Board of Advisors
Board of Shariah Advisors

Board of Advisors

Tariq Al-Rifai

Mr. Al-Rifai is the Global Director of the Dow Jones Islamic Indexes. Until recently, he was a Vice President and Director of Marketing for UIB Capital, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank. He has been involved in Islamic finance since 1996 when he established Failaka International Inc., a Chicago-based Islamic financial research and consulting firm to which he now devotes his time. Failaka was the first organization to consult on Islamic financial research and was also the first to monitor and publish research on Islamic funds.

In 2000, Tariq joined The International Investor, a Kuwait-based Islamic financial institution, where he was the partner in charge of building distribution relationships with banks in Gulf countries. He also worked on product development programs with European investment managers.

Tariq joined HSBC Bank USA in 2001 to head up the launch of the Amanah Finance Islamic banking initiative in America. The initiative included creating deposit accounts, credit facilities, home finance solutions and launching a wealth management platform. He grew the volume of this business from start-up to over $50 million within 15 months.

Tariq Al-Rifai has an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago and a BS in International Finance from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

Abdul-Hakim Dyer

Abdul-Hakim Dyer is a serial entrepreneur and business executive. He was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Petro Sep Global, a partner at Sustainable Capital, CEO of Halal Homes, and CEO of Manzil USA. He has over 20 years of business, finance, and entrepreneurial experience. He has conducted business in Canada, the US, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is well acquainted with the demands, nuances and opportunities of the global marketplace.

Hakim's finance training began in 1987 at Bank of Boston where he specialized in leveraged buyouts of North American operating assets by non-US entities and financing of overseas ventures. In 1990, Bank of Tokyo Trust Company recruited him to market M&A services to small-cap technology companies and to manage complex finance relationships.

By 1994, Hakim went on to design, organize and launch one of the first socially responsible venture capital funds in the U.S. for Boston Community Capital, and was subsequently recruited in 1998 to bring his entrepreneurial skills to bear on building the first, fully regulated, Shariah-compliant property finance venture in U.S. history for The United Bank of Kuwait, plc. He quickly rose to become the bank's New York based CEO for North America, and having successfully proven both the financial concept and the market depth, accepted in 1999 to design a fully Shari'ah compliant capital markets conduit for ABC International Bank, plc, (London) a division of Arab Banking Corp. (Bahrain) to fulfill burgeoning global demand among institutional investors for specialized, ratable securities for this market niche.

Since 2002, Hakim has focused on sustainability with an emphasis on commercial property development geared toward Smart Growth and Transit-Oriented Development (Structures Unlimited, Prosperity Development Group), as well as the design of specific financial instruments for the sector including green mortgages (Sustainable Capital) and media assets (Louverture Films). Mr. Dyer joined Petro Sep, the world's only membrane science company with proven nano-technology that can restore petrochemical waste streams to virgin grade purity, as CEO in February of 2008.

Hakim is a graduate of Dartmouth College, holds a Masters from Middlebury College, and an advanced diploma with high honors from the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is a graduate of the Bank of Boston's extensive corporate finance and management training program and has also received formal training as a linguist, a life coach and as a public speaker.

Nazir Gurukambal

Nazir A. Gurukambal is a Vice-President, Manager of the International Services Department, and Manager of Islamic Finance Operations for Devon Bank. Nazir has been a banking professional in retail and international banking services for two decades, working both in the U.S. and in the Gulf. Nazir is responsible for the creation of both the Islamic Finance program and the International Services department at Devon Bank, both of which he has actively worked to develop. Nazir coordinates the majority of the customer contact for Devon Bank's Islamic finance program and he sees on a regular basis what customers need and how the Bank's operations fit into the competitive environment.

Nazir service with a variety of civic and religious organizations, and has experience as a real estate investor.

Nazir is a graduate of University of Mysore with a degree in Finance and Accounting.

David Loundy, Chairman of the Board

David Loundy is Corporate Counsel, a Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee and of the Board of Directors for Devon Bank. He is also in charge of the Islamic Finance Division for Devon Bank.

At Devon Bank, David has created the products for the Bank's Islamic finance program, has worked to expand the Bank's Islamic finance program out to cover over two thirds of the U.S. states to date, and designs the structures for all non-standard transactions. He has personally designed, received any necessary regulatory clearance, and in many cases implemented more Islamic banking products in the United States marketplace than any other banker in the U.S.

David has revamped the Bank mortgage department, increased the Bank's year-over-year mortgage volume by several hundred percent, evaluated mortgage investment and securitization programs, participated in commercial loan reviews and approvals for conventional and Islamic financing transactions, and worked to structure Islamic financing transactions to meet specific customer needs.

Before joining Devon Bank, David worked as a law professor teaching in a Master of Laws program, and as a law school administrator, as well as teaching in an executive MBA program, and, for more than a decade, worked as a lawyer practicing in the fields of intellectual property and computer law, with a focus on Internet law issues. He has represented public and private companies and entrepreneurs as they have developed their businesses, structured transactions, and sought to protect their intellectual property and take advantage of new technologies. He is a past chairman of the Illinois State Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section, and the Chicago Bar Association Computer Law Committee. David also serves on the Board of Directors for several community groups.

A frequent writer and speaker, David has given more than fifty presentations and has more than one hundred publications in his name, including a law school case book "Computer Crime, Information Warfare & Economic Espionage." Some of his publications and presentations have been translated into French, Japanese, Turkish and Korean.

David Loundy has a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications from Purdue University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law, both with distinction, has completed the post-graduate diploma program from the Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance, and has finished the Loyola University Family Business Center's 18 month Next Generation Leadership Institute.

Rushdi Siddiqui

Rushdi Siddiqui, is the Global Director of the Dow Jones Islamic Index Group, and the Chairman of the International Islamic Finance Forum.

Rushdi Siddiqui, is the Global Head of Islamic Finance for Thomson Reuters, the global news and information company. Thomson Reuters, which has been active in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia since 1865, has strong Islamic Finance assets covering leading content, news, analytics and trading capabilities. Rushdi will be utilizing these assets and working closely with Islamic finance and banking professionals including fund managers, treasury, financial hubs, regulators, stock exchanges, central banks, Takafol (insurance) entities, Halal industry, intra-OIC (57 Muslim countries), trade, investment, as well as others to strengthen and grow this business.

Previously, Rushdi was Global Director of the Dow Jones Islamic Index Group. In over 10 years there, he led Dow Jones Indexes entry and its global expansion into Islamic finance. Rushdi serves as the Chairman of the International Islamic Finance Forum. He is a member of the Dubai International Finance Centre Islamic Finance Advisory Council.

He was a professor at the Dow Jones University for Principles of Islamic Investing and was previously Vice President of a Wall Street investment bank, marketing officer for a commercial bank and founder of a consulting firm. He was responsible for the launch of the first Muslim affinity credit card in the U.S. Rushdi was also a lecturer at New York University's School of Professional Education teaching Privatization and Economic Reform.

Rushdi Siddiqui has a Bachelor of Sciences from New York University, a Juris Doctorate from the Albany Law School of Union University, and an MBA from Baruch College.

(Affiliations are for reference only, and do not denote sponsorship or endorsement of the listed organization.)

Shariah Board

Sheikh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, Chairman

Yusuf Delorenzo, as a scholar of Shariah, is closely involved in the transactional implementation of Islamic Finance. While working with financiers, lawyers, accountants, economists, fund managers and other business professionals, Yusuf brings classical Islamic scholarship into the realm of modern finance. As a member of many of the most prominent and prestigious Shariah Supervisory Boards, including financial institutions, banks, pension funds, government investment bodies, and families in the Middle East and elsewhere, he has contributed and is contributing not only to the growth of Islamic Finance but to a broader and more refined understanding between Western financial market participants and their Muslim counterparts.

Sh. DeLorenzo is the sole member of the Board of Shariah Advisors during the start-up phase. Once operational, one or two more advisors will likely be added. DIVO has reached an agreement in principle with Dr. Zubair Usmani (Shariah advisor to Muslim Commercial Bank, Karachi, Pakistan) and Taha Abdul-Basser (Chaplain, Harvard University, Shariah Board member for Javelin Fund Management and Fajr Capital, principal at StraightWay Ethical Advisory) to join the Board of Shariah Advisors upon launch.