Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (February 15, 2012) —Saturna Capital Corporation, a US investment management company and parent company to Kuala Lumpur-based Saturna Sdn. Bhd., has been named "Best Asset Management Company (Americas)" by Islamic Finance News based on results of its 2011 Islamic Investor Poll. Over 200 of the Islamic investment industry's leading players, consisting of institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, high net worth individuals, and insurance companies, cast votes in 11 asset management categories. Saturna Capital received the award during the IFN Awards ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur on February 15.
"We would like to thank our peers in the Islamic finance industry who have honored us with this prestigious recognition," said Monem Salam, president of Saturna Sdn. Bhd. and deputy portfolio manager of the US-based, Amana Mutual Funds managed according to Islamic guidelines.
"There is growing recognition in the Islamic finance community that US market exposure is essential, especially given the lackluster performance of emerging markets last year, and the lingering uncertainties of European markets," pointed out Salam. He added that Saturna is one of the few firms with deep expertise and a long track record of success in Islamic compliant US investing, and is focused on increasing delivery of its investment services on a global scale to meet demand.
While Islamic finance is still considered a niche industry, assets under Islamic management are widely estimated to top US$1 trillion worldwide. A 2010 Pew Research Center study entitled The Future of the Global Muslim Population suggests that demand for Islamic asset management will continue to grow in the coming years. The study forecasts a 35% increase in the world's Muslim population over the next 20 years, which is twice the growth rate of the non-Muslim population. Saturna Sdn. Bhd. received a Capital Markets Services License in 2010 from the Malaysian Securities Commission to conduct Islamic fund management.
Its parent company Saturna Capital, best known as investment adviser to the US-based Amana Mutual Funds Trust, has garnered recognition both within and outside the US as a premier fund manager. The Amana Income and Amana Growth Funds' excellent long-term track records have helped the Funds find appeal outside of the Muslim community and expand their investor base in United States.
Nicholas Kaiser, founder of Saturna Capital and portfolio manager of the Amana Funds, pioneered Islamic investing in the US mutual fund industry with the launch of the Amana Income Fund 25 years ago. Today, Amana Income and Amana Growth have grown to become the world's largest Islamic equity funds open to the public. The Amana Funds, including the Amana Developing World Fund launched in 2009, total over $3.5 billion in assets as of January 2012.
Saturna Capital developed its Islamic investment process with guidance from the Fiqh Council of North America to ensure that investments of the Amana Funds meet the requirements of the Islamic faith. Refined over two decades, Saturna's process includes a proprietary Islamic grading system applied to over 12,000 equities in its research database and integrated into its ongoing management and Islamic compliance monitoring of the Amana portfolios.