Safdar Alam - Islamic Finance expert and thought leader
Hi, I'm Safdar.
To see a third-person career bio please see HERE
I created this website to write and educate about the two great passions in my working life - Islamic Finance and trading. I have always been fascinated by human nature, as well as learning about the global financial markets. As well as the technical side of the markets, they are - without dount - defined and dominated by the impact of human behaviour.
I have spent my career working in investment banking and the financial markets, initially working on the trading floor at UBS Investment bank in London. I specialised in the structuring and trading of exotic derivatives across equities, FX and rates. I also spent some years as a dealer where I began to learn about the operations of markets, and how prices are influenced not only by fundamental market events, but also by clear and distinguishable activity of market participants.
I then made a move into Islamic finance, after becoming more motivated by my faith, and seeing a clear opportunity to combine this with my experience in finance. I was fortunate to establish the teams at UBS initially, and then at Credit Agricole (in the Middle East) and also at JP Morgan (both in London and Dubai). This was during the time when the markets exploded in terms of development and evolution and growth was incredibly rapid.
I was fortunate enough to become quite prominent in Islamic finance, both as a practitioner and thought leader. I have delivered key note speeches at many global summits, and have been interviewed by Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC News and others. My work and speaking commitments have taken me to interesting and wonderful places across Africa, the fringes of Europe and all across Asia.
After several years, I felt I had learnt most of what there was to learn in my markets, and I began to itch for new challenge. At the same time, I became disilluioned at the failure of the industry to uphold the strong moral values that are demanded of us. I decided to leave the industry adn pursue other goals.
I really enjoyed the next phase of my career, where I continued to consult with my clients, but also branched out into the education side, after being invited to deliver several courses on Islamic banking, as well as Islamic law, at postgraduate level at uniersity in London. I also began to deliver professional workshops on Islamic finance, and found out that I actually enjoyed writing too.
I decided to write a series of 4 books about Islamic banking and to start this website and blog.
I also decided to explore my fascination of financial markets again, this time from a retail trading point of view. This journey requires a book on its own! My experience, and my enjoyment of teaching, has led me to create and deliver training courses for retail traders.
My total passion and commitment for Islamic finance has not wavered, and now I am involved in some projects that I hope can begin to deliver real change to the industy, and help it to move away from interest.
You can often find me ranting on twitter, so please feel free to look me up and say hi!