Religion and capitalism make uneasy bedfellows and by and large the two would much rather have nothing to do with each other. However, deities are nothing if not unpredictable and even the most devout of followers may want to make provision against an inconveniently prolonged sojourn in this temporal realm.
There are around two million Muslims in Britain and under Islamic law they are prohibited from interest-paying investments, as this is regarded as usury. Investments in pornography, alcohol, gambling, and non-halal meat products are forbidden. It has been nearly impossible for Muslims to use any form of conventional pension, until now.
The Parsoli Sipp has brought together a product which appears to address this market, albeit at quite a high price. The Sipp management is provided by PPML. Its parent company Winterthur has been bedevilled by poor Sipp admin although it claims that it has put its house in order.
The fund management is provided by Fiona Orford-Williams of Gerrard. Her track record in managing the Gerrard ethical fund looks patchy and, given the very restrictive investment brief for this fund, it is hard to see the fund outperforming other ethical investments, let alone the wider market.
The beauty of this product is it does not matter that you are paying fees that are way over the top or that it will probably turn up at the bottom of league tables more often than Shrewsbury Town Football Club. It is a new and unique, commission-paying product to offer to two million potential buyers.
Thomas McPhail is head of pensions at Torquil Clark