Private equity fund aimed at Islamic investors

Al-Tawfeek and Maplewood have launched a private equity fund managed according to Islamic investment guidelines. The Manar Private Equity Fund will target US companies with turnover below $25 million.

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By  David Ingham Published  April 8, 2001

Al-Tawfeek and Maplewood have joined forces to introduce an Islamic private equity fund. The Manar Private Equity Fund’s managers will seek to invest in US companies with annual turnovers below $25 million.

Maplewood will select the companies to be invested in, whilst Al-Tawfeek, a subsidiary of Dallah Albaraka Group, will act as the fund’s Islamic advisor.

According to the two companies, private equity could represent a much better deal for Islamic investors than publicly listed equities. They quote a report from Cambridge Associates that found private equity had an average annualised return over ten years of 33.86%, compared to 15.47% for the S&P 500.

“Some time ago, we identified private equity as an extremely attractive asset class that offered significant investment opportunities for our investors,” says Dr. Saleh Malaikah, chief executive officer, Al Tawfeek. “The challenge, of course, is to undertake private equity investing in an Islamically acceptable way.”

Maplewood was identified as a partner that could help Al Tawfeek achieve its goals. Maplewood’s founders, Ali Musallam and Robert Glaser, both have strong ties to the Middle East. Glaser worked in the region for sixteen years, and Musallam helped PaineWebber establish its Middle Eastern presence.

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