The Emerging Market of WealthTech in APAC – Its Significance and Potential
The wealth management industry has grown immensely through the years in the APAC region. The latest report from PwC says that the industry is expected to reach $15.1 trillion by 2025. To cope with the increasing demand, the sector continuously creates digital innovations such as wealth technology or WealthTech.
The new technology aims to provide wealth managers with valuable insights using big data, artificial intelligence, social network-based trading solutions and micro-investment platforms.
WealthTech – An Emerging Market
WealthTech combines wealth and technology to enhance asset and wealth management. Oftentimes, the sector is strongly associated with Robo-advisors, an automated service that utilises machine learning and a computer algorithm to provide investment management and counselling to the users.
Robo-advisor traces back its history in the wake of the global financial crisis, sometime in 2008. The crisis has pushed wealth managers to revise/adjust traditional wealth management tactics. It has also paved the way for wealthtech companies like Betterment and Wealthfront.
Since then, startups from all over the world have launched technology-centric solutions used in managing wealth and investment such as:
- Investing tools
- Portfolio management
- Financial services software
- Digital brokerage
How has wealthtech changed the financial market?
Wealthtech has contributed to the disruption of the financial market. Like in other financial technology sectors, it has significantly lowered costs and improved markets and organisations through the use of automation, AI, and customised experiences.
Drake Star Partners also share that wealthtech also introduced important developments in the wealth management value chain such as:
- Smarter customer acquisition
- Automated onboarding
- Automated trading advice and execution
- More sophisticated financial management
- Easier client report generation
Its applications in the financial market will continue to expand each year, paving the way for better and more cost-effective solutions that businesses and en-users will enjoy using.
A brief overview of APAC WealthTech Market
The International Banker describes wealthtech as the “one of the hottest verticals within the fintech space” because of the surge in funding since 2014. Notably, the industry has managed to raise around $17 billion globally, which is equivalent to a 49.7 percent growth rate compared to 2014.
Meanwhile, in the APAC region, Asian Banking and Finance notes that the investment has increased by 15.5 percent from 2014 to 2018. While it’s comparatively lower to its counterparts in Europe and North America, the APAC wealthtech market gradually grows prominence. And it’s projected to gain more traction in the next few years thanks to the increasing number of wealthtech companies in the region.
Fintech News Singapore lists top-performing wealthtech companies in the Asia Pacific region. Their list includes names like:
- 8 Securities, Hong Kong – They pioneer in introducing wealthtech services like mobile investing service and Robo-advisory.
- AG Deta, Singapore – A renowned B2B2C company, AG Delta handles financial investment transactions valued at around $1.5 trillion.
- Lufax, China – They are a digital wealth management platform that specializes in financing and investment solutions, assets management.
- HelloGold, Malaysia -HelloGold is famously known for its gold mobile app that can influence gold buyers/seller’s market behaviour.
- Money Design, Japan – Money Design is an investment management and advisory business. They offer Theo, a Robo-advisor that assists customers to create an account with a small deposit fee of 100K yen.
- Doomoolmori, Korea – The South Korean wealthtech firm offers data-driven financial counselling. They offer two products, ELS research and Boolio.
- ArthaYantra, India – ArthaYantra focuses on offering personal financial solutions to more than 200,000 clients from over 30 countries.
What does the job market look like in Wealthtech APAC?
Companies looking for wealthtech talents and aspiring applicants can definitely expect a promising job market. This is all thanks to the increased funding and market demand. Also, projections from available data show a very positive outlook.
For example, PWC notes in their latest report on asset and wealth management that the region is projected to outrank North America and Europe by 2025. The report further forecasts that Asia will most likely become the “largest infrastructure investment regions” in the world thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative of China and in other regions.
KPMG also shares their insights on the future of Wealthtech in APAC on their report, Pulse of Fintech H1 2019. The report focuses on the following points:
- The industry is transitioning to consolidation mode resulting in rational market behaviour and long-term planning of venture capitalists and other types of funders.
- A significant drop in operating costs will result in more attractive price models.
- Acceptance of Robo-advisors across different regions and age groups and increased preference for automation over human advisors.
How is the WealthTech market affected by the pandemic?
Despite the current market situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, some countries in the region have re-opened their economy. Also, while a lot of industries have suffered the impact of COVID-19, several sectors including wealthtech are projected to come out strong everything settles down.
According to Wealth Management, the public’s fear of the virus has, in fact, accelerated innovations in Wealthtech. It has also pushed for rapid digitisation of the industry and the utilisation of remote working arrangement. On top of that, the pandemic has put more focus on the importance of wealth management and financial planning, not only for companies but also for personal users.
As a result, the sector expects to see more wealthtech job openings. Some of the in-demand roles might be in the sales and marketing side as companies find ways to improve their sales and lead generation pipeline.
However, it’s crucial to note that while it remains an attractive industry, the effects on the global economy of the pandemic is yet seen. Hence, it’s advised to brace for the aftermath and prepare for the worst.
Key Takeaway – Wealthtech APAC, a promising market
WealthTech in the Asia Pacific region shows a lot of potential, so you can expect to see more jobs in the near future. While the pandemic might cause disruptions, the growing need for better and smarter wealth management will help the industry thrive.
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