Crescent Group makes senior appointment
Sydney-based Crescent Group has appointed global Islamic finance expert Dr Sayd Farook as Group Head of Strategy to continue the firm’s pioneering of Islamic investing in Australia.
The appointment follows the group’s launch of a five-year strategic plan to grow its assets under management (AUM) to $5 billion by the end of 2026. This will be achieved through the issuance of Islamic-compliant mortgages by group subsidiary Crescent Finance from mid-2022 and through the growth of Crescent Wealth, Australia’s only Islamic-compliant superannuation fund.
Farook has previously worked as the Strategy and Innovation Adviser to the Executive Office of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and was also the Global Head of Islamic Capital Markets for Thomson Reuters (now known as Refinitiv), where he developed the company’s global Islamic finance and capital markets business over five years.
Farook has also been involved with Crescent Wealth for over a decade and was most recently the Executive Director of the Crescent Foundation, a not-for-profit with the mission to raise funds for refugees and the homeless.
Professor Talal Yassine, founder of Crescent Group, said the firm is focused on its next phase of growth which consists of engaging Muslims with high-quality propositions built on top-class infrastructure.
“Dr Farook’s role will be to effectively, and appropriately serve the needs of Crescent Wealth’s 11,000 customers while supporting the growth and execution of the Crescent Finance proposition, harnessing data and analytics throughout the growth journey.
“Combining his experiences incubating and leading large strategic growth initiatives and in global Islamic finance with our leadership position in the Australian market, we believe we can really improve access to financial services for Australia’s Muslims, which have almost reached 1 million,” he said.
Farook said the growth of Crescent Finance and the provision of Islamic-compliant mortgages would help to address the imbalances in the financial services industry experienced by Australian Muslims.
“According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report by Dinar Standard 2021, the total addressable Australian market for Islamically compliant finance and investment is $250 billion. Yet, Muslims in Australia struggle with access to financial services.
“Access to authentically compliant residential finance is a major pain point given the importance and security of having a home to every person.
“That is why I’m so excited to support the Crescent Group in opening up financial security for all Australians by leading the growth strategy of Crescent Wealth and Crescent Finance,” Farook said.