Thematic Investing: Future Trends in Today’s Portfolio

Digital wealth management is poised for strong growth in Asia, positioned perfectly to reach the mass affluent who find themselves in need of financial advice. This segment of underserved customers is searching for cost-efficient and hyper-personalised digital wealth management solutions. And one of the investment propositions that financial institutions are offering is thematic investing.

What is Thematic Investing? 

Thematic investing is an investment strategy that looks to benefit from the growth and maturation of structural macro trends. Thematic investing tends to be sector-independent and follows the movement and progress of a changing world. It allows an investor to access trends that affect entire industries and represent societal shifts, rather than specific companies or sectors. This allows investors to invest in ideas that align with their interests and causes, and are, ultimately, meaningful to them.

Popular Themes

Common ideas that investors can access include environmental, social, and governance (ESG) themes, technology themes, and demographic themes. ESG themes relate to resource scarcity, alternative energy, and sustainable businesses. Meanwhile, technology themes look at the disruptive role of technology in today’s day and age to provide investors with opportunities to invest in businesses related to robotics and automation, cloud computing, and fintech. All of which have shown significant growth over the past five years. Demographic themes cover trends that have seen enormous societal shifts in recent years such as ageing populations, digital buying behaviour, and healthcare.

Why Thematic Investments?

Thematic investments offer investors an opportunity to diversify their portfolio and improve its risk/return characteristics. This approach is appealing as some themes easily capture customer excitement and enable them to invest in ideas that they are passionate about. Thematic investing is usually done at a lower entry point, allowing for smaller investors to get in on the game.

At Quantifeed, the technology platform and quantitative expertise powering QEngine can provide a strong experience for the investor. It empowers advisors and portfolio managers alike to provide thematic investment options to customers directly on a mobile application. Investors can then use the strength of our technology to create their ideal investing experience and derive income from their portfolio. The portfolios they invest in are then automatically monitored and rebalanced following market movements. Customers are free to invest and gain exposure to their preferred themes in a way that enhances returns while keeping risks contained.

Quantifeed’s Thematic Investments            

At the heart of our business, we wish to bring wealth management to the masses. We believe in making wealth management inclusive and available to anyone who wishes to create a better financial future for themselves.

Today, investors are more discerning and expect more from their investments. Monetary returns aren’t the only thing they’re after as responsible investing begins to take centre stage. The ability to customise for the investor’s preferences beyond just their risk profile contributes to the success of a wealth management offering. As such, QEngine supports hyper personalisation, providing investors an engaging and meaningful experience as they explore, personalise, and invest in their favourite ideas. Until very recently, such features were only available to those who could afford to open an account with a private banker. Now it’s available to everyone with a mobile phone.

Our technology and investment solutions can be deployed immediately. In fact, QEngine is already powering many of these platforms in Asia. It enables banks, insurance companies, and brokers to plug these capabilities into existing infrastructure. We can design, develop, and deploy new investment journeys quickly and easily – and turn on the future of wealth management for you.

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    Ross Milward

    Chief Technology Officer &
    Co-Founder

    Ross Milward leads Quantifeed’s technology and engineering efforts to deliver innovative digital wealth management solutions. Before co-founding Quantifeed, he spent more than 15 years in investment banking, holding senior positions in equity and equity derivatives technology.

    His expertise is in developing and managing large-scale enterprise-level global trading and risk systems. A former managing director, Ross has worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank. He has held multiple global and regional leadership roles, most recently as head of equities technology in Asia. He has worked in Hong Kong, Sydney and London.

    Ross holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with Honours and is a Fellow of the Securities Institute of Australia. He likes pushing his limits through long distance triathlon races.

    Michael McDonald

    Head of Web Engineering

    Michael McDonald builds Quantifeed’s online wealth management web application in order to deliver a user-friendly and integrated experience. Michael has over 11 years of experience in web application development.

    As Developer for Crossroads Hong Kong, he and his team set up the infrastructure for its donation and stock management application. As Developer at e-commerce company Synapse Connect in New Zealand, he and his team helped clients build mobile applications like prospersoftware.nz, providing him with a full-stack web development and DevOps skillset, servicing clients and back-office operations.

    Michael holds a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Computing Engineering from University of Canterbury New Zealand. He moved to Hong Kong in 2014 and enjoys the outdoors sports such as hiking and cycling.

    Joy Sun

    Head of Quantitative Engineering

    Joy steers Quantifeed’s research and development in systematic investment strategies, portfolio construction and trade execution. Prior to joining Quantifeed, she worked as a quantitative analyst in asset management and proprietary trading firms.

    She led development of trading strategies, including design,simulation and risk control, and research in market trend recognition and prediction. Joy earned her PhD in Operations Research from the University of Hong Kong, her MS in Statistics from Nan Kai University and her BS in Computational Mathematics from Dalian University of Technology.

    John Threlfall

    Head of Site Reliability Engineering

    John leads the SRE team in Singapore and is responsible for the overall infrastructure and SDLC of Quantifeed’s technology platform, QEngine. He ensures the design, availability, and reliability meets the requirements of both our internal and external users. He has over 20 years’ experience in the banking industry, with a demonstrated history in transforming back-office technology and developing reliable engineering systems for large financial institutions.

    Prior to joining Quantifeed, John held technical and leadership roles at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered Bank. He holds a BSc degree in Artificial Intelligence from The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. John moved to Singapore in 2008 and enjoys travelling with his family, football and scuba diving.

    Lars Bischoff

    Head of Core Engineering 

    Lars Bischoff is a lead senior software engineer on Quantifeed’s back-end services, with a focus on trading and external interfaces.

    Before joining Quantifeed, Lars had a number of leadership roles across major investment banks including Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, UBS, and Citi. These roles included designing and implementing systems for Equities and Equity Derivatives Trading. Lars also held roles as country lead for Equities and Equity Derivatives Technology, as well as global lead for Equity Derivatives Trading.

    As a former Executive Director in Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan, Lars has extensive experience in building local and global development teams. In this capacity, he also defined and realised the technology direction and innovative platforms in the Equity and Equity Derivatives space for these two organisations. Lars holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, from Macquarie University, Sydney.

    Chetan Shetty

    Head of Product Management

    Chetan leads Quantifeed’s product management capability and drives the implementation of features in our product that continuously solve digital wealth management problems for our clients.

    Chetan started his career as a software engineer in the aerospace industry working across the entire software development lifecycle. Subsequently he worked in various roles helping large enterprises in Hong Kong solve business problems with process and technology solutions. His experience ranges across aviation, insurance, public sector services and consulting. He has lived and worked across multiple countries and enjoys travelling to new places, tasting new cuisines and occasionally writing his blogs.

    Eric Lee

    Singapore Country Head & Head of Program Management

    Eric Lee leads the Singapore team in managing the delivery process to key regional clients such as DBS Singapore.

    Eric has held leadership roles throughout the capital markets technology domain in Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Bank of America. He has worked extensively as the technology leader covering a broad set of functionality including  portfolio order management, equities, and electronic trading. Eric has worked around the world in locations such as Tokyo, London, New York City, and Hong Kong. He is currently based in Singapore.

    Eric has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

    Conor Doyle

    Head of Pre-Sales

    Conor has over 20 years of experience of leading sales and service teams in high-growth financial software vendor organisations. His previous work experience focuses on leading multinational, cross-functional teams in the provision of leading-edge, highly complex and high-value fintech business solutions.

    Conor is an expert presenter, negotiator, and business operations manager; able to forge solid relationships with both clients and partners and build consensus across multiple organisational levels. He has demonstrated capacity for leadership and project management, with proven track record of meeting targets, overcoming challenges in real time, and delivering tangible results.

    Conor is bilingual (English and Japanese) with strong technical and integration experience and a Mechanical Engineering degree.

    Robert Rice

    Chief Sales Officer

    Robert Rice leads Quantifeed’s sales strategy and works with clients to define and deliver digital wealth management solutions. Based in Hong Kong for over 15 years, Robert has held sales leadership roles in APAC and EMEA at London Stock Exchange Group (formerly Refinitiv), Fitch Solutions, OFX and SNL Financial, leading teams servicing wealth managers, asset managers and financial institutions.

    His career is focused on brining innovative platforms, products and solutions to market helping clients meet their objectives. Robert is an appointed Mentor for the Hong Kong Fintech Week advising start-ups and market entrants on various topics and go to market initiatives.

    Audrey Wong

    Chief Operating Officer &
    Chief Financial Officer

    Audrey Wong manages operations and financial affairs to deliver on Quantifeed’s business strategy. Audrey joined Quantifeed from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she was COO for the equities division in Asia Pacific. Audrey’s tenure at Merrill Lynch included senior assignments in Toronto and New York, before relocating to Hong Kong in 2006 to take a new role as the Finance Head of Equities Derivatives for APR.

    Her responsibilities expanded to CFO of APAC Equities in 2011 and CFO for APAC Global Markets in 2013. Audrey holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Brock University of Ontario. She is also a Chartered Professional Accountant of Ontario and Chartered Financial Analyst. Audrey enjoys biking and swimming with her two children.

    John Robson

    Chief Commercial Officer

    John Robson drives Quantifeed’s client partnerships. He works with financial institutions to assist them in developing their digital wealth management future. Based in Hong Kong for over 30 years, he has held regional leadership roles at JP Morgan, Nomura and Merrill Lynch managing teams which serviced the region’s consumer and private banks.

    His career has been focused on the development of investment platforms and products. He has been instrumental in introducing significant product innovation to wealth management platforms in Hong Kong, London and Tokyo.

    Alex Ypsilanti

    Chief Executive Officer &
    Co-Founder

    Alex Ypsilanti spearheads Quantifeed’s mission to solve the challenges of digital wealth management.

    Before co-founding Quantifeed, he spent fifteen years as an investment banking research analyst. His work enabled investors to improve their risk-adjusted returns and to gain access to a wider range of market strategies and risk premia. Alex, a top ranked analyst by Institutional Investor, had a leading role in the growth of the European ETF market, hedge fund replication and the use of volatility products in portfolios.

    A former managing director for Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Alex has built and led teams of derivatives and quantitative strategists in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

    Alex holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Information Systems Engineering and a PhD in Mathematical Finance from Imperial College, University of London.