PROFESSOR ATUL K. SHAH www.atulkshah.co.uk
Globally renowned expert advisor and broadcaster on culture, accounting, finance, business ethics, holistic education and leadership
Instead of being a means to an end, finance has become an end in itself. Leaders think and behave in exclusive, selfish and unsustainable ways. Experts profit from the science and education, often at the expense of soul, society and nature. Techniques of finance have covered up the greed and selfishness that have devastated lives and economies. The roles of wisdom, tradition, community and faith have been diminished by neoliberalism and neo-classical materialistic economics over the last forty years. We are living through a profound moral and cultural crisis, rising inequality and plutocracy. This practice is destroying the social, natural and trust capital that already exists and is urgently in need of replenishing.
‘Inclusive Finance’ draws upon diverse wisdom traditions and their current living business practices to show that not only is another world possible, it is actually hiding in plain sight. Award winning writer and broadcaster, Professor Atul K. Shah argues that our obsession with utilitarian western secular science has disabled us from exposing the diverse and living organic practices of finance. Cultures and traditions, carry within them hundreds of years of experience of business and finance, which are dismissed and ignored today in the technocratic and positivist business school and professions. Black Lives do Matter when it comes to alternative visions of a moral and sustainable future. Communities are living clusters of social, leadership, moral and relationship capital which are priceless in finance, yet ignored by modern ‘enlightened’ intellectuals. If allowed to, they can help us improve finance theory and wisdom.
The Climate, Racism and Inequality crises demand new institutional and cultural solutions to transform behaviour and heal the planet. It also needs to place harmonious living communities at the heart of sustainable society. Examples of these cultures already practicing respect and compassion in their belief systems include the Catholics, Quakers, Parsees, Sikhs, the Yoruba, the Kikuyu, Parsis, Jains, Hindus, Ismailis, Jews, Christians and many other diverse faiths and communities. Through real life examples and case studies, this book illustrates and develops a new organic theory of finance which can be taught and shared all over the world, helping society to prepare for a sustainable and inclusive future. It provides valuable empowerment to experts from different cultures and traditions to write about their own finance practices and in turn encourage their students and communities to embrace sustainability ideals.
There is only one person in the world who could write a book which roams from indigenous traditions to Christianity; from Jainism to Islam while at the same time dismantling the myths and legends that lie behind contemporary economics. In a fascinating journey through the riches that lie just below the surface in all the great faith and cultural traditions, Professor Shah asks us to listen again to ancient wisdom which has more to say about who we are and why we need to invest in a sustainable world than any UN declaration or economist forecast. Read this and discover hidden treasures of wisdom and see a potentially radically realisable different world.
Martin Palmer, Founder, BBC broadcaster and CEO, Faith Invest and author of twenty books
Echoing the poignant indignity of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s scorching 2019 address to the United Nations, Professor Atul Shah demands a radical rethinking of arid and abstract accounting and finance practices that are causing unnecessary and unconscionable poverty, discrimination, death, and environmental degradation on a grand scale. Shah’s solution: listen to diverse voices who will speak the truth on their own terms. Shah brings these voices to life through a thought-provoking series of interviews and case studies of businesses across the globe that flourish through an embrace of culture, morality, and tradition. We ignore these voices at our own peril.
Professor Daniel T. Ostas, JD, PhD, Chair of Business Ethics, University of Oklahoma
LEADERS INTERVIEWED FOR THE RESEARCH
Amish Tripathi – Minister of Culture in the Indian High Commission, UK, Mr Tripathi is a former finance professional who is a bestselling author on Indian culture and wisdom and an expert on Dharma and Indian tradition.
Anant M P Shah OBE – Co-founder of Meghraj Bank in the UK, one of the first ethnic minority owned Banks with a significant reputation for relationship finance, helping start-up businesses grow and flourish when such finance was denied elsewhere by mainstream banks
Andrew Pike – Manager of Handelsbanken in Ipswich, Andrew has 40 years of experience in relationship banking, and shares this to show how when Banks make culture central to their operations, their business grows naturally through word of mouth.
Andrew Rhodes is founding partner of Sobell Rhodes, an award winning medium-sized Jewish accounting firm in London. He trains similar firms in sustainable leadership and management, helping to place culture and longer term relationships at the centre of accounting and advisory work to family businesses.
Deepak Shah is co-founder (with Mukesh Shah) of Strategic Consulting, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. They provide governance and pioneering inter-generational advice to historic and diverse family businesses all over Africa, helping them manage their culture, professionalism and transition in a sustainable way.
Dominic Burke is an investment manager. He has worked within several fund management companies focusing on the social and environmental impacts of businesses, as well as corporate governance and ethics. He currently manages a mission-driven philanthropic endowment.
Dr. Abhay Firodia is an industrialist based in India, and a pioneer of transport vehicle manufacturing. His father invented the auto-rickshaw. He is a highly respected leader and places ethics, purpose and responsibility at the centre of business enterprise. Industry and Investment is needed to serve important social and public service, he explains.
Eynour Boutia is an international banker with decades of experience in asset trading and structured finance, principally with J P Morgan. He is an active member of the Ismaili community whose Imam is the Aga Khan and recently co-founded a private bank in France.
Francine McKenna is an investigative journalist, Professor and blogger based in North America, with a distinguished record of exposing auditing and governance misdemeanours and the breakdown in corporate and professional ethics. She is critical of the tick-box culture of compliance in large institutions, which often leads to massive corporate failures.
Janette Rutterford is an emeritus Professor of Finance, with a distinguished record in research and education, pioneering financial literacy through her research at the Open University. She also brings a rare historical context to modern corporate finance, exposing flawed assumptions and analyses.
Jasvant Modi is a medical doctor, a businessman, community leader and visionary, financial investor and active philanthropist living and practicing in California, USA. He has donated millions of dollars to Universities all over North America.
John Christensen is founder of the global Tax Justice Network, one of the world’s most pioneering think tanks on tax and inequality. The impact of his work has transformed the global debate and policy on tax avoidance and evasion by multinational corporations.
Lord Andrew Phillips OBE – Former Chancellor of Essex University, and BBC Radio 2’s Legal Eagle with a regular audience of millions, Lord Phillips is a solicitor who is passionate about the breakdown in ethical finance, and the need for local businesses and communities, and professionals with conscience and public interest to speak truth to power.
Lord Professor Prem Sikka is a world-famous academic in accounting having conducted pioneering research on professional fraud and hubris at the Big 4 global firms which has proved to be prescient with time. He continues to ask difficult questions to elites and law-makers who have shaped a system of corruption and inequality, and offer practical solutions to embrace equality and social justice.
Nitin Mehta is a businessman and entrepreneur and founder of Sheargold, a global supply chain enterprise. Nitin shares his experience of being a customer of banks, and the difference relationship finance can make to sustainable growth.
Satish Kanabar – Ugandan Asian refugee who rose to become a Corporate Director with Barclays Bank, and along the way helped support a large variety of growing businesses through charismatic relationship building and cultural sensitivity and inclusion. He also introduced pioneering training in cultural diversity and community to Bank professionals.
Subhash Thakrar is a Chartered Accountant, Business Guru and Entrepreneur, with a track record of pioneering leadership in community and enterprise. He has travelled with the UK Prime Minister on various overseas trade missions.
Vallabh Bhansali is co-founder of one of India’s most prestigious investment banks, Enam Securities, which has given birth to many world-famous Indian businesses (like Infosys). It is also one of very few premiere investment banks without a blemish on their financial record in the last 40 years, something very unusual given the greed and hubris prevailing today.
Professor Atul K. Shah is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics and is author of ‘Jainism and Ethical Finance’ (with Aidan Rankin, Routledge 2017); The Politics of Financial Risk, Audit and Regulation (Routledge 2018) Reinventing Accounting and Finance Education (Routledge 2018), ‘Celebrating Diversity’ (2007) and ‘Boardroom Diversity – The Opportunity’ (Mazars, 2011). Atul is passionate about Business Ethics, Education Reform and Diversity. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics. Professor Shah has published a number of papers in international academic journals such as Accounting, Organisations and Society; Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal; European Accounting Review; Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance; British Accounting Review; Business Ethics – A European Review. Between 1995 and 1998, he published a series of papers predicting the global financial crisis, focusing on derivatives, systemic risk and regulatory arbitrage. Professor Shah has taught at London School of Economics, University of Bristol, University of Maryland, Hult International Business School, Essex University, University of Suffolk and University of Kent. He has Broadcast experience, with credits including BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, Channel 4, Five Live, BBC Radio 2, Guardian and BBC Asian Network. Professor Shah also writes and comments for the Financial Times. In 2010 Professor Shah embarked on a historic 1500 mile Masala Tour of Britain, to showcase the depth and breadth of the diversity in Britain and help the country improve its cultural intelligence – this was featured in the Guardian. The tour was also widely covered on BBC radio nationally. He is Top Business Ethics writer for The Conversation. His research on global accounting won the Best Paper award in 2019.
BOOK TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 – MORALITY
CHAPTER 2 – TRADITION
CHAPTER 3 – COMMUNITY
CHAPTER 4 – EXPERIENCE
CHAPTER 5 – PURPOSE