Our Team

ESAAC is formed by a group of Professionals Bankers, Regulators Shariah Advisors, Accountants, Economists and Consultants with a wealth of experience in Islamic Banking, Shariah Governance, Management Consulting and Shariah Auditing. Our "One Team" approach breaks down silos and helps us engages equally effectively from the c-suite to the front line. Our collaborative working style emphasizes teamwork, trust, and tolerance for diverging opinions. We have a passion for our clients' true results and a pragmatic drive for action. We rally clients with our infectious energy, to make change stick. We never do it alone. We develop our own personal results stories. We balance challenging and co-creating with our clients, building the internal capabilities required to create repeatable results.

Leadership

Mufti Ehsan Waquar

Alhamdulillah, Mufti Ehsan is among the few scholars who possess a unique combination of religious and contemporary education. He has strong communication skills combined with fluency in several languages. Graduating as a Shariah Scholar and a Mufti, he later accomplished Masters in Economics and Masters in Business Administration with majors in Finance. On top of this, he accomplished Bachelors in Law and Legislation. This unique blend of educational combination gives me an edge upon many others to understand, correlate and align modern day banking practices with Shariah principles.

Ehsan has a diversified cross-functional management experience in Islamic Finance, Business Management and Operation, Project Management and Administration for more than two decades; he has hands-on experience of people and projects management, with a rich experience of working with board of directors and senior management of banks, regulators, auditors and legal counsels.

Alhamdulillah, he has exclusively served Islamic Financial Industry with institutions like World Bank-IFC, National Bank of Pakistan, ABL, Soneri Bank, NAFA, Askari General Insurance Company Takaful Window (AGICO), Emirates Global Islamic Bank now Al Baraka Bank Pakistan, UBL, Yasaar Ltd - UAE & UK, Minhaj Advisory – UAE, Arif Habib for more than a decade now. He has structured several Sukuk including the largest Sukuk in Pakistan; a hundred billion Sukuk for Neelum Jhelum Hydro Power, Fatima Fertilizer, Fauji Fertilizer, Sitara Energy, Sitara Peroxide and IBL. Beside this, he has accomplished the industry largest conversion drive of converting more than two hundred (200) conventional branched into Islamic banking branches. This was a complete transition from conventional business to Islamic operation including development and implementation of policies, procedure and training.

He also served as member of the Technical Committee for Developing Accounting & Auditing Standard for Islamic Financial Institution at Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP). As member of SAF at State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), where he worked actively with SBP in matters pertaining to Islamic Banks including drafting of Shariah Standard on Shirkat-ul-Milk usually used for Housing Finance, Tawarruq, Commodity Murabahah, Treasury, Trade Finance and Agricultural Financing Products.

At ESAAC, he has the privilege to work on a project of World Bank-IFC for developing Islamic Re-Mortgage Finance. He has also worked with SECP team on Takaful Rules 2012 with its insurance division.

Beside this, he conduct courses and sessions on Islamic Banking, Capital Markets, Derivatives, Takaful and Risk Management in renowned Business schools like CBM, IBA and KUBS.

Shariah Board Members

SHAIKH ESSAM M. ISHAQ

Shaikh Essam M. Ishaq Is a graduate of McGill University, Canada. He has traditionally studied Shari'a in Masjids with different scholars. Currently he has been teaching Fiqh, Islamic Theology and Tafseer in Bahrain. He holds prominent positions and memberships in numerous institutes such as: Discover Islam; United International Bank & Investment Dar Bank; Arcapita Bank & Al Baraka Islamic Bank& First Investment Bank; AAOIFI; EcoBank-Kyrgyz Republic; First Global Investments-SriLanka; Meezan Bank-Pakistan; Munich ReTakaful-Malaysia; Takaful House-UAE; Capitas Group-USA; Methaq Bank-Oman, ARIC Kuwait & Gulf African Bank-Kenya.

DR. DAUD BAKR

Datuk Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar currently serves as the Chairman of the Shariah Advisory Council at the Central Bank of Malaysia, the Securities Commission of Malaysia, the Labuan Financial Services Authority, and the First Abu Dhabi Bank. He is also a Shariah board member of various global financial institutions, including the National Bank of Oman (Oman), Amundi Asset Management (France), Bank of London and Middle East (London), BNP Paribas (Bahrain), and Dow Jones Islamic Market Index (New York) amongst many others.

He is also the third Chair Professor in Islamic Banking and Finance of Yayasan Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali Berdaftar (YTI) PNB at Faculty of Economics and Muamalat, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM).
In 2016, he received the “Award of Excellence for Outstanding Contribution for Shariah Leadership & Advisory” at London Sukuk Summit Awards and “Shariah Adviser Award” at The Asset Triple A Islamic Finance Award. In 2014, he received the “Most Outstanding Individual” award by His Majesty, the King of Malaysia, in conjunction with the national-level Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

His publications include articles in various academic journals and presentations of more than 150 papers in both local and international conferences. His first book entitled “Shariah Minds in Islamic Finance: An Inside Story of A Shariah Scholar” has won the “Islamic Finance Book of the Year 2016” by the Global Islamic Finance Award (GIFA). He has just released a new book on sukuk which is “An Insightful Journey to Emirates Airline Sukuk: Pushing The Boundaries of Islamic Finance” (2017)

Dr. MUHAMMAD IMRAN USMANI

Dr. Muhammad Imran Usmani, son of Justice (Retd.) Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, holds an LLB, M. Phil, and Ph. D. in Islamic Finance and graduated as a scholar withspecialization (Takhassus) in Islamic Fiqh and fatwa from Jamia Darul-Uloom, Karachi. Dr. Imran Usmani has served as advisor / member of Shariah Board in renowned institutions including State Bank of Pakistan, Meezan Bank, HSBC - Amanah Finance, UBS - Switzerland, Guidance Financial Group USA, Lloyds TSB Bank - UK, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JABIC), Credit Suisse Switzerland, RBS Global, Old Mutual Albarakah Equity & Balanced Funds South Africa, AIG Takaful, ACR Retakaful Malaysia, Capitas Group USA, Bank of London And Middle East Kuwait, BMI Bank Bahrain, Al Khaliji Bank Qatar, Sarasin Bank Switzerland, DCD group Dubai and other Mutual and Property funds, AAOIFI (Dubai) and IIFM-Bahrain and INCEIF-Malaysia, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi and Center for Islamic Economics (CIE), Karachi.

DR AZNAN HASAN

Dr. Aznan Hasan, Ph.D, is an internationally renowned Shari’ah Scholar who has been actively involved with the development of Islamic Finance globally. Dr Aznan is specialized in Islamic Commercial Law, Islamic Banking and Finance, Islamic Capital Market, Islamic Insurance (Takaful), Islamic Asset Management, Islamic Law of Zakat, Islamic Legal Maxims and Islamic Legal Theory.

Dr Aznan has been involved in development of framework and system of Islamic Banking, Takaful, Islamic Capital Market Products and instruments, Waqaf, Islamic Treasury and Money Markets and other banking products.

He has served as a Shariah advisor to various financial institutions, governing bodies, legal firms, and corporations, at both local and international levels including as a Member of Shariah Advisory Council of Bank Negara Malaysia, the Chairman of the Shariah Committees of ACR Retakaful Bahrain and ACR Retakaful Malaysia, a registered Shariah Advisor for the issuance of Islamic securities and Islamic Unit Trust Schemes of Malaysia Securities Commission, Shariah Advisor for Bursa Malaysia, an external Shariah Fellow at Islamic Banking and Finance Institute of Malaysia (IBFIM) and a Committee Member of Bursa Malaysia’s FBM Index Advisory.

Dr. Aznan received his first Degree in Shariah from University of Al-Azhar. He successfully completed his Master degree in Shariah from Cairo University with distinction (mumtaz) and later obtained his Ph.D. from University of Wales, Lampeter, United Kingdom. Dr Aznan is currently serving as a Professor in Islamic law Department, Ahmad Ibrahim Kuliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia.

MUFTI EHSAN WAQUAR AHMAD

Mufti Ehsan is among the few scholars who possess a unique combination of religious and contemporary education. He has strong communication skills combined with fluency in several languages. Graduating as a Shariah Scholar & Mufti, he later accomplished Masters in Economics and Masters in Business Administration in Finance and Bachelors of Law & Legislation. This unique blend of educational combination gives me an edge upon many others to understand, correlate and align modern day banking practices with Shariah principles.



DR. MOHAMMAD SULAIMAN AL-JEWISSER

Dr. Sheikh Suleiman bin Mohammed Al Jewisser, holds a PhD, in Islamic Shariah politics of the Higher Judicial Institute at the University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University. He has served in Al Rajhi Bank and Rajhi Takaful as Senior Shariah Manager and Shariah Board Secretary.

Advisory Board

Dr. Irfan Aleem

Dr. Irfan Aleem is the Chief Economist at Ministry of Economy and Commerce – Qatar. Earlier he held positions as Senior and Lead Economist at Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah and World Bank, Washington. He was responsible for enhancing country dialog with member countries. He oversaw the design and implementation of member countries’ partnership strategies and development effectiveness of the Bank's operations through review of policies and initiatives including regional integration and cooperation. He serves as an executive member and advisor to ESAAC.

Mr. Irfan is a PhD from University of Oxford and Master Degree from Imperial College London.

Mustafa Beg CFA

Mustafa Beg is an investment professional with more than 15 years global experience in making investments in conventional and Islamic financial services. He has served on the boards of BMI bank in Bahrain and Gulf African Bank in Kenya. Mustafa gained his Bachelors in Civil Engineering and Masters in Business Administration from Lahore University of Management Sciences and he is a CFA charter holder.

Mustafa Beg was the Managing Director at Istithmar World. In this capacity, Mustafa was responsible for investments made by Istithmar globally across various sub sectors of financial services industry including banks, asset management companies, insurance companies and specialty finance. Prior to joining Istithmar, Mustafa worked at Cupola Group and was part of the team that made private equity and venture capital investments across a broad spectrum of industries in the Middle East, South Asia and North America.

Syed Tariq Husain

Syed Tariq Husain is a seasoned banker with 30 years of diversified experience of local and global markets.
He trained and worked in the early years of his career with Chartered Accountancy firms Deloitte and Touche, Ernst & Young and PWC. His banking career started with ANZ Grindlays Bank in 1987 as Senior Auditor and later he rose to the position of Country Treasurer and Strategic Planning Manager. In 1997 he was appointed as Head of Global Islamic Finance and Director Global structured Finance by ANZ Investment Bank, London to develop a full range of Islamic financial products. He has served as the CEO of Emirates Global Islamic Bank from 2005 to 2010. Prior to this he worked with Dubai Investment Group, Dubai with responsibility for developing Islamic finance capabilities including launching a listed Takaful company and establishing an Islamic European Property fund.
Mr. Husain is a Chartered Accountant from Pakistan, Canada, England & Wales and MBA from York University, Canada.

Muhammad Aslam

Mohammad Aslam has worked for HBL, the largest private bank of Pakistan for over 40 years working across 3 continents. He held various senior assignments in the UK, headed the Bank’s European operations, acted as CEO of the bank’s 100% owned subsidiary in Australia Habib Finance Australia Limited and as Regional General Manager HBL Asia Pacific based in Sydney. As Country Head China, he introduced HBL in China. He negotiated various agreements with Chinese banks and corporations to build on existing cordial relations between the two countries. Mr. Aslam headed the HBL’s Islamic Banking operations based at the Head Office in Karachi and turned one branch operation into one of the largest Islamic Banking network in the short period of two years. Currently he is based in London as an Executive Member representing ESAAC in the region.

Munir Ahmed

Mr. Ahmed has a differentiated 31 years of experience in Regulating Supervising, Monitoring and Auditing the Islamic banking and finance industry in Pakistan and Oman. Munir Ahmed has a diversified experience of working with the regulators. He has worked for the State Bank of Pakistan since 1983. After spending 29 years, he was called by the Oman Sultanate to serve the Central Bank of Oman. He has been instrumental in establishing Islamic Banking Department at SBP when Islamic Banking started back in 1980 in Pakistan. He has been engaged in devising regulation pertaining to Shariah Compliance Islamic Banking industry wide in Pakistan. Currently in Oman, he has been able to grow the industry share up to 4% since its inception in December 2012. Munir Ahmed Holds a Master Degree from Karachi University in Economics and a graduate of Fazil-e-Arabic Degree.

Legal Advisor

Mohsin Tayebali & Company

Mohsin Tayebaly & Co. has the privileged position of being the most experienced firm in Pakistan as far structuring of Islamic I Shariah compliant financing transactions are concerned. The firm is highly experienced in Islamic financing transactions including Ijarah, Istisna’a, Murabahah, Musharakah, diminishing Musharakah and sukuk issues backed by underlying Shariah compliant transaction. Its expertise also extends to Shariah compliant acquisition and rea l estate financing transactions, which sometimes also involve merging conventional, and Shariah compliant financing modes.

MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS

Masoud Ali Khan, FCMA

Financial Consultant & Corporate Trainer

Masoud Khan is a Qualified Management Accountant (CMA), a Fellow member of the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan (FCMA) and a member of the Management Association of Pakistan (MAP). He has an opulent Twenty-five years’ plus experience of working in the senior management cadre as CFO and Managing Director with international and global firms like Adam Global PLC. Nobel Investment LLC, HAMG – Dubai, Tameer Holding Investments, MCB and Arif Habib Group where he was leading & managing Strategic Business Planning, Financial Management, Financial Due diligence, Business Development, Investments, and Operations & Human Resources. Having hands on skill in reviewing of Contracts from commercial perspective & negotiation with Contractors. He has a strong background in Real Estate Development & Investments, Construction, Banking, Manufacturing & Trading during his career while working with international management consultants and Investment companies.
He has exceptional Leadership, Communication & Presentation skills with fluency in English, Urdu & Arabic also makes him a corporate trainer.

Khayyam Danish

Product Specialist

Danish has also been associated with Project Management and Product Development activities in major Banks for nearly a decade. He has developed a portfolio of products and services for different institutions. He has closely worked with Business, Shariah Advisors, Regulator Financial Controller, RMU (Risk Management Unit) and Operations group and with IT Operations Team to develop and implement business models and core-banking systems. Has a profound knowledge of Islamic Banking Products and Services aligning with management and regulatory guidelines. He has successfully managed many products right from concept generation until the launch of the product.
He holds a double Master’s degree in Islamic Banking & Finance and Postgraduate diploma in Islamic Jurisprudence. He is a Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP) from INCEIF, Malaysia.

Raheel Bhagar

Corporate Trainer

A certified Shariah Advisor and Auditor (CSAA) and a well-qualified Islamic Banker. Raheel Bhagar is a seasoned banker with 10 years of diversified experience. He has served as Head credit & leasing and Unit Head Islamic Credit Operation, Training and Shariah Compliance.

He holds MSc. in Finance & Investments from Durham Business School (DUBS) Durham University UK and a MBA from SZABIST. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Islamic Banking & Finance from Center for Islamic Economics, A Division of Darul Uloom. He is also a certified Trainer and has conducts training on Credit Risk, Policy & Procedures, SBP Regulations, Analysis of Financial Statements, Islamic Trade Operation etc.

Syed Azam Saifi, CIFE

Product and Policy Specialist

Mr. Saifi has worked with organization like UBL, Meezan and Bank Dhofar where he was responsible for development and management of all policies & procedures framework, Shariah Compliance and Audit. He has more than a decade long experience in Islamic Finance with specialization in capital Market, Advisory, Product and Policy Development, Shariah Compliance and Audit.
Mr. Saifi holds Bachelors & Masters in Economics, Finance and Islamic Jurisprudence, from International Islamic University, Islamabad. He also holds MS in Finance from Pakistan Air Force – Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology (PAF-KIET), Karachi, Certified Shari’ah Advisor & Auditor from AAOIFI and a Certified Islamic Finance Executive from Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance.

Dr. Yusuf Abdul-Jobbar

Corporate Trainer

Dr. Yusuf Abdul-Jobbar is the Head of Programs at the world famous Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia. He also deliver lectures at the College of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Masjid which is part of Masjid Al Nabawi, Madinah. He is an experienced senior executive specializing in Islamic Finance and Leadership. He has authored books, written journal articles, hosted, moderated and presented at many conferences around the world. Furthermore, he has been serving the field of training and education for over 15 years.
Yusuf holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership from Salford University Warn borough, Ireland, and MBA Post graduate certificate, from Leicester University, United Kingdom. He is a Certified Shari’ah Advisor & Auditor (CSAA), from AAOIFI, Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE), from Ethica, and holds a Certificate in Islamic Commercial Law, from CIMA, UK.

Mufti Zahid

Takaful Advisor and Trainer

Mufti Muhammad Zahid has been associated with Takaful industry for nearly a decade. He is involved with training, advisory and research in Takaful models.
He completed his dissertation in Islamic and is well versed in the sciences of Islamic Jurisprudence. He graduated a Mufti from and currently pursuing MPhil leading to PhD from University of Karachi.


Azeem Iqbal Pirani

Takaful Consultant & Corporate Trainer

An experienced Islamic Finance Professional with outstanding academic and practical knowledge. With over fifteen years of work experience, have developed significant management and marketing experience, specifically in the promotion of Shariah compliant finance. Quality conscious and possessing strong interpersonal skills, thus able to get the best from a whole team and not just ones' self. Have a strong desire to work with others who share a passion for developing and furthering the Islamic Financial Services sector. Having managed a good part of an organization has allowed Azeem to understand what makes a company tick. Having moved into the Islamic Financial sector (banking and Takaful); Azeem aspires to make mark as well as contribute to this new, but rapidly growing segment of the global finance industry.

Kashif Siddiqee

Takaful Consultant

Kashif Siddique is an Insurance and Takaful expert. He has diversified experience of more than 9 years with regulators in Pakistan and Oman. He served the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan as a Joint Director in the Enforcement Department of Corporate Law Division and then Insurance Division. He was instrumental in formulating and drafting Takaful Rules 2012. Besides this, his responsibilities included monitoring insurance and takaful industry of Pakistan under the provisions of the Companies Ordinance, 1984, Insurance Ordinance, 2000, Takaful Rules, 2012, International Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards (IAS's & IFRS's). He has advised the Insurance Regulator in Oman. He has drafted new regulatory frameworks and revamped the existing laws and regulations pertaining to the Insurance and Takaful Sector. He has also aligned the Supervisory Methodology according to the Risk Based Supervision Approach.

Kashif is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan. He is a Fellow member of Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants (PIPFA). He holds a Post Graduate Diploma-PGD in Islamic Banking, Finance & Takaful. He is also a Certified Shariah Compliance Auditor (CSCA).

Dr. Farrukh Habib

Fintech Consultant

Farrukh is working as a research scholar since 2013 at International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA, Kuala Lumpur). His expertise revolve around Sovereign Wealth Fund, Capital Market, Islamic Hedging Instruments, Shariah Screening Criteria for stocks, Fintech including Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence and Sukuk. He has completed a number of research papers on Islamic Finance published internationally.

Farrukh holds a PhD degree from INCEIF, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Master (MSc) in Banking and Finance from Queen Mary, University of London, UK and another Master (MA) in Economics from University of Karachi, Pakistan.

Umar Farook (Canada)
Islamic Treasury and Trade Finance Expert

Mr. Umar Farooq is a qualified Islamic Treasury and Trade Finance practitioner. He has more than 20 years of working experience with financial institutions and development agencies across three continents. Umar is a holder of Masters in Finance (MFin) Degree from Queens University, Canada and Islamic Banking Diplomas from Centre of Islamic Economics (CIE) and National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF). Founder of Int’l Chamber of Commerce (ICC) UAE Banking Commission and was member of core team that launched United Bank Ltd Islamic Banking (UBL - Ameen). At UBL Ameen he held various senior roles including last position as Regional Business Head responsible for Treasury, Corporate Banking, Liability sales, Trade Finance and Cash Management. He also headed Client Service division of Global Trade Finance Department for a large Canadian Bank (CIBC). Umar has conducted number of trainings on Islamic and Trade Finance with ICC, Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) and banks in Pakistan, UAE and Canada.

Yasir Jamali, CIMA
Policy and Procedure Development Expert

Jamali is a seasoned Islamic Finance Professional with years of diversified & International Banking experience in Sharia Compliance Review & Audit, Credit Analysis, Business Consultancy and hands on experience in Policy Development and SOPs development.

He holds an MBA from IoBM Karachi (formerly CBM). He has a Diploma in Islamic Finance from CIMA (UK) and Advanced Certification in AAOIFI Shariah Standards from IBA-CIEF Karachi. He also holds certifications in Treasury Management of Islamic Banks IBA-CIEF and Anti Money Laundering Compliance from Mentor Global Consultants-Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (U.A.E) and other institutions.

Asad Gul
Corporate Trainer

Asad graduated as a Mufti; achieving Masters in Traditional Islamic Studies. He later accomplished Masters in Economics & MS in Banking and Finance. Currently, a PhD Scholar. Presently he works as Shariah Auditor, and a corporate trainer conducting workshops and courses for Islamic Financial Institution including BoK, NBP, NIBAF and few others locally and internationally.

Muhammad Zeeshan {MBA, CIFP, IMA)
Product Specialist

An experienced Islamic Finance Professional having more than 10 years of research and work experience in Product Development & Management, Shariah Compliance and Marketing of Islamic Banking Industry. Zeeshan holds a Master's in Business Administration & CIFP (Malaysia). Beside this, he has certifications in Islamic Law and Islamic Jurisprudence (Usool-ul-Fiqh). He holds professional memberships of Association of Chartered Islamic Finance Professionals, Malaysia (ACIFP) and International Islamic Marketing Association (llMA). He is a Member of the Editorial Board with the Jurnal Ekonomi Islam, the Islamic Economics Journal of the lnstitut Studi Islam Darussalam, and Indonesia.

Specialties:

• Product Development & Management
• Research & Development

Babar Jamil

Wealth Management

Babar has been in the banking industry for over 12 years. He has been associated with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia within their Wealth Management division responsible for advising High Net Worth (HNW) clients. He has been working to develop a framework for the provision of Shariah compliant financial advice in Australia. Prior to that, he held positions within the Islamic Banking I Finance arena in Product Development, Wealth Management and Business Development with the likes of Banklslami Pakistan Limited, Emirates Global Islamic Bank Limited, and MCCA Ltd (based in Australia).

Babar has a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration with dual major in Finance & Insurance I Management Information Systems from Northeastern University, Boston MA and a Master of Information Systems and a MBA from the University of Melbourne, VIC. He has also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Banking & Insurance from the Institute of Islamic Banking & Insurance, UK.

Expertise:

• Wealth Management
• Business Development
• Islamic Fund Management
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