Dusseldorf, Germany

As Europe’s largest economy and second most populous nation, Germany is a key member of the continent.  Known around the world for ‘German engineering’ as well as its banking and insurance companies, the nation is equally recognised for its high level of innovation. Well-known international brands include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, SAP, Volkswagen, Audi, Siemens, Allianz, Adidas, Porsche, Deutsche Bank and Bosch.

Being home to the modern car, Germany’s automotive industry is regarded as one of the most competitive and innovative in the world. The nation is also recognised for its large portion of specialised small and medium enterprises. More than 1,000 of these companies are global market leaders in their segment.

Germany is also a leader in the fashion industry. Its textile industry consists of about 1,300 companies with more than 130,000 employees, which generated a revenue of 28 billion Euro in 2010. Almost 44 per cent of the products are exported. Renowned German fashion designers include Karl Lagerfeld, Jil Sander and Philipp Plein whilst international fashion brands include Hugo Boss, Escada, Adidas, Puma, Esprit and Triumph.

The WIEF Roundtable, Dusseldorf 2018 will focus on Germany’s economic competitiveness which could influence the overall European economy. The Roundtable begins with the topic on key success factors of family-owned businesses that will discuss, among other things, continuity and succession planning. The second Session addresses the synergies between Islamic finance and conventional finance. To conclude the Roundtable, the third session on modest fashion touches on business opportunities in the global textile and fashion industries.

Day 1
8.00 AM Arrival of Guests & Registration
9.00 AM Opening Ceremony
Welcoming Remarks by the Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman, WIEF Foundation
9.30 AM Session 1
Family-owned Businesses: Key Success Factors
Family-owned businesses face unique challenges with the dynamics of family relationships added to the complexity of managing the business.  Despite these challenges, they are an important part of many economies.According to the Global Family Business Index by the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Europe leads with 50 per cent of the index, followed by 24 per cent in North America, while regions that are typically associated with more family-oriented cultures, like Asia and South America, comprise a smaller segment of the top firms. This Session will discuss:

  • the challenges faced by family businesses including succession planning, wealth preservation and family dynamics
  • key factors in ensuring the successful continuity of family owned businesses
  • main determinants why family businesses are more successful and more profitable than non-family businesses


  • Essa Al Ghurair, Chairman, Essa Al-Ghurair Investments LLC, United Arab Emirates
  • Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, A.K. Khan & Co. Limited, Bangladesh
  • Urs Breitsprecher, Founding and Managing Partner, AQUAN Rechtsanwälte, Germany


  • Manfred Dirrheimer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, FWU AG, Germany
11.00 AM Session 2
Islamic Finance vs. Ethical Finance: Towards a Convergence
Consumer’s increasing wariness of mainstream banking organisations has resulted in the demand for alternative services and products perceived to be more transparent, ethical and environmentally sound.  The continued diversification and availability of Islamic finance products and services has led to the rapid rise in customers turning to the industry as alternative banking solutions. This session will discuss:

  • the synergies that exist between Islamic and conventional finance
  • the importance of the social role played by finance, that require a wider perspective on ethics, regulation and the impact of finance on the economy
  • the need for a deepening dialogue and convergence in relation to the objective and role of the financial sector.


  • Datuk Mohamed Rafique Merican, Chief Executive Officer, Maybank Islamic Bhd, Malaysia
  • Ibrahim Bilgin, CIFE, Head of AML & Compliance KT Bank AG, Germany
  • Wayne Evans, International Strategy Advisor, TheCityUK
  • Mustafa Cetin, Chief Financial Officer, insha GmbH, Germany


  • Volker Nienhaus, Former President, University of Marburg, Germany
12.30 PM Lunch / Informal Networking
2.00 PM Session 3
Textile to Fashion: Opportunities in Modest Fashion
International designers such as Hermes, Estee Lauder, Christian Lacroix as well as new generation of designers such as Elie Saab have started to infuse Muslim-inspired elements into their ensembles.  Italy-based clothing manufacturer Mango, launched its Islamic clothing product under the brand name ‘Ramadan Collection’ in 2015.The tactical change by these designers was driven due to the growing Muslim fashion industry, estimated to be USD96 billion.  This figure is based on the assumption that half of the two billion Muslims in the world each spend USD120 a year on modest clothing.  It is also assumed that the potential of modest clothing market in the EU can be valued at USD960 million to USD1.5 billion a year. The session will discuss:

  • the current trends as well as transformation of the global fashion landscape
  • the business opportunities in the industry driven by the growth of a generation of young, confident, tech-savvy, product conscious consumers
  • favourable regulatory framework offered by various governments in promoting the development of textile and fashion industries


  • Iman Aldebe, Fashion Designer, Sweden
  • Kerim Ture, Founder, Modanisa, Turkey
  • Romanna bint Abubaker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Haute Elan, UK
3.30 PM End of WIEF Roundtable
Refreshments/Informal Networking
4.00 PM WIEF VIP Closed Door Meeting


Day 2
Visit to German SMEs (By Invitation)
8.00 AM Departure from Hotel
09.00 AM
– 11.00 AM
Factory Visit 1 – Teekanne GmbH & Co. KG Sitz, Germany
Teekanne has a 136-years of history. Its two founder Rudolf Anders and Eugen Nissle started a small business in Dresden to offer tea as a branded product. Its logo – the teapot, one of the oldest trademarks still in use today.During the factory visit, participants will experience “firsthand” the path that the natural product tea takes to become a TEEKANNE product: from blending to quality testing and packaging, including the care and technology use to produce TEEKANNE tea.Address:TEEKANNE GmbH & Co. KG Sitz: Düsseldorf
Geschäftsführer: Frank Schübel
Kevelaerer Straße 21-23, 40549 Düsseldorf, Deutschland
Tel: +49 211 5085 0,
Fax: +49 211 5048 139
4.00 PM Departure to Hotel


  • The Organisers reserve the right to alter the content and timing of the programme in the best interest of the Conference and is not responsible for cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances.

The Honourable Tun Musa Hitam
Chairman of WIEF Foundation and Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia





Tun Musa Hitam, who is currently Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation was Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister until 1986. In the course of his service in the Malaysian government, he held various positions including Minister of Home Affairs, Education, Primary Industries and Trade and Industries and Chairman of the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA). Among his major official activities were as Leader of Malaysian Investment Missions to Europe, United States and Japan, Leader of the Commonwealth Observers Delegation to the Malawi and Pakistani general elections and Member of the Commonwealth Ministers Action Group Delegations to Nigeria, Fiji and the Gambia. He also represented Malaysia at UN, UNESCO and United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) related negotiating and regular conferences. He was also elected for one term Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Since Tun Musa’s retirement from politics in 1987, he held Chairmanships of three Public Listed Companies and various business related institutions both at domestic and international levels. He was Chairman of the Malaysia – China Business Council, Co-Chair of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) of the ASEAN – China, 15 year economic cooperation programme and Chairman of the EPG to draft the ASEAN Charter. Currently, Tun Musa is Chairman of the International Advisory Panel of CIMB Bank, Chairman of the International Selection Panel of the Royal Award on Islamic Finance and member of the Advisory Panel of the Iskandar Development Authority as well as member of the High-Level Group (HLG) on Commonwealth Governance. He also represented the Malaysian Prime Minister to the 32nd ASEAN Summit 2018 in Singapore.

Tun Musa holds a BA from the University of Malaya and an MA from the University of Sussex and held a resident Fellowship at Harvard University. For his services to the nation, The Yang Di Pertuan Agong, King of Malaysia, conferred him Malaysia’s highest award which carries the title ‘Tun’.


Wayne Evans
International Strategy Advisor
United Kingdom




Before establishing his own consultancy services, Wayne Evans was director of International Strategy at TheCityUK, the leading independent, national membership body created to promote the United Kingdom financial and related professional services industry. Through his consultancy he leads TheCityUK on Islamic finance issues.

As part of TheCityUK leadership team, Wayne was responsible for recommending and with his team implementing TheCityUK’s international agenda. He wrote TheCityUK’s policy for relations with other international financial centres.

Wayne is currently actively engaged with a number of financial centres on Islamic finance and has been an active advocate for Islamic finance for a number of years. He was a member of the UK Government’s Islamic Finance Task Force and was part of the London organising committee for the 2013 WIEF meeting.

Before working in TheCityUK, he was a diplomat employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In his FCO career, he enjoyed several overseas postings, holding a variety of jobs covering Trade Promotion, Economic policy, Political policy, Aid and Development.

Wayne served as an adviser to the Islamic finance faculty at the University of East London. He is a trustee for a charity tackling the problems of low literacy in children and the effect this has on the whole of our community.


Professor Volker Nienhaus
Former President,
University of Marburg,




Volker Nienhaus was a professor of Economics at the German universities of Trier and Bochum, vice rector of the University of Bochum and president of the University of Marburg. He holds an honorary professorship of the University of Bochum and was visiting professor at the University of Reading (UK), University of Malaya and the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. He served in several academic advisory committees and boards, including the German Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development and the German Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Currently, Professor Volker is a member of the governing council and adjunct professor of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) in Kuala Lumpur and consultant to the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). He is also member of the Supervisory Board of FWU AG in Munich, an internationally operating family takāful provider. His interest in Islamic economics and finance as well as his long list of publications date back to the late 1970s.


Dato’ Mohamad Rafique Merican
Group Head of Islamic Banking
and Chief Executive Officer
Maybank Islamic




Dato’ Mohamad Rafique Merican joined Maybank Group in 2012 as its chief financial officer and is also a member of the Maybank Group Executive Committee. He has more than 25 years of experience in the corporate sector, as chief financial officer of Tenaga Nasional and Malakoff Berhad.

Prior to that, he worked at Radicare (M) Sdn Bhd, a facilities management concessionaire for hospitals in Malaysia as chief operating officer and chief executive officer. He also worked with Amanah Capital Group and Bumiputera Merchant Bankers Berhad in corporate finance and advisory roles. His recent appointments include non-independent non-executive director of Etiqa Takaful Berhad and member of Etiqa Insurance Berhad Investment Committee. Dato’ Rafique was also the president commissionaire of PT Bank Maybank Syariah Indonesia from 2013-2016.

Dato’ Rafique is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) UK; Chartered Accountant, Malaysian Institute of Accountants and underwent the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Malaysia Accounting Standards Board, Malaysia Advisory Committee of ACCA Malaysia and CNBC Global CFO Council.


Essa Al Ghurair
Chairman, Essa Al Ghurair Investment LLC,
United Arab Emirates





Essa Al Ghurair serves as the chairman of Essa Al Ghurair Investment LLC. He oversees the diverse business activities including manufacturing and marketing of edible oils as well as legumes and trading of food grains, oils and meals. He has been the main driver to encourage the group to invest in the energy and petrochemicals sectors. He now leads the group’s initiatives through Trans Asia Gas International to develop projects in the oil and gas, power generation as well as petrochemicals sectors, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

He graduated from the San Diego State University in California, United States, in business administration and holds major positions within the Group and its joint ventures: Chairman of Al Ghurair Resources LLC, Trans Asia Gas International LLC, Essa Al Ghurair Investment LLC, Tharawat Advisory Board and Tharawat Family Business Forum; Director of Al Ghurair University and National Cement Co. PSC, and; Board Member of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.


Urs Breitsprecher
Founding and Managing Partner, AQUAN Rechtsanwälte, Germany





Urs Breitsprecher is a managing partner at AQUAN Rechtsanwälte law firm. He has more than a decade of experience working on complex Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions, and due to his dual qualification as a German lawyer as well as English solicitor, he’s specialised in cross-border deals.

He also has considerable expertise of company and group restructuring, and their tax consequences as well as in insolvency matters. Among his domestic and international clients are family-owned businesses, private equity firms and family offices. He also advises foreign companies on inbound investments into Germany.

He volunteers in various organisations, including Head of European Chapters of Alliance of M&A Advisors (AM&AA) and board member at IR Global DealMaker Group. He’s also an active member of the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature).

He obtained his Bachelor of Law from the University College London.


Iman Aldebe
Fashion Designer and Visual Artist, Sweden





Iman Aldebe is a fashion designer, visual artist and entrepreneur based in Stockholm. Born in Sweden to Jordanian parents, Iman started designing for friends as well as family, and studied clothes design in high school, by age 16. Then, at 18 years old, she designed her first collection which was environmentally-conscious, called Eco Luxury. It consisted of 18 outfits.

Now at 33, Iman’s designs under her eponymous fashion label, and her particularly iconic turbans, are well-known from New York to Paris, and sold worldwide. Her designs reflect her dissent of the ideology that Muslim women should not wear make-up or engage in fashion.

Iman has participated in several fashion programmes including, the Swedish Project Runway in 2012 and Von Svensson’s Kläder in 2013. She has also been listed as a top entrepreneur in the fashion industry. Her creations have also appeared in the 2015 autumn collection of Hennes & Mauritz’s, a globally popular Swedish clothing store. Iman studied both journalism as well as law, and she completed her university studies in 2012.

The Renaissance Duesseldorf Hotel is the official hotel for the WIEF Roundtable in Germany. The special rate is offered exclusively to registered participants of the Roundtable for reservations between 30 Sep and 02 Oct 2018. Reservations will be on a first come first served basis, please book by 16 Sep 2018 to enjoy the special deal.

The Renaissance Duesseldorf Hotel is ideally located near both the city centre and the airport. Comfortable, intuitively designed rooms and suites feature high-speed internet access, featherbed mattresses and 24-hour room service. Some rooms come with a beautiful view of the River Rhine. Take advantage of the convenient hotel location to explore Duesseldorf’s Old Town District; the Messe and Esprit Arena are close by as well.

Discover the best of Duesseldorf at the redesigned hotel!

EUR79 (Single) and EUR89 (Double). Rates are inclusive of WIFI and breakfast.


  • Opportunity to gain exposure and build brand awareness among the local and regional business market
  • Increase visibility as an industry leader/expert and cultivate relationships with the key/target audience.
  • Lead generation. Great opportunity for your organization to present the latest inventions/projects and collect new contacts.




  1. Recognition as Presenting Sponsor and acknowledgement in all Roundtable’s collaterals which include venue backdrop, marketing and advertising collaterals.
  2. Recognition in selected WIEF Foundation publications and social media platforms.
  3. Sponsor logo with hyperlink & company description (boilerplate) on event website.
  4. Sponsor logo and company description (boilerplate) in the Roundtable Booklet.
  5. One (1) page advertisement insertion in the Roundtable Booklet (insert).
  6. Introduction meeting with top business leaders attending the Roundtable.
  7. Distribution of marketing materials or merchandise items in the participant bag. (Terms & conditions apply)
  8. Interview opportunity with selected media during the Roundtable.
  9. Speaking opportunity in one of the Panel Discussion session.
  10. Email blast to Roundtable attendees.
  11. Ten (10) Participant passes to attend the annual WIEF (worth US$800 each).


  1. Recognition as Roundtable Partner and acknowledgement in all Roundtable’s collaterals which include venue backdrop, marketing and advertising collaterals.
  2. Recognition in selected WIEF Foundation publications and social media platforms.
  3. Sponsor logo with hyperlink & company description (boilerplate) on event website.
  4. Sponsor logo and company description (boilerplate) in the Roundtable Booklet.
  5. One (1) page advertisement insertion in the Roundtable Booklet.
  6. Introduction meeting with top business leaders attending the Roundtable.
  7. Distribution of marketing materials or merchandise items in the participant bag. (Terms & conditions apply)
  8. Five (5) Participant passes to attend the annual WIEF (worth US$800 each).


For more information about the sponsorship opportunities at the roundtable, please contact :

Sayf Ismail
Head of Marketing
sayf@wief.org / marketing@wief.org
+603 2163 5500

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