I am in Bahrain for the (rather long named) World Islamic Funds Management and Capital Markets Conference. This morning we had the opening “Executive Summary” to set the scene. They touched on a few points I hope will be expanded over the next couple of days, but one point in particular I thought important.

From the figures presented, the focus so far in he development of the industry has been on selling in the wholesale markets and to high net worth individuals. From a funds management side at least there has been very little work on selling to the (so-called) mass affluent – those with liquid investable funds of less than USD 50K. Where there is selling to this demographic it seems to be just a sales focus – “Here is a fund, it is Sharia compliant so buy it”, rather than a marketing focus.

I believe this is happening mostly due to the immaturity of the market – there are not many products out there, but I would be interested in any reactions or your own experiences

on this point.