CLIENT SHOWCASE

We have selected clients from across different markets to share some of our projects

ASIA PACIFIC

AUSTRALIA

Client: Crowd Funding Platform

Shariah Research: Our client was interested in evaluating the Shariah Compatibility of their traditional revenue based financing instrument. Our team first analyzed the nature of the traditional instrument to identify any potential clashes with Shariah requirements. Next we reviewed various Shariah instruments to short list those that are best suited to structure a Shariah compliant alternative for our client. Finally, we provided recommendations to ensure Shariah compliance. These recommendations combined market best practices from different Islamic banking and Sukuk features. We also provided a comparative numerical analysis of the modified instrument’s performance for illustration.

Client: Government Sponsored SME incubator and support network

Training: SHAPE® Malaysia delivered training for high performing SMEs under the incubator program to cover current issues in digital economy. Topics included:

    • Industrial Revolution 4.0
    • Digital Transformation: Opportunities, Tools and Challenges for SMEs

MALAYSIA

AFRICA

SOMALIA

Client: Somali program of US foundation working with a Swedish government agency active in East African Micro Finance Program

Fatwa: SHAPE® examined the process and proposal for a northern European aid agency to provide guarantee cover to Shariah compliant financiers as administered by an established US NGO micro finance institution. Our team tested the program procedures for Shariah compliance and provided the fatwa.

Training: SHAPE® provided training to the Somali banks on the program. Training included building case studies from local bank experience in order to demonstrate how the credit guarantee program fit within their business models. SHAPE® also developed train-the-trainer materials so that the NGO could provide ongoing training.


Client: Mid-sized Nigerian commercial bank launching non-interest banking window;


  1. Shariah Supervisory Board (SSB). In Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prefers to call the SSB as Advisory Council of Experts (ACE).
    • SHAPE® team members have been appointed to the ACE for this client.
    • Function of the ACE is to review the products to be offered by the bank and provide Shariah opinions (i.e. the fatwa).
    • The ACE is an independent body that is at liberty to approve, modify or disapprove any products presented to it.
    • SHAPE® also prepared the ACE charter, policy and procedures.
  2. Consulting:

a. Strategic advisory: Non-interest banking (NIB) window launch services which included strategic plan with summary feasibility and market surveys, and regulatory responses

b. Product development & Shariah research/consulting:

      • Close interaction with the business team to develop novel products best suited for the bank’s strategy and the Nigerian market.

3. Training:

    • Multi level, multiple courses bank wide training
    • Combination of e-learning and in person training to deliver cost effective training.
    • Courses include Foundation of Islamic Banking & Finance, Islamic Treasury & Hedging, Islamic Trade Finance, Islamic Real Estate, Refinancing of Islamic Finance deals, Islamic Equity Investment and Board Briefings


NIGERIA

MENA

KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

Client 1: OAPEC sponsored investment company.


  1. Training:
    • Multiple in house training sessions on Foundations of Islamic banking & finance, and Islamic Project Finance to board members
    • Multiple in house training sessions for different project staff. Courses include Foundations, Islamic trade finance, Islamic project finance, and Islamic capital market.
  2. Consulting:

a. Transactional Islamic Project Finance Advisory:

      • Assisted the client to implement competitive Islamic structures when tendering to agent financings for hydrocarbon related activities in their member states or for clients of member state domiciled entities
      • Reviewed transaction documents, transaction flow and product design on a deal by deal basis
      • Developed Wakalah based working capital product for medium sized petroleum enterprise in an emerging market with limited legal and regulatory infrastructure.
      • SHAPE® turn-around time allowed client to respond efficiently to clients and agent banks.

b. Shariah research and consulting:

      • Responded by circulation to periodic Shariah inquiries related to client’s investment and financing activities
      • Analyzed counter party investment proposals for Shariah compliance according to AAOIFI standards

c. Product Manuals:

      • Delivered comprehensive procedures manuals for Islamic products applied to project finance, trade finance, and treasury operations.
      • All schematics included a thorough review of AAOIFI and IFSB standards with respect to the transaction type.

d. Applied Research: Analysis of the interbank Murabahah and Wakalah Islamic treasury operation.

      • Examined multiple sets of different Islamic treasury documents.
      • Performed SWOT analysis including legal efficiency, AAOIFI compliance, and comparative analysis to the IIFM standardized murabahah inter-bank placement documents


Client 2: Multilateral specialized trade finance company


  1. Training: SHAPE® delivered a customized in-house training on Islamic trade finance. Customization took into account deals done and documents used by the client in its business. An outcome of the training was to recommend modifications to certain clauses within the client’s document library.
  2. Product Development: SHAPE® was engaged to develop two products, Salam for Pre-Export Finance and Letter of Credit Confirmation. The process required new product development papers, coordination with the client new product team, support in submission to the Shariah Board, submission of policy & procedure manuals, review and comment on the final legal master documents, and product training. 2018 - 2019


KUWAIT

Client: Major Kuwaiti bank that converted to an Islamic bank, and its international group members


  1. Training:

a. Comprehensive assessment based training to support the conversion process.

      • 18 different courses delivered to 240 unique staff in multiple in-person training sessions
      • In person training were supplemented with e-learning for about 600 staff

b. Continued subscription of e-learning by group banks in other countries as cost effective training tool

c. Annual management trainee program

2. Consulting:

a. Transactional Advisory:

      • Reviewed transaction documents and recommend the right tool to apply for treasury and corporate finance functions
      • Assisted with depository product development for the private banking group
      • Supported human resources department to refine job descriptions and engage skilled manpower

b. Policies, Procedures and Manuals:

      • Reviewed, rationalized, and updated procedures for treasury, private banking, corporate banking and retail banking implementation.
      • Prepared detailed procedure for private banking and wealth management group.
      • Prepared customized product manuals covering financing and deposits products for the corporate banking group.

Client: largest commercial bank in Oman launching Islamic banking window;


1. Consulting - Strategic advisory:

a. Comprehensive Islamic window launch services- strategic plan, business plan, financial projection, regulatory responses, treasury & ALM policies, Shariah compliant alternative to fund transfer pricing

b. Under the sponsorship of our client, SHAPE® submitted the following to the regulators:

      • Survey of best practices for the regulation of Islamic banking window
      • Recommended adaptation of local law to enable Islamic capital market activities

2. Training

    • Multi level, multiple courses bank wide training
    • Courses include Foundation of Islamic Banking & Finance, Islamic Retail Banking, Islamic Corporate Banking, Islamic Treasury & Hedging, Islamic Trade Finance, AAOIFI Accounting, IFSB Risk Management, Islamic Project Finance, Sukuk & Securitization, and Islamic Funds
    • Customized Islamic finance briefings to the Bank’s BOD and Islamic finance task force
    • Customized Islamic finance regulatory briefings to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) & Capital Market Authority (CMA)

3. Shariah Advisory Board member - upon completion of the consulting assignment, one of SHAPE® member has been appointed to the Shariah Advisory Council of the Bank as industry expert.

OMAN

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Client: Second largest Islamic bank in UAE, 2007 onwards


Training:

    • Multi level multiple year assessment based training for staff and management trainee program.
    • Combination of e-learning and in person training to deliver cost effective training.
    • The second and third level trainings were customized to incorporate the bank’s product and Shariah views
    • SHAPE® prepared customized product manuals as the bank’s training supplement. The product manuals elaborate on Shariah and business background, product structure, procedures, AAOIFI accounting, IFSB risk issues, etc

UK / EUROPE

UNITED KINGDOM

Client 1: Global energy and commodities trading firm (2017)


Fatwa: We conducted research on the nature of carbon permits in Shariah and provided Shariah rulings on trading carbon permits in the EU and over the counter emissions trading platforms. To arrive at a final decision, our team had to review various implementation aspects including the “cap and trade” principle, the EU Emission Trading System, and our client’s trading method and investment strategy.


Client 2: London based Islamic investment bank.


Acquisition Analysis: SHAPE® was engaged to analyze the potential acquisition of an Islamic bank in London. The analysis examined stability of deposits, loyalty of the customer base, quality of funding, and other important aspects of the target bank. SHAPE® advised against the acquisition based on the result of the analysis.


UNITED STATEs OF AMERICA

UNITED STATEs OF AMERICA

Client 1: Michigan based community bank that started as an Islamic window and launched its full fledged Islamic subsidiary after three years of operation. The bank’s Islamic operation started with 4 transactions worth about US$1million in the first year and grew to about US$500 million portfolio after 15 years of operation.


1. Consulting:

a. Strategic Advisory: prepared market study of prospective demand for Islamic finance in Michigan, and later in other states

b. Comprehensive Product development & Shariah research/consulting:

      • Developed a comprehensive set of Islamic financial products including Mudarabah based Profit Sharing Deposits (PSIA), Islamic mortgage products (agency Murabahah hand Ijarah Muntahiyya Bi Tamleek), and small business funding products.
      • SHAPE® licenses its FDIC approved proprietary profit sharing depository products to the client.
      • The core Ijarah mortgage alternative product (MALT®) is structured to be funded by a certificate to allow for future sukuk issuance based on a pool of certificates.
      • Prepared detailed procedures (link to procedures) for the deposits and MALT® products.
      • Assisted in securing approval from US government sponsored entity (GSE) for securitization of the MALT® product according to Shariah standard.
      • Secured related fatwa from reputable Islamic scholars
      • Provided front and back office implementation training, including marketing and operational procedures
      • Coordinated with systems vendors, regulators, and auditors.
      • Assisted with the development of the correct accounting treatments.
      • Provided third party origination transaction for MALT® and PSIA

2. Shariah audit: conduct periodic Shariah audit for the client

3. Lead Shariah Consultants.

    • Provide ongoing product updates and advise on new product offers
    • Updated the existing fatwa, and issue new fatwa relating particular business issues and client inquiries.
    • Respond by circulation to periodic Shariah inquiries
    • Interact with business and marketing team to provide accurate responses for customer inquires related to Shariah and the bank’s product


Client 2: US Bankruptcy Expert Witness


SHAPE® was engaged by two GCC Islamic financial institutions to act as an expert witness in proceedings relating to the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of a Bahrain based investment bank in the Southern District of New York. We were asked to evaluate interbank transactions between Islamic banks and determine whether or not transactions between the parties were protected by certain safe harbors in the US Bankruptcy Code. Ancillary analysis to arrive at our conclusions related to determining the Shariah permissibility of set-off, and analyzing the arcane definitions of certain transactions granted the safe harbor protection.