(Falls Church, VA, May 15, 2017) — Investment advisor Azzad Asset Management has announced a new investment strategy for its mid-cap growth Azzad Ethical Fund (ticker: ADJEX) that makes it the first halal mid-cap enhanced index fund in the United States. Launched in 2000, ADJEX is an ethically screened mid-cap growth mutual fund sub-advised by Chicago-based Ziegler Capital Management. Last month, Ziegler and Azzad implemented an adjusted investment strategy for the fund that increases the number of stocks in the fund and reduces its expected tracking error.
“We still hold more of stocks we believe have the potential to outperform, but in smaller increments and with greater diversification,” said ADJEX Portfolio Manager Christian Greiner, CFA, of Ziegler Capital Management. “We believe this will result in lower day-to-day variation in the fund’s performance from the benchmark without sacrificing the potential to outperform the benchmark over time.”
“We wanted the primary driver of the fund’s returns to be the firm’s ethical screening criteria rather than larger positions in individual stocks,” said Azzad Vice President Jamal Barmil. “An enhanced indexing strategy allows us to do that. As a result, the fund’s exposure is now spread across a larger number of ethically-screened stocks with high quantitative scores as determined by Ziegler’s proprietary model.”
The Azzad Ethical Fund is invested according to halal, socially responsible criteria. Potential investments are screened to exclude companies that profit from interest, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, weapons, prisons, war/international conflict, hydraulic fracturing, and other areas that cause societal or environmental harm. Companies with high debt ratios are also excluded.
Azzad also engages in shareholder advocacy on behalf of Azzad Ethical Fund investors in accordance with the company’s ethical proxy voting guidelines.
Azzad Asset Management, investment advisor to the Azzad Funds and sponsor of the Azzad Ethical Wrap Program, is committed to providing investment services designed to help people enjoy optimum performance without compromising their values. Azzad is a member of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions.
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