At Crescent Wealth Super, we’re committed to ensuring all Australians can protect and grow their retirement wealth without compromising their core values and beliefs. A globally pioneering Islamic superannuation fund, our investment approach reflects Islamic investment principles as well as the values of socially responsible investing. Here we explain what those principles are, why we’re committed to being a responsible investor, and how we’re investing on our members’ behalf.
What is Islamic investing?
Based on a 2016 survey of the 50 largest super funds, 83% of their assets were not disclosed publicly – or even disclosed to their super fund members1 which means they could be invested in areas such as such as gambling, tobacco, alcohol and weapons. As an Islamic investor, Crescent Wealth Super doesn’t invest in activities that harm humanity. As a matter of policy, we also don’t invest in banking and insurance companies – which sets us apart from other ‘green’ ethical funds as the only fund committed to doing so. Islamic investing also avoids investments that rely on chance or speculation, as opposed to the effort, knowledge and expertise of investors. However, normal risk-taking and speculation around the potential success of a business is permitted.
Islamic investing offers broad investment opportunities that can offer good returns, not only for those in the Muslim community. As experts in Islamic investing, our investment professionals choose from a broad spread of assets to construct diversified and risk-adjusted portfolios, built on strong values that have the potential to generate adequate returns to justify the risk. We describe our investment style as responsible, long-term, low risk and medium return.
How is Crescent Wealth Super a responsible investor?
At Crescent Wealth Super we focus on socially responsible investing in healthcare, property and infrastructure, utilities, manufacturing and innovative industries. Along with our commitment not to invest in harmful activities, such as gambling, tobacco, alcohol and weapons, we also apply a number of filters to help guide our responsible approach to investing. Companies we invest in must be lowly geared with less than 33.3% of debt, they can’t have more than 70% of accounts receivable owing, or more than 30% liquid capital on the balance sheet.
In the same way conventional responsible investing is bound by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria, Crescent Wealth Super is mandated to invest with social values and have good governance.
In addition, Crescent Wealth Super engages a Supervisory Board owned by the Dubai Islamic Bank and is made up of an internationally recognised and independent group of experts. This Board reviews our investments and product policies to certify and give our members confidence our investments are aligned with Islamic investment principles.
What sets Crescent Wealth Super’s responsible investment approach apart?
Our transparent and clear investment processes ensure there is no exposure to harmful or unethical activities at any level of supply or distribution that would compromise our Islamic investment principles. This means that in the case of a groceries business that also sells tobacco and alcohol products – if the sales of tobacco and alcohol were greater than 10% of total sales, Crescent Wealth Super wouldn’t invest in the business.
We understand that our members are also passionate about the values the Islamic investment principles represent, which is why we’re not only conservative in our investment approach, we also make sure no revenue generated from prohibited goods, not even 5%, flows through to our members. Instead, we calculate that percentage and donate the return to charity via the Crescent Foundation.
How does Crescent Wealth Super support the community through responsible investing?
Crescent Wealth Super is passionate about bringing positive change to the Australian community not only through responsible investment and a commitment to invest in values, but also through the support of three not-for-profits – the Crescent Foundation, Crescent Institute and Crescent Think Tank.
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Talal currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. He also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of the Australian Arab Dialogue. Talal has also served on the Australia Post, Board of Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. In an executive capacity, Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.