Vanguard Targets 900 Million Users With Robo Advisor
Vanguard Group and Ant Financial’s joint venture is rolling out a new robo advisor to target the Chinese fintech giant’s 900 million users, a first step in winning a slice of the nation’s fast growing asset management business.
The venture started offering an automated service called “Bang Ni Tou” (Help You Invest), to capture people with at least 800 yuan ($113) to place in mutual funds, the companies said on Thursday.
“What we do is help users select an entire football team, instead of just one player,” Peter Zhang, chief executive officer of Vanguard Investment Advisors (Shanghai) Investment Consultancy Co., said in an interview. “We help our users by selecting a portfolio of investments that generate long-term returns.”
While the coronavirus outbreak has rocked the Chinese economy, the nation is proceeding apace with the further opening of its financial industry this month. Foreign asset managers are now rushing in to establish a foothold in a retail funds market that could grow to $3.4 trillion by 2023.
Ant, controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, is a $150 billion juggernaut that operates everything from payments to money market funds and credit scoring, The new joint venture -- in which Ant holds a 51% stake and Vanguard 49% -- has been approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
The robo advisor will recommend a portfolio selected from 6,000 mutual funds, after assessing the user’s risk appetite and investment horizon. The transactions are done automatically and the robo advisor will also help investors re-balance their portfolios if necessary.
Users can access the service through the apps Alipay and Ant Fortune, a wealth management platform.