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11 Sep 2008

International regulators and financial industry players continue to join the membership of the IFSB

The Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has resolved to admit Korea's regulatory and supervisory authorities as the latest inclusion to the membership of the IFSB. The admission of the two Korean authorities, together with other new members has increased the IFSB membership to 175.

The newly admitted members are as follows:

1. Financial Services Commission & Financial Supervisory Service, Korea
2. Khaleeji Commercial Bank B.S.C.(c), Bahrain
3. Kuwait International Bank, Kuwait
4. Unicorn International Islamic Bank, Malaysia
5. Commercial Bank of Dubai, United Arab Emirates
6. Deutsche Bank AG, United Arab Emirates
7. Emirates Islamic Bank, United Arab Emirates
8. Tokio Marine Insurance Middle East, United Arab Emirates
9. Gatehouse Bank plc, United Kingdom

The new admissions reflect the continuing interest of the Islamic financial services industry in the work undertaken by the IFSB. The IFSB members now total 175 organisations from 34 jurisdictions comprising 42 regulatory and supervisory authorities, six international inter-governmental organisations and 127 market players and professional firms. The full list of the 175 IFSB members can be seen on Their roles and responsibilities (by category) are detailed in the IFSB Articles of Agreement which is downloadable from the website.

The IFSB is an international standard-setting organisation that promotes and enhances the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry by issuing global prudential standards and guiding principles for the industry, broadly defined to include banking, capital markets and insurance sectors.

Lend America Launches Exit Strategy

Lend America announced the launch of an exit strategy to help leading Wall Street firms and hedge funds quickly monetize their residential mortgage portfolios.

As the 12th largest direct-to-consumer FHA lender in the US, Lend America is offering investors the opportunity to refinance performing mortgage portfolios within 10 days and work with non-performing portfolios to maximize cash flow and deliver a profitable exit strategy.

"Lend America is already working with leading Wall Street firms and hedge funds who are trading and or holding adjustable rate or other performing paper, "commented Michael Ashley, Chief Business Strategist of Lend America. "Because of our significant number of highly trained loan specialist in FHA lending and our ability to place loans directly into GNMA Mortgage Backed Securities, many major investment firms consider Lend America one of the best resources to turn to for help and work with from spreadsheet to closing."

Lend America's model was developed to help any financial institution or investor looking to quickly monetize or improve cash flow from a residential mortgage portfolio.

Ashley continued, "Many investors are looking for instant liquidity or increased cash flow from mortgage investments in this challenging environment."

KP Secutiries and Sophie Capital Join Forces to Raise Funds

Hedge fund managers KP Securities and Sophia Capital Securities announced that they are joining forces, enhancing the 2 firms ability to raise capital for alternative investment managers. The transaction between the two firms was finalized on September 1, 2008.

The new combined company, Belvedere Global Investors LLC, is headquartered in Belvedere, California, a short distance from the San Francisco financial district. The company is a distribution boutique focused on alternative investments. It raises capital for investment manager clients that include hedge, private equity and venture capital funds and funds of funds, as well as for private companies seeking direct investments.

"This transaction will allow our team to continue deepening its geographic coverage of investing clients and fund managers, bringing under one roof a truly global collection of relationships", said Keith Pagan of KP Securities.

Over the past 4 years, the combined team, now run by Keith Pagan and Patrick Beaudan, the principals of Belvedere, has raised over $1.5 billion in capital for alternative investment managers in the U.S., Europe and Asia, working with investors in over 50 different countries.

"The combination of our firms enhances the depth of the professional assets we can deploy in supporting the capital raising efforts of an increasing range of clients in the alternative investment space, while preserving our focus on delivering top-notch investor relations services", said Patrick Beaudan.

As part of its activities, Belvedere also organizes private roundtables, where institutional investors meet select alternative investment managers over the course of a high-quality, one-day event that excludes vendors and the press.