Ethos Invest have announced the launch of what is set to become the world’s largest fund of its kind. The Financial Services and Technologies Fund will focus on financial services and technology, with a target fundraise of £1billion 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), cybersecurity, 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 and 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 the emerging technology sector as well as financing with a focus on SMEs.”
Abdullah Medallah at Abdullah Medallah and 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.”