June 15, 2016 / 8:30 AM / 4 years ago

Singapore start-up to launch robo adviser to tap tech-savvy rich

Mesitis' co-founder and CEO Tanmai Sharma speaks to journalists during the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit in Singapore, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Raj Narwani

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Financial technology firm Mesitis Pte Ltd plans to launch a robo-advisory business for high net worth individuals in the next two months, its CEO said, capitalizing on a growing trend by the rich to seek online investment advice at a lower cost.

A new, tech-savvy generation of wealthy clients and family offices are creating opportunities for fintech start-ups, challenging traditional private banks who have been slow to meet these demands.

But Wall Street is fast catching up by building or buying robo advisers. Asia has been slow so far to join that trend but this year fintech firms are gearing up to launch such products in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Singapore-based Mesitis’ robo adviser will offer advice to those who typically hold investable assets worth at least $1 million. Based on a computer algorithm, it aims to make money by charging clients 30 basis points on assets, its CEO Tanmai Sharma told the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit on Wednesday.

“Robo adviser is just an asset allocation program which takes your risks preferences into account,” Sharma said.

He said being a small outfit, his firm had a substantial advantage in terms of costs over a private bank.

The company, which Sharma founded in mid-2013 after a 15-year career at Deutsche Bank, currently mainly helps 90 rich clients keep track of their $3.6 billion worth of investments.

Additional reporting by Paige Lim in Singapore and Summeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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