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Franklin Templeton eyes online wealth platform in SEA

It has partnered with Razer Fintech to roll out a digital platform targeting millennials in the region.

Franklin Templeton Investments in Singapore and Razer Fintech has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a strategic collaboration in the digital wealth management space, according to a joint statement from the firms.

The collaboration will target the youth and millennials in key markets for both organisations, which include Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Razer Fintech, which was established in 2018, operates in the B2B and B2C digital payment network space across Southeast Asia. For example, its B2C solution, Razer Pay, is an e-wallet service available in Malaysia and Singapore, according to its website.

“The reach of Razer Fintech’s iconic brand amongst the youth and millennials aligns with Franklin Templeton’s desire to target the new generation of investors,” Dora Seow, country head for Singapore at Franklin Templeton, said in the statement.

The move follows after Razer Fintech applied in January for a Digital Full Bank Licence in Singapore, which will enable the firm to provide digital banking services in the Lion City. It also comes after Franklin Templeton’s acquisition of Legg Mason, which created a combined organisation with $1.4trn in assets under management.

Both firms do not yet have an expected launch date for the digital wealth platform, as they are still engaging with regulators in the markets they operate in, Li Meng, Razer Fintech’s CEO, told FSA.

The platform

The digital wealth platform will include wealth offerings in multi-asset solutions across theme-based and goal-based portfolios, regular savings plans, money market funds and other investment vehicles, according to the statement.

“We are currently in discussions with Razer Fintech on the design of the digital wealth platform, as well as developing the investment solutions for our target audience,” Seow told FSA.

“Franklin Templeton is the sole investment solutions partner that Razer Fintech plans to collaborate with on their digital wealth offerings,” she noted, but did not elaborate whether or not the platform will only include Franklin Templeton’s products..

Both firms also plan to improve financial literacy of the youth and millennials and explore partnership and co-investment opportunities in fintech start-ups, as well as digital marketing and customer engagement collaborations, the statement added.

Digital wealth on the rise

The partnership between the two firms comes at a time when more companies are developing digital wealth management solutions in the region.

In August, for example, BNP Paribas rolled out a smartpohone function called “Be Advised” in Hong Kong and Singapore, which shows investment portfolio recommendations derived from the French Bakn’s internal methodology and based on the customer’s risk profile. The service is available exclusively to its clients under their contractual advisory offering.

During the same month, Lu International, the subsidiary of China online wealth management firm Lufax, launched a wealth management mobile app in Hong Kong that offers a selection of Hong Kong dollar-based mutual fund products.

Even ride-hailing firm Grab’s financial services arm, Grab Financial, announced that it will roll out a wealth management solution for Grab users in Singapore, which will make use of fixed income funds offered by Fullerton Fund Management and UOB Asset Management.

Other wealth managers in the region, including Citi, DBS, Deutsche and UBS, already have digital wealth management solutions and most are upgrading their mobile phone services as they fight of the challenge from robo-advisors and fintech companies.

Part of Mark Allen.