Jonathan Langton

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“Islamic Economics and Finance: A European Perspective” – a new title from IE Business Publishing

As it has not been thought to invite me to speak at the presentation of the book that I wrote recently, here is the presentation I would have made.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure for me to be here before you today, to present this book, which I believe is a poignant reflection on Islamic economics and finance in Western markets, particularly in Europe.  The relevance of this book comes from the fact that it is predominantly the result of a candid and open discussion, among esteemed experts and interested professionals, held right here in this very business school.

In recent years, financiers, economists, politicians, and even the public at large, have been deliberating the subject of reinventing capitalism and reforming financial markets.  The revolutionary steps that were at-first called for have been slow to materialise, but the situation has thrown much light on alternative models and approaches.  One such alternative that has received renewed interest is Islamic finance and so this joint venture between King Abdulziz University and IE Business School is well timed, as was the inaugural symposium on which the book is based.

Islamic Economics and Finance Cover

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Team Langton Conquer London-to-Brighton

In late 19th century Britain, the few very earliest automobiles that existed were required to be preceded by a man on foot carrying a red flag.  The flag was eliminated in 1878, but the man remained, as did a speed limit of just 4 mph (6.4 km/h).  However the “Locomotives on Highways Act” of 1896 allowed automobiles to travel unaccompanied and raised the speed limit to 14 mph (22.5 km/h)!  On November 14 of that year a group of early motorists drove from London to Brighton, on England’s south coast, in what is known as the Emancipation Run.  That event was commemorated for the first time in 1927 and is re-enacted every year for cars built before 1905.  This year three generations of the Langton family contributed to a successful entry in what has become known as one of the greatest tests of man and machine, the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (LBVCR)

Team Langton and the Rambler

Simon and Jonathan in the Rambler in Regent's Street. Eric the speedway rider.

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My Book, Now Available for Pre-order

The book I have been working on is now available for pre-order!  Published by Palgrave Macmillan, under their agreement with IE Business School, “Islamic Economics and Finance:  A European Perspective” can be ordered from the following online retailers.

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
WH Smith
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository
Palgrave Macmillan

The manuscript has been with the publishers a month or so now and we are awaiting receive their corrections for approval before printing goes ahead.  The plan is that the book will be launched at the inauguration of the re-named Center of Islamic Economics and Finance at IE Business School in November 2011.

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Conferences, Congresses and Projects Winding Down

For the first time in quite a long while not every spare moment is being over-shadowed by the knowledge that I really ought to be working on some side project or other.

One such project has been the book on Islamic finance that I have been working on following my brief time working at the Center of Islamic Economics and Finance at IE Business School.  The manuscript for that book was submitted to the publishers some time ago and I am now waiting to receive their proofs and corrections before printing goes ahead.  The book, now available for pr-order, should be available in December.

The other side project which has occupied a lot of time has been the teaching case that we have been developing with GE.  Based on their landmark sukuk issuance of 2009, it was originally intended to be part of the Islamic finance book, however it is still being developed as case study for IE courses that teach Islamic finance.  At the end of May we travelled to New York and then up to GE Capital headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, to interview some of the main people involved in the deal, including Kathryn Cassidy, Corporate Treasury Senior Vice President, and Christopher Coffey, Managing Director of Long-Term Funding.  The final draft of the case was submitted to GE for their approval this week and we hope that this will be a useful and interesting teaching case.  In September it will also be developed as a multimedia case study.

I was recently fortunate enough to go to Lisbon to represent IE Business School’s E-learning Department at the AACE, Ed-Media 2011, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications.  There I made a presentation about the results of some analysis we have performed on IE’s database on the use of multimedia documentation in courses over the last ten years.

Finally, I recently had the opportunity to attend a congress for salsa in Bilbao this month, at which I was invited, with my partner, to teach a workshop on bachatango.  The workshop had at least forty participants and was given in Spanish.  It was very well received and at the end of the class several participants came forward to ask if we knew of any professors of bachatango in the area; a good sign indeed.

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Publishers and Partners

This week has included conference calls with the intended publisher for the planned book on Islamic finance and with one of the partners with whom we will be writing one of the case studies.

The publisher is very positive about the project and has been very helpful with advice and guidance.  I am a little bit concerned about the amount of work that may be required.  The minimum word limit might be difficult to reach given how heavily the symposium transcriptions will have to be edited.

The case study that we have discussed looks like a fantastic opportunity, about which, it seems, little has been published.  The case appears to be more about strategy than finance, but is specifically relevant to the introduction of Islamic banking services in western markets.  Our partner in this case has offered to help us access a great amount of information for the case and it looks like there is a lot more detail than I at first imagined.

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Plan de Marketing – UPDATE

I successfully completed the online course “Plan de marketing como una herramienta estrategica” and I was pleased with my ability to cope with it in Spanish.  I was able to interact with my Spanish classmates reasonably well in the forums, even if I could not equal their desire to write pages and pages in every post!  However, logging-in each evening to see 150 unread postings, I suspect my colleagues probably appreciated my brevity.  I found that I understood quite satisfactorily the videoconferences, which was my main concern.  I do not have any direct feedback from the professor about the 10 page marketing plan I wrote entirely in Spanish (that must be some kind of milestone), but the exercise taught me a lot of new phrases and vocabulary, not just limited to marketing.

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Plan de marketing como herramienta estratégica

As part of my introduction to the E-Learing department at IE Business School is to undertake an online Executive Education course, both for my professional development and to experience how these courses are organised. The title of this post is the course that I have chosen, “The Marketing Plan as a Strategic Tool”. The course will take place in September and, as you can see, it is in Spanish, which I have chosen as an opportunity to challenge myself with the language.

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Welcome to my new blog!


The reason for creating this blog is as a way for me to organise my personal internet domain and to post information, predominantly of a professional nature, about my experience, my qualifications and the projects that I am working on.  For that reason, it is not intended that the blog will be updated according to a regular schedule, but rather when there is something relevant for inclusion.