Shari'ah compliant and ethical finance are one of the fastest growing finance markets in the world, with some size estimates already up to US$1.4 trillion and growth at 10 to 15% annually.
The Abacus Emerging Markets team has significant experience in structuring, advising and executing such transactions across various product classes including capital markets, asset management and structured products. Our team has a track record in this fast growing market that includes advising on award winning deals and structuring deals which were first of their kind. Our strong relationships with institutions that are recognised as key players in the Islamic finance market provide us with a platform to leverage relationships and provide investment opportunities to new market entrants. We also enjoy excellent relationships with several world leading Islamic finance scholars, including Sheikh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, a leading independent international Shari'ah scholar.
Our focus on Australia as an ideal market for Islamic and ethical investments is built on three main platforms:
A scholar of Islamic Transactional Law, Shaykh Yusuf works with international financial entities, including institutional investors, home finance providers, international investment banks, asset managers and governments. He serves as Chairman of the Shariah Board for the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes, the Islamic Interbank Benchmark Rate (IIBR), Wafra (the Kuwait Investment Advisory Group), Oasis Asset Management (South Africa), The Kotak Mahindra India Shariah Fund, the Navis Asia Fund, and several others. Shaykh Yusuf helped design the first Sukuk using assets based in the United States, and was Chairman of the Shariah board that approved the first corporate Sukuk in Saudi Arabia. He was also a member of the team that designed a prime broker solution for a Shariah compliant short position.
Shaykh Yusuf is a member of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and is also a member of the Council of Scholars, International Shari'ah Research Academy (ISRA), the Central Bank of Malaysia. He was a founding member of the Governing Council of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) in Malaysia and served as Advisor on Islamic Education to the Government of Pakistan from 1981 to 1984. In 2008-2009, he was a member of the Task Force on Islamic Finance and Global Stability initiated by the Islamic Development Bank in response to the global financial crisis. His career was noted in a front page story of the Wall Street Journal (Aug 9, 2007), and he has been featured in stories on Islamic Finance in news, TV and radio media.
Shaykh Yusuf is the author of the three volume Compendium of Legal Opinions on the Operations of Islamic Banks, the first English/Arabic reference on the fatawa issued by Shari'ah boards. In addition, Shaykh Yusuf wrote the introduction to Islamic Bonds, the 2003 book that introduced Sukuk and transformed the world's Islamic capital markets. His work has appeared in academic and industry journals and as chapters in books, including Euromoney's Islamic Asset Management (2004), Islamic Retail Finance (2005), and Islamic Finance: Innovation & Growth (2002). His entries on the terminology of Islamic finance appear in The Oxford Dictionary of Islam.
Shaykh Yusuf is fluent and has published academic work in English, Arabic and Urdu. He also has a working knowledge of Italian and Farsi.
T: +44 (0)203 709 4245