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Industry Experts

Ashley Freeman

Ashley Freeman is Head of Islamic Finance at international law firm Charles Russell Speechlys and maintains an office in both London and Bahrain. Between 2001 and 2014, Mr Freeman was General Counsel (Head of Legal) at the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). During his time at the CBB, he was active in many ground-breaking Islamic finance initiatives including serving on the working parties that established the IFSB and IIFM and drafting their founding documents. Mr Freeman’s involvement in the Islamic finance industry however goes back some 20 years having worked on his first Shari’ah-compliant transaction in the City of London in 1994. Mr Freeman is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales (admitted 1995). He holds an MA and BA in Law from Cambridge University where he was President of the Islamic Society in the early 1990s.

Dr. Garbis Iradian

The Institute of International Finance, Washington
Dr. Garbis Iradian is currently the Chief Economist for the Middle Eastern Department at the IIF. Previous to the IIF he worked for 17 years at the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC. While there he held the positions of senior economist and senior advisor to an Executive Director where he monitored and assessed macroeconomic and financial developments of several Middle Eastern and Central Asian economies. The IIF is the global association of financial institutions with more than 450 members worldwide. Dr. Iradian received his MBA from the American University of Beirut and his PhD in Economics, with emphasis on macroeconomics and econometrics, from the University of Freiburg, Germany. He has published several articles and working papers on MENA economies and determinants of growth.

Gerhard Schubert

Gerhard Schubert is a Member of the Independent Governing Committee to the DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodity Centre) for the ethical supply chain of gold. He is also a Member of the Dubai Gold Advisory Group (DGAG) Management Board and a Member of the Dubai Gold Advisory Group (DGAG) Physical Committee. Prior to this, he worked as Head of Gold and Commodities-Group Treasury at ABC Bank Bahrain. He also worked as the Head of Commodities-Wealth Management as well as the Head of Precious Metals in Emirates NBD Bank Dubai. Earlier, he worked as Head of Precious Metals London & Hong Kong in ABN AMRO Markets UK, London. He also served as Board Member of Fortis GMK UK Limited and worked as Head of Precious Metals London & Hong Kong in FORTIS GMK UK Limited. Mr Schubert also served as the Head of Precious Metals Trading London & New York for INTL Commodities Inc. UK. Besides, he’s worked in many other organisations that include Mitsui & Co. UK Plc, Credit Lyonnais Rouse, Shearson Lehman Brothers, and DG-Bank, to name a few.