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Amanah amasses members

New Zealand’s only shariah-compliant fund manager has amassed $8.5 million across its KiwiSaver and unit trust in its first year in business.

Friday, February 26th 2016, 1:21PM

by Susan Edmunds

Founder Brian Henry said it had accumulated 700 members.

“We’re pretty pleased with that growth. We only started marketing it heavily in September. There have been so many other things to organize and get settled down with licensing and so on, that’s very distracting from our marketing efforts.”

He said members had been recruited from around New Zealand.

Most were Islamic but he said non-Islamic New Zealanders were attracted by Amanah’s very defined investment strategic. “They know where their money is exactly. It’s a simple, long-term growth strategy.”

Investors can put their money in the KiwiSaver scheme or the unit trust if they do not meet the residency requirements for KiwiSaver. The KiwiSaver fund had about half Amanah's total FUM at the end of December.

The fund invests in line with Sharia law and requires interest “purification payments”.  Sharia law dictates investments must involve a shared risk, such as shares that rise or fall with the company's fortunes.

Amanah aims to provide long-term investments of up to 50 US listed stocks that are conservatively selected and managed

Henry said Amanah wanted to keep growing as fast as possible and to get to the point where it was self-sustainable, without needing cash input from shareholders. He estimated that would be at about $20m FUM.

More settled markets would help too, he said.

In the year to December 31, the fund delivered a return of 9.7%. Members fees represented 2% of investments.

Tags: KiwiSaver

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