Saudi asset manager in ‘ethical investment’ agenda push

Saudi Arabian asset management company Sedco Capital, has visited the UK to speak about its plans to push the ethical agenda within its investment principles.

Sedco, one of the largest asset managers in Saudi Arabia, said in a statement that it recently participated in the Islamic Finance Forum to discuss the benefits of combining shariah finance principles with ethical investment.

The Forum, which took place at Mansion House in London this month, included several panels and workshops focusing on trends in Islamic Finance and European markets. Panel topics included the role of European Stock Exchanges in facilitating Islamic capital raising, Islamic corporate financing activity in Europe and the impact of Brexit.

Kamran Butt, managing director at Sedco Capital, participated in the panel discussion entitled ‘Responsible Investing: The Shift towards Green Finance, ESG & Ethical Funds’, alongside executives from the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and other global institutions.

Shariah principles

“We call this Prudent Ethical Investing, combining Shariah principles, which involve avoiding excess leverage, and ESG principles which ensure our investments serve society,” said Butt. “We have found that both sets of principles combined, create optimal risk adjusted returns and provide the right investment characteristics for our clients.”

Hassan Al Jabri, Sedco Capital’s chief executive also spoke about the firm’s new Prudent Ethical Investing (PEI) investment strategy, integrating Shariah-compliant investment approach with ethical investing.

Al Jabri, who has been developing the PEI approach since 2013, recently oversaw the publication of a seminal SEDCO Capital white paper, entitled ‘How can Responsible Investors Benefit from Islamic Criteria?’ which looked at the performance of responsible investments, Islamic investments and conventional portfolios across the US, Europe and Asian equity markets.

The research showed that Shariah-compliant portfolios have outperformed conventional and responsible investment strategies over the last decade on an absolute return and risk-adjusted basis across all analysed markets, the company said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Deputy Editor, International Investment and Head of Video at Open Door Media Publishing. A fully qualified journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as an IFA.

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