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03 July 2012

Shaykh Yusuf Talal Delorenzo Endorses Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance

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IMO News Service

Dubai: The highest accreditation in Islamic finance is a fatwa, or expert legal opinion, from a top Islamic finance scholar. And the most widely accepted standard in Islamic finance is AAOIFI’s, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, now the de facto standard in 90% of the world’s Islamic finance jurisdictions.

Today the two came together when AAOIFI Board Member Shaykh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, one of the world’s leading Islamic finance scholars, endorsed Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance. Ethica is the most heavily enrolled Islamic finance training and certification institute in the world with over 20,000 paying users in 44 countries. Shaykh Yusuf joins Mufti Zubair Usmani and Sheikh Ashraf Muneeb, both leading scholars, in acting as an advisor to Ethica. This announcement further highlights the Islamic finance industry’s move towards greater standardization.

Shaykh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo is an Islamic finance scholar whose 30 year career was featured in a front page story in The Wall Street Journal. Based in Dubai, he is a Shariah Consultant at Malfa Inc. and serves as a Shariah advisor to dozens of international financial entities, including index providers, institutional investors, home finance providers, international investment banks and a variety of asset managers. Shaykh Yusuf is on the Shariah board of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes, Islamic Interbank Benchmark Rate (IIBR), a member of the Council of Scholars, ISRA, and has served as Advisor on Islamic Education to the President of Pakistan from 1981 to 1984. His career has also been noted in The Financial Times, The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, CNBC, The Middle East Banker, and others.
Islamic finance currently suffers an acute shortage of trained and certified professionals. And despite the global financial crisis, Islamic finance continues to spread across the globe. The Dubai-based institute’s clients include large banks like Mashreq Bank which trains 1,000 employees using Ethica, universities like La Trobe, and Dow Jones affiliate Zawya, which offers Ethica to its 750,000 users.

Shaykh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo said, “At this critical point in the development of the industry the importance of professionalism, beginning with professional education and training, cannot be underestimated. The mission that Ethica has taken for itself is therefore an essential one. I am more than satisfied with the level of expertise exhibited by Ethica in its preparation and presentation of specialized educational materials for the industry, and I am sure that many industry practitioners will benefit from the institute's programs.”

Ethica's spokesperson said, "Shaykh Yusuf combines everything we look for in a scholar: AAOIFI knowledge; industry experience; and an impeccable reputation. This helps Ethica continue to raise the bar in Islamic finance certification. To our knowledge, Ethica remains the only institute to offer certification that is accredited by a third-party for fully satisfying AAOIFI’s standards, a vital distinction in an industry where just about anyone can label a product ‘Shariah-compliant’.”

Winner of "Best Islamic Finance Qualification" at the 2011 Global Islamic Finance Awards, Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance is chosen by more professionals and students for Islamic finance certification than any other organization in the world. With over 20,000 paying users in 44 countries, the Dubai-based institute is accredited by leading scholars and serves banks, universities, and professionals across over 100 organizations. Ethica’s 4-month Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE) program is delivered 100% online.

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