World's largest ethical, sharia-compliant Fund launched by UK-based Ethos Invest

Fund solidifies UK's position as a major hub for Islamic and ethical finance

  
  • UK-based Ethos Invest targeting raising £1 billion
  • The Financial Services & Technologies Fund will make sharia-based, ethical investments in SMEs in the UK, Europe, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region, Southeast Asia and North America

London: The Financial Services & Technologies Fund, launched by UK-based Ethos Invest, is set to become the world’s largest fund of its kind, focussing on financial services and technology, with a target fundraise of £1 billion for private equity investments in sharia-compliant and ethical SMEs.

The Fund will invest in emerging innovators in financial services e.g. banking, asset management, payments and other technology areas to include blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security, life sciences and healthcare, among other verticals. The majority of capital will be deployed in the UK with additional investments in Europe, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region, Southeast Asia and North America.

The Fund was launched by UK-based Ethos Invest, which brings together a team of experienced investment professionals, the Al Inma Investment Company, BMO Global Asset Management’s private equity team and Vistra, who serve as the Fund’s administrator. Jersey was chosen as a jurisdiction for its significant sharia structuring expertise and digital innovation in a well-regulated environment.

The fast-growing Sharia-compliant investment industry is available across 80 countries but remains in relative nascence in Western markets. This Fund, which is expected to be the largest of its kind, is set to be a milestone in promoting Sharia-compliant and ethical investments in the Western world, whilst furthering the industry more globally via its international remit. The Fund’s objective is to invest in the wider and burgeoning ESG and ethical market in a Sharia value-based manner that drives financial inclusion and benefits society.

The Ethos Financial Services & Technologies Fund represents the first step in the Ethos strategy of enhancing financial inclusion in the UK. The company has plans for additional funds across different sectors as well as an ambition to establish digital banking and wealth management offerings.

Dr Quintan Wiktorowicz, partner at Ethos Invest, commented:

“The Ethos team is excited to launch this Fund which represents a real milestone for Islamic and ethical finance in the UK and around the world. SMEs with strong ethical credentials are vital as we look towards a brighter future for the global economy and ensuring that these companies have access to capital is key. The Fund will ensure that this is taking place, especially in the Financial Services and wider technology spaces, and we look forward to partnering with many exciting businesses.”

Salah Zein Bahkali, Head of Brokerage at Al Inma Investments at Al Inma, commented:

“We are delighted to cooperate with Ethos on this Fund due to its investment in promising fields in emerging technology sector as well as financing with a focus on SMEs.”

Abdullah Medallah at Abdullah Medallah & Co. LLP who acted as a Legal Counsel, commented:

“The uniqueness of the Fund is that it bridges the gap for private equity funds between the UK and other Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia.”

Hamish Mair, MD and Head of Private Equity at BMO Global Asset Management, said:

“We are delighted to be involved in the Ethos Fund, which will provide exposure to a well-diversified private equity portfolio for a large and underserved market for whom this has been previously inaccessible. The ethical and sharia-compliant goals of the Fund, and the resulting portfolio of investments thereof, will be a natural extension of BMO Global Asset Management’s well established ESG-oriented investment approach. We look forward to working with Ethos and all the investors in the Fund to build sustainable value over the coming years.”

About Ethos Invest

Ethos Invest develops cutting edge ethical and sharia-compliant financial products for investors, helping cement the UK as the apex of Islamic and ethical finance in the Western world. The company brings together expertise from across international investment banking, private equity, capital markets and consultancy under one goal of driving growth in the ethical investment industry. 

About Al Inma

Al Inma Investment is a Saudi closed joint stock company licensed by Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia and wholly owned by Alinma Bank.

The Company engages in many capital markets activities, including dealing as principal and agent, underwriting, managing investment funds, portfolio management, arrangement and providing advisory and custodial services with respect to the securities business.

About BMO Global Asset Management

BMO Global Asset Management is a global investment manager with offices in more than 25 cities in 14 countries, delivering service excellence to clients across five continents. Our four major investment centres in Toronto, Chicago, London and Hong Kong are complemented by a network of world-class specialist managers strategically located across the globe: BMO Real Estate Partners, LGM Investments and Pyrford International Ltd. BMO Global Asset Management is a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment initiative (UNPRI). BMO Global Asset Management is a part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America with total assets of CDN $950 billion as of 30 April 2021*.

https://www.bmo.com/ir/qtrinfo/1/2021-q1/Q121_CorporateFactSheet.pdf   

About Vistra

With a laser focus on minimising risk and enhancing efficiencies, Vistra provides expert advisory and administrative support to Fund, Corporate, Capital Market and Private Wealth clients; helping capital flow, protecting investors and safeguarding assets across multiple industries. Vistra is present in over 45 jurisdictions and employs nearly 5,000 professionals. For more information, please visit www.vistra.com

About Abdullah Medallah & Co. LLP

The Abdullah Medallah Law Firm is a Saudi boutique practice, with private equity being one of the key practice areas of the firm.

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