CIBFM operates under new name

James Kon

The Centre for Islamic Banking, Finance and Management (CIBFM) will operate under a new name – Brunei Institute of Leadership and Islamic Finance (BILIF) – following a rebranding launch ceremony at the Tarindak D’Seni in Bandar Seri Begawan on Monday.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong in his capacity as Deputy Chairman of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam’s (AMBD) Board of Directors unveiled the new name and corporate image.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, BILIF Board of Directors, senior officers from AMBD and officials from government agencies and the finance industry were also present.

AMBD Acting Assistant Managing Director Hajah Sufinah binti Haji Sahat, who is BILIF’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, said, “With this rebranding journey, we commit to continue in the pursuit of excellence and realise our vision for a world of industry-leading professionals equipped with high intellect and insight, particularly in Islamic finance.”

She said data was gathered from research and surveys from clients and prospects during the rebranding journey.

Hajah Sufinah said the research started in 2019 with a review of CIBFM-like institutions all over the world.

“While we feel that CIBFM has gained more credibility, especially on the international stage in the last few years, it was the right time for us to move forward towards a name that we feel is more representative of who we are and what we want to achieve,” she said.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong and Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud with the AMBD and CIBFM Board of Directors. PHOTOS: JAMES KON
ABOVE & BELOW: Acting Assistant Managing Director of AMBD and BILIF Acting Chief Executive Officer Hajah Sufinah binti Haji Sahat delivers her speech; and guests

“In our Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025, we aspire to be a globally-recognised professional learning institution particularly Islamic finance by 2025.

“Our mission is to shape future leaders, experts and innovators in Islamic finance and leadership through immersive programmes and world-class events. We will also be expanding our function to produce meaningful and purposeful studies and research to benefit the financial industry,” Hajah Sufinah said. Recalling the early establishment and achievement of CIBFM, she said after its inception on January 30, 2010, CIBFM started as a team of four when the first ever training programme was organised in 2011.

“We have since grown to a total of 19 local talents under us. We introduced our first signature programme for the development of Islamic finance Syariah experts, the Fiqh (FIQEH) Muamalat Professional Programme (FMPP) officially launched in February 2012,” Hajah Sufinah said.

On the regulatory front, she shared, “We are the official examination licensing centre, appointed by AMBD since 2015, where we introduced the Financial Planning Practitioners’ Programme and Qualifying Examination For Insurance and Takaful Agents and also became the licensing examination centre for money changers in 2018. “

She added, “We are proud to share that we have been appointed the official test centre for International Compliance Association (ICA) UK in 2017, Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI) UK in 2018, and Chartered Bankers Institute (CBI) UK and Accounting and Audit Organisation for Islamic Finance Institutions (AAOIFI), Bahrain in 2020. As part of our memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), Jeddah in 2018, we organised a landmark event in 2019 with them in Makkah, Saudi Arabia for Islamic finance executives.

“We introduced our second Islamic finance signature programme, the Leadership in Islamic Finance and Economics (LIFE) in 2018 and coordinated the pilot testing for the implementation of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Framework for Capital Market in 2020. We were nominated and bestowed the Excellence Award for Islamic Finance Training and Education 2019 at the Global Islamic Finance Awards 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa, organised by Edbiz Consulting, London.”

The new name and corporate image is part of BILIF’s focus on brand presence and business development.

The rebranding reflects the high quality offering and credibility of the organisation. BILIF, under the purview of AMBD, carries the mission of shaping future leaders, experts and innovators in Islamic finance as well as leadership through immersive programmes and worldclass events.

In its commitment and pledge towards growing and enhancing professionals particularly building local talents into internationally recognised and highly regarded leaders, practitioners and experts, BILIF also inked MoUs with two additional partners – School of Business and Economics, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBDSBE) and Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore.

The MoUs were signed by Hajah Sufinah and witnessed by AMBD Managing Director Hajah Rokiah binti Haji Badar. On behalf of UBD, Professor Ahmed Masood Khalid, Dean of UBDSBE, inked on the dotted line witnessed by UBD Assistant Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs Pengiran Dr Mohd Iskandar bin Pengiran Haji Petra.

Meanwhile via virtual platform, SMU Executive Director Eddie Tritton inked the MoU.

Hajah Rokiah as BILIF Board Chairperson also addressed the gathering. Guests were treated to a special presentation on ‘Envisioning Brunei as an Islamic Finance Hub’ by UBDSBE lecturer Dr Awang Haji Hairul Azrin bin Haji Besar.