Wahed Invest strengthens Sharia compliance management with Shariyah Review Bureau

Wahed Invest, a global provider of Halal investments, today announced the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau to manage its Sharia compliance affairs from client agreements to investment universe, including Islamic ETFs and virtual advisory terms.  The announcement was made after a series of strategic positioning that Wahed has made to tap Islamic investors globally.

Wahed is seeking to expand geographically from its historical focus on clients in the US and now has offices strategically located in USA, UK, India, Dubai, Kazakhstan and Malaysia.  “We expect the majority of growth to come from the Middle East and Asia – which, in 2019, cumulatively accounted for a significant value of our total growth,” said Owais Gore,Head of Global Operations at Wahed. “We have also made good headway in diversifying services with the addition of Islamic ETFs and fixed income investments (sukuk). With new offices set-up in key financial hubs around the world we are focused on exporting a demonstrated track record that reduces management fees, brokerage requirements, and transactional costs,” he added.

Speaking on the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) Aris Pervaz (Head of Wahed North America & UK) said: “Wahed’s assignment underlines our commitment to delivering the very best outcomes in Sharia compliance for our customers around the world. Through their supervisory reviews and Sharia audits they will further strengthen our Sharia controls, which blends top Sharia compliant indices to facilitate market efficiencies and pricing opportunities.” He added, “SRB’s dedicated team of in-house scholars and Sharia auditors are well positioned to monitor, review and engage our business affairs in UK, US, GCC, Malaysia and beyond.”

Currently, Wahed serves thousands of clients from over 100 countries and with its geographical expansion and service diversification is expected to enhance its market share. “We firmly believe in the transformative potential of robo-advisory technology in the new sectors we are tapping in the Middle Eastern and South East Asian region. Our platform has successfully established its ability to promote inclusion in listed investments by serving more customers, even in regions where many don’t even have a basic bank account, let alone the ability to invest in such opportunities. Our services eliminate the high costs associated with traditional fund-based solutions, outlays that often create a significant market barrier for many people.”

Islamic financial institutions are facing high Sharia Board costs, increased Sharia compliance scrutiny, and advanced expectations in Sharia audit reporting. All these factors are driving new opportunities for Sharia Board efficiency and Sharia audit management. Shariyah Review Bureau provides comprehensive Sharia advisory solutions from setting-up Sharia Boards to providing product consulting to Sharia review implementation and Sharia audit planning. As a pioneer in the Sharia advisory and Sharia audit industry, SRB’s services has a first-mover advantage and has amassed a significant base of technical Sharia expertise and direct experience working on some of the leading profile institutions globally. “We are more than a Sharia advisory company – we’re a partner that helps institutions manage Sharia Board and Sharia audit functions and help build this capacity as they grow and expand to new markets,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO at Shariyah Review Bureau. “Our appointment by Wahed is intended to become a meaningful resource for Sharia supervision on their global equity exposure over time, with the goal of driving Sharia audit performance and reducing Sharia compliance management costs.” He added, “we are excited to partner with one of the world’s leading robo-advisory investment firm because it shares our vision for making Sharia compliance opportunities transparent and accessible to communities around the world.”