CONNECTIVITY – Increase understanding between the sustainability & ESG focused investment industry and the Islamic financial services industry.
- Organize roundtables, symposia & working groups with global policymakers, market participants & RFI Trustees to shape an analytical perspective.
CONVERGENCE – Share best practice between traditional responsible finance (e.g. socially responsible investing (SRI) and ESG) and Islamic finance supported by data and with specific policy recommendations for implementation of common guidelines to facilitating connectivity between key stakeholders.
- Organize specialized committees, conduct research, draft policy papers, create common guidelines for its members and develop recommendations to promote convergence.
VOICE - Represent the perspectives and solutions of its members within the responsible financial services industry to senior government bodies, policy makers, and institutional investors. The RFI acts as an advocate for regulatory and financial policies that will remove barriers that inhibit the development of responsible finance.
- Attend key policy events to become a benchmark in thought leadership and advocacy to represent the collective views and policies of the responsible finance & investment industry.
ENGAGEMENT - Outreach with institutional investors such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds to understand their requirements to assess appropriately all types of socially responsible financial instruments and institutions (including Islamic instruments and institutions) as a legitimate investable universe.
- Organize large-scale events followed by more focused sessions with institutional investors. Publish digital content and a newsletter/magazine.
EXPANSION - Develop and enhance the number of people who understand the different approaches to socially responsible finance, who recognize the value of the diversity of approaches, and are committed to expanding its footprint across the globe.
- Provide training and advisory services to financial institutions to enhance capacity and develop appropriate systems.
The RFI will organize specialized committees, conduct research, draft policy papers, create guidelines for its members and develop recommendations to promote convergence. The first effort towards these research goals was the Responsible Finance Report released in collaboration with Thomson Reuters (see below to download). This report will be the first of many sources of digital content available to increase the knowledge base about responsible finance as a whole which will later include a magazine (Connect).
RFI plans to produce an annual Global Monitoring Report, which will assess the progress of its goals and communicate the results to its board membership and other stakeholders. This would include, for example, what has been achieved, what can be improved and how to develop areas of focus for the coming year. Included in the Global Monitoring Report will be a white paper will be issued after each annual general meeting to collate and address the issues raised by RFI trustees which will be used to set priorities for the Islamic and responsible finance and investment industry.
The RFI will also develop an index The Responsible Finance Development Indicator (RFDI), to measure the growth of each sector broken down by country, and further identifying high performing countries which provide enabling environments, laws and regulations that support the development of the responsible finance sectors.
Thomson Reuters-RFI Responsible Finance Report
The Thomson Reuters – RFI “Responsible Finance Report” provides an overview of similarities between all sectors within responsible finance (including Islamic finance) and outlines the need to develop and implement regulatory changes and standards that will enhance the availability and growth potential of all sectors of responsible finance. The report was launched at the inaugural Global Ethical Forum in Edinburgh — September 2015.
What is in the Report?
Overview of the history of responsible finance within faith traditions and broadening to include a wider set of environmental, social and governance concerns
Analysis of how responsible investing is correcting perception that responsibility and financial performance are mutually exclusive
Summary of regulatory impediments to the development of responsible finance globally
Identification of a starting point for greater convergence between responsible finance sectors including SRI, ESG and Islamic finance
Quantitative model for asset management opportunity from mutual funds for a ‘prudent ESG’ approach that incorporates Islamic finance and ESG
The initial opportunity for convergence between Islamic finance and ESG in the mutual funds alone is $37.1 billion by 2019
This estimate represents just a fraction of the wider financial market potential for responsible finance to find a market created by greater recognition
Islamic finance and SRI/ESG must balance higher returns or more impact demanded by different investors/asset owners
Within many markets, responsible finance has been able to deliver higher risk-adjusted returns
Integrating ESG with Shariah screened assets represents a key opportunity and could support transparency, disclosure and corporate governance in Muslim-majority emerging markets
The RFI will organize roundtables, symposia & working groups with global policymakers, market participants and RFI Trustees to shape an analytical perspective. These will run throughout the year. In addition to these there will be large-scale events followed by more focused sessions with institutional investors.
These events will position RFI to be a powerful voice representing the perspectives and solutions of its members within the socially responsible financial services industry to senior government bodies, policy makers, and institutional investors. The RFI acts as an advocate for regulatory and financial policies that will remove barriers that inhibit the development of responsible finance.
The RFI will also attend key policy events to become a benchmark in thought leadership and advocacy to represent the collective views and policies of the responsible finance & investment industry.
RFI Summit 2017
May 3-4, 2017 | Hotel Atlantis by Giardino in Zurich, Switzerland
Programme Partner with UNEP-FI at the Global Round Table, Dubai, UAE, 25-26 October 2016
- Values to Value: Green Islamic Finance
RFI Roundtable at the IFN Investor Forum 2016, 21 September 2016
- Does ESG improve Islamic finance?
- Does Islamic finance create positive social impact that ESG cannot?
International Investor - RFI Roundtable
This roundtable looked at the linkages between responsible finance and Islamic finance and the opportunities for greater convergence. This roundtable was first published in The Edge on December 5, 2016.
Keynotes Day 1: Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz & Georg Kell
Panel 1: Going the distance - Hot money versus patient capital
Panel 2: Addressing popular perceptions of responsible finance
Panel 3: Integrated reporting & Islamic finance – Addressing impact
Panel 4: CEO One-on-One - How can Islamic finance support and develop responsible finance?
Panel 5: The impact of leadership and policy in developing responsible finance
Keynotes Day 2: HRH Sanusi
Panel 6: Measuring the impact of responsible investment and reporting to stakeholders
Panel 7: Harnessing techies for good: Broadening the base of finance through the use of technology
Panel 8: Connecting with the man on the street: Expanding responsible finance at the retail level
Panel 9: How can impact investing become more prominent within responsible finance?