Robo advice, which started out as a service to help people meet their financial goals through investment in portfolios of ETFs, has expanded in a number of directions over the past couple of years, as wealth companies find new uses for digital wealth services.
Quantifeed chief commercial officer John Robson, “We started building model portfolios of shares and ETFs. That was our first product in 2015. The next step was the addition of thematic portfolios.
“In 2018, we added unlisted funds to the platform. That is because in a number of Asian markets ETFs are not deep or liquid. Putting unlisted funds onto the platform involved some complexity because those funds can have minimum subscriptions and the trading an settlement arrangements are different.”
Founded in 2013 in Hong Kong, Quantifeed opened an office in Sydney last year.
The company announced several new partnerships in Asia towards the end of last year. These include a new robo service, Robo 360, with China CITIC Bank International. It is the first bank in Hong Kong to offer a robo investment service to customers.
Quantifeed also signed a memorandum of understanding with Saxo Markets to build a joint solution that will enable advisers to reinvent their businesses and scale quickly in a challenging environment.
And it partnered with Everbright Sun Hung Kai Company to launch a robo solution that will allow investors in Hong Kong to easily access a diverse set of Hong Kong stock portfolios and ETFs.
Robson says banks and brokers in Asia are all looking to add to their digital customer experience. “Even wealth businesses servicing high net worths, which in the past might have said their clients did not want a digital platform, are re-evaluating. We all use mobile phones all the time,” he says.
“Our platform can be configured in a number of ways, so that it serves the needs of self-directed investors, people who want advice or so that it supports an adviser with a set of tools
“For Everbright, we have created a library of portfolios for self-directed investors. Another client, Cathay, is doing goals-based investment.
“One of the trends in advice is to offer services that meet simple needs on an ad hoc basis, until the investor needs a relationship with a planners.
“We do see more people wanting their advice piece by piece. A young woman with a job might want some advice on saving for a home loan deposit. Later, when she buys her home, she will want life insurance.”