Having worked for two of the world's most well-known financial media giants Thomson Reuters and Dow Jones as their chief Islamic finance go-to guy, Siddiqui has earned the stripes and experience to forge his own path.
As early as 1998, he introduced the concept of Islamic indices at Dow Jones, and has since pushed the idea of Islamic investing at the governmental level and with many stock exchanges across the Muslim world.
As global head of Islamic Finance and Organization of Islamic Countries at Thomson Reuters , he led the team that established the world's first Islamic equity index, first sukuk index, first Islamic sustainability index, first halal food index, and first Islamic interbank benchmark rate (IIBR).
He also participated in the world's first Islamic Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in Turkey and France, Malaysia and the US, led the index provider to be the first to have licensed Islamic assets under management of USD 7 billion, and led the team to establish the world's first comprehensive pre-trade, multi-asset Islamic finance platform.
But there is much more work to be done, and Siddiqui has ventured out on his own to launch Azka Capital.
As co-founder and managing director of the private equity advisory firm, he is focused on halal industry initiatives with Islamic financing, which he believes are industries that have much in common, but hardly communicate with each other.
He remains an advisor to Thomson Reuters on Islamic finance, the halal industry and OIC countries.
In an interview with alifarabia.com, Siddiqui outlines his hopes and frustrations for the industry he has helped to nurture.
I wanted to do something global and impactful with like-minded people for Muslims, but it had to be something 'compliant.' Once in the Islamic finance space for a period a time, like 15 years, the default thinking is 'compliance,' hence, employment in the conventional space was neither an option nor welcomed in that space.
I've always been interested in private equity, but there are not many pure-play compliant PE firms with the dedicated focus for the triple bottom line: returns to investors, society and man on the street. Furthermore, the area of focus had to be about building and growing something linked to the real economy and less financial engineering play.
(Zawya / 09 July 2013)
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com