Automated trading, cross-border capital market cooperation, development of the investment industry, consulting some other countries to develop the capital market are some of the areas where Wali-ul-Maroof Matin has proved himself as a capital market lighthouse.
His dreams for vast support to young local business talents through venture capital, having a local commodity and derivative exchange are some of his dreams that are yet to come true.
Leaving everything behind, Maroof Matin, our beloved Maroof Bhai, lost his battle against Covid-19 and breathed his last at a Dhaka hospital on Sunday morning. He was 58 only.
The capital market talent is remembered for his thought and initiatives of reform and development – be it as a stock exchange boss, a consultant, or an investment industry entrepreneur.
In 1995, at the beginning of his 25-year journey in the capital market, Maroof Matin brought the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) out of cry out stock trading to beat the country's premier bourse Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) in terms of timely automation.
He also led the way in developing recommendations for a harmonised and up-graded regulatory regime of the stock exchanges in the South Asian region.
He initiated the formation of the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) and became its first secretary general.
A well-known capital market expert in the region and known to be an authority figure in some key areas of the market, he has also worked internationally as a World Bank consultant for capital market development in Africa.
He also had been serving in the ADB project for harmonising capital markets rules in South Asia in recent years, according to a CSE statement.
Matin, after his 1995-2005 tenure at the CSE, came back there in 2014 to lead the port city bourse, but showed his honest guts to resign in 2016 following some disagreement with the board of directors.
"We are seeing some developments taking place in the capital market now. However, Mr Matin used to dream, plan, discuss and work on those two decades ago. He was a great visionary, reformer and mentor," said Shaharoze Alam, the head of market development at the CSE.
Prior to his second tenure as CSE managing director, Matin consulted capital market development abroad, built asset management firm Alliance Capital Asset Management and also an investment bank BetaOne Investments.
In 2016, Matin began to pursue his bigger dream of having a supportive investment ecosystem for startups. He built Maslin Capital Ltd, an alternative investment firm, to work in the fields of venture capital, private equity, and impact investment.
He was also an angel investor in different areas such as financial awareness, training, financial technology.
Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh, where Maroof Matin was a founding director, expressed their condolence at Maroof's death and said, "Maroof Matin has immense contribution to policy advocacy related to venture capital, startups and the capital market. The community has lost a true friend, adviser, and guide."
Dhaka Stock Exchange Director Rakibur Rahman said Maroof Matin was "a friend of the capital market. His works both at home and abroad helped the markets develop."
As a capital market reporter, I consider him a lighthouse not only because of his academic degrees, professional credentials, vast knowledge, and official and unofficial information reserve but also for his cooperative hands to all and dreams for the greater good.
Matin, schooled at Rajshahi Cadet College, had his bachelor in economics from the University of Dhaka, masters in accounting and management sciences from the University of Southampton, and post graduate diploma in managerial control and management information system from Maastricht School of Management.
His love for multidisciplinary academic studies in recent years had pushed him to pursue another Masters in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health at King's College London.
He was also a member of The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, UK.