A specialist financial services group is launching Australia’s first advice network to cater to Islamic customers, with plans to grow the dealer group up to 200 authorised representatives.
In a statement, Hejaz Financial Services said it was launching the Hejaz Financial Advisers Network to assist Muslim clients with growing their wealth in a Sharia-compliant way.
Traditional Islamic beliefs forbid the use of financial products that pay or receive interest, as well as a number of other ethical screens including alcohol and non-Halal food products.
“Muslims are a growing but underserved financial services market in Australia,” Hejaz chief executive Hakan Ozyon said.
“To date, they have not been able to access specialist advice or products designed to help them achieve their financial goals in a way that reflects their religious faith.
“By establishing a network of advisers who deeply understand the customers they serve, Hejaz is helping to make wealth management more accessible to Islamic communities.
“We believe we are also setting an example at a time when questions have been raised about how aligned advisers are to their clients’ needs.”
The group said it would initially look to recruit around 50 advisers – from Islamic and non-Islamic backgrounds – to the network within the first 12 months, with plans to ultimately grow to between 150 and 200 authorised representatives.
To lead the development of the network, Hejaz had recruited former AMP governance manager Susan Wolff as its new general manager of wealth management.
Ms Wolff was most recently chief operating officer for trustee company MSC Group.
“Hejaz is taking steps to make wealth creation more customer-centric. The market potential here is enormous – Muslim Australians are diligent savers and, given the choice, will always gravitate to financial products that align with their faith and values,” Ms Wolff said.
“I am pleased to be joining Hakan and the leadership team as Hejaz continues to create innovative new funds and solutions to everyday problems. A laser focus on what our Muslim and non-Muslim customers are actually looking for is exactly what the industry needs.”
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