Global Investors opens Middle Eastern office and launches two Shariah-compliant equity funds


Allianz Global Investors is the asset management arm of the Allianz Group, and is one of the world’s top five active asset managers with $1.4 trillion under management.

These developments are important steps in Allianz Global Investors’ strategy of offering market-leading investment products and services to investors across the Middle East to complement its growing and successful businesses in Europe, Asia and the USA.

As part of its long term strategy and commitment to Middle Eastern clients, Allianz Global Investors will base its operations in a new permanent representative office in Bahrain, which will be led by Sami Zghal, Chief Representative & Head of Business Development, Middle East & North Africa.

Sami Zghal is a long-standing and senior Allianz Global Investors employee who was previously based in the firm’s Paris office.

As part of its initial offer to regional investors, Allianz Global Investors will market two new, Shariah-compliant, equity funds: the Allianz RCM Islamic Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund and the Allianz RCM Islamic Global Equity Opportunities Fund.

The new funds are based on two highly successful strategies offered by the firm; the Allianz RCM Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund and the RCM Global Equity Unconstrained Shariah strategy.

Commenting, Nick Smith, Head of Fund Distribution at Allianz Global Investors (UK) Ltd, said: ‘We are very excited to be opening an office in Bahrain as well as launching two Shariah-compliant funds, specifically designed for clients in the Middle East. We are very committed to building a long term business in the region by offering the best of our global asset management capabilities together with a very high level of local service. We believe that clients increasingly want access to the most sophisticated asset management expertise whether applied to well established funds investing in core areas, or applied to newer, more innovative funds investing in specialist areas. The size and scope of our resources allow us to offer funds and services right along this spectrum. We also pride ourselves on listening to clients and providing tailored solutions where appropriate.’

‘We are also delighted that Sami Zghal has agreed to lead our business in the region in his new role as Chief Representative & Head of Business Development for the Middle East & North Africa.’

‘We are launching the new equity funds now for two reasons. Firstly, we believe that there is growing demand over the long term for Shariah-compliant funds, especially those based on proven strategies investing in promising areas. Secondly, we believe that recent equity market corrections have provided a good entry point for investors. Although we may see some volatility in the short term, our medium to long term view on equities is very positive. We have also chosen the strategies very carefully to provide access to some of the best investment opportunities globally. To enable the funds to get to a sufficient size quickly, we have seeded each one with $50m.

The two funds’ investments will be monitored in terms of their compliance with Islamic law by a distinguished and experienced Shariah Board, consisting of Sheikh Nizam Yaquby (Chairman), Sheikh Osama Mohammed Saad Bahar (Board Member), and Dr Muhammad Humayon Abbas Dar (Expert Member and Chief Executive Officer of BMB Islamic UK Limited).

BMB Islamic UK Limited is also acting as Shariah Adviser to the funds.

Allianz Global Investors’ Shariah-compliant funds

Allianz RCM Islamic Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund offers the opportunity to invest in the world’s fastest growing markets and will be managed by the award-winning emerging markets team of RCM, the global equity specialist of Allianz Global Investors.

The fund is based on the Allianz RCM Global Emerging Markets Fund, a Dublin-domiciled fund which has delivered 32.7% growth per year for the past five years3.

Allianz RCM Islamic Global Equity Opportunities Fund offers investors the ability to invest in an unconstrained, actively managed global equity portfolio.

The Fund is based on the RCM Global Equity Unconstrained Shariah strategy which has delivered an average return of 25.5% per year for the past five years, compared to an average annual return of 16.4% by the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index4.

RCM – the global equity specialists
Allianz Global Investors’ clients benefit from the expertise of RCM, its global equity specialist and manager of both of the new Shariah-compliant funds.

RCM has investment professionals and research specialists in locations around the world and currently manages US$168 billion of assets5.

RCM offers investors a unique dual research platform whereby a global team of dedicated financial analysts continually research the fundamentals of companies, markets and sectors.

This proprietary, fundamental research approach is also supported by RCM’s market research network called Grassroots Research.

Grassroots Research is dedicated to uncovering and measuring demand in the market place for specific products and services.


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