Asia is about to get its first Sharia-compliant robo-advisor, according to Banking Technology.
Algebra will be launched by December 2016 by Malaysia-based Farringdon Group, a private wealth and investment manager. The service will be open to investors across all geographies, and will mandate a minimum investment of $263 per month. It will offer users one of five different risk-weighted strategies and create a portfolio of Sharia-compliant funds.
For many Muslims, their religious practice bars them from using conventional investment vehicles. Most adherents of Islam are not permitted to invest in firms that produce prohibited products, such as arms or alcohol, or those considered to take on excessive risk.
Their religion also prevents them from using many conventional investment approaches that involve baked-in risk — like hedging. And they cannot use any kind of financial product that involves the receipt or the paying of interest. As a result, there are relatively few options available for Muslims who want to invest their money.
This means there is significant demand for Sharia-compliant investment products. Stuart Yeomans, CEO of Farringdon Group, said that of the $15.11 trillion owned by Muslims, $12.48 trillion remains outside of Sharia-compliant financial products.
Historically, this has been because such products simply haven’t existed, or ones that did exist were prohibitively expensive for most consumers — particularly with regard to investment products. This suggests that there is a significant market for Sharia-compliant investment alternatives, and given the size of the potential customer base and the dearth of such products, we are likely to see many more Sharia-compliant investment vehicles emerge in the near future.
Robo-advisors are threatening to upend the enormous global wealth management industry in several ways, and they are likely to arrive in full force within the next few years.
Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, has compiled a detailed report on robo-advising that looks at the market for robo-advisory services, the drivers behind consumer adoption of robo-advising, why the robo-advisor market presents an opportunity to traditional wealth management firms, and how startup robo-advisors can succeed as massive legacy companies begin offering their own services.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Large incumbent wealth managers won’t lose out to startups like Betterment and Wealthfront. Instead, they are embracing the technology and launching their own products, which are scaling quickly.
- Consumers across all asset classes are receptive to robo-advisors — including the wealthy. 49% of this group would consider investing some of their assets using a robo-advisor.
- The majority of assets managed by robo-advisors will come from people who already have some investments. We estimate that the volume of assets that comes from people who don’t currently invest will be less than 1% of the total by 2020.
- Startups are going to find it difficult to scale, and will need to differentiate their products to succeed. They are already doing this by providing white label services to wealth managers, and more customized stand alone solutions.
In full, the report:
- Provides a forecast for the volume of assets robo-advisors will manage by 2020.
- Highlights the factors that will drive the growth of robo-advisors
- Explains the different types of robo-advisor business model.
- Details the outlook for incumbents and startup robo-advisors in the wealth management industry.
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