Jeddah-headquartered asset manager Sedco Capital is looking to increase the distribution of its sharia-compliant funds outside its client base in Saudi Arabia.

The investment firm is set to tie up with more large global financial institutions that will distribute to international investors such as high-net worth individuals who want to invest in funds that comply with Islamic principles.

An as yet undisclosed organisation is expected to put Sedco Capital’s funds on its distribution platform before the end of October, Hasan al-Jabri, CEO of Sedco Capital, tells MEED.

A third institution is also expected to put the fund on its platform within the coming months.   

These agreements follow a distribution agreement signed with Switzerland’s Credit Suisse Private Bank last year.

“These banks manage a substantial sum of money and for them to accept having us on their platforms is quite a strong view on our capabilities,” says Al-Jabri.

UHNWIS* by region
Region 2013 2023 % change
Africa 1,868 2,858 53
Asia 41,114 58,588 43
Australasia 3,828 4,526 18
Europe 60,504 73,396 21
Latin America 9,677 13,711 42
Middle East 7,052 9,498 35
North America 43,626 52,536 20
World 167,669 215,113 28
*=Ultra-high net worth individuals (with more than $30m). Source: Knight Frank/The Wealth Report

The asset management firm is also looking to widen the pool of investors it can work with by attracting those keen to invest in sharia-compliant funds and those targeting funds that comply with certain ethical standards.

Islamic funds ban investments in alcohol and other banned industries, but they also use a similar set of standards used by entities that follow environmental, social and governance principles.

Sedco Capital is the only Saudi asset manager to have signed the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a set of standards that signatories must adhere to to ensure they only invest in ethically-sound businesses.

The firm has raised more than $800m via its various funds that comply with both sharia-compliant requirements and UN-defined ethical principles, says Al-Jabri.

In September, Sedco launched a new GCC equities fund, managed in-house and based in Luxembourg, which is targeting international investors. It was launched with $30m in assets, and is on target to raise $100m within the next six months, says Al-Jabri.