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.
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.