Rise of the robot fund manager

Rise of the robot fund manager

AVA Advisory, a Thai-owned fintech startup, plans the commercial launch of its first robotic adviser app for the financial sector in Singapore in the fourth quarter, aiming to create an entirely new breed of smart wealth and investment management activity.

Using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in the robotic adviser or automated financial advice tools, the AVA Alpha Fund app can help customers manage and optimise their wealth and investment portfolio.

"After spending 50 million baht in developing the AVA Alpha Fund in the past 12 months, we're ready for the commercial launch of our AI robotic adviser service in Singapore as the first country in the fourth quarter," said Miranda Songpatanasilp, chief financial officer and co-founder of AVA Advisory.

The app will be launched in Thailand once the company wins permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AVA Advisory is a Thai company but is registered and based in Singapore.

Ms Miranda said the global robotic adviser will have US$8 trillion worth of assets under management by 2020.

The emergence of AI will play an increasingly important role in financial investment services in Thailand, she said.

The AVA Alpha Fund application promises to advise, manage and improve wealth portfolios and investments in a more automated way.

The target customers are investors who lack professional knowledge or experience and may have lost money in the past.

"We aim to become an alternative investment tool to stockbrokers," Ms Miranda said. "The use of AI [with the ability to leverage all data related to financial activities] promises to take out the human bias and make investment more accurate."

AVA Advisory will charge a management fee of 0.5% and a performance fee of 10%, the latter of which is lower than the 20% performance fee charged by securities firms and brokers.

"We aim to become one of the leading robotic adviser players in Southeast Asia by 2019," Ms Miranda said.

AVA Advisory plans to raise funds worth US$4-5 million for further business development and expansion, she said.

Nirun Pravittana, chief executive and founder of AVA Advisory, said the company plans to add various features to the AVA Alpha Fund app such as asset allocation, stock screening, money management and portfolio adjustment.

The company aims to have 600,000 app downloads by year-end.

"Our robotic adviser is expected to have 1.5 billion baht worth of assets under our management in 2017," Mr Nirun said.

He said the company plans to roll out the app in the US by year-end before expanding to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam in 2018.

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