Indiana State University Newsroom

Chicago workshop to teach Islamic principles in financial services, industry

March 30, 2011

Financial industry experts will explain Islamic principles in financial services and investments during an upcoming workshop in Chicago.

The Islamic Finance Workshop will take place on April 7-8 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The conference, sponsored by Networks Financial Institute in the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University, will feature several speakers explaining investment, insurance and banking principles based on Islamic law. People attending the conference will have the opportunity to learn about the principles of Islamic finance, the size of the market and products and procedures that are involved, along with the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing these products, said John Tatom, director of research at NFI.

"The idea is that there are financial market professionals who don't know much about this part of the market and who would like an opportunity to learn more," Tatom said, "and they might be interested in developing their own opportunities in the market for mutual funds or other investment, insurance or banking products."

NFI fellow Kabir Hassan, who is also associate professor of finance at the University of New Orleans, will be the workshop leader. Additional notable presenters include James Bergin, attorney and regulator with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Andreas Jobst, an economist with the International Monetary Fund; Yahia Abdul-Rahman, chairman and CEO of the Bank of Whittier in California; Mohamed Donia, CEO of IdealRatings, a ratings service used for identifying financial instruments and products compliant with Islamic law; Yaqub Mirza, president and CEO of Sterling Management; and Tarek Zaher, professor of finance at Indiana State University.

The idea for the workshop came after Hassan and Zaher gave related NFI sponsored presentations at Hassan II University, Mohammedia in Morocco, and officials at NFI thought it would be beneficial to host such an event in the United States, Tatom said.

"Islamic finance is already well established in many countries in the world and in the global financial markets, particularly in London," Tatom added. "But the United States financial markets have been less exposed to information on these opportunities, and we thought that this workshop could be very beneficial for the industry and for consumers of financial services."

Peopled can find additional information and register for the event at Registration costs $500 per person for professionals; student registration is $250.

Networks Financial Institute is part of ISU's Scott College of Business. Founded in 2003 through a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., NFI strives to facilitate broad, collaborative thinking, dialogue and progress in the evolving financial services marketplace, focusing on the areas of education, outreach and research.

Contact: John Tatom, director of research, Networks Financial Institute, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University, 317-536-0281, ext. 712, or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or