Lancaster University

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Gulf One banks on LUMS economics expertise with donation to new research centre

05/09/2008 12:27:32

Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) has today signed on the dotted line with Gulf One Investment Bank to launch a major new centre of economics research excellence. Research will focus on economics and finance in the Middle East and North Africa region, and specifically energy, infrastructure and Islamic banking. The centre, which will also offer training and consultancy to business, is funded by a philanthropic donation of £300,000 from Gulf One via its CEO and Lancaster alumna Dr Nahed Taher.

Dr Taher, who completed her MSc in International Business and PhD in Economics at LUMS during the 1990s, said Gulf One had chosen Lancaster to set up a research centre because “it is one of the top universities in the UK and Europe”. The partnership would support Gulf One’s strategic positioning as a knowledge-led financial institution, she explained. “I know at first hand that Lancaster provides a great quality education – it also has extensive experience in advising private sector companies, and this will help to support the vision of Gulf One. With LUMS we want to achieve high-level research for infrastructure banking products and, specifically, the challenges facing Islamic banking of privatization deals in the Middle East and the world as a whole,” Dr Taher added.

LUMS centre director Dr Marwan Izzeldin said the Gulf One partnership would benefit the business community by providing valuable economic and financial insights into the Gulf region. ”The centre will complement the research activities of Gulf One and, as well as research, it will be a training hub for those working in the financial sector in the Gulf and other emerging economies. More broadly it gives the University a footprint in the Gulf region, an area of major strategic interest.”

Dr Taher and her Gulf One colleagues, Chief Operating Officer Ziyad Omar and Chief Economist Dr Mohammed Salisu, attended a special signing ceremony with LUMS Dean Professor Sue Cox and the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert McKinlay. “It was lovely to come back to Lancaster,” Dr Taher said. “I have great memories of Lancaster and gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in my banking field and related areas there. I was extremely well supported by my professors and colleagues at Lancaster, and this provided me with a very solid base to move forward to both respond to challenges and to create changes in the investment banking arena.”