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Governance and Risk in Islamic Investing

Governance and Risk in Islamic Investing

By Kurt Lieberman and Daud Vicary | June 30, 2018

Governance and Risk in Islamic Investing

Both of us have had careers in finance for much of our adult lives, and that's why we want these blog posts to help you connect ethics with finance and investing; especially Islamic finance.

The attractiveness of an investment can be evaluated by looking at the prospects for return and the degree of risk. An attractive investment is one where the likely returns are high, and the perceived risks are low. When two investments have comparable prospects, but one has less risk, the less risky option is the better choice. is about Islamic finance, which has guidance on risk and the nature of investments that are halal. Halal projects tend to be those based on real assets with shared risk and a lack of synthetic financial structures. Even Shariah-compliant investments will still have differing combinations of return and risk.

What can be done to help lower risks and hence make the return prospects more attractive? Given the prior blog posts, you can probably identify the answer: governance. Good governance helps reduce the probability of bad things happening, while also helping to decrease the likely impact of bad things when they do happen.

For companies, good governance means strong relationships with all stakeholders; programs and controls to help maintain those relationships; and, a lot of transparency so that actions inconsistent with good governance can be identified quickly. For countries, good governance means a strong legal, regulatory, financial, and economic infrastructure where disputes can be adjudicated in an objective manner, along with a high degree of transparency and honesty to avoid, or at least minimize, corruption.

Companies with good governance have tended to have stronger shareholder returns. At a country level, the stock markets of countries with good governance have also tended to have stronger returns. There is also increasing evidence that companies and countries with good governance tend to have a better environmental track record and greater social justice.

For Islamic investing, the implications of good governance are important. Shariah compliance removes haram. That step should be the starting point for Islamic investing, but not the end of investment considerations. Islam encourages good governance. Selecting investments based on governance is consistent with Islamic guidance and makes the world a better place, while also providing the opportunity for superior returns.

As we have in prior posts, we will end with what each of us can do. The most important task is to encourage good governance at all levels. Participate in democratic processes and encourage candidates who will strengthen governance. Choose to work for companies with better governance and help your company improve its governance. These actions are also likely to improve your career opportunities. Good governance extends beyond companies and countries. It includes religious organizations, social organizations, charities, and schools. These actions to strengthen governance help to build strong foundations and start virtuous cycles.

Improving governance makes it easier to be relevant, with trust being established more quickly, while impact can occur on a larger scale. In addition to #RTI, these actions can help improve investment returns and also lower risk.


Kurt and Daud

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Nisar Ahmed 1 year ago
Accounts Officer, Shaheen Freight Services

Exactly and really knowledgeable. (edited)

CEO, Magni Global

We are glad you are enjoying these posts!

Clinical unit head/Medical Officer, Premier Screening&Wellness Centre KPJ Healthcare Johor Specialist Hospital

Totally agreed with you, Sir.
Good governance is the key to a healthy Islamic Investment in this global economic uncertainties time. (edited)

CEO, Magni Global

Thank you! It is. I live in the United States. Good governance is also an area where we can work to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims. The major religions share a common view on good governance. Far too many Americans form their views of Islam from what is in the press and what is on social media. (edited)

student, student

i would like to share the information with my community; Hausa speaking people, one of the most spoken languages in west Africa. what do see? (edited)

Managing Director, DVA Consulting Sdn Bhd

Feel free to share and thanks for all your feedback

CEO, Magni Global

Agree! Please let us know what feedback you get. We want our posts shared.

Nassar Nordin 1 year ago
Head of Unit, MPIC

A good point of view from practitioner's perspective sir. If I may add good governance plus highest integrity :) (edited)

CEO, Magni Global

Well said!

Interest free banking marketing expert , Cooperative Bank of Oromia (S.C.)

it is nice well put (edited)

CEO, Magni Global

Thank you!