Shariah compliant bridging lender strengthens senior management team

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bilalahmed offa

Birmingham and London-based Offa, the UK’s first Shariah-compliant bridging provider, has strengthened its senior management team with the recent appointment of Sultan Choudhury OBE as its first Chairman and Andy Blenkinsop, Chairman of Offa’s Risk Committee.

Sultan Choudhury has 26 years of experience in professional and financial services (Deloitte, Charles Schwab, Barclays, and Al Rayan Bank).

Sultan played an instrumental role as part of the founding management team that obtained Western Europe’s first authorised Islamic banking licence.

He was the CEO of Al Rayan Bank for 8 years driving a technology and distribution led turnaround of a loss-making business to profitability and scaling up to achieve exponential growth through a real estate financing strategy building the balance sheet to £2bn.

Sultan is a Chartered Accountant (FCA), Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and a Board Advisor to the UK Islamic Finance Council.

Andy Blenkinsop has a highly successful 40 year career in real estate finance including 27 years with Barclays and HBOS.

The previous ten years as a partner of Pluto Finance which built a £1.5bn loan book comprising development and bridge loans, resulting in the construction of over 2,000 UK homes.

In addition, Andy was instrumental in raising and managing funding from major global institutional investors and pension providers.

Sultan Choudhury commented:

“Offa is a much-needed service required in the UK Islamic finance sector.

I know from having built a large Sharia compliant real estate financing book in the UK, that short term finance can make a real difference for investors seeking to purchase a property quickly or otherwise lose opportunities.

I see real potential for Sharia-compliant bridge finance products in the UK and we have strong evidence for market demand from our experiences at Offa in the time I have been here.

Offa’s management team have a depth of experience that provides a solid foundation for success.

We were first to market and have proved the concept over the last year.

We are now ready to expand and I will be supporting that process through guiding the business in funding, governance and scaling up both capability and capacity to meet that unfulfilled demand.”

Andy Blenkinsop commented:

“Since joining Offa I have very much enjoyed working the team that delivers am ethical finance solution to the market and impressed with the professionalism of balancing the credit risk and delivering great customer service”.

Bilal Ahmed, pictured, Founding Partner and CEO of Offa Alternative Ethical Finance commented:

“The addition of Sultan Choudhury OBE, former CEO of AL Rayan is a great addition for Offa and is a boost for its vision to grow into a significant alternative ethical financier in the real estate sector.

Sultan’s wealth of experience and seniority in the UK Islamic finance sector over 15 years including setting up and running the largest UK Islamic Bank and issuing the largest sterling sukuk (sharia compliant bond-like instrument) is a great testament to his suitability for the role at Offa.”