Switzerland

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Exciting weekend- going on fundraising; Swiss vote for full money

Dear Readers,

The coming weekend has two highlights for me:

1st: On Saturday I participate the second time at Unicef Cycling for Children. Going with my bike in the Swiss alps and cycle there about 800 elevation meters one lap over 20 km. Looking forward to see whether I can do more than one lap this time. Looking even further towards breaking my last year's fundraising of around 1000 USD.

Please make some of your money avalaible for children and support UNICEF (1 CHF arond 1 USD):

https://www.unicef.ch/en/cycling-for-children/action/michael-gassner

2nd: On Sunday Switzerland conducts a public vote regarding full reserve money. Still the projections are as such that the public initiative will not receive a majority, but global polling previously has shown various surprise elections already. Even the Financial Times had a favourable opinion piece by Martin Wolf today asking the Swiss people to vote for Vollgeld:

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Tomorrow starts RFI Summit Zurich, Switzerland

Happy to meet there in person the first day!

"The Responsible Finance & Investment Summit (RFI Summit) is an initiative of the RFI Foundation and Swiss Arab Network to build awareness of shared values that can bring socially responsible investing (SRI), environmental, social and governance (ESG) and Islamic finance together to increase their positive impact.

This Responsible Finance & Investment Summit brings together key stakeholders within responsible finance to build connections to new growth opportunities and more measurable impact. The RFI Summit will play a vital role in connecting representatives from across the responsible finance industry to build on the growing cooperation between SRI, ESG and Islamic finance."

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Geneva, CH: Islamic Finance Afterwork Networking - Tuesday, 17 April 2018, 6.15 pm

Please feel free to join the afterwork Islamic finance networking event. The online voting showed that Tuesday, 17 April 2018 is the most favoured date by the overwhelming majority. I appreciate if you send me a short email about your attendance to notify the venue about the number of people to be expected: gassner@islamicfinance.de .

Venue: Halles de l'Île, Place de l'Ile 1, 1204 Genève - http://www.brasseriedeshallesdelile.ch/
Google Maps: https://tinyurl.com/ybd35x5u

In fact over years I made the acquaintance of a number of professionals, but we rarely come together.

As there are no sponsors, this is private, including everybody's food & beverage. Going forward I think about a monthly or bimonthly luncheon with brief lecture on a changing subject.

Additionally, there is large Islamic finance summit coming up, also in 26-27 April 2018 in Zurich: http://rfisummit.org/ - I plan to be there on the first day at least.

If you are interested in philanthropy, please pre-register in desired capacity with the Global Donors Forum scheduled 10-12 September 2018 in London, which I am member of the Steering Committee: https://globaldonorsforum.org/preliminary-registration

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3rd Unicef Cycling for Children

What is CYCLING FOR CHILDREN? CYCLING FOR CHILDREN is a unique public cycling event organised in Switzerland in collaboration with Crans-Montana Tourism & Congress. The aim is to show commitment through sporting performance and creative fundraising to help children in need. Everyone sets their own targets. No mountain is too high to save a child’s life! Scheduled for 9th June 2018.

Fundraising now starting: https://www.unicef.ch/en/cycling-for-children/action/michael-gassner

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Geneva, CH: Islamic Finance Apero: Please vote and fix the best date

If you are in Geneva, please feel free to join the "networking Apero in Geneva for people working related to or interested in Islamic finance."

In fact over years I made the acquaintance of a number of professionals, but we rarely come together.

Please check the time scheduler, and vote for the best suitable date for you; multiple votes possible:

http://www.propoodle.net/index.php/propoodle/vote?key=K31RHmxuWhKAMDJCpq...

As there are no sponsors, this is private, including everybody's food & beverage.

Once we have the number of participants the venue will be finalised. Tentatively I think about the Brasserie Quai de l'Ile.

If interest is there I am happy to repeat the Islamic Finance Apero and look into formalising it further.

Additionally, there is large Islamic finance summit coming up, also in 26-27 April 2018 in Zurich: http://rfi-summit.org/ - plan to be there on the first day at least.

Holistic Finance, a movement launched in Switzerland!

In this article Efi Pylarinou shares a few takeaways from the Impact Summit-Faith in Finance held in Zug, Switzerland. Takeway number 1 is that Finance can become Holistic. Blockchain is the enabler for investing and managing all kinds of Digital Assets. The second takeaway is that Finance can become Holistic through the alignment with Faiths. The conference showcased a diverse selection of SDGs and ventures that are in alignment with the movement. Example ventures include: Equileap, focused on gender diversity, TBLI Group, educating asset managers about impact investing, MicroVest, a wholesale microfinance solution with a Faith alignment, SweetBridge, a blockchain solution for the inefficiencies in the Supply Chain, the Seratio Faith Coin, GoBeyond, angel investing empowering women, ThinkYellow, a gender led investing platform, Symbiotics, financing social SMEs, Kompotoi, the rentable composting toilet and 1Bank4All, the global social bank.

Former Swiss Bankers’ Associations’ Head of Compliance and Data Protection joins Lexpert Partners AG

Lexpert Partners AG, a Zug based law firm specialised in providing legal and regulatory advice for the financial industry and to private clients, has appointed Dr. Andrew Ertl, as Partner, effective as of November 1, 2017. Andrew Ertl will be focusing on banking and finance law with a specialist know-how in Sharia compliant structuring as well as data protection law (including GDPR).

Andrew Ertl joins Lexpert Partners from the Swiss Bankers’ Association where he held the position of Head of Compliance and Data Protection and was member of senior management.

Prior to joining the Swiss Bankers’ Association, Andrew Ertl worked as general counsel and secretary of the Board for Peak Values AG, and as in-house counsel for Bank Sarasin & Cie AG and UBS AG.

Andrew Ertl has a doctorate of law (Dr. iur.) from the University of Bern (2012), [Thesis Sharia compliant financial products under Swiss Law] and an additional Masters degree from the University of Edinburgh (UK) in European Commercial Law. Andrew Ertl is fluent in English and German and proficient in French.

The #continuing allure of #Islamic #finance

The total Islamic finance industry was estimated at around $ 1.9 trillion in assets for the year end of 2016, and it pales into insignificance compared with traditional finance. However of special interest is the growing popularity of Islamic finance from both the Muslim and non-Muslim financial institutions and investors. Islamic assets are very much concentrated in the banking sector which holds $1.5 trillion in total, with the Islamic bonds or sukuks worth $320 billion, and investment funds and insurance or so called takaful worth $56 billion and $25 billion respectively.
The majority are purchase and sale or murabaha and leasing or ijara transactions. Some major Gulf companies are turning to the sukuk market to raise funds, with Saudi Aramco and the Government of Saudi Arabia both successfully launching sukuk tranches which were heavily oversubscribed.

Islamic #FinTech Strengthens Ties with European Partners

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has announced two new partnerships with non-profit organizations from London and Zurich. The first alliance is with the Swiss Finance and Technology Association (SFTA). The second one is the British think tank Responsible Finance and Investment Foundation (RFI). The Swiss partnership will strengthen the collaboration between local FinTech businesses and will provide new opportunities for knowledge transfer. ADGM also signed an agreement with the London-based RFI. Both parties will work together to assist young FinTech entrepreneurs in testing and introducing innovative products under the ADGM Reglab program. In addition to that, RFI and ADGM will also set up an open platform to share knowledge and expertise. According to Blake Goud, the CEO of RFI, FinTech can have a leading role in transforming the way Islamic institutions connect with their clients. In his view, this partnership can encourage and support emerging FinTech companies to adopt ethical, responsible and Islamic approaches.

Leading #Scottish Islamic finance expert to speak at Responsible Finance & Investment #Summit

Graham Burnside, a consultant at Shepherd and Wedderburn, is to speak at the RFI conference in Zurich. The Responsible Finance & Investment Summit (RFI Summit) is a two-day event hosted by the RFI Foundation and the Swiss Arab Network. The event is aimed at building awareness of how the social and environmentally responsible investment and Islamic finance can create a positive impact. Mr Burnside is a founding member of the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC), a Scottish-based not-for-profit specialist advisory established to promote ethical finance. In 2015, the UKIFC was recognised by Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge Awards (EFICA), winning the $100,000 Islamic Finance Industry Development Award. Mr Burnside has been invited to take part in the RFI Summit panel looking at financial inclusion and responsible finance.

Can #responsible #investment integrate with Islamic finance?

The Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Summit 2017 has announced a series of Executive Sessions organized by the RFI Foundation and INCEIF, the Global University of Islamic finance. These sessions will introduce participants from all backgrounds to the connection between Islamic Finance and Responsible Finance. INCEIF President Daud Vicary Abdullah said the alignment between the guiding principles of Islamic finance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was significant. Daud added that these interactive Executive Sessions would provide a platform for people working in responsible finance who do not realize the alignment of responsible investment with Islamic finance.

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Editorial Note: UNICEF Cycling For Children

Dear Readers,

Currently we face several humanitarian crisis, the most afffected are the children. The large organisations need more funds. UNICEF organises the Cycling for Children challenge, which I will join.

Please support my effort and campaign by donating today online via:

https://www.unicef.ch/en/cycling-for-children/action/michael-gassner

My best wishes, and thanks on behalf of all the kids!

Michael Gassner

Is #disruption by #FinTech a social good?

Support Disruption for Good (SDG) #Challenge will showcase breakthrough models that also have material social impact

Zurich, Switzerland, February 22, 2017 – The RFI Foundation, in partnership with the Swiss Finance + Technology Association, Finocracy and the Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Summit partners, launched the Support Disruption for Good (SDG) Challenge to find the most promising ethical, responsible or Islamic FinTech innovation and connect them to the leading institutions in the responsible finance industry.

The SDG Challenge opens today and will remain open until March 17. All applicants will be judged against a transparent set of criteria by an independent judging panel drawn from across the responsible finance and FinTech industry. During the review process judges will evaluate the ability of each entrant to effectively scale, contribute to financial inclusion, contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals while being financially sustainable.

#Zurich: #Responsible #Finance & Investment Summit 3-4 May 2017

Summit will explore intersection of #fintech, #ESG and #Islamicfinance. #RFISummit17

January 24, 2017, Zurich, Switzerland –

Bringing together a diversity of perspectives is critical for continuing the growth occurring within responsible finance. On this premise, the Responsible Finance & Investment Summit 2017 will convene in Zurich, Switzerland from 3-4 May 2017 around the theme “Building Bridges, Expanding Impact”.

Recent estimates from industry stakeholders show continued growth in responsible finance assets in many geographies and sectors. Responsible investment in Europe grew by 42% during the past 2 years, while in the U.S., assets grew by 33%. In Islamic finance, which has a global presence with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, growth in the last 2 years has been 21%. Identifying actionable areas for collaboration will support continued growth towards a more sustainable financial system.

#Swiss firm buys two #Malaysian insurers to add #takaful products to its portfolio

Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance Company has bought MAA Takaful (MAAT) from MAA Group and Solidarity Group Holding to expand its insurance and takaful business in Malaysia. Zurich Insurance Malaysia CEO Philip Smith said the company will be able to provide a wide range of insurance and takaful solutions across multiple customer segments, supported by the technical and servicing expertise in the wider Zurich Group. The acquisition cost RM525 mn and about RM400 mn was paid at the closing of the transaction. The remaining amount will be paid on the third anniversary after the closing.

Swiss Bank Is Charged Over #1MDB Dealings

Authorities in #Switzerland and #Singapore took action against Swiss private bank BSI for failing to prevent money laundering and bribery related to its dealings with Malaysian development fund 1MDB. Switzerland's Attorney General opened criminal proceedings against the bank. The country's Financial Market Supervisory Authority ordered BSI to pay back 95 mn Swiss franks Swiss Bank Is Charged Over ($96 mn). Singapore’s central bank revoked BSI’s banking license there and fined it 13.3 mn Singapore dollars ($9.7 mn). The cross-border investigation related to 1MDB involves at least seven countries.

Formation en finance islamique en Suisse : Genève accueille l’IBQ – Islamic Banking Qualification

Organisé régulièrement dans plusieurs pays, l’Islamic Banking Qualification Program IBQ ® se délocalise à Genève pour une session exceptionnelle les 13-14-15 juin 2016. L’IBQ est une certification internationale dédiée aux principes et pratiques bancaires islamiques. Cette formation en langue française vise à permettre aux professionnels de la finance de comprendre et/ou d’intégrer le secteur bancaire islamique. La formation est d’une durée de 25 heures structurées sous le mode de workshop interactif avec des présentations et études de cas précédées par des lectures.

WSJ: Swiss banks focus of 1MDB controversy

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), in continuing to pursue the story on the 1MDB controversy, has reported that there’s unprecedented attention on a number of Swiss banks and Zurich-based Falcon Private Bank AG, a small wealth manager snapped up by an Abu Dhabi investor during the financial crisis. The Swiss authorities, according to WSJ, are probing suspected money laundering and possible corruption of “foreign officials”. The investigations have landed Falcon in the middle of the controversy around 1MDB. Falcon, which so far hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, said the bank was legally barred from answering questions about its clients.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Triple Bottom Line Investing Presents ‘TBLI Conference Europe 2015’, November 19-20, Zurich, Switzerland

The TBLI Conference Europe 2015 is going to take place at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Zurich on November 19-20, 2015. The cost of the event is CHF 625 (USD 639). A set of three private meetings with potential investors and business partners is available for an additional fee of CHF 500 (USD 511). Additional meetings can be booked at CHF 150 (USD 154) each. TBLI Conference offers a series of presentations and workshops that focus on environment, social, governance (ESG) and impact investing topics. This year’s conference will focus on ESG and impact investing across asset classes. Find more information on http://www.tbligroup.com/tbliconference/europe2015.html.

Working Paper: Why does financial sector growth crowd out real economic growth?

As Islamic finance emphasizes the connection between real economy and financial activity this BIS Working Paper is very interesting and supportive for the understanding:

Abstract:
"In this paper we examine the negative relationship between the rate of growth of the financial sector and the rate of growth of total factor productivity. We begin by showing that by disproportionately benefiting high collateral/low productivity projects, an exogenous increase in finance reduces total factor productivity growth. Then, in a model with skilled workers and endogenous financial sector growth, we establish the possibility of multiple equilibria. In the equilibrium where skilled labour works in finance, the financial sector grows more quickly at the expense of the real economy. We go on to show that consistent with this theory, financial growth disproportionately harms financially dependent and R&D-intensive industries."

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