Opening Islamic Market for Top-Performing Asset Manager

Facade on shopping center in Brisbane depicts butterflies

We partnered with an award-winning, Brisbane-based equity manager looking to expand its business beyond the local market. After consultation, we felt the manager’s investment strategy would lend itself well to a dedicated Islamic fund launched through a regulated facility in a Shariah-oriented jurisdiction. We tested the market in an early-stage roadshow with both institutional investors and family offices before managing a comprehensive product-development program. That process included finding the most cost-effective service providers for the fund.

Commitments. Offering the first Shariah-compliant Australian equity fund immediately established a strong voice for the product. Our efforts focused on providing educational perspective about the investment opportunity and background on the fund manager. In the run-up to formal approval of the regulated product by the Central Bank of Bahrain, we identified $130 million in potential assets for the program across a range of GCC-based institutions and selected ultra-high-net-worth investors.

Summary Points

Project Extension. Burgeoning global demand for Islamic financial services has even seeped into the Australian domestic market. The program was restructured to accommodate local pension assets for Shariah-sensitive investors.

Follow-Through. Among Islamic investors in the Gulf and Southeast Asia, the risk appetite for non-local equity commitments was volatile and unpredictable in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Deflationary trends have not favored commodity-related stories. Our ongoing discussions now focus on separate-account opportunities; the fund itself was shuttered in tandem with a business-restructuring effort by the project sponsor.

Note: This work was completed by our principal at a now-dormant firm. The featured image depicts the Butterfly Facade on the Wintergarden shopping center in Brisbane.

Banner Image: Lucidwaters at Can Stock Photo Inc.