Digitalizing global financial assets

 Permissionless Blockchain: Tezos

This morning, we announced the certification of Tezos, open-source platform for the digitalization of assets. With recession resistant abilities to design smart contracts that allow businesses, fund managers and banks to build Sharia compliant assets – it’s now time to fill you in on what we’ve been working recently, and how we’re tackling the future of decentralized peer-to-peer networks with Sharia compliance.

Enter the Tezos protocol, a blockchain which has the ability to host digital asset class that we hope will move the Islamic industry forward. The protocol’s on-chain governance system, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, and ability to facilitate formal verification of smart contracts, makes Tezos an ideal long-term solution for high-value financial applications such as digital securities. We’ve previewed and certified all features related to the protocol so as to ensure the platform is compliant to Sharia principles.

From our earliest days of advisory, our aim has always been to build and support innovative asset classes for everyone, applying unique Sharia insights to help clients tackle big problems. That’s just as relevant in today’s decentralized digital world. We believe by providing platforms like Tezos open-ended Sharia consultation, they can innovate, and reach companies around the world and put the power of Sharia compliance in their hands—no matter what investment objectives they have, where they are based or who they are.

So here’s to the Tezos digital asset class revolution. We can’t wait to see what comes next!

*as of September 11, 2020
Tezos Blockchain receives Shariah Certification

Tezos Blockchain receives Shariah Certification

Tezos Gulf was established to foster ecosystem development in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for the Tezos network, an open-source public blockchain for assets and applications. In accordance with that mission, Tezos Gulf has announced the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) as its Sharia Advisor. Shariyah Review Bureau has reviewed the Tezos blockchain’s governance mechanism, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, and formal verification techniques and issued a Sharia certificate marking the platform’s compliance with Sharia principles.

Tezos’ platform is backed by a global community of validators, researchers and builders. It is considered one of the first pure proof-of-stake blockchains. The Tezos blockchain has been utilized by numerous issuers of digital securities but mostly on the conventional side of the financial market. “The engagement marks Tezos first step in promoting our open-source protocol to Islamic financial institutions in the GCC and South-Asia pacific region,” said Waleed Rassuli, Head of Tezos Gulf. “We see potential for Islamic financial institutions seeking to explore blockchain-based options for digital securities issuers and who also wish to issue securities on a platform that is compatible with the Sharia compliance ecosystem. We hope our blockchain will foster a vibrant version of the digital asset-class which will move the Islamic industry forward.

The Sharia certification was conducted by Shariyah Review Bureau, a global leader in providing product Sharia certification, investment advice in light of Sharia standards and Sharia audit services. As a trusted partner, Shariyah Review Bureau is recognized by major national and international financial institutions which it has been serving for over 15 years.

We are very proud to receive the Sharia Certificate which proves our functioning features and governance mechanism is in alignment with Sharia standards,” added Waleed. “This certification provides our partners and clients additional confidence in the Tezos blockchain’s technology.  We will continue to partner with SRB as we build, develop and grow in the rapidly expanding markets of the Islamic industry.”

Shariyah Review Bureau provides end-to-end Sharia advisory solutions to banks, insurance firms and asset managers around the world. Over the last few years it has been actively advising and certifying entities and their offerings in the blockchain and fintech sector. SRB’s services are centrally-deployed, and offer Sharia supervision, functionality and quick turnaround in product certification. This has become an attractive option for fintech establishments. In addition to reducing Sharia scholarly overheads, this approach helps clients centralize their firm’s Sharia certification and Sharia audit administrative and operational tasks.

Having served the banking and asset management sector in parallel to fintech firms we see an exciting time for the Islamic industry as blockchain technology infiltrates various aspects of the asset and security business.” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of Shariyah Review Bureau.

Yasser also said, “Leading businesses and more established Islamic banking institutions are exploring new opportunities that can help spur continuous innovation and help them stay ahead of the game. This will also help build a robust blockchain based ecosystem” Commenting on Tezos he added “Tezos secured Sharia compliancy upon a detailed review of its underlying documents related to its consensus mechanism which encompasses transaction validation and rewarding of Tokens. Going forwards, their technology has the potential to serve as a significant catalyst for growth and innovation in Islamic Finance sector.”

About Tezos – Tezos is a decentralized, public blockchain that evolves by upgrading itself. Stakeholders of the Tezos network vote on amendments to the protocol to reach social consensus on proposals, creating a secure and organic upgrading mechanism. The protocol’s on-chain governance system, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, and ability to facilitate formal verification of smart contracts, make Tezos an ideal long-term solution for high-value financial applications such as digital securities. Tezos is fully decentralized and it is the role of the Tezos Foundation, a Swiss non-profit to support the development and long-term success of the protocol and ecosystem. For more information, visit: tezos.com.

About Tezos Gulf – Tezos Gulf is a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Tezos Foundation that was established to foster the development of the Tezos ecosystem in the GCC region.

Sands Capital to Offer Sharia Compliant Equity Portfolios

Sands Capital to Offer Sharia Compliant Equity Portfolios

Sands Capital Management today announced the launch of a global growth equity strategy that enables institutional investors to allocate capital to a concentrated portfolio of leading growth businesses that comply with Sharia principles. The strategy is offered through segregated accounts that can be customized to a client’s needs.

A U.S. based investment management firm focused exclusively on growth investing, Sands Capital’s approach features deep, fundamental, business-focused research. Based on this research, the firm identifies businesses expected to grow into exponentially larger enterprises, capable of translating superior earnings growth into shareowner value over five years or more. The firm’s strategies concentrate investments in these businesses through high-conviction portfolios that differ greatly from the indexes. With a nearly 30-year track record, the firm has been gaining new mandates and increased allocations from investors across the Middle East.

“Sands Capital exists to add value and enhance the wealth of our clients with prudence over time. As a mission-driven, client-centered, global investment manager, we believe we are especially well suited to provide growth capital solutions that help Islamic investors achieve their financial goals,” said Stephen Nimmo, Executive Managing Director at Sands Capital.

With the aim to deliver faith-driven, value-added investment results for Islamic clients, Sands Capital has partnered with Shariyah Review Bureau. This engagement will accelerate the administration of the portfolio’s Sharia compliance offering.

“Recognizing that Sharia governance and supervisory challenges are growing, timelines for addressing them are contracting, and businesses are moving quickly to adapt Sharia supervisory structures in the GCC, we have decided to engage them to help us conform to Sharia principles and rules” said Mr. Nimmo. “Joining forces with Shariyah Review Bureau, which has a strong presence and reputation in the region, as well as the largest scholarly network in the industry, directly supports our strategy and commitment to create a truly Sharia compliant offering.”

Leveraging the expertise of Sharia advisory firms, such as Shariyah Review Bureau, as a catalyst for Sharia compliance value preservation has become a critical part of Islamic equity investing. Shariyah Review Bureau helps address a set of fundamental challenges including the assignment of Sharia Boards, the competitive advantage of in-house consultants, Sharia audit capabilities and the scalability of equities screening to support growth. “Equity investments management can gain access to significant expertise through our Sharia supervisory engagements” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO of Shariyah Review Bureau. “Our approach allows us to respond in a unique way to a growing need from many equity funds and portfolios: a deeply integrated scholarly network and strong controls over certification and technical expertise in Sharia assurance,” said Yasser.

Commenting on the new assignment Yasser added “we are delighted to supervise this engagement for Sands Capital and look forward to collaborating with them on this new investment strategy.”

About Sands Capital

Sands Capital is an active, long-term investor in leading innovative businesses globally. Our approach combines rigorous fundamental analysis with creative thinking to identify high-quality growth businesses that are creating the future. Through strategies designed to concentrate investment in such businesses, we serve the long-term growth objectives of institutions and fund sponsors in more than 40 countries. An independent, staff-owned firm based in the Greater Washington, DC area, Sands Capital managed more than USD $55 billion  in client assets as of July 31, 2020. www.sandscapital.com

The views expressed are the opinion of Sands Capital Management and are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendations, or an offer to buy or sell any securities.

Saudi Re receives Sharia certification from Shariyah Review Bureau

Saudi Re receives Sharia certification from Shariyah Review Bureau

Saudi Reinsurance Company “Saudi Re”, the sole reinsurance company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced receiving the Sharia certificate for its offerings from Shariyah Review Bureau “SRB”.

With a solid financial base of total assets SAR 2.9 billion and an A3 rating by Moody’s, Saudi Re’s is eyeing opportunities to strengthen its presence in its target markets in the Kingdom, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Lloyd’s. As one of the largest re-insurance players in the industry, Saudi Re is committed to ensure socially responsible growth.

Fahad Al-Hesni, Managing Director and CEO, Saudi Re, commented: “We are progressing well in our international diversification strategy, and the Sharia certificate provides additional reassurance to an important segment of our clients. Demonstrating our Sharia compliance will complement our value proposition to our clients especially in the Takaful and Cooperative reinsurance market.”

Al-Hesni, added that Saudi Re has identified Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) objectives from investors perspective, among which Sharia compliance was emphasized as a key factor in reflecting the responsible conduct.

Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of SRB, said, “Cooperative insurance and reinsurance companies that deal with significant, complex risk-based transactions are actively embracing our Sharia advisory services. By helping Saudi Re attain Sharia compliance by reviewing its processes, we’re supporting them to gather meaningful insights by staying focused on their business-critical functions while we cater to all their Sharia compliance needs.”

SRB apply various Sharia supervisory actions like reviews, investment screening, interactive consultations, Sharia Board administration and periodic Sharia audits.

Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) is a leading Sharia Advisor with scholarly presence in more than 12 countries from US, Europe, Africa, GCC and Asia. The scope of the engagement includes reviewing the reinsurance, claims, financial and investment transactions of the company and ensuring compliance with Sharia standards as set by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).

Driving the future of employees income management

Fintech: FlexxPay

The future of employee engagement may well lie in managing the financial wellness of employees. The ability to integrate technology with smart income concepts that gives employees a degree of flexibility in receiving their earned salaries and commissions whenever needed will help companies increase productivity, boost retention, and remove workload from human resources teams.

That’s why today, we’re unveiling our latest Sharia advisory engagement—one that gives voice to the pay frequency problem and offers access to income that has already been earned, anytime, instantly. It’s called FlexxPay. With an instant and dynamic income payment platform, this cloud-based solution models around assisting your company’s biggest asset … your employees! To help them attain Sharia compliance we started our review process with the entry point of the SaaS terms and facilities management for both companies and employees. Other factors for certification included banking facility image, advance payment terms, re-imbursement policies, and transfer fees. With an entrepreneurial spirit we now look forward to auditing FlexxPay to ensure the financial security at the heart of this technology remains Sharia compliant.

We hope our engagement with FlexxPay helps capture new income programs focused on uplifting the future of employees!

*as of July 28, 2020

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