Islamic Finance: Bringing Ethics to the Center of Finance
At the CFA Institute Middle East Investment Conference in Doha, Qatar on 26 March 2012, Tarek El Diwany, a senior partner at Zest Advisory LLP, argued that religion — be it Islam, Christianity, or Judaism — is not alone in making value judgments about the purpose of life and what is right and wrong. He asserted that finance does the same and that underlying value judgments are responsible for setting the direction of finance.
El Diwany believes that it is a value judgment that the sole job of those managing a company is to maximize shareholders’ wealth, and that money is the sole measure of value. He stated that because of this underlying value judgment, important intangible considerations — such as happiness — are conspicuous by their absence in the financial statements and decisions of corporations.