A Principled Approach to Financial Investments
Many institutional investors have long-expressed their social, political and religious values through their investment policies, most prominently in the last two decades. Consumers do so through their purchases of products and services.
Investors do so as well, applying a variety of screening criteria to their investment considerations in order to promote their social and religious values. Their selection or rejection of companies for investments can be based, in part, on those companies’ practices regarding such subjects as global warming, employee working conditions, personal business conduct, or their involvement with products such as tobacco or armaments. Such institutional investors describe their practices under a number of names: faith-based investing, values-based investing, ethical investing, and socially responsible investing (SRI).
One prominent example of a values-based organization promoting its values is the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of 275 faith-based institutional investors. The organization was effective in forming a broad movement to persuade other institutional investors, such as Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and the University of California, to redirect billions of dollars of investments away from companies that did business with South Africa, thus helping bring about the end of apartheid in that country.
A critical part of values-based investing is the ability to find suitable investments in which institutional investors can meet their risk-return and other goals yet still advance and adhere to their ethical values. Providing socially responsible investments and consumer finance products is Guidance Financial Group’s corporate mission.
At Guidance, we specialize in one particular area of values-based finance: creating, managing and providing investment opportunities for institutional investors who want investments that adhere to the tenets of Islamic law. These investments are known as “Shariah compliant” because they meet the strict requirements of human and business conduct expressed in the Koran and the teachings of the Prophet and practiced by millions of Muslims throughout the world.
We combine sophisticated financial acumen and a deep grounding in business and Islamic Finance to meet our mission. We, and many members of our experienced staff in prior roles, have been a pioneer in Islamic Finance, creating unique Shariah compliant companies, investments, products and services in the asset classes of private equity, real estate and fixed income. Our investment products have helped satisfy the needs and desires of Islamic institutional investors and consumers specifically and helped advance the field of Islamic Finance and values-based investing generally.