Islamic Finance

RFI Foundation providing new, expanded member support services, adding two new board members

22 October 2020, London, United Kingdom – The RFI Foundation is deepening its engagement with Islamic financial institutions following a strategic planning process to align with a post-Covid world.  Increased interest from industry leaders in responsible finance means RFI has expanded opportunities to help financial institutions and industry stakeholders realize the benefit from adopting and implementing responsible finance. 

RFI Foundation further announces that it has added Richad Soundardjee, Chief Regional Officer for Societe Generale in the Middle East and Dr. Mulya Siregar, Chief Commissioner, PT Bank Syariah Mandiri to its Board of Trustees.  The new Board members join as the RFI Foundation concluded a strategic shift from awareness-building to new role as a catalyst for Islamic & responsible finance. The RFI Foundation Board of Trustees wishes to extend its sincere thanks to Sultan Choudhury, who stepped down following 5 years of serving on the Board of Trustees. 

In moving forward with its updated strategy, RFI Foundation will translate its deep experience as the first nonprofit solely focused on building links between the Islamic finance & responsible finance sector to play a catalytic role by enabling financial sector development based on the universal principles shared between responsible and Islamic finance. The RFI Foundation is committed to working with financial institutions to take their renewed focus on implementing new practices to more clearly capitalize on the ethical alignment of Islamic and responsible finance, and the added value that ESG can bring to business decision-making. 

RFI is targeting opportunities as a convenor across our global network to spark and accelerate actions that are beginning to be recognized so that they can more readily address the global needs of this moment. In line with the organization’s focus on enhancing decision-making, the RFI Foundation will be releasing research to better enable asset managers, asset owners, Islamic banks and takaful operators, and their stakeholders, to appreciate the opportunities in responsible finance. This research will provide a clear-eyed assessment of the value that ESG and climate-related financial awareness can provide in alignment with the broader objectives of Islamic finance. 

Professor Datuk Rifaat Abdel Karim, Chairperson of the RFI Foundation’s Board of Trustees commented: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how inter-related environmental and social issues are within responsible finance.  The ethical foundation of Islamic finance, which is based on universal duty of care for humanity and a deep stewardship obligation towards the natural world, has an integral role in achieving our common objectives outlined as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. ”

Blake Goud, CEO of the RFI Foundation added: “During this critical time for work on sustainable development, preparedness and resiliency, the RFI Foundation will continue our work focused on our members.  In doing so, we are building more engagement platforms for our members and our growing Emissary Network, to engage and benefit from the vast experience we have reflected in our Board of Trustees and among our Council of Advisors.”

Richad Soundardjee commented: “I have watched with interest as the RFI Foundation grows its influence, and I am excited to join on a personal basis the RFI Board of Trustees at this turning point for the growing adoption of responsible finance within Islamic finance.”

Dr. Mulya Siregar commented: “I have seen positive efforts on responsible finance by regulators and in Islamic financial institutions in Indonesia in recent years, and look forward to joining the RFI Foundation’s Board of Trustees to provide further support to grow adoption broadly across many markets where Islamic finance has a significant presence.”

About RFI Foundation

The RFI Foundation acts as a catalyst to link together responsible & Islamic finance, bringing the most valuable perspective from each to advance adoption of responsible finance.  As awareness has grown, we are working to promote action by financial institutions that acknowledges the value of addressing material environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues across the financial sector. 

Throughout all of our work, we make a concerted effort to broaden the recognition about the important role for Islamic finance within responsible finance. We promote convergence in responsible finance by building connections across our global network.

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