The Financial Services & Technologies Fund, founded by UK-based Ethos Invest with a targeted fundraise of £1 billion for private equity investments in sharia-compliant and ethical SMEs, is on track to become the world’s largest fund of its kind, focusing on financial services and technology.
The Fund would invest in growing entrepreneurs in financial services such as banking, asset management, and payments, as well as other technological fields such as blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, life sciences, and healthcare, among other verticals.
The majority of the funds will be invested in the United Kingdom, with additional investments in Europe, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa region, Southeast Asia and North America.
UK-based Ethos Invest, which will bring together a team of skilled investment professionals like the Al Inma Investment Company, BMO Global Asset Management’s private equity team and Vistra, will act as the Fund’s administrator. Jersey was chosen as a jurisdiction because of its extensive sharia structuring knowledge and its ability to innovate in a well-regulated environment.
Dr. Quintan Wiktorowicz, partner at Ethos Invest stated that “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 especially in the Financial Services and wider technology spaces, and we look forward to partnering with many exciting businesses.”
The Ethos Financial Services & Technologies Fund is the first phase in Ethos’ plan to improve financial inclusion in the United Kingdom. The company has ambitions to raise further funding in a variety of areas, as well as a desire to launch digital banking and wealth management services.
“We are thrilled to partner with Ethos due to its investment in potential domains in the technology sector as well as on SMEs,” said Mr. Salah Zein Bahkali, of Al Inma Investments.
The rapidly-growing Sharia-compliant investment industry now operates in 80 countries, although Western markets are still in their beginning. This Fund, which is believed to be the largest of its kind, will represent a significant milestone in the promotion of Sharia-compliant and ethical investments in the Western world, while also expanding the industry globally through its international remit.
Mr. 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 Fund is aimed at investing in the growing Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) companies and ethical industry in a Sharia-compliant way that promotes financial inclusion and benefits society.