Threadneedle was granted in-principle approval from the Securities Commission to establish an Islamic fund management company in Malaysia and is now ready to apply for full license to the Securities Commission, the investment manager said.
“There is a substantial untapped demand for Shariah products and in order to capture these opportunities we need to have in-depth understanding of our clients and ensure we are able to innovate and customise our offerings to clients to meet their needs,” Raymundo Yu, Threadneedle’s Asia Pacific chairman said.
Yu aims to make “Threadneedle a centre of excellence for Islamic finance in Malaysia.”
The asset manager plans to target the Shariah products to institutional investors including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies, government/ quasi-government entities, corporate, and charities.
Syed Elias Alhabshi, who has been senior adviser to Threadneedle in Singapore since September 2011, has been appointed chairman for Malaysia.
Mohd Farid bin Kamarudin is the chief executive officer for Malaysia and also assumes additional role of senior fixed income fund manager.
Kamarudin will lead the effort to build out Threadneedle’s Shariah-compliant investment capabilities and will be a senior member of the global investment team, the fund house said.
Previously, he was executive director and head of Sukuks and alternative investments for AMIslamic Funds Management in Malaysia.
Sabrina Wong has been appointed as fixed income analyst and will report to Mohd Farid bin Kamarudin and Clifford Lau. Previously, she held fund manager positions at Investec Asset Management and Bank Negara in Malaysia.
The Malaysian team will be supported by the Singapore regional office and global head office in London.
Threadneedle established a presence in Asia in 2008 and has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. With presence in 16 countries, Threadneedle manages $126.6bn worth of assets as of June 30.
Threadneedle is owned by Ameriprise Financial, a leading US diversified financial services company with US$703bn in assets under management and administration.