FintechNews.sg has announced that AGDelta has been featured as one of the 29 Hottest Fintechs operating in Singapore for 2019!
The media’s specialised reporting has provided them an unparalleled view of the emerging trends and players in fintech space. The top 29 fintechs have been determined after tracking the performance and announcements from hundreds of Singaporean based fintech companies.
AG Delta is a B2B2C fintech company that digitally connects the wealth management and the investment product provider ecosystem. Via their digital wealth platform, the aim is to provide a mix of digital executions, regulatory compliance and A I capabilities that can be extended across their network to financial intermediaries.”
Former JPMorgan Chase Executive Director, David Roy, joins the AGDelta team in Hong Kong
David brings almost three decades’ experience in the financial services sector, and will focus on developing digital solutions to address many of the challenges the industry faces today
AGDelta, the award-winning Asia-based B2B2C FinTech firm that connects the financial products supply chain, announces the appointment of David Roy as Managing Director – Product Management, based in Hong Kong. David comes from the leading global private bank, JPMorgan Chase. He has worked in both private banking and asset management technology in Asia, in Europe and in the USA across disciplines such as trading, compliance, data management and project delivery. David will be based in AGDelta’s Centre of Excellence in Hong Kong, where he will further develop AGDelta’s Digital Wealth Platform.
“With over 26 years’ experience in financial services business and technology globally, I have seen first-hand the obstacles that hamper the investment management industry” comments David. “I have found that one of the biggest challenges was making sense of the many different ideas that are generated, most of which are sent out using email. Because people receive so many emails on a daily basis, many of these great ideas go unread, reducing the impact that an organisation’s strategists and idea generators could have. Matching an idea to the appropriate client is also challenging and very time consuming. An efficient system to centralise ideas, enable automated client recommendations and measure the effectiveness of the published ideas is critical to making the best use of the intellectual capital generated by a company.
“Handling this deluge of data is frustrating for the front office staff dealing with clients. Previously, when I was leading a team trying to find an appropriate solution to this challenge, a former colleague said something that continues to stick in my mind, ‘I don’t know what I want, but I know I want it when I see it’. This is where AGDelta can really make a difference. Through its Digital Wealth Platform, the idea generator can easily create and publish ideas. The consumers of this information can quickly view and filter the content on an easy to use display, evaluate which clients are most suitable for each idea and then send the ideas with the most potential to their clients for consideration”.
David’s expertise spans the product development lifecycle, from the initial idea to design, development, implementation and support of the ultimate solution. He has lead global projects for companies that include JP Morgan Private Bank, Putnam Investments and Standard Chartered Bank, and has worked for leading consultancies, such as Sapient Global Markets, helping financial institutions to transform the way they do business.
“David will be joining AGDelta’s Centre of Excellence at an exciting time for AGDelta”, adds AGDelta CEO, Andrew Au, continuing, “We have gone from strength to strength over the past few years and regulators and financial institutions have come to realise the benefits that Digital Wealth Platforms, coupled with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), brings to the industry. Despite a massive growth in wealth in the region, only a fraction of that is actively invested and much of this is due to inefficient processes and the burdens of regulation. David understands this first hand, having worked in some of the world’s top institutions, and will bring considerable breadth of experience and expertise to AGDelta, helping us in our goal of making financial investments, services and advice more accessible, safer and smarter, by digitising the wealth ecosystem”
AGDelta has handled over USD$1.5 trillion worth of financial investment product transactions and addresses all regulatory requirements in 15 markets globally. The company most recently won the Gold FinTech Award at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2018, and the MAS FinTech Awards (Singapore SME) at the 2017 FinTech Awards.
Financial Dictionary: In risk management, the act or strategy of adding more investments to one’s portfolio to hedge against the investments already in it. Ideally, this reduces the risk inherent in any one investment, and increases the possibility of making a profit, or at least avoiding a loss. This may also reduce the expected return on a portfolio, but it depends on level and type of diversification. In general, broader diversification equates to less risk and less return.
In the past, most investors have had to content themselves with investing in local financial products. Local means being closer to market and, thus, able to make potentially necessary decisions with regards to the portfolio of assets.
But as Maggie Ng, CEO and founder of FinEX Asia, will attest there are opportunities to be gained in investing in financial providers overseas – provided of course that the investor is able to make informed analysis of risks associated with those financial products.
The financial landscape has changed considerably 10 years since the global financial crisis of 2008. McKinsey estimate that cross-border capital flows have shrunk by 65%, from US$12.4 trillion to US$4.3 trillion (see Figure 1).
Despite the decline, Mckinsey noted that financial globalization is not dead and that advanced economies and international financial centers remain highly integrated into the global system. The potential risks remain with capital flows remaining volatile.
In the report “The New dynamics of Financial Globalization” McKinsey point to new digital platforms, blockchain and machine learning as creating new channels for cross-border capital flows and further broader participation.
“Banks need to harness the power of digital and respond to financial technology companies or Fintechs, adapt business models to new regulation, improve risk management, and review their global strategies. Regulators will need to continue to monitor old risks and find new tools to cope with volatility, while creating a more resilient risk architecture and keeping pace with rapid technological change,” noted the consultant.
Fintech Innovation spoke to AGDelta’s CEO, Andrew Au, about the challenges that investors and financial advisors, must addressed as they consider the rewards that will come with cross-border investing.
He cited issues like local regulation, evolving RegTech innovations, and the emergence of regional passports such as the Asia Region Funds Passport, as considerations investors must look into when assessing the risk-rewards of cross-border investing.
Thirdrock Group to implement AGDelta’s Digital Wealth Platform to compliance-proof their advisory service and increase productivity
Investment in technology is an appreciation of the changes in the wealth management landscape, and the new ‘digital’ client
SINGAPORE – 22 March 2018 AGDelta and leading independent investment management firm, Thirdrock Group (Thirdrock) announces today a partnership that will digitalise the investment management firm’s product platform through AGDelta’s Digital Wealth solution.
The Digital Wealth Platform will be fully integrated into Thirdrock’s existing technological architecture and augment the firm’s wealth management, wealth planning, client relationship, risk analysis and compliance capabilities. Integrated tools that allow Client Advisors to manage client relationships and portfolios more effectively, combined with the Digital Wealth Platform’s high-powered compliance monitoring process, will empower Thirdrock’s Client Advisors and enhance their value proposition. With centralised risk management, reporting and analysis, Thirdrock’s clients will also benefit from a clear overview of their portfolio and an ability to drill down to gain a deeper understanding of their assets.
In addition, the platform leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data analytics, proactively identifying relevant investment opportunities for Thirdrock’s Client Advisors, Portfolio Managers, and their end clients. This will allow for real-time access to different advice and market information, while synthesizing and distilling the information, leading to sharper investment strategies to enhance portfolio performance.
Says Melvyn Yeo, Executive Partner and Investment Committee Chair of Thirdrock, “We understood early on that we had to embrace digitisation and have been actively seeking cutting-edge technological solutions that can meet increasingly onerous regulatory demands and allow us to provide superior client service.”
Yeo adds, “Our clients today expect more from their wealth managers and AGDelta’s award-winning Digital Wealth Platform meets our needs in terms of faster service, more choices with greater accessibility and enhancing the framework in making good risk-adjusted investment decisions for their portfolios.”
Thirdrock works with numerous custodian banks, buy-side institutions and research houses for investment research and trade ideas, which is currently manually filtered for house views. This process will be entirely automated, with information immediately filtered and auto-tagged to product offerings in their product shelf which are compliance-proofed from a suitability and MIFID2 perspective. AGDelta’s Digital Wealth Platform strives to encapsulate research and trade ideas around Thirdrock’s Investment Committee views and is expected to be fully deployed at Thirdrock by Q3 this year.
“AGDelta’s Digital Wealth Platform will bolster Thirdrock’s investment management capabilities and help the firm consolidate its position as one of Asia’s largest external asset managers by AUM,” says Andrew Au, CEO of AGDelta, adding, “AGDelta removes barriers to executing financial investments and makes them more suitable, safer and appropriate. Additionally, our platform allows Thirdrock’s team to execute deals with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they are in compliance and adhering to all relevant regulations.”
AGDelta is an award-winning Singapore-based company that makes financial investments, services and advice more accessible, safer and smarter, by digitising the wealth ecosystem. AGDelta achieves this by connecting buyers and sellers of financial investment products through its Digital Wealth Platform, bridging the financial supply chain. The Digital Wealth Platform employs Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics to enable the identification of more relevant investment opportunities, and leverages RegTech to address compliance in 15 market jurisdictions, removing barriers to investment and ensuring suitability and appropriateness across complex cross border settings. AGDelta is one of the largest B2B financial investment platforms in Asia, handling over USD$1.5 trillion worth of financial investment product transactions. Visit www.agdelta.com for more information.
About Thirdrock Group
Thirdrock is an award-winning independent investment management group headquartered in Singapore, with a focus on servicing and advising accredited high net worth investors and corporate clients globally. Thirdrock Capital, the principal operating company of Thirdrock Group, holds a Capital Markets Services License under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289) issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Founded in 2010, Thirdrock leverages its unique platform to provide truly independent, innovative and tailored investment solutions. Thirdrock’s investment management capabilities extends also to a funds management platform and corporate advisory services via a strategic partnership with Thirdrock ISSEA.
Backed by a comprehensive technology platform powered for high-impact investment insight, portfolio analysis, client management, as well as compliance and risk management, Thirdrock is an institutional-grade wealth manager founded on a robust operational infrastructure, sound risk management and rigorous investment processes.
Ellerton and Co for AGDelta
Oliver Ellerton firstname.lastname@example.org
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Award presented by Hong Kong Monetary Authority for the Banking, Insurance & Capital Market segment
Awards recognises AGDelta’s application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve financial services industry’s last mile challenges
SINGAPORE 15 March 2018 – AGDelta has won the Gold FinTech Award at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2018. The awards, presented by Nelson Chow, Chief Fintech Officer, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), steered by the Office of the Hong Kong Government Chief Information Officer, and organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers, recognises AGDelta’s excellence and applications for the Banking, Insurance and Capital Markets categories, in particular the Artificial Intelligence (AI) framework built into its Digital Wealth Platform, making financial investments and advice more accessible, safer and smarter. AGDelta won one of three main awards in its category, the Gold FinTech Award (Banking, Insurance and Capital Market stream), and were selected by a 13 judge panel that included leaders from HKMA, EY, PwC, Accenture, and the University of Hong Kong among others.
“AGDelta’s Digital Wealth Platform allows private banks and wealth managers to overcome those last mile challenges that they currently face in getting their products accepted by bank gate-keepers and distributed to front-line bankers” says Andrew Au, CEO of AGDelta, adding “We do this through Case Based Reasoning (CBR) which references past cases, and applies AI to solve situational problems, and create suitable recommendations based on actual data. We are able to share trusted and compliant investment ideas anytime and anywhere, which is then combined with the ability to execute trades and orders quickly and efficiently, and a high-powered compliance monitoring process. The result is financial investment choices that are more accessible, safer, and relevant”.
AGDelta was established in 2008 following the Global Financial Crisis which saw a ballooning of rules and regulations governing the financial services industry. Designed to avoid a repeat of the crash, financial regulations also served to make life difficult for bankers, who have found it increasingly hard to provide personalised financial investment recommendations that were suitable for their clients. AGDelta solves this challenge through its Digital Wealth Platform, which automates the compliance process and incorporates AI to provide recommended products and strategies based on a client’s profile, existing clients that have similar character traits and past cases.
AGDelta went live in Hong Kong in 2011 and has now handled over USD$1.5 trillion worth of financial investment product transactions, and currently has 10,000 users in 15 countries across retail, wealth and private banking client segments.
The Hong Kong ICT Awards aims at recognising and promoting outstanding information and communications technology (ICT) inventions and applications, thereby encouraging innovation and excellence among Hong Kong’s ICT talents and enterprises in their constant pursuit of creative and better solutions to meet business and social needs. AGDelta’s Gold FinTech Award was organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers, and the award stream recognises banking, insurance, and capital market software solutions that bring valuable innovation to increase efficiency when processing compensation payments, managing existing infrastructures or monitoring loans.
Barriers within the financial investment supply chain keeping are a lid on active investments, and need to be overcome if Asia is to realise its full potential
The investment scene in Asia, by any stretch of the imagination, seems to be booming. It is estimated that by 2025 Assets Under Management (AuM) in the region will have more than doubled – rising to US$29.6 trillion (between 2016-2025). Not a week goes by when another news article highlights the growth potential of Asia, proclaiming it the engine of the world relative to the slow-growth West.
However, various structural elements have stymied investments in the region, lowering the amount of investments despite the huge potential. In Asia there is currently around US$15 trillion worth of AuM, my guess is given the regions size and growth, this should be higher, but for fundamental inefficiencies in the financial investment supply chain.
Regulations, silos and expectations
The most obvious reason is compliance. The cost of compliance is soaring, taking up masses of energy, resources and cost. Globally it is estimated that banks spend over $100 billion on compliance per year, spend approximately $320 billion in fines and hire tens of thousands of staff dedicated solely to compliance, from executives on $1 million+ a year salaries to low skilled workers doing data entry.
Yet there are other reasons why Asian wealth has not been fully unlocked. Modern banking structures are still too siloed and bureaucratic, further raising costs and creating inefficiencies. Some banks are burdened with older IT systems that are unwieldy and inflexible, leaving a lack of interoperability between departments, further harming cross-communication and provoking a turf mentality.
Furthermore, investor expectations have changed, with many now demanding full transparency and disclosure (even regulations, such as MiFID II, require research costs to be disclosed), and expect speed as well as choice and accessibility. This raises costs and burdens on banks.
What has this got to do with the low levels of active investments in Asia? We currently have an industry that is bogged down in paperwork, fearful of the various regulations imposed upon them and unaware of what their colleagues on the floor above them are doing, let alone what the competition is up to. This means that typical wealth managers can only properly service their top five or ten clients, and even then, they are limited by what investment solutions they can provide given the limited research they can do and compliance burdens.
There are three ways of getting around these obstacles. The first one would be to remove them and deregulate the financial services industry, but smart regulations and compliance are important and necessary for a trusted, fully-functioning financial system. Another way would be to hire more people, specifically in compliance, yet as banks have seen this drives up cost, and still leaves a high chance of human error.
That leaves the third option: overcome these obstacles. Easier said than done, but the technology is available that can augment the work of investors, traders and wealth managers, making their lives easier and more efficient.
Transparency, speed, choice
Digital investment platforms exist today that can provide the right mix of choice and accessibility, and safety in terms of compliance. In addition to this, some have leveraged Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data analytics that allow the platforms to go beyond automation and can proactively identify suitable opportunities for Financial Advisors and their end clients.
Starting with choice and accessibility, a good digital wealth platform will enable the ‘supply side’ of the wealth ecosystem (investment banks, alternative fund managers etc) to push their products through a platform that will automatically carry out many of the compliance and safety procedures needed to meet existing regulations, ensuring quicker passage through compliance and middle office.
These products will then be showcased for Financial Advisors to choose from with all information clearly laid out. The platform could even proactively choose one of the products and suggest it to the Financial Advisor for a particular client, a suggestion that is tailored and appropriate to the client’s risk appetite and other factors.
This mix of automation, technology-assisted compliance and AI-enabled relevance allows private banks and wealth managers to overcome those last mile challenges that they currently face, starting with the ‘supply side’ getting their products accepted by bank gate-keepers and distributed to front-line bankers, ensuring proper research is done and the products are fully in compliance, through to ensuring the products are suitable and appropriate for end clients
Making financial investment choices more accessible, safer, and relevant
What technology does, in the form of digital investment platforms, is make the complex world of investments, a world which has just got a lot more complex through the introduction of cryptocurrencies, a lot more accessible, transparent, safer and a lot more relevant. They connect buyers and sellers, lower the barriers to investments in the ecosystem, and address compliance and regulatory issues. As Asian finance becomes ever more digitised, and the adoption rates of these platforms grow, we will start to see greater investment activity throughout the region.
 The Asian Banker, Assets under management in Asia Pacific show sustained growth trends. URL: http://www.theasianbanker.com/updates-and-articles/assets-under-management-in-asia-pacific-show-sustained-growth-trends?&lang=Chinese
 The Trade News, Banks spent close to $100 billion on compliance last year. URL: https://www.thetradenews.com/Sell-side/Banks-spent-close-to-%24100-billion-on-compliance-last-year/
 Bloomberg, Banks Trimming Compliance Staff as $321 Billion in Fines Abate. URL: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-23/banks-trimming-compliance-staff-as-321-billion-in-fines-abate
To emerge as the world’s first crypto-hub, Singapore needs to find the middle ground between ‘crypto is a fraud/Ponzi scheme’ and ‘crypto is the best thing since sliced bread’
Two announcements from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made at the end of 2017 defined the challenges cryptocurrencies pose. One the one hand, MAS announced a series of guidelines designed to regulate the currency, specifically Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), laying the groundwork for further growth in this area. Yet not long after, MAS issued a warning, cautioning against investments in cryptocurrencies and advising the public to ‘act with extreme caution and understand the significant risks’ cryptocurrencies pose.
While both these announcements are not necessarily contradictory, and granted are aimed at different audiences (the former to more knowledgeable financial professionals, the latter towards the consumer), they do reflect an inherent confusion that exists today among regulators when dealing with this new currency: crypto as the exciting new future of finance that should be embraced; or crypto as a fraud and a threat.
ICOs are a real emerging growth area. Worldwide, over US$1 billion is said to have been raised through token sales for issuing companies as of November 2017. Some Singapore-based businesses that have run token sales include gold price tracker Digix, which raised US$5.5 million; start-up incubator Cofound.it, which cancelled its ICO after hitting its US$15 million funding target in a pre-sale. It is also worth noting that globally, the combined market capitalisation of digital currencies reached over $370 billion at the end of last year, overtaking JPMorgan, America’s largest bank.
The guidelines published by MAS declared that some coins may represent ownership or a security interest over an issuer’s assets or property, bringing them under the purview of Singapore’s Securities & Futures Act and Financial Advisers Act. They would also be subject to licensing requirements for securities vendors, and any digital token secondary market operators would have to gain regulatory approval from MAS, and would be required to register a prospectus with MAS before launching their token sale among other requirements.
These guidelines form part of a steady evolution of the City State’s regulations when it comes to cryptocurrencies, reflecting the growing understanding and popularity of this genre of currency. Additionally, regulation will help inject a level of trust into ICOs, possibly attracting more to Singapore which is already benefiting from a strong FinTech and start-up ecosystem.
Yet MAS’s last announcement no doubt came due to fears of a bubble forming, and the dangers of ordinary folks getting burnt. Stories abound of citizens with no knowledge of investing asking how to buy Bitcoin, and of teenagers using their parents’ credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies, so there is a genuine problem of suitability and appropriateness.
Then there is the problem of cross-border marketing and money laundering. With millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies moving across markets and jurisdictions with little to no information on sources, the potential for using the currency for nefarious purposes is huge.
If Singapore is to emerge as a leader in this field – and I think it should – it needs to find an appropriate middle ground between these themes. Luckily, there are a few parallels that we can draw between cryptocurrencies and other Get Rich Quick (GRQ) products, which have emerged over the years, that may help to define Singapore’s position. Leverage structured products, for example, became famous during and after 2008 for allegedly causing the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and Singapore even banned 10 financial institutions from selling structured notes for up to two years back in 2009. After the MAS applied various regulations and guidelines, and lifted the bans, structured products have grown considerably, structured product demand in Singapore and Asia has only increased – in Asia alone it has hit US$800 billion today.
Blockchain technology has been polarising, one only has to look at the debates surrounding Cboe’s Futures launch to see this, but it is worth noting that similar GRQPs did not turn out to be the weapons of financial mass destruction many forecasted. If Singapore can start to rise above other markets, and provide a strong, reasonable and smart regulatory framework, then we could see the emergence of the world’s first ‘crypto-hub’.
Co-Founder and CEO of AGDelta
 Monetary Authority of Singapore, MAS cautions against investments in cryptocurrencies. URL: http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Media-Releases/2017/MAS-cautions-against-investments-in-cryptocurrencies.aspx
 Tech In Asia, Singapore’s central bank clarifies stance regarding ICOs and token sales. URL: https://www.techinasia.com/mas-ico-tokensale-clarity
 CNBC, The cryptocurrency market is now worth more than JPMorgan. URL: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/06/the-cryptocurrency-market-is-now-worth-more-than-jpmorgan.html
 Reuters, UPDATE 2-Singapore punishes 10 firms over Lehman notes sale. URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/singapore-banks/update-2-singapore-punishes-10-firms-over-lehman-notes-sale-idUSSIN39751520090707
 Hubbis, Comparing structured products in Europe and Asia. URL: http://pdf.hubbis.com/pdf/article/presentation-summary-comparing-structured-products-in-europe-and-asia.pdf
“These are tough times for many in the wealth management industry.” So says Andrew Au, CEO and Co-Founder of AGDelta, a firm that offers a technological solution to connect the entire wealth management eco-system via an easy-to-use platform.
Following the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, an endless array of rules and regulations have been rolled out by central banks and monetary authorities, leading to skyrocketing compliance costs and complexity in business processes.
“Faced with demands ranging from money-laundering checks and data flow policies, to more data for stress tests, banks have been forced to invest heavily in personnel – from senior executives on $1 million a year salaries, to unskilled people screening emails at a rate of 200 messages a day,” Au points out.
As a result, some banks today spend up to $4 billion a year on compliance. But it doesn’t end there. According to a Thomson Reuters report, 83% of major global financial firms expect the cost of senior compliance staff to continue to rise in this year, with 66% saying they are forced to “do more with less”.
“CEOs need to understand that taking a hands-off approach to compliance is no longer acceptable, and in some cases, being caught not in compliance with certain rules can result in more than a slap on the wrist,” warns Au, referencing the jail-time sentence handed down to a branch manager at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore for failure to comply with anti-money laundering rules.
Cue companies like AGDelta. Spotting an opportunity, Au co-founded the company in 2004, backed by more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.
The digital wealth solution offers a platform that can be integrated seamlessly into a bank’s existing IT architecture, for the entire supply chain of investment products, making it streamlined and completely transparent. The best part is that all the compliance controls can be embedded at the relevant stages of the investment advisory process and tracked.
“We offer a solution that eases the administrative burden on both the product suppliers, and those who use their products. We make communication easier, we allow for better analysis, we speed up the transaction processes and we ensure all is in full compliance with the relevant regulatory regime,” says Au.
While compliance is already being taken very seriously today by leaders in the financial services industry, he feels that they can afford to think more “outside the box” for solutions to counter the challenges of high costs and reduced competitiveness. Hiring more officers in the department to tick the boxes is not the way forward.
“Wealth management is a very traditional industry and very personalised, where experience, trust and character count for much. I understand technology is not the first thing many leaders think about when seeking solutions to their compliance woes.
“However, AGDelta’s platform has been proven to reduce costs and improve customer service and transaction speeds, yet is quick to implement and flexible. The advantage of having a digital solution is the fact that you can rule out human error, each step and process is logged with a digital footprint, allowing complete peace of mind for the user.”
THE financial services’ Industry Transformation Map (ITM), launched on Oct 30, aims to create thousands of jobs here in Singapore, as well as raise productivity and growth in the industry, and by extension the wider economy.
Under the ITM, the financial services sector is expected to achieve 4.3 per cent growth in the medium term, almost twice as fast as the overall economy. By 2020, an additional 1,000 jobs are expected to be created in the financial technology (FinTech) sector.
While these numbers have led the headlines, one detail that seems to have been buried is the fact that the ITM also aims to support the development of Asian finance, including expanding cross-border agreements with other FinTech centres.
This is the crux of the issue, Singapore’s financial services sector it immutably tied to that of Asia, and without development in the latter, we will not see the kind of jobs and growth that we would like in Singapore. Luckily, the financial services sector in the City State is in a good position to develop the kind of financial infrastructure needed in the region, and most importantly, develop it in a way that allows Singapore to take a leading position.
There are 10-member states of ASEAN, each with their own rules and regulations when it comes to finance. The compliance burden alone makes cross-border transactions difficult, costly and complicated. Finance is becoming ever more international, and many Asians will now live and work in different Asian states, requiring cross-border financial services. This trend will only grow as the middle class in Asia expands, and we will see greater demand for demand for financial services from consumer credit, and wealth management, to insurance.
The political will for greater financial services integration is there, and as we saw with the (relatively) recent ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), integration can be done. But the biggest obstacles lie in capacity and infrastructure, and harmonising regulatory standards and practices.
This is where technology comes in, and where Singapore can take a leading role.
Finance is already being digitised for a number of reasons, driven by both the end customer and industry professionals. Firstly, there is the simple fact that today’s and tomorrow’s generation grew up in the era of the smartphone and the internet, and so the resistance and lack of trust is not there. We are more comfortable organising our own lives – from purchasing groceries to managing our investments – through an app or website.
Another reason is changing expectations, clients expect more choice and higher returns. The non-discretionary nature of the Asian client (most clients in the region prefer to have a more hands-on approach to their investments, rather than letting their wealth manager handle it alone) means that there is demand for more timely, frequent and relevant advice and updates from bankers and advisors.
Lastly, as alluded to previously, compliance. These are hard times for the financial services industry, especially wealth management, with the cost and complexity of regulations skyrocketing since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This has increased costs for banks, and the risk for bankers resulting in a more conservative, risk-averse approach and lost opportunities for clients.
Tech products have emerged to address these challenges and demands. Start-ups have developed Regulatory technology (RegTech) that can automate compliance processes, removing the chance of human error and ensuring bankers are meeting compliance and suitability standards. There are platforms emerging that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advise on investment strategies and solutions, processing data in real-time, and ensuring every deal or execution is communicated to the banker and his/her client.
The next step, though, has not arrived yet could make or break Singapore’s quest to continue as a regional financial service hub. That step is the creation of a financial services ecosystem in Asia, one that supports the collaboration between clients, their advisors and financial product manufacturers from across the region, enabling smooth cross-border transactions, promoting competition between states and moving capital around to where it is needed efficiently.
AGDelta and SoHo Capital partner on Digital Distribution for rapidly growing AMC’s
Partnership focuses on rapid time to market for digital delivery of bespoke investment product from leading global institutional asset managers
Singapore (Monday, January 15th, 2018) – AGDelta and SoHo Capital have partnered to spearhead the launch of a unique platform and value proposition for the rapidly growing Actively Managed Certificates (AMC’s) market place.
The partnership will bring to market a platform offering which addresses the final challenge of industrialising the digital collaboration between investment strategy sponsors (Fund/Asset Managers), distributors (Private/Retail banks, Insurance Companies, Independent Asset Managers and Family Offices) of AMC’s for their end customers and the manufacturers (Investment Banks). The ability to bring to market “bespoke actively managed investment strategies” such as AMC’s much faster than ETF’s (6-9months) has seen growth rates of AMC’s surpass ETF’s in wealth strong hold markets like Switzerland.
The new AMC Platform partnership will look to shorten that cycle to an unprecedented period of days whilst introducing for the first time “systematic” usage of end-client preferences and feedback to enhance the relevance, suitability and appropriateness of specific strategies in demand. The platform achieves this by leveraging SoHo’s significant library of manager strategies via its Strategy Data Exchange (SDX) and AGDelta’s award winning Digital Wealth, RegTech and Big Data powered solutions which has seen over $1.5 Trillion USD in multi-asset transactional turnover since inception.
SDX was launched by SoHo in early 2017 as a library of model portfolios that are being productized by leading investment banks as AMCs. AGDelta’s Best Execution and Digital Distribution platforms have successfully been in production across all major asset classes, for cash, funds, structured products and alternative investments at major global and local financial institutions since 2010 across Asia, Middle East and Europe.
“Whilst it was never in dispute that the growth in AMC’s would be very well served with more choice for “bespoke investment strategies through SDX’s leading global panel of strategy sponsors, it was clear that the AGDelta partnership provided an important solution to the final piece to the puzzle to achieve scale. AGDelta offers our asset management clients massive distribution, superior domain expertise and deep industry relationships,” said Frank Troise SoHo’s Founder. “Now our clients have the ability to significantly amplify their marketing for these new and proprietary AMC investment strategies” Troise added.
AG Delta’s platforms provide end users the ability to see AMC strategies “pre-ISIN and “post-ISIN.” This dynamic allows for asset management firms to build an order book prior to officially launching any strategy. Consequently, time to market for model strategies will be shorten from weeks and months to days and the probability of a successful raise for the AMC is significantly enhance.
“We have a long track record of innovation and successfully transforming the supply chain for investment products. Whether conventional cash forex, bond, stocks or funds to highly complex structured or alternative investments, we have delivered significantly more accessibility, investment distributor/provider choice, regulatory protection mechanisms and most importantly relevance to end customers” said Andrew Au – CEO and Co-Founder for AGDelta.” “The collaboration between SoHo and AGDelta to address the AMC market place is not only highly synergistic but a very logical one to offer immediately a comprehensive and unique value position to what is likely going to be one of the hottest themes in 2018” Au added.