UK-based Ethos Invest has launched an investment vehicle which it hopes will be the world’s largest Shariah-compliant private equity fund.
The Financial Services & Technologies Fund has a target of £1 billion for investment in Shariah and ethical small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Ethos says the fund will invest in “emerging innovators in financial services”. It specifically cites blockchain, robotics, artificial intelligence, and payments as target verticals.
The majority of capital will be deployed in the UK with additional investments in Europe, Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East.
Ethos adds that it has brought together a team of “experienced investment professionals”, including the Al Inma Investment Company, BMO Global Asset Management’s private equity team, and fund administrator Vistra.
The firm says it wants the fund to be “a milestone in promoting Shariah-compliant and ethical investments in the western world”.
Quintan Wiktorowicz, partner at Ethos Invest, says: “SMEs with strong ethical credentials are vital as we look towards a brighter future for the global economy.
“Ensuring that these companies have access to capital is key. The fund will ensure that this is taking place, especially in the financial services and wider technology spaces.”
The fund represents “the first step” in a wider strategy from Ethos focused on enhancing financial inclusion in the UK and beyond.
The company has plans for additional funds across different sectors, and wants to establish digital banking and wealth management offerings too.