LATTICE80 Appoints Former Singapore Managing Director of ANZ Bank as Advisor

  • Special Advisor: Vinay will provide strategic insight and advice that will serve LATTICE80 in its global expansion, bridging Asian fintech with the rest of the world.

  • Veteran Banker Turns to Fintech: Over 27 years of banking experience, in roles including Managing Director of Singapore at ANZ Bank and various positions at Standard Chartered Bank across Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Bahrain and India.

  • Network Effect: Brings with him strong network in the startup ecosystem via connections with funding platforms, venture capital firms, accelerators, angel groups, large-and-medium-size corporations and private equity.

SINGAPORE, Jun 19, 2017LATTICE80, the world’s largest fintech hub wholly owned and run by private investment firm Marvelstone Group, has appointed Vinay Agrawal to its board of advisors. Vinay is an accomplished banking professional with over 27 years of Asian banking experience across Asia Pacific and Middle East region. He will be advising LATTICE80 on a range of issues, primarily around how to expand the hub network globally to bridge Asian fintechs with the rest of the world.

Vinay worked with ANZ Bank for eight years based in Singapore. As Managing Director for the Bank’s Corporate and Institutional Banking, he was involved in the setup and significant growth of their platform in Asia Pacific. Prior to ANZ, Vinay worked in Standard Chartered Bank for 19 years. With these two institutions he worked in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Bahrain and India.

Joe Seunghyun Cho, CEO of LATTICE80, said: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Vinay to our board of advisors. He brings with him a strong network in the startup ecosystem across the region thanks to his connections with funding platforms, venture capital firms, accelerators, angel groups, large-and-medium-size corporations and private equity. As such, we think he’s a perfect fit for LATTICE80 and look forward to working with him closely in future.”

Vinay Agrawal, Member of the Board of Advisors at LATTICE80, said: “I’m delighted to join LATTICE80’s advisory board. Through my years in the industry, I have developed a deep understanding of the financial services sector and deal making experience across capital markets, lending and trade finance, corporate finance, risk management, as well as fixed income and derivative markets.”

He added: “With strong skills in managing complex businesses, I bring with me a critical understanding of how to build ‘business value’. With this senior leadership experience and perspective, I hope to be in an excellent position to provide strategic insight and advice that will serve LATTICE80 and its various upcoming companies in the fintech space.”

Vinay is on the mentoring panel of Supply Chain Angels (SCA) and is a member of the Business Angel Network of South East Asia (BANSEA). He also serves as a Board Member & Hon. Treasurer for Heartware Network, a Singapore based not-for-profit charity that creates training and volunteer opportunities for youth. Since inception, it has engaged 59,000 youth volunteers.

Continue Reading

LATTICE80 and Nordic Finance Innovation Partner to Bridge Asia and the Nordic’s Fintech Ecosystems

  • Partnering For Fintech Growth: LATTICE80 brings it expertise in fintech ecosystem building to the partnership, already the largest fintech hub in the world (based out of Singapore) – and now with a presence in the Nordics through new NFI partnership.

  • The Very Best of Asian and Nordic Fintech: Singapore is widely seen as one of the world’s leading fintech hub alongside London and New York; meanwhile, the Nordic region’s future as a fintech hub shows great potential.

  • 6 Pillars of Fintech Success: The partnership will raise awareness of fintech’s potential between Asia and the Nordics; office space sharing; events collaboration; in-country exclusivity; exchange programs for members; and the leveraging of mutual contacts and networks.

SINGAPORE & OSLO, Jun 05, 2017 — LATTICE80, the world’s largest fintech hub wholly owned and operated by private investment firm Marvelstone Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Nordic Finance Innovation (NFI) based on a mutual agenda of promoting innovation in financial services in their respective markets. LATTICE80 and NFI believe that through cooperation with each other they will be able to bridge the fintech ecosystems between Asia and the Nordics. Chris Skinner, Chairman of NFI, will be actively involved in overseeing the partnership.

The agreement will include six broad benefits to each party: raising awareness of fintech potential between Asia and the Nordics (including via online platform The Fintech Brief by NFI – www.thefintechbrief.com); office space sharing; events collaboration; in-country exclusivity (LATTICE80 and NFI will be exclusive fintech hub partners in their respective markets, i.e. Norway and Singapore); exchange programs for members; and the leveraging of mutual contacts and networks. The agreement is effective immediately.

Joe Seunghyun Cho, CEO of LATTICE80 and Chairman of Marvelstone Group, said: “We are delighted to join forces with NFI, our first partner in Europe, in our mutual ambition of bridging the fintech ecosystems between the Nordics and Asia. I’ve been working closely with the NFI team recently and it’s a pleasure to be able to assist each other on this journey. We look forward too welcoming fintech startups from the Nordics to Singapore and our other hubs in Asia, and vice versa – we are certain our fintech startups in Asia will be thrilled by the opportunity to experience the Nordic culture, business and regulatory environment, and networking opportunities.”

Iren Tranvåg, CEO at NFI, said: “Nordic Finance Innovation wants to build global bridges together with LATTICE80 to strengthen our relationship with the Asian market by being present, through exchange programs, organizing common events and sharing knowledge about the fintech developments that are shaping the future. We believe that there is a good match when it comes to business culture combined with a drive force to innovate. With these characteristics, they may be used to cooperate as a test environment for new services and provide access to the wider markets of Nordic and ASEAN respectively.”

The Nordic region’s future as a fintech hub shows great potential. According to the Innovation Delivered: Fintech Disruptors 2017 Report sponsored by DNB, 72 per cent of respondents expect the Nordic region to be the world’s leading hub by 2020. Meanwhile, 42 per cent of Nordic financial institutions surveyed want to expand their existing partnerships with fintech firms in addition to the 74 per cent that want to create new partnerships, a finding that suggests a healthy relationship between banks and fintechs. Finally, 42 per cent of Nordic banks surveyed also intend to set up fintech incubators, nearly double the 24 per cent of banks seeking to create incubators across the rest of Europe.

Singapore is widely seen as one of the world’s leading fintech hub alongside London and New York. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently set up a regulatory sandbox framework for the testing of fintech innovations in a more free, safe, and controlled environment. On the development side, MAS organized the Singapore Fintech Festival, the world’s first large-scale gathering of various fintech players, and has committed S$225 million (US$162.5 million) over the next five years to attract fintechs to set up their innovation labs in Singapore. Various grants and schemes are available for fintechs to tap on.

Continue Reading

Global FinTech Hackcelerator 2017 powered by KPMG Digital Village wants you!

 

The Global FinTech Hackcelerator 2017, powered by KPMG Digital Village, is looking for innovative and exciting ideas to address problems faced by the financial industry.

We have 100 problem statements across three focus areas: Customer-Facing, Financial Inclusion, and RegTech, and a General category, and believe your experience and innovative solution has the potential to address them.

The top 20 teams shortlisted for the Global FinTech Hackcelerator can look forward to:

  • Working with real client owners to contextualise your solution to their needs
  • Market entry and/or expansion into Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region
  • Receiving guidance and support from industry experts, subject matter experts and regulatory bodies
  • Building and nurturing lasting relationships with a community of passionate professionals and game changers
  • Receiving a cash stipend of up to S$20,000

Applications for the Global FinTech Hackcelerator are now open and will close on 15 July 2017. To find out more about the programme and view the problem statements, please visit our official website at http://www.fintechfestival.sg/hackcelerator/!

What are you waiting for? Apply now at https://matchi.biz/hackcelerator-registration! or get in touch at innovation@kpmg.com.sg

You may apply to multiple problem statements, or submit a general application for any category. Do also share this with your networks or anyone who may be interested!

Thank you and we look forward to receiving your application!

Good luck!

Continue Reading

tryb Capital announces US$4M Strategic Investment into Chinsay AB, the Leading Independent Platform for Commodity and Freight Contracts

Chinsay AB, the leading cloud based platform for end-to-end administration of global commodity and freight contracts, has secured strategic investment of US$4 million from tryb Capital, a Singapore-based growth stage technology investor. The investment will be used to fund the continued development of Chinsay’s next-
generation product and expansion into Asian markets.

Chinsay’s platform offers a comprehensive suite of front-end tools and the opportunity to apply back-end APIs to enable clear productivity benefits to not only global traders, shipping companies and brokers but also ports, marketplaces and financial institutions involved in trade and trade finance. Chinsay sees a strong acceleration in growth in Asia alongside its major clients, which include the likes of ADM, Cargill, K Line, Noble Group, NYK, Rio Tinto, South32 and Unipec.

Magnus Böcker, Chairman and Co-Founder of tryb Capital stated, “Singapore’s position as a key shipping and trading hub made it more attractive for tryb Capital to invest into Chinsay. This is a great example of how innovative technologies from anywhere, in this case Sweden, can leverage Singapore as a growth platform into Asia.”

Dag Sundén-Cullberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chinsay commented: “Chinsay’s board and team see this as a great opportunity for the company to take in additional capital for the current expansion phase while staying fully independent and at the same time getting a strategically important shareholder with an active agenda in the technology industry. The tryb team’s experience and network within technology will benefit Chinsay greatly as we continue influencing and driving usage of new technology in the freight and commodities markets.”

tryb and Chinsay’s partnership is part of the growing interest in the digitisation of trade and trade finance and Singapore’s plans to become a leading Smart Financial Centre. Chinsay provides the opportunity to integrate into local trade ecosystems in Asia and optimise trading processes and workflows while providing enhanced big data analytics capabilities.

Markus Gnirck, Managing Director and Co-Founder of tryb Capital, added: “We believe in Chinsay’s growth potential as a core component of ASEAN and global trade infrastructure. We are looking forward to working with Chinsay to continue to develop defensible intellectual property.”

Continue Reading

Record fund inflows into ETF in 2017

By Arisa Siong – The ETF boom is happening and in a big way. The first two months of 2017 saw record global inflows into ETFs to the sum of US$130bn (ETFGI.com) – this is at least double to several times higher than inflows over the same period in the five years preceding. As a comparison, net inflows in 2016 amounted to US$390bn, which was a good year for ETFs but 2017 is shaping up to be even bigger. Most of the fund inflows into ETF stem from investors diverting funds from more-costly- actively managed funds into more-economical- ETF alternatives. The current industry trend is for the lowest cost funds to attract more and more funds. This in turn places downward pressure on management fees charged across the board by both ETFs and mutual funds. Vanguard and Schwab for instance, led the latest round of fee reductions in February.

Faced with increased price pressure and investment churn, mutual funds are forced join the race to zero. A report by JP Morgan and Oliver Wyman predict mutual funds will turn to ETFs to improve investment efficiency, in a bid to lower their costs. In particular, the report notes that ETFs should provide cost savings of 5-8bps for investments in mid to large cap stocks. Somewhat ironically, mutual funds could become the largest investors in ETFs, doubling current assets in ETF in 3-5 years. This is already happening now – Antoine de Saint Vaulry, Head of ETF and Flow Trading at Commerzbank, notes: “we see a blurring of the active-passive asset management divide, with more and more active asset managers using ETFs, to apply their investment strategies”.

In Asia, the ETF scene is still developing and while similar trends can be observed in Asian markets, the relative magnitude means that the impact is somewhat muted. Active fund management is still preferred and this lack of momentum means that there has not been the same pressure on management fees in Asia. Antoine de Saint Vaulry further adds that “the remuneration model for financial advisors in many countries is still not favourable to the development of ETFs, who can’t pay commissions. The markets who abandoned the commission based compensation models have seen massive inflows into ETFs (example Australia)“.

ETFs are also used differently across Asia. The central bank of Japan (BoJ) accounts for 60% of the Japanese ETF market and uses ETFs as a monetary policy tool. BoJ has invested over US$2bn in smart-beta ETFs that are designed to channel funds to companies that are making a positive impact on employment, wages and capital expenditure. Such use of ETFs is unique to Japan and Japan remains by far the largest ETF market in Asia – accounting for over half of AUM in the region. In Taiwan, where the Bureau of Labour Funds (BLF) accounts for 55% of the ETF market, product innovation in ETFs has been rapid – TWSE introduced leveraged and inverse ETFs in 2014, and futures-based ETF in 2015, tracking the price of gold futures. Last October, BLF publicly called for more smart-beta ETFs to complement its existing portfolio of leveraged and inverse ETFs – smart- beta ETFs are now expected imminently on the TWSE.

In Singapore, retail ETF AUM increased by 23% in 2016, with the total number of individual retail ETF holders up by 18% over the same period. This reflects the collective industry’s marketing and education efforts have been effective, though there is still much room for growth. The stats in Singapore exemplify that in Asian markets where institutional investors do not actively invest in ETFs, growth is likely to be significantly slower. It is less obvious where the drivers of innovation in ETFs are likely to come from. Drawing from the Taiwanese and Japanese markets, it would seem that a unified voice from the buy side has significant swaying power and would send the right signals to the ETF providers to create appropriate products. If on the other hand, this is not feasible as demand is naturally fragmented across a multitude of product types, then growth is likely to remain organic and progress somewhat slower.

Some exchanges are making effort to boost volumes however. Will Lawton of Eigencat notes that the Malaysian Securities Commission recently announced initiatives to incentivise issuers and investors to participate in the ETF market segment, broaden investors understanding of the asset class and will enhance facilitation to allow the ETF market to grow. In Singapore, SGX is partnering with Marvelstone to organise ETF Asia Forum (www.etfasiaforum.com) on the 30 March, an industry event meant to stimulate discussion on tapping opportunities to boost ETF growth in Asia. This year’s forum will focus on leveraging on fintech to drive growth.

Continue Reading

7 things to know about Samsung and LG’s mobile payment announcements in Asia this week

Mobile payment via smartphones in Asia had two major announcements yesterday from Korean mobile phone manufacturers Samsung and LG.

Here’s seven things you need to know:

Samsung Pay launches in India

  1. Paytm partnership: The flagship mobile payments service of Korean phone manufacturer Samsung Electronics has been launched in India yesterday. In addition to the Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled tap-and-pay solution, Samsung Pay has partnered with Paytm mobile wallet service and the National Payments Corporation of India’s United Payments Interface (UPI).
  1. Limited model support: The payments service will support the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6 Edge+, A5 (2016), A7 (2016), A5 (2017) and A7 (2017) models. A solution for lower end devices, especially those without fingerprint sensors, is expected in the near future.
  1. Banks on board: Samsung has partnered with various issuers and card networks, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI Card and Standard Chartered Bank. Axis Bank powers the UPI solution which works for the P2P payments feature on Samsung Pay.

“Samsung Pay is highly secure through the signature KNOX Platform, fingerprint authentication and tokenisation. We have partnered with major banks and card networks to give our consumers the widest range of choices, and are working on bringing more and more partners on board soon.”

— Asim Warsi, Senior Vice-President, Mobile Business for Samsung India

  1. Now in 12 countries: Yesterday’s launch takes the total number of countries where Samsung Pay is available to 12, following its launch in August 2015. Apple Pay’s march into Asia has been visible only in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore so far.
Credit: LG

LG Pay to launch in South Korea by June

  1. G6 support in Korea first: LG Electronics in an announcement yesterday said that it will be launching its own mobile payments system, LG Pay. The feature will be available first in South Korea by June 2017 on the company’s flagship G6 smartphone that was released in March this year.
  1. Dynamics partnership: With other smartphone leaders expanding with their own mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, LG does not want to be left behind. The service will use the wireless magnetic technology created by US-based firm Dynamics Inc, with an experience akin to Samsung Pay’s tap-and-pay. This will allow the service to work with existing point-of-sale card terminals. The partnership with Dynamics was announced yesterday as well.

“We are in discussions with all eight credit card companies in Korea, and seven credit card companies have decided to participate in the LG Pay service.”

— LG statement

  1. Still unclear: LG has still not disclosed international expansion plans, while the G6 is scheduled for launch in the US some time April 2017. Neither is it clear whether the service will be free like Samsung’s, or fees will be charged on transactions as with Apple Pay.

LG’s technology is explained as “generating a magnetic signal from a mobile device such as a smartphone, and paying it to a general credit card terminal”. The global mobile payment market size is estimated to be around US$780 billion in 2017, according to TrendForce.

Continue Reading

ETF market has high growth potential in Singapore

A view of the SGX signage outside their office in Singapore March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

By Arisa Siong – Over the past 10 years, the proportion of funds invested globally in passive strategies such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) has been steadily increasing. The shift from active to passive strategies most pronounced in equity. In the US, the proportion of passive stock market investments has doubled from just under 20 per cent in 2006 to just over 40 per cent in 2016.

Investors are increasingly attracted to cheaper funds and ETF have typical expense ratios that are a tenth of their mutual fund peers. The proportion of investors’ assets in funds with expense ratios of less than 20bps have doubled from 20 per cent in 2004 to 40 per cent in 2014. This is with reason, numerous studies have shown the expense ratio of a fund is a strong indicator of fund performance – the lower the fee, the better the fund tends to perform.

The ETF market in Asia-Pacific has grown steadily as well though still lags behind Europe and is further still from the US. In Singapore, despite a sound regulatory framework, vibrant financial service sector and a relatively wide choice of ETF products (around 80 listed on SGX), trading volumes of ETFs are low. Total Asset Under Management of ETFs traded on SGX in 2016 was just above $3 billion or 0.1 per cent of ETF AUM globally.

In comparison, Singapore’s GDP as a proportion of global GDP is four times higher. For a prominent financial centre, one would expect assets invested in a staple investment product such as ETFs to be more significant, particularly relative to the economy at large and given the rise in popularity of ETFs in other international markets.

This suggests that there is much room for the ETF market in Singapore to grow with potentially significant efficiency gains to be accrued by investors by switching to ETF alternatives. For instance, if a fifth of funds currently invested in mutual funds in Singapore were to be invested in ETFs instead, cost savings in differential expense ratios alone (conservatively assuming a 50bps differential) would amount to around $60 million per annum.

In the past six months, two new REIT ETFs have been launched on SGX. In comparison, smart-beta ETFs are gaining traction globally but remain relatively unknown and unused in Singapore. While many traditional ETF products are market-cap weighted passive stock indices, smart-beta products offer alternative investment strategies such as alternative indexing methods or asset classes.

The jury is still out on smart-beta though more innovation in the ETF space and sexier products that capture the fancy of local investors should help boost growth. There are of course other hurdles to overcome, the lack of willingness to distribute ETFs by banks and investor education, a space where fintech players such as robo-advisors could make a significant impact.

Arisa Siong, Head of MINNLAB at Marvelstone Group, will be speaking at ETF Asia Forum in Singapore, an industry event aimed at identifying ETF opportunities in Asia. Held on the 30th March at fintech hub LATTICE80, it provides a venue for the meeting of fintech and ETF players. Central themes for discussion include leveraging on fintech to drive ETF growth and index innovation. For more information, please visit: www.etfasiaforum.com

Continue Reading
1 2 3 28