banking solution) to solve the industry challenges.

ITS Group will address the audience on the second day of the conference on how to harness the power of technology to support Islamic banking.

Returning this year as one of the headline speakers is the Head of Consumer Banking at Noor Islamic Bank, John Chang. Chang will discuss topics centered on service quality and the truth behind organisational transformations. He will provide insights into why some organisations succeed while others fail in transforming their businesses to be more customer focused, and why some companies are more innovative than others in meeting customer needs.

Chang has over 25 years of experience in consumer banking that cuts across several emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East, and rated as the best speaker at last year's edition. Chang will present never-before-published industry-wide findings and reveal surprising issues that are almost never considered in a standard service quality programme.

Amongst the most awaited sessions, the CEO round table on Islamic retail banking which will feature panellists from Noor Investment Group, Meezan Bank Ltd, First National Bank & WesBank Islamic Finance, University Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Saadiq and CIMB Group (Malaysia). Some of the topics planned to be discussed include setting up a geographical footprint globally, creating international Islamic retail bankers, challenges in working with different Shar'iah structures and its interpretations across geographies.

Stephen Lange Ranzini, CEO at University Bank, shared his enthusiasm, "I am pleased to share with the conference attendees our experience at University Islamic Financial in creating a successful retail Islamic banking operation in the United States that today manages a quarter billion dollars in Shar'iah compliant assets."

University Bank based in Ann Arbor, Michigan has US 11.7 billion in assets under management. Ranzini played the leading role in the acquisition of the bank in 1988 when he became the nation's youngest bank holding company president at age 23, a position he has held since, and founded its subsidiary, University Islamic Financial, in 2005.

Equally intriguing session is on maintaining competitive advantage through customer centricity when Islamic becomes a hygiene factor. Presented by Yusuf Jehangir, Group Head Marketing and Customer Service at Al Rajhi Bank, the session will revolve around the practical implementation to differentiate in the areas of segmentation, customer service and social media engagement.

Yusuf cited, "The World Islamic Retail Banking Conference is an excellent forum bringing together thought leaders in the Islamic banking space with the opportunity to share and learn from market leaders and network with dynamic and contemporary pioneers."

Omar Shaikh, Executive Board Member at Islamic Finance Council UK, concluded, "The World Islamic Retail Banking Conference has established itself as a key Gulf forum for in-depth discussions on the facets of the continued global growth in Islamic finance. This year the Islamic Finance Council UK will be releasing key findings from its report, Enhancing Shar'iah Assurance. No doubt this will bring additional challenges to the often lively Shar'iah panel discussions."

The World Islamic Retail Banking Conference will run its fourth edition this year. The event has seen a year-on-year growth of participation from senior managerial professionals and experts involved in retail banking, consumer banking, and wealth management at Islamic banks, Islamic retail banks, and conventional banks.

The two-day conference in Dubai will feature over 20 presentations, 4 panel discussions and a networking reception.

The 4th Annual World Islamic Retail Banking Conference is supported by Bahrain Association of Banks, International Compliance Association and Islamic Finance Council. Sponsors include Dubai Islamic Bank, ITS Group, Loxon Solutions Ltd., VeriPark, Mashreq Al Islami, FEXCO, Path Solutions, SAB, World Security, Dar Al Takaful, Nucleus Software and Craft Silicon.

The event is also supported by Khaleej Times as the official newspaper, and CNBC Arabia as the official Arabic broadcaster.

About Fleming Gulf
Founded in 2005, Fleming Gulf is young, dynamic and has fast become one of the leading providers of business intelligence through industry specific conferences, webinars and skills enhancement training courses. Our goal is to link professionals and provide them with commercial acumen, business investment contacts and a world of opportunities. Our reach is global-spanning serving organisations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and as far as Latin America. Fleming Gulf delivers the most comprehensive business events by leveraging our network of industry influencers with specialist knowledge to provide organisations the winning edge that makes a difference in their decision making in today's competitive business landscape.


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