On a surprisingly bright and mild February afternoon, The Muslim Wealth Portal paid a visit to Imam Qazi, Partner at Foot Anstey in Bristol.
The view from their office’s upper floor provided a panoramic vantage of one of Brunel’s last remaining original Victorian rail stations in Britain. Temple Meads isn’t going to be electrified anytime soon but judging by the rate at which the West of England has been securing Islamic Finance based Foreign Direct Investment in the last few years, shaving 20 minutes off a train journey from London Paddington may not affect this very much.
Imam has been with Foot Anstey for 7 years now and spent 14 years prior to that at a neighbouring law firm (neighbouring being the operative word here as Imam’s previous employer is based in the building next door). It’s fair to say between the two firms, hundreds of millions of pounds worth of Islamic Finance investment deals, primarily property based, have been advised upon, with a significant amount benefitting the Bristol and Bath region.
We plan to catch-up with Imam again later this year – perhaps on one of his periodic 100km cycling excursions – but until then, it is worth noting there are some interesting and exciting developments on the horizon for Foot Anstey. A number of their recent clients have been looking at developing disruptive technologies and that’s about as much we can say about that for now. The business as usual activity continues however, with Imam keeping busy through discussions with foreign clients looking to invest in the UK.
Foot Anstey are very much considered as the local experts by their clients. However, their expertise also extends to working with indigenous clients who are launching mainstream finance products for the UK market and not necessarily targeted at Muslim people. Rather, these solutions are aimed at everyone and as they are ethical by nature, ultimately have universal appeal. And that is the fundamental point about Islamic Finance: you do not need to be Muslim to access these specialist and ethical products and services.
The Muslim Wealth Portal is really keen to know more about one particular start-up that’s looking to help people get on the property ladder. After all, that is what the purpose of our website is; to act a resource for consumers and businesses in the UK, looking to manage wealth more ethically and responsibly. As soon as we know more, you’ll be the first to hear.