Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Thomson Reuters have announced the three finalists for their Ethical Finance and Innovation Challenge and Awards (EFICA). The shortlisted entries include Somalia’s only privately-owned microfinance institution, a specialist environment, social and governance (ESG) quant fund, and the largest Shariah-compliant retirement contribution scheme in the world.
The three finalists will exhibit their entries at the fifth edition of the awards ceremony, which will take place on November 15th, 2017 . The winner will be chosen based on votes from the audience at the dinner. A single prize of US$100,000 will be awarded to first place, with the other two finalists each receiving US$20,000.
Each finalist was selected by EFICA’s advisory board, which includes prominent Islamic scholars and financial experts, from over 100 submissions, based on the quality and significance of their proposition.
Khamis Buharoon, Acting CEO & Vice Chairman at ADIB, said: “When we launched EFICA five years ago our ambition was to create a platform to showcase the very best of the Islamic and ethical finance industry. The awards have grown every year and now represent a key date in the calendar for such organisations of all sizes. The quality of submissions received in 2017, and particularly the caliber of finalists, demonstrates the progress within the industry and the growing impact that ethical finance is having on lives around the world. ADIB will continue to play a key role in nurturing such sustainable financial solutions that can benefit society.”
The three finalists, shortlisted for their leadership in developing innovative solutions or initiatives that promote ethical practice in the financial services industry, are:
Kaah International Microfinance Services (KIMS), Somalia’s only dedicated privately owned microfinance institution. Since it launched in 2014, KIMS has provided more than US$6 million in Shariah-compliant financing to small businesses across Somalia, as well as offering micro-savings solutions to support refugees.
Arabesque, an Islamic ESG quant fund manager which aims to bring a new dimension to investing, using self-learning quant models and big data to assess the performance and sustainability of globally listed companies. The company integrates ESG information with financial analysis, processing over 100 billion data points via 250,000 lines of code to construct its strategies.
Employees Provident Fund (EPF), one of the largest and oldest pension funds in the world, which this year formally introduced Simpanan Shariah, a Shariah-compliant defined contribution retirement scheme. With an initial fund size of MYR100 billion (USD23.36 billion), it is also the first and largest of its kind in the world.
The EFICA awards, launched in 2013 to recognise and reward innovation in ethical finance, aim to inspire real change in the banking and financial services industry by showcasing and developing practical innovations which promote sustainability and social benefit. During the past five years, EFICA has become a leading global finance award with more than 450 applications received from around the world.
The EFICA Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented at the event to an individual judged to have made a notable contribution to ethical practices in the financial services sector.