1. What does your company do?
iFAST Corp (stock code: AIY) is a wealth management Fintech platform, with assets under administration (AUA) of S$9.04 billion as at 30 June 2019.
Incorporated in the year 2000 in Singapore and listed on the SGX-Mainboard in December 2014, iFAST Corp is also present in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and India. Through the years, the Group has built a well-established Fintech ecosystem connecting its product providers and clients.
iFAST Corp holds the requisite licences in the various jurisdictions it operates in to provide a wide range of products and services. As at end June 2019, the Group offers access to over 9,700 investment products including over 6,500 funds from over 250 fund houses, over 1,000 bonds, stocks and ETFs (Singapore, Hong Kong and US stock exchanges), as well as services including online discretionary portfolio management services, research and investment seminars, Fintech solutions, and investment administration and transaction services to financial advisory (“FA”) firms, financial institution, banks, multinational companies, as well as retail and high net worth (“HNW”) investors in Asia.
The main business divisions of the Group include the Business-to-Consumer (“B2C”) division, the Business-to-Business (“B2B”) division, and the emerging Fintech Solutions/Business-to-Business-to- Consumer (“B2B2C”) model. The B2C website, FSMOne.com/Fundsupermart.com, caters to investors who prefer to do their own investments online. The new FSMOne multi-products transactional platform is currently available in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The B2B platforms cater to the specialised needs of more than 380 FA companies, financial institutions, banks and internet companies with over 8,000 wealth advisers. iFAST Fintech Solutions, the emerging Fintech Solutions/B2B2C model, was launched in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia in recent years to provide innovative and customisable Fintech solutions for our B2B clients and business partners to empower them with their own B2C Fintech capabilities.
The Group continues to work on improving and broadening the iFAST Fintech Ecosystem. This includes stepping up its efforts to offer a broader range of Fintech Solutions to its B2B partners, including helping to empower them with B2C Fintech capabilities.
The Group’s mission statement is, “To help investors around the world invest globally and profitably”. In the Singapore Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI) released from 2016 to 2019, iFAST Corp has been ranked within the top 15% among SGX-listed companies. iFAST Corp was awarded first runner-up in the "IR Magazine Awards South East Asia 2017" in the "Best in Sector – IT" category. iFAST Corp won the "Best Investor Relations - Silver Award" and “Best Investor Relations – Bronze Award” in the Companies with less than S$300 million in market capitalisation category at the Singapore Corporate Awards held in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The Group’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr Leung Fung Yat David, was also awarded “Best Chief Financial Officer” in the Companies with less than S$300 million in market capitalisation category at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2019.
2. What challenges or opportunities do you foresee in your space in the next 2-3 years?
The asset and wealth management market in APAC is huge and has been projected by PWC* to hit US$29.6 trillion in 2025. At current assets-under-administration (AUA) of S$9.04 billion (as at 30 June 2019), we see substantial growth potential in the years ahead as this amount remains small relative to the size of the overall wealth management industry. In fact, we have put in place a “Fintech Vision 2028”, giving ourselves a target of S$100 billion in AUA by the year 2028.
In the near term, we see a big opportunity in digital banking in Singapore. We believe iFAST has some natural strengths to perform digital banking as it is one of the few Fintech firms in Singapore with the track record of running a profitable regulated business handling large amounts of retail monies and assets. A digital banking licence licence will allow the Group to broaden its services to include the ability to provide cash management and related wealth management services to various companies in the digital economy. It will also allow us to further strengthen our status as a leading wealth management platform, by giving us the ability to remove the inefficiencies that are currently present in certain parts of the industry.
*Asset & Wealth Management 2025, The Asian Awakening, January 2019
3. Do you have any plans to grow your business outside of Singapore?
The Group was started in the year 2000 and our first expansion outside Singapore was to Hong Kong. Following which, we extended our footprint to Malaysia, China and India.
We are also on the lookout for potential acquisitions that will expedite the growth of our AUA. While there aren’t many platforms to buy in Asia, there are closely related businesses that may present a good fit to our strategy, whether it be expanding our client base or AUA. If these opportunities arise, we would be keen to explore them.
4. Any word of advice for emerging FinTech start-ups or other entrepreneurs?
On a personal level, going from an internet start-up to a profitable and growing platform in five markets requires the right combination of long term vision, executional capabilities and perseverance. Be bold in challenging yourself by setting a goal that’s fairly high. What looks unreachable for most of us is actually achievable, once you put your mind to it – that’s where commitment and planning come in. When it gets tough, never give up.
5. Please share why iFAST chose to become a sponsor of Singapore FinTech Awards & Gala Dinner 2019.
Singapore FinTech Association has done a great job in recent years in facilitating collaboration between market participants and stakeholders in the FinTech ecosystem. As a Singaporean company that has gone through the journey from a start-up to a listed regional wealth management fintech player, we feel that we should play an active part in supporting the association’s work and the Singapore FinTech Awards & Gala Dinner 2019 is just one of the many aspects. We continue to look forward to participate in many other initiatives of the association.