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  • Middle Eastern Wealth Manager
  • Q3 2021
  • Shariah-compliant Private Equity Secondaries, Global
  • USD 50 million
  • Pooled fund or separately managed account (subject to Shariah compliance)
  • Portfolio diversification and enhanced returns (minimum net IRR of >10%)
  • Manager research

Our specialist says:

With the client’s encouragement, we reached out to talented managers that were investing in assets that appeared readily applicable to Shariah investment parameters—irrespective of whether they had a pre-existing Shariah product or strategy—and invited them to consider submitting proposals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we received considerable interest from the general partner universe, but very few firms could readily support a Shariah-compliant mandate as part of a comingled fund solution and still provide a high-quality investment proposition. That said, however, the ultimate allocations went to one firm with Shariah experience and one without, so we considered our approach to be a success. Looking ahead, we feel that private equity firms have a major opportunity to develop—and deliver—Shariah-compliant products alongside their standard pooled fund solutions for this community of LPs.
  • 108Considered
  • 16Long List
  • 8Shortlisted
  • 4Finalists
  • 2Selected

Client-Specific Concerns

This Middle Eastern wealth manager sought bfinance’s assistance in building a portfolio of Shariah-compliant private equity secondaries. Although the client was intent on accessing globally focused managers with a tilt towards buyouts, it was also willing to include growth and venture capital investments as smaller allocations. Participating managers were required to provide solutions to address Shariah-derived prohibitions on allocating to specific industry sectors—such as investments associated with conventional finance, alcohol, gambling, adult entertainment, tobacco and the production of weaponry/armaments—while still proving themselves capable of delivering market returns across a well-diversified portfolio.


  • Laying the search groundwork: since the client was a first-time investor into private equity, the bfinance team worked closely with its internal management team to provide in-depth education about identifying appropriate options in line with its investment parameters and risk appetite.

  • Expanding the manager universe: bfinance worked closely with firms that wanted to participate in the request for proposals but had no direct experience of working with Shariah-compliant investors.

  • Bringing transparency to potential costs: the growing complexity and lack of transparency surrounding fees and incentives in secondary structures can make it challenging for investors to compare the costs of different offerings; with this in mind, bfinance provided in-depth analysis to support the scoring of different fund offerings.

  • Delivering meaningful quantitative analysis: using its proprietary quantitative methodology, bfinance provided a detailed comparative overview of managers’ track records in what is undeniably a newer part of the private equity market, where benchmarking is limited in depth and composition.