Key Factors When Deciding Between Offshore Domiciles for Establishing Shari’a‑Compliant PE Funds

Offshore fund structures in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands have been the primary means for establishing Shari’a funds since the 1990s. While that remains the case, other offshore jurisdictions – including in the Middle East – are also becoming popular with managers looking to offer Shari’a funds. This evolution is driven, at least in part, by several different concerns specific to funds formed in compliance with Shari’a law, including regulatory oversight and the availability of affordable leverage that complies with Islamic finance requirements. In a guest article, Appleby partner Robert Varley reviews various factors to consider when choosing an offshore domicile for establishing a Shari’a-compliant PE fund, certain vehicles available for that purpose, regulatory considerations, the role of leverage in the process and a forecast of future trends in the formation of Shari’a-compliant funds. See “How PE Sponsors Can Tailor Traditional PE Funds for Shari’a-Compliant Investors” (Oct. 1, 2019); and “Why and How Do Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Funds, Pension Funds and High Net Worth Individuals Invest in Private Funds?” (Jun. 6, 2013).

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