First Global wins consultancy bid for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
First Global, a leading Sri Lanka-based Islamic investments and financial solutions provider has won a bid to drive Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s (ADCB) venture into Islamic banking. The Bank plans to launch its Islamic Banking Services ‘MEETHAQ’ in the beginning of the 4th quarter of 2008 and First Global has been assigned to train their 600 strong workforce in the United Arabs Emirates.Founder and President of the First Global Group, Muhammad Ikram Thowfeek said that ADCB’s selection of his Institution is a fitting tribute to First Global’s commitment to become the leading international training, consultancy and solutions provider to the Islamic banking and finance industry, from a practitioner’s perspective and approach. The industry has seen a phenomenal growth worldwide not only in Middle East and Muslim countries, but also in countries where the Muslim populations are in a minority such as the UK, Germany, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

It is quite evident that the momentum for Islamic banking and finance is building up in Sri Lanka with a number of institutions getting on the bandwagon recently.  From a global perspective, the Islamic Banking and Finance industry is fast exceeding the growth of conventional banking and according to some experts the growth rate is around 20% per annum.

While business planning, product development, system implementation, marketing and other relevant activities are happening as per schedule, ADCB believes that the “best product can only be sold, if its people are well trained”. With this in mind, the bank was seeking a trainer who possesses good knowledge on Islamic Banking concepts, has practical experience and most importantly had worked on setting up of an Islamic Banking unit within a Conventional banking umbrella.

The assignment is an extensive one and would be carried out at different locations in the UAE where ADCB branches are located. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and other key cities would be covered.  The employees are quite accustomed to the present system of banking and to bring about a change in the mindset and approach would be quite challenging, however, given the expertise and the experience of the trainer and his team, the assignment would be successfully implemented.

“We came to know about Ikram Thowfeek, Founder and MD of First Global, through one of our project team members and invited him for initial discussions”. After reviewing Ikram’s credentials and meeting him, we felt that he is the right person who can help us in training the bank’s workforce said a Senior Official of the Bank. ADCB has signed a training consultancy agreement with FGI and feels comfortable that our expectation of training 600 employees with a practical perspective will be met.

ADCB is the third largest banking group in the UAE and enjoys one of the largest deposit bases with total assets at over 106.2 billion. The Bank is a full-fledged entity offering a wide range of products and services such as Retail Banking, Wealth Management, Private Banking, Corporate Banking, Commercial Banking, Cash Management, Investment Banking, Corporate Finance including infrastructure project finance (debt/equity), offshore project finance (debt/equity) and strategic investments.

First Global Investments is the newest player in the Islamic Banking & Finance industry in Sri Lanka.  First Global Investments is a boutique investment banking institution, providing Islamic financial services with a vision to bring global opportunitiesand best practices to the local market.  The Company provides a wide range of services to a substantial and diversified client base by capitalizing on its capacity and resources to develop ‘tailor made’ investment / financing products to suit different risk / return profiles of its clients.

We also provide Financial Advisory Services to our clients ranging from setting up of independent Islamic financial unit, investment management, structuring of complex transactions to comply with Islamic Shariah, restructuring of organizations, etc said Mr. Sabri Abdul Cader, the Senior Vice President of First Global Investments.


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