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Wafra Named Euromoney’s Best Islamic Fund Manager

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NEW YORK, May 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Wafra Inc. (“Wafra”), the global alternative investment firm, today announced Euromoney has recognized Wafra’s Global Sukuk Team as its Best Islamic Fund Manager1 at the Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards 2024. The award recognizes Wafra’s performance and contribution to the Islamic finance and investment community during 2023. Wafra’s Global Sukuk Strategy is co-managed by Ron Solenske and Elias Scheker Da Silva, within Wafra’s broader Portfolio Solutions offering for its institutional investors.

The Wafra Global Sukuk Strategy uses a comprehensive research and analytical-driven investment approach that seeks to outperform industry benchmarks and deliver consistent returns. The Global Sukuk Strategy is designed to deliver Sharia-compliant fixed income-like exposure while also seeking to outperform on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis. In addition to the investment team’s combined experience of over 40 years, Wafra’s Global Sukuk Strategy features a Shariah board to ensure its adherence to the principles of Islamic Finance.

“This recognition is a direct result of our innovative investment philosophy, rooted in the systematic implementation of quantitative frameworks, and our contribution to the growth of the industry as a whole. We are honored to receive this award. Our efforts are not just about delivering strong performance, but about advancing growth and innovation in the Islamic Finance industry,” said Elias Scheker Da Silva.

The Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards showcase Islamic finance institutions that have demonstrated outstanding performance in their respective categories in the past 12 months. The awards are judged by a panel of Euromoney journalists and researchers and are awarded after a research and interview process. The winners were announced at the Euromoney Middle East Awards for Excellence ceremony held in Dubai on May 22, 2024.

About Wafra

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Wafra is a global alternative investment manager with approximately $30 billion of assets under management across a range of alternative assets, including strategic partnerships, real estate, and real assets. By providing flexible and accretive capital solutions and focusing on long-term partnerships, Wafra aligns and partners with high quality asset owners, companies, and management teams. Headquartered in New York, Wafra has additional offices in London and Bermuda.

For more information please visit, https://www.wafra.com/

Media Contacts

Diana Estupinan
Managing Director and Head of MENA, Prosek Partners
[email protected] 
+971 58 534 3668

1The accolade noted herein is independently determined and awarded by Euromoney and represents the opinions of the publisher and not those of Wafra. There can be no assurance that other publishers or market participants would reach the same conclusion. The Euromoney Islamic finance awards are judged by a panel made up of Euromoney’s journalists and research team. Award decisions are based on an evaluation of criteria including, but not limited to new or enhanced products and services, highlighted deals, digital solutions and technology, environmental social and governance, financial performance, business development and transformation. Additional information can be found on the Euromoney website at https://www.euromoney.com/islamic-finance-awards-home. Wafra is a sponsor of Euromoney’s Islamic Finance Awards 2024 conference.

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InScope secures $4.3m to revolutionise financial reporting and auditing

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InScope, a newly launched FinTech company, has successfully raised $4.3 million to expand its innovative financial reporting and auditing platform.

According to PYMNTS, the funding round included significant contributions from prominent investors such as Lightspeed and Better Tomorrow Ventures.

InScope is focused on transforming the traditional processes of financial reporting and auditing for private companies. The company leverages advanced technologies, including generative AI and large language models, to automate and streamline the compilation of financial statements—tasks that have historically been prone to errors and required extensive manual effort.

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The new capital will be used to enhance InScope’s platform capabilities. The company aims to shift accountants’ focus from laborious manual tasks to more strategic initiatives, thereby empowering finance professionals with tools to complete reporting and auditing tasks quickly and efficiently.

InScope’s system compiles data from a company’s core systems, such as ERP, along with publicly available information, and transforms these inputs into GAAP-compliant financial and audit documents.

InScope CEO and co-founder Mary Antony stated, “Our technology dramatically reduces the time and effort required for financial reporting and auditing, eliminating the need for outdated manual processes.” Her co-founder and COO, Kelsey Gootnick, also emphasized the transformative potential of InScope, which they conceived out of their own frustrations with existing financial processes.

The company has already begun collaborating with a select group of companies to refine and enhance their financial reporting capabilities. JC Bahr-de Stefano, a venture capital investor at Better Tomorrow Ventures, commented on this partnership: “InScope is already working with a handful of companies to help streamline their financial reporting needs and enable accountants to complete their reporting tasks in minutes instead of months.”

Source: fintech.global

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Citi extends USD Clearing service to Middle East in partnership with Emirates NBD

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Citi has partnered with Dubai-based banking group Emirates NBD to launch its USD Clearing service in the Middle East.

Through this collaboration, Emirates NBD will offer the USD Clearing service, along with its commercial and treasury payment execution capabilities, to corporate and retail clients via its branch networks in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This service will enable clients to make cross-border USD payments with continuous availability, addressing current payment flow challenges posed by varying transaction cut-off times in the UAE.

“The introduction of 24/7 USD Clearing will support the growth ambitions of our clients by giving them the ability to seamlessly transfer funds in a timely manner without having to worry about cutoffs and holidays,” said Ahmed Al Qassim, group head of wholesale banking at Emirates NBD.

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Following the initial launch, the service will be extended to all Emirates NBD branches in the Middle East and globally, including partnerships with third-party institutions.

According to its website, Emirates NBD currently operates 853 branches in the UAE, Egypt, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UK, Austria, Germany, Russia, and Bahrain.

Shahmir Khaliq, Citi’s head of services, described the collaboration as “an important step in our journey to creating a multibank solution that is designed to deliver an end-to-end, ‘always on’ experience for participant banks and their customers.”

“Our 24/7 USD Clearing service is a clear differentiator in the market,” Khaliq continued. “It demonstrates the full value of our globally leading cross-border payments and clearing capabilities, which enable our clients to make payments faster and in a more efficient and transparent manner.”

Source: fintechfutures.com

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New partnership between BIS and MAS targets climate risks in finance

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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have recently collaborated on an innovative initiative.

The BIS, an institution dedicated to fostering international monetary and financial cooperation, and the MAS, Singapore’s central bank responsible for monetary policy, financial regulation, and supervision, have teamed up to tackle a pressing global challenge.

Their partnership aims to develop a blueprint for a climate risk platform designed to integrate regulatory and climate data. This platform will enable financial authorities worldwide to better identify, monitor, and manage climate-related risks within the financial system.

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The BIS, through its Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore, is addressing financial stability concerns posed by climate change. The MAS adds its regulatory expertise and focus on sustainable finance to the effort. Both institutions recognize the complex challenges posed by climate change, including significant data gaps and the difficulty of assessing associated risks.

Project Viridis, led by the BIS Innovation Hub, outlines the essential features and metrics of the proposed climate risk platform. This platform is designed to provide comprehensive data on financed emissions, exposure to physical risks, and forward-looking assessments under various climate scenarios. As the impact of climate change on global financial markets escalates, adaptive and innovative responses are necessary.

The partnership also leverages advanced technologies such as natural language processing to extract and analyze climate-related data from corporate disclosures. This enables a deeper understanding of financial institutions’ climate-related risks and identifies potential areas requiring more intensive risk assessment.

Maha El Dimachki, head of the BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre, stated, “Project Viridis demonstrates how regulatory data can be integrated with climate data, extracted from corporate disclosure documents using natural language processing techniques. This provides authorities with insights into climate-related financial risks, helping them form an initial view of financial institutions’ risk exposures and identify areas that may require deeper risk assessment.”

Source: fintech.global

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