Volaw’s Director of Islamic Finance and Funds Group, Trevor Norman, acted as compère at the prestigious award ceremony of the 8th International Real Estate Finance (IREF) Summit on 2nd and 3rd February. T

he IREF Summit, which is the world’s premier Islamic finance real estate event, was held at the Jumeriah Carlton Towers in Knightsbridge, London. The Summit brought together leading experts and major institutions from key global real estate markets to share knowledge and provide a forum to shape tomorrow’s market.

Jersey-based Trevor Norman spoke at the first conference in 1997 and has been a regular attendee as a respected panellist and speaker on numerous occasions since. To be approached to compère this year was a great honour for Mr Norman and a reflection of the growing Islamic finance expertise held in Jersey.

As compère at the IREF Middle East Gala awards dinner ceremony at the conference, he announced the winners who were honoured for their outstanding contributions and achievements in various areas of real estate finance. Liz Peace, CEO of the British Property Federation, presented the awards.

Mr Norman also sat on the Shari’a scholar’s panel discussing the theme of “Tapping Liquidity and the Role of Islamic Finance”. The panel debated the potential of Islamic Finance to bring liquidity from the Middle East to the opportunities that exist within the global real estate market.

Investment from the GCC and other Islamic jurisdictions has historically favoured key real estate markets such as the UK. The UK market has encouraged the demand for Shari’a-complaint structures by developing expertise in and acceptance of Islamic finance, which has facilitated its growth in the UK. London has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading Islamic finance jurisdictions attracting huge investments from Islamic investors, particularly into London’s commercial and high-end residential real estate sectors. This interest has recently extended outside the capital, to investment opportunities in other UK cities, and Volaw has been actively involved in several such transactions in 2010.

Islamic real estate investors are now globally active with interests in every continent. Other major European centres such as France, Luxembourg and Turkey are following the UK’s lead, and other centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore are also developing expertise in this area.

Trevor Norman, Director of Islamic Finance and Funds Group, Volaw trust company, said:

‘It was an honour to be asked to compère the prestigious awards event and again act as a panellist and speaker. I was pleased to give a presentation on the implications of the EU Alternative Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) on real estate funds. This was particularly appropriate as at the 1999 conference I spoke about the listing of Islamic funds and the effect of the UCITS regulations.’

For further information on Volaw’s Islamic Finance expertise, please contact Trevor Norman (tnorman@volaw.com).

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