Innovations in Islamic Finance 2015: Balancing innovation and integrity

International banks used to dominate Islamic finance. But their desire to innovate risked the market straying from its principles. Local and specialist firms have benefited from their withdrawal. Clearly there is immense growth potential. Nevertheless, many multinationals abandoned the field. At any of the innumerable Islamic finance conferences in the mid-2000s, one could more or less be guaranteed to see a familiar cast of characters onstage. The most likely would be a man who was not actually a Muslim: Geert Bossuyt, a Belgian who was the head of structuring for the Middle East at Deutsche Bank. Deutsche was a pioneer in Islamic structuring; for a period of three years it was a dealmaker and structuring brains trust without compare, even if some of its ideas, culminating in the deeply technical double wa’d, really did stretch the spirit of Islamic finance.