Published On:10 October 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Crescent Wealth launches Australia's first Islamic investment option

Crescent Wealth, Australia’s first Islamic wealth manager, today announced the launch of the nation’s first Islamic Australian equity fund as the firm pioneers a dynamic new opportunity in the superannuation industry, and taps the potential for Australians to access the $1.4 trillion global Islamic financial services market.

The Crescent Australian Equity Fund (CAEF), which launches today (October 6, 2011) with an initial $5.5 million in funds under management and advice, offers all Australians an investment that is managed in accordance with Islamic principles, and is aimed at investors who are seeking a socially responsible alternative option. Crescent Wealth is planning to launch a further three funds - international equities, property, and income funds - which together will form Australia’s first Islamic superannuation option.

Crescent Wealth, currently the only local manager with specialist expertise in Islamic investing, is targeting the significant potential for Islamic funds in Australia, which it estimates will grow to as much as $13 billion in funds under management by 2019 from a potential investable universe of as much as $8 billion today.

A local Islamic investment option has received strong support from the wealth management industry and the Government as Australia seeks to boost its credentials as financial services hub in the Asia-Pacific region. Crescent Wealth sees significant potential for job creation in Australia by accessing the enormous potential of the global Islamic finance industry. Some 62% of the world’s Muslims are in the Asia-Pacific, the single largest community.

Aon Hewitt, which helped seed the CAEF with an initial investment, sees Crescent Wealth as an important innovator in the wealth management industry, and the only Australian manager with the specialist expertise to succeed as a pioneer in Islamic investing.

"I would like to thank Aon Hewitt for their far-sighted vision, innovation and ability to actually commit and implement," said Talal Yassine OAM, Crescent Wealth’s founder and Managing Director.

"For the first time, Australians have access to a local wealth manager with a specialist focus and expertise in Islamic funds, and whose products are targeting a significant gap in the Australian investment landscape. We are also selling Australia to the world by pioneering access to one of the most significant emerging market opportunities in the global investment industry today.

"There is enormous potential for Islamic funds, from the Australian community and from abroad, mirroring the significant growth that we have seen in similar funds overseas. Crescent Wealth is proud to be the leading Australian pioneer in Islamic investing, and we are very pleased to offer an innovative new product that's specifically tailored to meet one of the most exciting growth opportunities in the wealth management industry," Mr Yassine said.

The Aon Master Trust, a $2 billion superannuation fund, has long provided an "Australian Shares - Socially Responsible" option for Australians who want their super savings invested in an ethical manner, eschewing industries such as gambling and tobacco. From July 2011 this ethical option invested in the CAEF to provide greater potential for strong risk-adjusted return.

Pierre Kraft, Aon Hewitt's Managing Director Wealth Management, said: "Many Australians, who are uneasy about having their super exposed to highly leveraged companies or funding activities such as gambling, now have access to an easily accessible superannuation solution. The ethical screens are very similar to what we have had historically and we believe they will continue to appeal to many Australians."

The Crescent Australian Equity Fund will formally be launched at a function for about 150 guests, hosted by Norton Rose in Sydney tonight. Guest speakers include The Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, and John Brogden, CEO of the Financial Services Council. The function is attended by Michael Tooma, Partner at Norton Rose; Janice Sengupta, Chief Investment Officer at Aon Hewitt; and Andrea Forbes, Advisor to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation.

Financial Services Council CEO John Brogden welcomed the launch of Australia's first locally-based fund manager with a specialist focus on Islamic investing.

"Islamic finance has been talked about for some time and the Johnson Review of Australia as a Financial Services Centre recognised its potential. I expect today's launch is the beginning of a new growth opportunity for the Australian wealth management industry," Mr Brogden said.

Crescent Wealth is promoting the Australian financial services industry to the Islamic investment world. It is offering a safe, stable and transparent window into Asia, which contains the world's largest Islamic market by population. The creation of Crescent Wealth highlights the potential for the Australian economy as it accesses even a small proportion of the global Islamic investment market.

Media Facts

The potential for Islamic funds

Islamic banking assets total more than US$1 trillion globally, of which Islamic equity funds comprise about US$50 billion, according to Ernst & Young Islamic Funds & Investments

Report 2010. The addressable global universe for Islamic fund managers is in excess of US$500 billion, growing by 10-15% annually. In 2010, global assets under management grew by 7.6% to US$58 billion.

Crescent Wealth estimates the investable universe for Islamic funds in Australia is currently worth $4 - 8 billion, with potential to grow to $7 - 13 billion by 2019. Crescent Wealth is targeting FUM of $100 million in 2012, increasing to $2 billion by 2016.

The Australian government is looking at ways to support the Islamic finance industry as part of its drive to make Australia a financial services hub for Asia.

What is Islamic investing?

The Crescent Australian Equity Fund is advised by a Shariah Supervisory Board (SSB) comprising world-leading scholars in Islamic finance. Islamic finance differs substantially from conventional finance, and comprises four core principles:

Payment and receipt of interest: The prohibition of interest arises from the Islamic view that money should be used only as a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of measurement. Money itself possesses no intrinsic value. The charging or receipt of interest - or riba' - is therefore prohibited. Any return on money invested should be linked to the profits of an enterprise.

Uncertainty: The existence of uncertainty - or 'gharar' - in a contract is prohibited. Everyone participating in a financial transaction must be adequately informed and all fundamental terms such as price or quantity must be clearly defined at the outset.

Speculation: Investments that rely on chance or speculation, rather than the efforts of the investor, to produce a return are prohibited. Normal commercial risk-taking and related speculation is otherwise permitted.

Social and moral values: Similar to socially responsible investing, Islamic investment filters out socially detrimental activities, such as gambling, pornography, alcohol and weapons. For the most part, Islamic investing is consistent with conventional value-based investing, which mandates social values and good governance.

Through its Board of Islamic scholars, Crescent Wealth applies a number of qualitative screening filters to ensure all investments held in the fund are in accordance with Islamic principles. Industries that are avoided include: alcohol, tobacco, weapons, pork, financial services, gambling, pornography, leisure & media.

The CAEF is weighted to resources and mining equities, and some small cap stocks. Investments, for example, include BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and United Group.

Crescent Wealth

Founded in 2007, Crescent Wealth is the first (and currently the only) Australian wealth manager with a specialist focus on Islamic investing.

Founded in 2007, Crescent Wealth has been granted an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) by ASIC.

We partner with some of Australia‟ leading organisations, including Aon Hewitt, Sigma Funds Management, Ernst & Young, J.P.Morgan, Norton Rose and Thomson Reuters.

The role of Crescent Wealth is to manage all aspects of its funds under its ASIC licence, including product development, registration, legal, accounting, auditing, marketing and distribution. The CAEF is sub-advised by Sigma Funds Management.

Crescent Wealth founders, Talal Yassine OAM, Samier Dandan and Issam Eid, bring a track record of successful entrepreneurship and significant funds management, legal and investment banking experience.

Crescent Wealth is already the leading pioneer in Islamic investing in Australia, and aspires to grow its position as the leading provider of Islamic funds. It also aspires to grow by offering all Australians a genuine alternative to more traditional investments.

Target market comprises Muslim community organisations, high-net-worth individuals, professionals, and institutional investors in Australia and, eventually, overseas.

Our four planned Islamic funds (Australian Equity Fund, International Equity Fund, Diversified Property Fund and Income Fund) are open to both private and institutional investors. They will form the platform for our unique superannuation offering, where we see significant potential for growth.

Crescent Australian Equity Fund (CAEF)

The Crescent Australian Equity Fund is Australia's first licensed Islamic managed fund. It is open to all investors, including private and institutional. It has a bias towards resource, mining and small cap equities from an investable universe of about 200 stocks. The fund is sub-advised by Sigma Funds Management in Sydney, a highly experienced Australian equity manager that is rated by Van Eyk.

Target size: $500m
Target return: 6.79%
Management fee: 1.79%
Minimum investment: $10,000
Investment horizon: 3 and 5 years

(Courtesy: Zawya)

About the Author

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on October 10, 2011. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on October 10, 2011. Filed under , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

0 comments for "Crescent Wealth launches Australia's first Islamic investment option"

Leave a reply

Editor's Pick

SPECIAL REPORT: Indian religious leaders strongly protest against South Korean government hounding of Shincheonji Church despite cooperation to contain COVID-19 spread

By Danish Ahmad Khan The government of South Korea is pursuing a discriminatory policy towards Shincheonji Church while accusing it of COVI...

IMO Search Finder

Subscribe IMO