Thu, Dec 18, 2014
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Opalesque Islamic Finance Intelligence

Manager Interview: Brint Firth, Javelin Investment Management

Friday, July 03, 2009

Manager Interview:


Brint Frith Javelin Investment Management

Regarding the product range you are developing, it seems indexation products have not been widely developed in the Islamic finance space. What is your take on this?

There are actually plenty of Islamic indexes, just not a lot of index based investment products available. We were surprised to realize that, despite the success of Islamic investing within the mutual fund format, no Islamic ETF has existed in the U.S. It may be a sign of the youth of the ETF industry that such an important niche had been left underserved.

Why has the industry been slow in taking up these products? Is this a case of a business-as-usual approach that delays product development or precludes product innovation?

As ETFs have gained market share on the mutual funds, the industry has been busy covering the basics -- country funds, sector funds, leveraged funds, etc. But now the bases are covered and this catch-up phase is near its end. Asset growth will require innovation in the coming years.

Can you describe your product pipeline, how do these fit in the current universe of Islamic investment products?

Javelin intends to create and market unique ETFs that can be utilized in underserved markets. Javelin will continue to listen to the Islamic community in order to create new products that are most needed.

What is the investor appetite for actively managed solutions, and how would you incorporate these under your umbrella?

While there may be opportunities in the actively managed space, Javelin believes that indexed products, by nature, provide a disciplined approach that can most benefit long term investors.

You have undertaken extensive market research on this area, in your view what are the key drivers of growth for ETFs and specifically for Shariah compliant ETFs?

In general terms, ETFs have and will continue to evolve as the low cost alternative for individuals and institutions to achieve a measure of diversification in a single transaction. This can be particularly useful for Islamic Investors who wish to achieve competitive returns within a compliant investment strategy.

Considering the competitive landscape, and increasing interest of ETF investments, how do you plan to position yourselves in the market and what are your differentiating factors?

Javelin is not seeking to avoid competition. Rather, we think that Javelin will lead the way into new markets with cutting edge products and the competition will follow.

What regions and investor segments do you intend to target first? What particular challenges do you see in efficiently accessing these?

Javelin is based in the U.S. and will try to grow in our home market before branching out. While there are institutional and cultural challenges in most global markets, Javelin will establish relationships with other individuals and other firms that are familiar with their respective local customs .

Marketing and distribution are often underestimated by fund managers, what strategies would you consider for distributing ETFs?

We are aware of the difficulties that all fund managers face when trying to increase Assets Under Management. Because ETFs are investment products that trade like stocks, they are distributed differently. Javelin has thoroughly considered a number of third party options to enhance distribution. We found very few professionals that properly recognized that difference and have decided that we should control the process internally.

Innovation has become a bad word lately, does this present a challenge when the industry is trying to develop fresh new solutions for investors?

In the financial world, innovation is often just another word for leverage. Innovation that creates real solutions for the benefit investors, without increasing or concealing risk, will always be a good thing.

Competitor Snapshot:

Provider Launch Date Mandates
iShares MSCI Dec 2007 Emerging Markets, USA, World
EasyETF DowJones Jan 2007 Global
db x-trackers March 2008 Japan, USA, Europe
Daiwa FTSE May 2008 Japan
SGAM FTSE April 2008 USA, Europe, Japan



Article Link

<< Go Back to Archive

Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Investing - Big hedge funds win again on PetSmart, Riverbed, RBS sells real estate loans to hedge fund Cerberus, Talisman energy speculation: Which hedge funds could benefit?[more]

    Big hedge funds win again on PetSmart, Riverbed From CNBC.com: Another week, another set of wins for activist investors. On Sunday, pet supply retailer PetSmart agreed to the largest leveraged buyout of the year at $8.7 billion. Hedge fund firm JANA Partners had been pushing for a sale a

  2. Outlook - Hedge fund manager who remembers 1998 rout says prepare for pain, Bond guru Bill Gross predicts U.S. economic growth to dip to 2%[more]

    Hedge fund manager who remembers 1998 rout says prepare for pain From Bloomberg.com: Stephen Jen landed in Hong Kong in early January 1997 as Morgan Stanley’s newly minted exchange-rate strategist for Asia. He was soon working around the clock when investors began targeting the region’s

  3. Opalesque Exclusive: U.S. legal receivables fund launched in August[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva for New Managers: Investing in asset-backed receivables is a strategy that has been an integral part of the alternative investment space within the overall fixed income asset c

  4. Comment - High fees and low performance hit hedge funds[more]

    From FT.com: Disenchantment over high fees and lackluster performance may finally be turning the tide against hedge funds, fresh data suggest. Despite generally weak returns since the global financial crisis, hedge funds have enjoyed positive net inflows every year since 2010. This helped assets und

  5. Performance - Lansdowne, Man Group, other hedge funds profit from shorts in oil, Turmoil boosts hedge funds that bet against Russia, oil, CTAs post strongest returns since December 2010[more]

    Lansdowne, Man Group, other hedge funds profit from shorts in oil From Valuewalk.com: The rising short interest in oil companies implies that the worst for oil is yet to come. Data from Markit shows that short exposure in energy sector of S&P 500 is still looming close to the highest mar