baroness morris

Baroness Morris of Bolton

It is with great pleasure that The Centre for Islamic Finance announces that Baroness Morris of Bolton, former Chancellor of The University of Bolton, has been appointed its new Chairman.

The founder of the Centre and its current Chairman and Director, Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, said: 'I am delighted that Baroness Morris had accepted my invitation to become Chairman of the Centre for Islamic Finance.

Baroness Morris was instrumental in the Centre coming to the University of Bolton and has always taken a keen interest in all that we are doing.

The Centre has grown much faster than we first envisaged and Baroness Morris will be a great asset as we progress to the next stage of development, given her interest and knowledge of the Muslim world'.

Baroness Morris who is the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Kuwait, Jordan and the Palestinian Territores and Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council said of her appointment: 'This is a great honour. I have been enormously impressed with what the Centre has achieved in less than two years. With research students from many different parts of the world, and our new joint MA with the University of Sarajevo, it adds to the richness and diversity of the University and helps to put Bolton and the Centre on the wider world map. It is also playing a significant role in a better understanding of Islamic Finance and Islamic culture. I am most grateful to Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq and the directors of the Centre for giving me this opportunity to be part of their team in such an important and exciting venture'.

Mohammed Abdel-Haq

Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq

The Centre for Islamic Finance is the inspiration of its founder and Director, Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq.

As well as his academic knowledge, Mohammed has a wealth of practical experience. In a long career in Islamic finance he is the founding member of a London Merchant Bank and was, until recently, Chairman of one of the leading UK compliance companies. Prior to that Mohammed was Managing Director and Global Head of HSBC Amanah Private Banking. Mohammed is active in public life and holds a number of positions, amongst them he is a member of the Council of Chatham House and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Social Justice. He is the author of a book on Islamic finance and is a regular speaker at conferences. 


Norman Lamont

Lord Lamont of Lerwick

Norman Lamont was a Cabinet Minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and a member of the House of Commons for twenty-five years. 

He was Chancellor of the Exchequer at a particularly difficult time that included Britain’s exit from the ERM.  The problems he faced were similar to those facing Britain today.  He  introduced tough measures to reduce Government borrowing and the deficit which led Sir Alan Walters, Economic Advisor to Lady Thatcher, to describe Norman Lamont  "to be not only the most effective but also the bravest Chancellor since the War". Many economists have attributed the economic stability and growth enjoyed by Britain in the ‘90s and thereafter to the tough policies introduced by him. When he was Chancellor, Norman Lamont’s political advisor was David Cameron and his Parliamentary Private Secretary, William Hague. In 2008, David Cameron asked Norman Lamont with other former Chancellors to be part of a team to advise on Britain’s financial problems. Norman Lamont was Britain’s Chief Negotiator at the Maastricht Treaty and secured Britain’s non-participation in the euro, of which he remains a strong opponent and critic. As well as being a working Peer, he is a director of a number of financial companies.


George Holmes

Professor George E Holmes DL

Vice Chancellor and Member of the Governing Body

When appointed Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, George became the youngest Head of any UK University. He has been at the University for over five years. As an academic he edited two International Journals for almost ten years. In 2002 he was appointed by the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills as advisor; becoming a member of the Department's HE Policy Delivery Steering Group preparing the HE White Paper. George is on the Board of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton; and a Governor of both Bolton School and ESSA Academy. Prior to joining the University, Dr Holmes was Principal of Doncaster College for five years where he also established the Doncaster Education City Project, of which he became Chief Executive. In this post he secured the largest capital grant in the history of the FE sector and had responsibility for building a new £75m College on the Waterfront.

George was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of North London (now the London Metropolitan University).