Meet Our Team

It’s always good to know who you’re doing business with and to put a face to the name, so let us introduce you to our people.

Executive Management

Tarek Kallel

Founding Partner - CIO

Tarek is a pioneer in the Global Islamic Banking Industry, having built from scratch Germany’s first Islamic Bank, KT Bank. In its first year of operation alone it achieved over €150m of client deposits and 8000 new retail clients.

He has over 15 years of Institutional Sales experience across Capital Markets, Structured Products and Alternative Investments and during his career has worked at JP Morgan, DZ Bank, West LB, HSH NordBank, and Kleinwort Benson.

Most recently Tarek has been involved in raising a $50m commercial real estate fund and $400m real estate development fund for a UK based investment boutique.

Tarek Kallel

Founding Partner – CIO

tarek.kallel@offa.co.uk

Haris Akhtar

Founding Partner - CFO

With a fifteen year career in real estate private equity, Haris’ experience is extensive and practical. As one of the first to join and establish real estate private equity firm Forum Partner’s London office in 2005, he was responsible for originating, structuring and closing millions in real estate investments across the UK, Germany and France. He brings a drive and dedication to OFFA and our customers, working to find the best, and most profitable returns and is always happy to chat about real estate.

Haris Akhtar

Founding Partner – CFO

haris.akhtar@offa.co.uk

Bilal Ahmed

CEO

Having spent almost two decades in the property finance sector Bilal’s experience is extensive and spans the entire life cycle, from purchase and development to refurbishment and disposal. Working across student accommodation, residential and commercial developments Bilal understands the needs of both brokers and clients. He’s spent time buying and selling property to the value of hundreds of millions of pounds and in 2013 he also founded and launched a bridge lending platform, providing short term first charge lending. As a property enthusiast and dedicated to excellence, Bilal is a hands-on property financier, always happy to don his hard hat and walk a site to assess the true investment potential for clients whenever necessary.

Bilal Ahmed

CEO

bilal.ahmed@offa.co.uk

Sultan Choudhury, OBE

Chairman

Sultan Choudhury has 26 years of experience in professional and finnancial services (Deloitte, Charles Schwab and Barclays, 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). He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics & Econometrics from the University of Nottingham and an MBA with distinction and Hon D.Sc. from Aston University. He is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and a Board advisor to the UK Islamic Finance Council.

Sultan Choudhury, OBE

Chairman

sultan.choudhury@offa.co.uk

Operations Team

Andrew Blenkinsop

Chair Risk Committee

Andrew has a 40 year career in Real Estate finance (Barclays, GMAC, HBOS) co-founded Pluto Finance in 2011. Built Pluto into a £1.5bn loan book. Comprising Development and Bridge Loans funding the construction of over 2000 UK homes. Bringing in funding from major global Institutional Investors and pension providers.

Andrew Blenkinsop

Chair Risk Committee

andrew.blenkinsop@offa.co.uk

Robert Taylor

MRICS and In-House Valuer

As the head of Stephen McBride’s agency department and with almost thirty years’ experience in the property industry, Robert advices clients in regard to agency, landlord & tenant, acquisition of investment property and development work. He’s meticulous and thorough in his work and passionate about providing quality.

Robert Taylor

In-House Valuer

Sheikh Farid

Finance & Management Accounts

Sheikh has been working in Finance for almost 7 years

Sheikh has a degree in BSc Banking and Finance from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Sheikh also has CeMAP and ACCA part 2 qualifications.

Sheikh is responsible for the day to day accounts, preparing development appraisals, deal analysis and preparing reports for the Directors.

Sheikh Farid

Accounts

Marie Fortunato

Executive Assistant

Marie has over 15 years administration experience in various roles working for Graham National Sales, MG Rover, Foster Care Associates, Signature Private Finance.

Marie has an NVQ level 3 in Business Administration along with Customer Service experience.

Marie is responsible for day to day running of the office.

Marie Fortunato

Executive Assistant

Shariah Advisory

Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Chairman)

Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari is a Professor of Islamic Economics and the former Director of the Centre for Research in Islamic Economics at King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia. Dr Ali Elgari is an advisor to several Islamic financial institutions throughout the world and is also on the Shariah board of the Dow Jones Islamic index. He is also a member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy as well as a former member of the Islamic Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institution (AAIOFI). Dr Elgari has written several books on Islamic banking. He graduated from the University of California with a Ph.D in Economics.

Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari

Saudi Arabia (Chairman)

Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar

Malaysia

Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar is currently the Chairman of the Shariah Advisory Council at the Central Bank of Malaysia, the Securities Commission of Malaysia and the Labuan Financial Services Authority. Dr. Bakar was previously the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the International Islamic University Malaysia. Dr. Bakar is a Shariah board member of various financial institutions, including The International Islamic Financial Market (Bahrain), Morgan Stanley (Dubai), Bank of London and Middle East (London), amongst many others, and a former member the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) (Bahrain).

Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar

Malaysia

Dr. Muhammad Amin Ali Qattan

Kuwait

Dr. Qattan has a Ph.D in Islamic Banking from Birmingham University and is himself a lecturer, as well as a prolific author of texts and articles on Islamic economics and finance. He is currently the Director of Islamic Economics Unit, Centre of Excellence in Management at Kuwait University. Dr Qattan also serves as the Shariah advisor to many reputable institutions such as Ratings Intelligence, Standard & Poors Shariah Indices, Al Fajer Retakaful amongst others. He is a highly regarded Shariah Scholar and is based in Kuwait.

Dr. Muhammad Qattan

Kuwait

Dr. Osama Al Dereai

Qatar

Dr Osama Al Dereai is a Shariah scholar from Qatar. He has extensive experience in teaching, consulting and research in the field of Islamic finance. He received his Bachelor's degree specializing in the Science of Hadeth Al Sharef from the prestigious Islamic University of Madinah. Dr Al Dereai obtained his Masters degree from the International Islamic University (Malaysia) and was later conferred his Doctorate in Islamic Transactions from the University of Malaya. Dr Al Dereai is a Shariah board member of various financial institutions which include the First Leasing Company, Barwa Bank, First Investment Company and Ghanim Al Saad Group of Companies amongst others.

Dr. Osama Al Dereai

Qatar