The Royal Award for Islamic Finance (The Royal Award) was presented to Dato' Dr. Abdul Halim Ismail by the King of Malaysia, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, at the Dinner and Award Presentation in Malaysia held in conjunction with the Global Islamic Finance Forum 2014 (GIFF 2014).
Held once every two years, The Royal Award is spearheaded by Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission Malaysia under the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative. The Royal Award recognises Islamic finance visionaries who contribute significantly to the growth of the global economy and social progress of communities around the world.
Dr. Abdul Halim, the first Malaysian to receive this award is recognised for his role in establishing the organisational structure and operating procedures of the first Islamic bank in 1983. He was appointed the Managing Director of Bank Islam and Chairman of the board of Syarikat Takaful Malaysia, the nation's first Islamic insurance company. In 1994, Dr. Abdul Halim also helped to set up BIMB Securities, the first Islamic stockbroking company in Malaysia. Under his stewardship, both the industry and financial institutions flourished, making Islamic finance an increasingly attractive alternative and complement to conventional finance.
"Dr. Abdul Halim is a man of vision who has played a vital role in developing the region's Islamic banking industry, leveraging on his knowledge in economics and finance," said Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the Jury Panel of The Royal Award.
On receiving The Royal Award this year, Dr. Abdul Halim said, "Islamic finance is deeply connected with the real economy, offering ethical investments and funding options for businesses. The principles of Islamic finance also encourage inclusiveness and collaboration to create a fair and equitable financial system that is accessible to all. I am honoured to receive The Royal Award and look forward to continuing my journey to increase awareness, understanding and appreciation of Islamic finance around the world."