Wed, Jan 28, 2015
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 - U.S. investors favor currency hedged Europe ETFs as euro tumbles, Quants win back investors as Swiss franc fuels volatility gains, David Einhorn's $7bn hedge fund is loading up on this stock, Hedge fund BlueMountain Capital unveils Ocwen Financial short, claims default on notes[more]

    U.S. investors favor currency hedged Europe ETFs as euro tumbles From Reuters.com: U.S. investors stung by the falling euro who want to stay invested in Europe are turning to exchange-traded funds designed to strip out the impact of the region's currency. The biggest among so-called "cur

  2. News Briefs - Millennials use tech tools to jump into investing, Winklevoss twins to launch bitcoin exchange with FDIC insured deposits, Robertson’s legacy from hedge funds to New Zealand, Real estate managers exploring smaller open-end funds[more]

    Millennials use tech tools to jump into investing It is the Facebookification of monetary investing. From social networking platforms that enable young investors to stick to every other's stock-picking mojo, to internet sites for initially-timers hungry for a piece of the Silicon Valley

  3. Owen Li 'truly sorry' for blowing up $100m of hedge fund’s assets[more]

    From CNBC.com: A hedge fund manager told clients he is "truly sorry" for losing virtually all their money. Owen Li, the founder of Canarsie Capital in New York, said Tuesday he had lost all but $200,000 of the firm's capital—down from the roughly $100 million it ran as of late March. "I take r

  4. Indices - Barclay CTA Index gains 7.71% in 2014; largest traders return 12.31% for the year, Wilshire Liquid Alternative Index family outperforms investable hedge fund index counterparts in 2014[more]

    Barclay CTA Index gains 7.71% in 2014; largest traders return 12.31% for the year The Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge gained 7.71% in 2014. The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which measures performance of the largest CTAs, was up 12.31% in 2014. “The BTOP50 had a strong finish, e

  5. Opalesque Exclusive: Ex-Citi trader launches 'sleep-at-night’ long/short equity fund[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva for New Managers: After working at Citi's proprietary trading desk, managing a large portfolio between 2008 and 2011, Joel S. Salomon founded SalauMor Management in New York