New World Capital Advisors (“NWCA”), the specialist merchant banking and investment firm, has announced a strategic investment in IslamicMarkets, a leading financial intelligence, e-learning and investment platform focused on the global Islamic economy.
Launched last year, IslamicMarkets offers industry-led learning, financial intelligence and connects investors to opportunities across the global Islamic economy, estimated to be worth USD$3.8 trillion by 2022.
NWCA believes that the platform will become a critical piece of the financial infrastructure serving the Islamic economy, similar to the role that Bloomberg plays in conventional financial services. This comes as interest in Islamic finance continues to grow amongst investors from both OIC and non-OIC countries, with London and Kuala Lumpur emerging as centres of excellence for Islamic finance - both locations are of strategic importance to NWCA and IslamicMarkets, with both groups planning their expansion into the region in 2019.
NWCA research highlights the following drivers behind the Islamic economy:
• Demand for Islamic financial services: Total Islamic banking assets have reached over $2.2 trillion, with average growth in core markets being 1.9X higher than that for conventional banking.
• Demand for compliant products: With ~1.7bn Muslims worldwide (approx. a quarter of the global population), 62% of which are under the age of 30 and a rapidly rising middle class, demand for convenient and accessible tools for financial services that are aligned with their values is growing.
• On a macro level, Islamic economies are some of the fastest growing economies globally. Indonesia alone will need to spend $500 billion on infrastructure over the next five years, representing a unique opportunity for the Islamic finance industry.
Zeiad Idris, co-founder of NWCA, said: “The Islamic economy is the emerging market of the next decade and we expect the market to continue to flourish. Through this investment, we not only want to be exposed to this growth, but play a big part in making it happen”.
Adam Sadiq, co-founder of NWCA added: “Despite continued year-on-year growth, the true potential of the Islamic economy has been held back due to a lack of clear, consistent and powerful insights. By creating a gateway for all market participants to research, share and connect on live opportunities, this platform will revolutionise Islamic finance and establish confidence in the market, supporting the fast growing Islamic Fintech ecosystem”.
Shakeeb Saqlain, CEO of IslamicMarkets, commented: “We are delighted to have NWCA on board as our partner. This will enable IslamicMarkets to build the world’s leading Islamic Fintech platform, driving innovation across the Islamic finance industry. In the last two years alone, IslamicMarkets has created the largest ecosystem of professionals and institutions in the Islamic economy, with over 250,000 users. NWCA’s focus on being a highly strategic partner to its portfolio companies will allow us to catalyse on the momentum we have developed to date.”
NWCA, which was founded by Adam Sadiq and Zeiad Idris, seeks to bring traditional merchant banking principles to new markets. It specialises in complex investment opportunities that are often overlooked by the “bulge bracket” banks and asset managers, taking long-term stakes in businesses with high-growth potential where it can add value by providing strategic advice and access to key markets across the globe.