Sharia-accredited investments go beyond simple financial mechanisms.
The law and the legal framework regulating these investments are substantial. Islamic Finance is a mix of finance and law!
Global law firms have understood the potential behind Islamic Finance and have started investing in sub-practice groups within their Banking and Finance departments. Key players in the sector predominantly include global law firms. They had the capacity to establish a broader presence and have opened up offices in several centres in the Middle East.
They were followed by some international firms who started establishing one or two small outposts; looking to take advantage of the high predicted growth rates for the Middle East. The goal is obvious: to counterbalance the loss these firms faced over the last two years in their Western centers!
We believe this strategy is wrong!
- Ethically, this very opportunistic approach had some firms focusing on short-term investments, whitout developing a real and true interest in those countries. This reminds us of another (bygone) era, as these firms simply take their "fair share" of legal work associated with outbound investments, without seeking to satisfy the long-term aspirations of these investors. This is simply against the spirit of Islamic Finance which places ethics and morals at the heart of investments.
- Practically, many of these firms simply send an underperforming partner from their home office who recruits a couple of local associates to set up their Islamic Finance practice. The most skilled lawyers of these firms, at the associate level, remain in the home office. Resident partners often only stay a couple of years then go home and lose the personal connections they had just started to establish.
- Geographically, this results in bilateral, or at best slightly multilateral connections, such as London–Dubai, or New York-Abu Dhabi. Even global firms miss out, due to the fact that whilst they may be able to place a few real specialists in Islamic Finance law in some locations, they are unable to cover all their offices. Most local offices of global firms have a very poor idea of what a "sukuk" is about!
This is why iSfin gathers top specialists from independent member firms in all key countries, with coverage in more than 50 targeted countries, enabling it to provide any company with fully-coordinated, yet locally-specific, global advice in all aspects of Islamic Finance (Shariah-compliant and conventional transactions). Geographic spread includes inbound and outbound investment markets, as well as tax haven jurisdictions.
- iSfin assists islamic investors investing in Western countries
- iSfin assists Western investors investing in Islamic countries
- iSfin assists investors find the right tax structuring