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Value Partners maps out aggressive product push

Plans include product launches in China and in Hong Kong and ETFs outside Asia, according to King Au, Value Partners’ Hong Kong-based CEO.


Apps and robos

A branding strategy for a number of asset managers operating in the region has been a social media presence.  Au believes his firm’s mobile app, unveiled in Hong Kong last month, goes beyond that.

Value Partners already has a presence on WeChat in Hong Kong and China, as well as Facebook and Twitter (which are banned in China), but the firm decided to launch an app dedicated to its distributors in Hong Kong, according to Au.

As opposed to social media, which is used for brand building, the app’s aim is to provide fund information and updates to distributors. About 23% of AUM is derived from private banks and wealth managers, according to the firm’s annual report.

The first page of the app goes directly to the funds, as opposed to going to the “about us” page, he explained.

“A lot of times, we have to provide regular updates to our distributors by email or by putting information on our website. But it’s not as easy as we thought in terms of access, especially when they are busy or on the road.”

Besides fund information, such as dividend schedules, fund factsheets and legal documents, the app also provides in-house market commentaries as well as news published by external sources, he added.

Additional features are planned, such as accessing information for funds limited to professional investors in Hong Kong.

Au also gave an update on a planned robo-advisory platform.

The firm first announced that it was planning to build its own robo-advisory wealth management platform early last year. In April last year, it established Value Partners Technology Systems, an SFC-registered entity with an asset management (Type 9) licence, as well as licences for dealing and advising on securities (Type 1 and 4).

However, management scrapped the initial plan of building the platform in-house and is now in talks with B2B robo-advisory fintech providers, he said.

“We decided to look for other alternatives instead of building that ourselves,” he said, without providing specific details.

Management is still hammering out the robo-strategy, Au said.

“Do we target the mass retail or will we focus on the wealth management segment, where people look at more sophisticated advice modelling or even access to alternative products?”

Part of the Mark Allen Group.