Crescent Wealth aims for $3bn pool by 2019

AUSTRALIA’S first Islamic fund manager Crescent Wealth is aiming high, but will it deliver?

The company “would be happy” with $3 billion under management by 2019, which represents nearly a quarter of the $13bn pool of funds expected to be allocated to Islamic fund managers by then.

That’s a big number given the Crescent Australian Equity Fund, which launched in October, had about $US5.5 million under management, but it isn’t insurmountable given Crescent is the first and only Australian wealth manager specialising in Islamic investing.

CAEF is its first of four planned funds, the others being an International Equity Fund, an Income Fund and a Diversified Property Fund.

All four will form Australia’s first Islamic superannuation option and will be open to both institutional and private investors and will target Muslim community organisations, high net worth individuals as well as institutions both in Australia and offshore.

The group’s recently announced advisory board members include former non-executive director of Citibank Emeritus Professor Dianne Yerbury, former Macquarie Group duo Ted Pretty and Moustafa Fahour, Aon Hewitt chief investment officer Janice Sengupta and deputy chair of WorkCover Nicholas Whitlam.

Aon Hewitt helped seed CAEF – which has a target size of $500m – with an initial investment from its $2 billion fund, the Aon Master Trust, which offers the option of ethical investing and screens out industries such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling.

But even with a growing demographic of Muslims in Australia, Islamic finance is expected to be slow taking off Down Under.