Wahed had a great start to the new year, with some fantastic press exposure.
Here’s a look at the key highlights and media coverage from recent weeks:
Our founder and chief executive, Junaid Wahedna, was interviewed by the FT on the idea for Wahed, the challenges of running a halal investment platform, and his approach to ethical investing. He talked about our mission of creating “an alternative to the debt-based financial system that is better and more sustainable for everyone.”
That mission is also gaining international traction: in Malaysia, we were included on a list of tech firms ready to enter the global Islamic fintech market, which, according to Dinar Standard’s Global Islamic FinTech Report 2021, is projected to grow to US$128 billion by 2025.
While faith is an important reflection of values, it is part of a broader movement towards sustainable and socially responsible investing, which incorporates ESG considerations. Our ESG-aware and Shariah-compliant ETF made its Nasdaq debut in January, attracting headlines around the world.
Our Chief Investment Officer Samim Abedi shared in Yahoo Finance that this fund gives investors a highly personalised investing experience, addressing a gap in the market for a global Shariah-compliant fund managed through an ESG investing lens. He also spoke on the Fintech Insider podcast.
News of the debut on Nasdaq was covered in Bloomberg, which mentioned that the fund will focus on environmental, social and governance factors and that the fund’s ticker (“UMMA”) roughly translates from Arabic as “community”.
On the topic of community, our UK General Manager, Umer Suleman, spoke to Metro about considering a bank’s values before making a switch as a customer. He advised looking up a bank’s board members and senior management team to see they reflect the people they are there to serve.
Over in Africa, CNBC interviewed Daniel Isa, our Country Manager of Nigeria, on how Africa can tap into Nasdaq’s Islamic market, sharing that the fund increases investors’ access to international, ex-U.S. investments that have a stronger alignment with their values.
In keeping in line with this theme, Umer Suleman was interviewed by the BBC on linking Africa to the world’s $2.2 trillion Islamic finance market. Although the continent is home to 18 per cent of the world’s Muslim population, it currently contributes only 1 per cent to the global Islamic assets.
Africa, in particular, is a region where Islamic finance could and, indeed, should thrive, according to White & Case. Islamic finance gives African nations a unique and relatively unused means to address two of the continent’s critical development issues: increasing financial inclusion within the domestic population and bridging the funding gap for necessary infrastructure.
All in all, we’re thrilled to share our story in the media and look forward to seeing more industry developments as we anticipate bigger and bolder announcements in the future – including the launch of our app, thought leadership pieces, and much more. Keep an eye on this space!