JEDDAH - The Islamic Economics Research Center in collaboration with Economics and Management Faculty organized a seminar under the theme “asset management from Islamic perspective during the Global Financial Crisis.” It was under the patronage of Osama Bin Sadek Tayyeb, president of the King Abdul Aziz University.
The seminar was part of various events being organized in the university to discuss the latest developments in asset management with respect to the global financial crisis. The seminar is highlighted by the participation of keynote speakers from academic institutions and experts from financial organizations.
The speakers include Toby Birch, managing director of a British financial firm that offers Islamic Financial solutions to its clients; Dr. Nagaoka Shinsuke, a professor of Islamic economic studies at the center for Southeast Asian studies from Kyoto university in Japan; Dr. Ignacio De La Torre, finance expert from IE University in Spain; Dr. Sami Ibrahim Swailem, prominent expert in the field of Islamic finance, a senior economist, Islamic Research and Training Institute at the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) Jeddah; Andrew Broadley, chief executive officer of Al-Khabeer International; and Dr. Ahmed Mahdi Belwafi, researcher in the Center for Islamic Economic Researches and a specialist in financial crisis.
Broadley said Al-Khabeer International addresses the needs of institutional and high-net-worth clients who require Shariah-compliant private equity, asset management and capital market products and services.
In order to boost the performance if Islamic equity funds, Al-Khabeer believes that the “best solution lies in managing funds with a dual focus on both risk and return.”
The CEO of Al-Khabeer International pointed out that an alternative strategy would be “managing for the total return over an economic cycle, combining alpha generation from bottom-up stock selection with flexible asset allocation and strong operational risk controls.”
“The ultimate goal is to lock in profits and limit the downside to an acceptable risk budget,” he added.
He stressed that the success could best be achieved by staying focused on addressing the specific needs of investor based on research.
Against the backdrop of volatile global financial situation, Broadley said Al-Khabeer’s “unique customer-centric strategy” would position the company to build better funds “faster than the competitors.”
Noting that many Islamic fund managers are (still) failing to translate investor needs into viable investment funds, he added though that there is “uniformity of investment style” such that equity funds are typically all relative return funds with performance clustered around the index… with insufficient management of downside risks.”
“The expected consequence of our vision is the establishment of a business which is capable of enduring for the long-term, the nature of the business cycle notwithstanding,” Broadley furtehr said.
Al-Khabeer’s co-sponsorship of the seminar reaffirms its continuous support to research, and symposiums that help broaden the knowledge and understanding of the basics of Islamic banking and finance and create awareness of Shariah-compliant financial products. – SG