Date
27 June 2017
Yunfeng Financial, funded by Jack Ma (above), expects Youyu to lure tens of thousands of investors by the end of the year. Photo: Bloomberg
Yunfeng Financial, funded by Jack Ma (above), expects Youyu to lure tens of thousands of investors by the end of the year. Photo: Bloomberg

Jack Ma-backed robo-adviser app targets retail investors

Yunfeng Financial Group Ltd., the listed financial services company funded by Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, has launched its robo-adviser wealth management application Youyu, targeting retail investors in China and Hong Kong.

The service targets investors with a Hong Kong bank account and at least US$800 to invest.

Investors can invest in individual funds with thresholds as low as US$200. While funds distributed by bank channels charge 2 percent to 5 percent for management, Yunfeng said the funds traded on its app charge lower. The company expects to lure tens of thousands of investors by the end of the year.

Yunfeng’s Youyu app partners with 13 global mutual and money-market funds, including funds from Franklin Resources Inc., Amundi Asset Management Hong Kong, Pimco Asia Ltd., Invesco Hong Kong Ltd. and Manulife Financial Corp., with more than 340 funds traded on the platform.

“We intend to provide retail investors with a premium service once exclusive to institutional investors”, chief executive Li Ting said. After running customer risk assessments, clients will receive advice from robo-advisers and algorithms to help build and manage their portfolios.

Based on a recent survey, younger investors are likely to take a more active role in managing their investments, with an increased usage in mobile devices, said Sally Wong Chi-ming, chief executive of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association.

She expects Youyu to attract more younger investors given its low investment threshold.

According to a senior official from Yunfeng, anyone who can provide the required certificate, would be eligible to complete the in-app registration using face-recognition technology in a few minutes, and can get approval in two days.

Yunfeng Financial has obtained a license from the Securities and Futures Commission for Type 1, 4, 6 and 9 SFC-regulated activities.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 7.

Translation by Ben Ng

[Chinese version 中文版]

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BN/RA

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