Digital wealth manager eyes Malaysia entry

By MARK RAO

Stashaway, an online investment management company headquartered in Singapore, aims to facilitate low- entry cost investments into capital markets when it enters the Malaysian market as the first digital wealth manager.

The robo-advisory asset manager currently has over 5,000 investors on its waiting list and is pending licensing approval from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to launch in the near future.

Its CEO and co-founder Michele Ferrario said the digital platform is geared at allowing individuals access to capital markets as current entry fees are too expensive for many prospective investors.

“We expect our first customers to be 30- to 40-year-old professionals who need to start saving for their families and retirement.

“We found that 42% of gross financial wealth comes from savings account and cash, indicating that there is not enough access to invest in financial markets,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

He said StashAway is open to any interested individuals or parties as there is no minimum balance required and no lock-up period, while annual management fees are between 0.2% and 0.8%.

This is compared to the high-entry costs and long lock-up periods typically required to access capital or financial markets, he said.

“We also differ from other asset management companies in that we provide a simple and easy to use platform for investments that is simultaneously cost-effective.”

Beyond cost and convenience factors, the company also hopes to facilitate intelligent market decisions via its Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation investment system.

StashAway has been in the market for over two years since it was launched in Singapore in September 2016 where it operates with a Capital Markets Services Licence.

Malaysia will be the company’s second market if it secures SC approval. The digital wealth manager is to be available for 24 hours, seven days a week on mobile and desktop, and will focus on passive investments such as exchange-traded funds and fixed income.