Islamic Banking

US Islamic Wealth Management Specialist in Malaysian Tie-Up

Stephen Harris, 11 May 2007

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US-based Calyx Financial has signed a memorandum of understanding with Muamalat Invest, the asset-management arm of Malaysia’s Bank Muamalat, to develop and distribute Islamic investment funds.

The deal furthers Muamalat Invest’s goal of becoming a key provider of innovative Islamic investment products to the institutional community in Southeast Asia and gives Calyx Financial a foothold in one of the world’s most important Islamic financial markets, according to a statement.

“This type of relationship fits perfectly with our capabilities as an Islamically-oriented asset management firm based in New York,” said Douglas Clark Johnson, chief executive and chief investment strategist of Calyx Financial.

“We’re partnering with Muamalat Invest to bring to market a series of globally derived private-placement vehicles. These funds will be uniquely relevant to client portfolio needs and in line with local-market regulation. Our project plan calls for a new investment program each quarter.”

The relationship will focus initially on Calyx Financial’s Islamic Strategist programme, which the company claim is the first-ever globally-sourced, multi-asset class fund-of-funds designed for the Shariah-compliant investor.

Calyx Financial serves institutions and institutional-scale private accounts outside the US.

The product will be available to Malaysian institutions through a restricted investment programme that includes an Islamic bond component to comply with capital controls.

“We see a nexus evolving between our New York base, our Southeast Asian partners, and selected Middle East, European, and North African ties,” Mr Johnson said.

Kuala Lumpur-based Bank Muamalat was established in 1999 as Malaysia’s second full-fledged Islamic bank.

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