World’s First Global Islamic Asset Manager Receives Sharia Certification
Safa Investment Services received this week its official certification for Sharia compliance from Shariyah Review Bureau. It makes Safa Investment Services the first Islamic global asset management business in the world.
Safa’s founder, John A. Sandwick, said, “While many banks create and manage individual Sharia-compliant investment products, there is no other global asset manager in the world with Sharia certification for all elements of asset management.”
Safa Investment Services was created in 2012 by Islamic Wealth & Asset Management S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland. Safa permits customers to benefit from global asset diversification of their managed accounts, but with a complete respect for the principles of Islamic law, known as Sharia.
Sandwick went on to say, “In the context of Islamic investing, the application of Sharia must coexist with the standards of professional asset management. This includes not only selecting securities that meet global regulatory standards, but also the process to manage accounts and the contracts under which they are managed. Our achieving full Sharia compliance is significant, as it encompasses the entire asset management process.”
Safa Investment Services is offered in Saudi Arabia by The Investor for Securities Co., one of the largest and most profitable companies in the Saudi investment market. The chairman of The Investor said, “The market for Islamic asset management is enormous. We really see no limits. Besides the well-known market for private business family wealth, we will for the first time ever be managing assets for Islamic endowments and Islamic insurance companies. Full, certified Sharia compliance is a requirement in this business.”
Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) is one of the leading Sharia advisory companies in the Islamic banking industry. It provides Sharia review and Certification (Fatawa) to many major banks and investment companies in France, Canada, Switzerland, and the GCC. SRB’s founder and CEO, Yasser Dahlawi, said, “We were pleased to advise and supervise the Shari’a compliance process for Safa. Thankfully working closely with the Safa team we were able to approve standards and procedures that not only meet tough global asset management standards, but also the tough standards applied by Sharia. As part of our ongoing assurance we will continue to guide, monitor and certify the Shari’a health of Safa Investment on a periodical basis.”
ABOUT SAFA INVESTMENT SERVICES
Safa Investment Services is a global asset management service for institutional and individual clients who seek global investments using professional allocation methodologies. Safa follows the same professional standards common in the $85 trillion global asset management industry, but now with Sharia certification can also claim full Sharia compliance.
Muslims are thought to own at least $4 trillion of global assets under management, but virtually none of that is managed according to Sharia. It is presumed that most Muslim individuals and all Islamic institutions (e.g., endowments and insurance companies) would prefer to avoid any investment that is not responsible to Sharia’s requirement for social responsibility. This would prohibit Muslims from owning hedge funds, bond funds, and equity investments in companies such as conventional banks, which charge interest.
The universe of Sharia-compliant investment products numbers just over 800 securities with about $100 billion in assets under management. Safa is the only business in the world that tracks and monitors this universe, and then selects the “best of class” assets for optimized portfolio allocations customized to each client’s needs.