Citi Article Header

Citi appoints Global Wealth Co-Heads in Asia Pacific

Fabio Fontainha

In late January 2021, Citi unveiled its new wealth management unit “Citi Global Wealth” – unifying the group’s Consumer Banking’s retail wealth management business and the Institutional Clients Group’s Citi Private Bank. Leading this newly formed unit is Citi veteran – Jim O’Donnell.

In line with the above announcement, Citi’s made key appointments in Asia’s wealth management franchise. Fabio Fontainha and Steven Lo have been named as Co-Heads for Citi Global Wealth in Asia Pacific. Fabio Fontainha and Steven Lo will directly report to Jim O’Donnell and Citi’s Asia-Pacific CEO Peter Babej. Further, Fabio Fontainha will also join Steven Lo on the Asia Pacific Operating Committee. Citi currently ranks as a top three wealth manager with approximately US$300 billion in assets under management (AUM).

In an internal memo, Peter Babej highlighted the bank’s vision for and commitment to the region. “The scale and growth prospects, driven by the emergence of a vast middle class and the rapid development of regional capital markets stands out for the Asian Wealth management sector”, noted Peter Babej. Further, he also added that the bank’s “industry-leading talent, distinctive global network and broad product platform, makes it well positioned for market leadership.” The group witnessed record net new money inflows of over US$20 billion across its regional franchise, spanning consumer banking wealth management as well as the private bank in 2020.

Steven Lo

As prime market for wealth management, Asia has been on Citi’s radar as the bank is focused on winning in wealth in the region. A testament to this is when Citi opened the largest wealth hub globally for Citi in Singapore last year. It also announced plans to double AUM by 2025 in the market and triple number of clients in the same period.

In the recent times a number of institutions have focused on growing or expanding to Asia-Pacific due to ideal market conditions, favourable demographics and various other factors. BCG’s Global Wealth Report 2020 highlights scenarios where Asia ex Japan Wealth is expected to grow from 5.1% to 7.4% under different recovery scenarios in the next 5 years – leading the growth trajectories for North America and Western Europe. In line with this, Asia is will be the fastest growing wealth region under all scenarios.

***

>> Read more exclusive features about retail banking innovation and the digital banking landscape. Download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

SC Article Header

Age of the Digital Workplace: Why Standard Chartered is Prepared for this New Decade

Workplace transformation and evolution of workplace culture dominated conversations in the latter half of 2020. Greater use of digital technologies – right from note taking to automating processes, was achieved at faster pace than ever imagined. With widespread adoption of new working habits, organisations worked to support their employees to adapt to this new work style and also acknowledged the need to reskill and upskill a significant number of employees. With a noticeable shift in the workplace status quo, we interviewed Sham Arora, Global Head of Enterprise Technology, Standard Chartered to further understand how the bank is preparing to address challenges of the new decade and adapt to an ever-expanding digital landscape.

Workplace of the New Decade

Sham Arora: We know that work, now and in the future, is facing significant change, as are the expectations of our clients and colleagues. To work effectively in the new normal across the Technology function, we have set up the SmartForce Future Workplace programme to provide best practices, protocols, and standards for teams to work effectively.

During the pandemic we went from relatively low levels to 75% of our teams working from home in a few short weeks. We’ve learnt a huge amount from this – and it also proved we can effectively operate a global bank remotely. We are focused on how we organise ourselves, how we work, and how we drive an inclusive and innovative culture to equip us all to adapt.

We know how important flexibility and work/life balance is to our current – and future – colleagues. It is a core principle of our Fair Pay Charter and why we took a leading approach when we will be implementing our Flexible Working Standards across all our markets. But flexible working requires a change in how we do things, re-imagining how we deliver to clients, how we collaborate across multiple geographies, how we use the office or home space to bring our best and most productive selves to work.

Our Technology function is focused on how we can bring ideas from the whiteboard to our customers in the fastest time, from organisational design, to training and talent development, to building an engineering culture, to lean processes and delivery models.

Aiding Growth Across the Digital Spectrum

The Real Deal: A Digital Workplace

Sham Arora: The power of the digital workplace has never been clearer. Covid19 ‘forced’ us into a situation to adapt, and the result is massive adoption of digital capabilities both among our workforce and client base. During the pandemic, we enabled our 84,000 colleagues across 60 markets to work remotely, while continuing to provide uninterrupted service to our clients, and recording the fewest incidents in the past 5 years.

The organisation’s ability to adapt at pace showed that the future workplace is now, and it’s here to stay. That means long-term hybrid working options for our global teams, as well as our organisational structure, workplace design and digital workplace set up to enable flexibility and to promote new ways of working. The roll out of digital capabilities has clearly transformed our colleague experiences.

Booking a meeting room and taking notes, has become interactive two-way digital whiteboarding. Meeting our colleagues at the coffee counter is now getting together on our instant messaging or audio / video conferencing services. Connecting with a client is now a ‘face-to-face’ virtual meet, using our suite of video conferencing tools.

The Focus: Clients and Customers

Sham Arora: Clients have also demonstrated a strong demand for the convenience and availability of digital services during the pandemic. Across our markets, we saw a huge jump in digital sales for retail products at 68% compared to 28% a year ago and an exponential increase of over 300% in digital sales. This proves the increasing digital fluency of our employees and clients alike.

What’s more, we’ve also sped up delivery of our cloud-based solutions. The Bank’s applications and data are now accessible from any device – corporate or personal – through the roll out of a Bring Your Own Mobile Device platform, now available across our global markets.

The Critical Ingredient: Talent Pool

Sham Arora: Enabled by new capabilities, aXess Academy – our platform to upskill and reskill technologists – was scaled and globalised with innovative and experiential digital learning.

Learning participation increased by 223% covering 16,000+ participants from 32 locations, now connected via newly rolled out communications and collaboration tools.

The Future Lies in Automation

Sham Arora: We are transforming and re-engineering processes to create efficiencies that make things easier for our teams, whilst enhancing our client experience. Automation is fundamental in this journey; creating faster and more responsive technology products and services that meet our colleague and clients’ needs.

We’re adapting our structure and ways of working around clients and their needs. Our new ways of working are enabling colleagues to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams; thinking horizontally to deliver seamless client outcomes. They also allow us to build deep client insights and learn fast through rapid experimentation. Using the new ways of working, our retail bank in Singapore launched an improved personal loan product in 6 weeks instead of 6 months, packed with features in line with clients’ demands.

Employee Experience on par with Customer Experience

Sham Arora: I believe a great employee experience enables a great client experience.

We continue to invest in advanced digital capabilities and partner with leading edge industry players, to enhance mobility, teamwork, and innovation. As our employees embrace hybrid working, our focus is on making our technology capabilities available anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Whether in the office, on-the-go or in meeting a client, our employees will have optionality, the ability to virtually access Bank resources from any device, and to switch seamlessly between capabilities; from whiteboarding to virtual meetings, instant chat and more.

We also want to give our colleagues more choice around how, when and where they work. We formed a new partnership with International Workplace Group (or you may know them better as Regus) providing additional near-home/near-client workspace for all our people. This will enable our teams to work closer to clients, colleagues, and their teams, as well as reduce commuting time, travel costs and our individual and collective carbon footprint.
All this combined is about enabling our teams to collaborate digitally and to be more lean and agile, while meeting our sustainability goals.

The New Landscape in Private Wealth Management

The New Landscape in Private Wealth Management

Private wealth management has been undergoing a massive transformation. In large part, because of the rapid technological innovation that has been going for the past couple of years, but more significantly, as a result of the strict measures being implemented by various governments to combat the pandemic. In this insightful interview with Masroor Batin, CEO Wealth Management – Middle-East & Africa (MEA) at BNP Paribas Wealth Management, he spoke about the new landscape in private wealth management, the trends in inter-generational wealth transfer and the role of digital in investments and meeting client expectations.

Global Private Banker: How was 2020 as a year for BNP Paribas Wealth Management across MEA, and what are you hopeful for over 2021?

Masroor Batin, CEO Wealth Management - Middle-East & Africa (MEA) at BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Masroor Batin, CEO Wealth Management – Middle-East & Africa (MEA) at BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Masroor Batin: We will all remember 2020 as the year of Covid-19. The different waves of the pandemic and lockdowns resulted in the fastest and deepest recession on record. At BNP Paribas Wealth Management MEA, we adapted our platform in just a few days to allow remote working while continuing to serve our clients. We also enhanced our digital capabilities to better engage with our clients since we were no longer able to meet them in person. It was firm proof of our agility to adapt.

Apart from the pandemic, by all metrics, 2020 was a very strong year for BNP Paribas Wealth Management MEA. We grew our teams notably on the coverage side; we enhanced our new client-centric commercial organisation; our clients entrusted us with significant net new cash (+$1Bn vs. 2019) and we closed remarkable transactions. More importantly, we focused on being even closer to our clients so we could serve them even better during this turbulent time. Our recent awards including “Best Private Bank in the UAE” given by your magazine, as well as our client satisfaction surveys, are a strong testament to our commitment that drives us every day as a company.

In 2021, we will continue our efforts in this regard, and we will ensure that we closely accompany our clients in their investment decisions and in their ambitions. We are also cognisant of the global challenges we are facing such as transitioning towards a sustainable economy. Today BNP Paribas Wealth Management is a recognised leader in the field of sustainable investment solutions, and we aim to continue meeting this growing demand from our clients for responsible solutions.

Many experts predict that around $30Tr to $70Tr will be passed down from the Baby Boomer generation to the millennial market in the coming decades, calling this the “Great Wealth Transfer.”

Global Private Banker: How is your firm approaching generational wealth transfer to the millennial market?

Masroor Batin: Many experts predict that around $30Tr to $70Tr will be passed down from the Baby Boomer generation to the millennial market in the coming decades, calling this the “Great Wealth Transfer.” This is very likely to be the largest wealth transfer in history. Within the Middle East, most of our clients are preparing for this transfer and we are already  accompanying them with our award-winning Wealth Planning team. Within BNP Paribas Wealth Management, we also organise Next Generation Seminars, dedicated to children of UHNWIs, which educate this generation on all aspects of this wealth transfer including the necessity for long-term strategic planning.

Finally, we clearly see a great acceleration in the uptake of socially responsible investing across all demographics, and notably among millennials. According to our 2020 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur report, 70% of entrepreneurs globally are more willing to invest sustainably than 2 years ago. Millennial entrepreneurs have even stronger ambitions: they are willing to invest as much as a fifth of their investments responsibly by 2021. We have integrated sustainable criteria into our core offering and we will take into consideration our clients’ risk/return and sustainability profile when we propose the investment solutions that match their values and their ambitions.

Global Private Banker: What is your outlook on the impact of COVID-19 on the private wealth landscape over the next 12-24 months, and what critical measures has your business taken to navigate these waters?

Masroor Batin: First, our clients are asking for more advice. In a rapidly changing environment, which is by its nature unpredictable, providing our clients with regular (sometimes daily) market updates and with easy access to market experts, becomes essential. We believe that banks with strong global and local expertise and tailor-made capabilities will have a strong competitive edge in this context, which is most certainly the case for BNP Paribas. For example, we published our 2021 Investment themes, they are grouped by investment horizon, from short term to long term but also looking at key areas such as sustainability, and we believe that these themes will be key for driving our clients’ investment ambitions.

Second, clients are looking for diversification, both in their investments and for their wealth managers and they now favour international players with strong solvability and liquidity ratios. This is clearly a driver at BNP Paribas! Again, we have seen an increased interest in our firm due to its size, its diversified model and its solidity.

Finally, the digital journey has accelerated both internally and externally, and we have launched new ways of engaging with our clients and our teams.

I strongly believe the measures, which we have put in place during these exceptional circumstances, like today, won’t go away when the crisis ends. They will become our BAU.

Global Private Banker: What are some of the digital capabilities your firm is investing in, as a result of changing client expectations?

Masroor Batin: There is nothing new that clients expect innovation from their wealth manager, and we have been investing in our digital capabilities for many years. It is probably too early to say definitively how the past few months events will shift client expectations, but we believe that there will be a significant transformation, putting on banks a responsibility to accelerate the digitalisation of the client experience.

For example, while physical interactions have always been central in our relationships with our clients, clients are much more open to digital interactions with us. This is definitely the result of the months of lockdown situations and travel restrictions.

To answer these new expectations, we continue to enhance our client journeys, notably in the areas of advice, portfolio management and communication. We have been leveraging during the last years on digital to make the client experience smoother and more personalised.

We believe that banks with strong global and local expertise and tailor-made capabilities will have a strong competitive edge in this context, which is most certainly the case for BNP Paribas.

Global Private Banker: Which Wealth Management FinTechs have caught your eye of late?

Masroor Batin: Globally, we have partnered with top FinTechs in their respective fields of expertise, notably through our  digital factories in Europe and Asia. Recently, we partnered with Gambit, a Belgium FinTech active in robo-advisory technology, to build a digital investment mandate for some of our clients. To give you another example, we are also currently working with DreamQuark, a deep learning platform, which has been accelerated in our BNP Paribas Plug & Play accelerator program in Station F in Paris.

Global Private Banker: How does BNP Paribas Wealth Management in the Middle East differentiate in a highly competitive landscape, and what would you say is your unique value proposition?

Masroor Batin: Without any doubt, it is our One Bank integrated approach, which is at the heart of our value proposition. It allows our Wealth Management clients to benefit from the not only our expertise, but also from all the expertise within the BNP Paribas Group, which is truly unique in the banking industry. For example, our clients can benefit from our Real Estate business, Asset Management, Personal Investors, Securities Services, Islamic Finance and Insurance to name a few. And of course, there is our very unique international footprint.

We are “the bank for a changing world” and to be so, we must understand the world, its changes, opportunities and challenges. This is our uniqueness.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

***

Image: Robson90 / Shutterstock.com

 

Is Fintech Eating Private Bankers’ Lunch

Is Fintech Eating Private Bankers’ Lunch?

As we enter the proverbial fourth industrial revolution, technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and big data continue to disrupt several sectors of the economy. Private banks are faced with the challenge of either keeping up with the pace of the revolution or losing their position as the leading wealth management institution for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI).

Banks will have to restructure their infrastructure, workforce, and priorities to align with technological changes, and they would have to invest more into the security of data. Financial institutions must rethink the very definition of ‘client relationship’ and create new approaches to thrive in a constantly evolving environment.

However, in recent years, Challenger and Neobanks alike, with their mobile-first and cutting-edge digital infrastructure, have dominated the Fintech industry. They did this without having to put up physical branches, robo advisors or digital wealth managers. Their main plan has been to disrupt and redefine traditional banking while providing innovative wealth management services to underserved market segments.

While Neo and Challenger banks continue to chip away market share in the wealth management industry, lots of start-ups are beginning to gather momentum and successfully organise fundraisers in a bid to secure their place in this fast-growing industry. Neobanks such as Revolut, Chime, NubankMonzo, Starling and N26 have already become household names. Meanwhile, Rosecut, a UK fintech firm, offers digital wealth management solutions to affluent next-gen clients who has liquid wealth between £250,000 and £3 million.

“We are building the service of a private bank, with the cost-efficiency and scale of digital delivery,” Qiaojia Li, co-founder and CEO of Rosecut said in a statement.

The Digital Factor

Playing their fintech card really well, today’s neobanks are using digital strategies to their maximum advantage – and it seems to be paying off handsomely. Research reveals that the challenger and neo bank industry, which was valued at $20.4 billion in 2019, is projected to grow and reach $471.0 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 48.1% from 2020 to 2027.

Obviously, the reduction in fees and service charges has made competition stiff, but this doesn’t automatically put traditional wealth management firms and private banks at a disadvantage as long as they can restructure to adapt to the changes and service offerings erupting in the industry. For example, established private banks are shoring up their digital capabilities to improve client experiences, one of them is for BNP Paribas Wealth Management.

Playing their fintech card really well, today’s neobanks are using digital strategies to their maximum advantage – and it seems to be paying off handsomely.

“There is nothing new in the fact that clients expect innovation from their wealth manager, and we have been investing in our digital capabilities for many years. It is probably too early to say definitively how the past few months’ events will shift client expectations, but we believe that there will be a significant transformation, putting on banks a responsibility to accelerate the digitalisation of the client experience,” says Masroor Batin, CEO Wealth Management – Middle-East & Africa (MEA) at BNP Paribas Wealth Management during an interview with Global Private Banker.

“While physical interactions have always been central in our relationships with our clients, clients are much more open to digital interactions with us. This is definitely the result of the months of lockdown situations and travel restrictions.

“To answer these new expectations, we continue to enhance our client journeys, notably in the areas of advice, portfolio management and communication. We have been leveraging during the last years on digital to make the client experience smoother and more personalised,” Mr Masroor Batin adds.

For other banks, the approach could be quite different. In 2016, investment giant Goldman Sachs launched  Marcus, their digital-only brand. Retaining the already reputable Goldman Sachs name, Marcus serves as an avenue for the company to diversify and delve into untapped markets. The company has also gone mainstream by introducing their mobile app, bringing their digital banking services to customers’ fingertips. In an update, Goldman Sachs said Marcus’ deposits reached $97 Billion as of end 2020 and is targeting at least $125 billion in deposits by 2024. Reports also have it that Goldman Sachs is considering acquisitions to bulk up its consumer banking unit Marcus.

Traditional institutions, indeed, appreciate the need to engage their prospects through the use of technology, but they still have lots of challenges to conquer. From constraints caused by legacy systems to issues surrounding usability and user experience, which results in low adoption rates, these traditional institutions face many drawbacks. And to top it all off, big tech is now poised to become big competition.

The reduction in fees and service charges has made competition stiff, but this doesn’t automatically put traditional wealth management firms and private banks at a disadvantage as long as they can adapt to the changes erupting in the industry.

The Big Tech Conundrum

In 2020, Capgemini’s World Wealth Report said that 93% of HNWIs in Asia Pacific ex-Japan are willing to entrust their wealth management needs into the hands of BigTechs like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Alibaba, or Tencent, should they decide to delve deeper into wealth management services.

HNWIs, millennials especially, are particularly more investment savvy than the older generations. They are always on the lookout for investment opportunities that generate higher interests. Due to the low-interest rate and high volatility of portfolio investments in recent times, investors are steadily gravitating away from portfolio investment towards investing in real companies. To survive these disruptions, banks have to strengthen their relationship with customers and review their offerings.

Strengthening their relationship with HNWI clients will set private banks on the right path to weather the storm of competition before them. New entrants in the financial industry such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon have e-money licenses, but they can be considered rookies in the financial sector. Nevertheless, these companies have access to big data concerning almost everyone’s habits on the internet, and they may leverage on this information to promote their business.

Private banks now face the enormous responsibility of taking advantage of Fintech to solidify their place as leaders in the financial services industry. As Fintech companies and already existing BigTech companies continue to disrupt the market, traditional banking institutions need to develop their technology for them to keep up with the competition.

Fintech also provides other new approaches to solidify the relationship between banks and their clients. The depth of the relationship between banks and their clients determines their competitive edge and chances of standing the test of the time in the wealth management industry.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

***

Fireblocks Raises 133 Million in Series C Funding thumb

Fireblocks Raises $133 Million in Series C Funding

Fireblocks announced today it has raised $133 million in Series C funding led by Coatue, Ribbit, and Stripes with strategic investment from The Bank of New York Mellon ( “BNY Mellon”) and Silicon Valley Bank. The completion of this round of financing, which includes participation from previous investors, including Paradigm, Galaxy Digital, Swisscom Ventures, Tenaya Capital and Cyberstarts Ventures, makes Fireblocks the most well-funded crypto infrastructure provider in the industry with a cumulative total of $179 million raised to date. With the new injection of funds from strategic investors, Fireblocks will continue to expand global resources to service the world’s biggest banks and fintechs and connect them to the entire crypto capital markets.

With bitcoin topping $1 trillion in market value, banks and fintechs around the world are faced with overwhelming demand from customers and investors to enable digital asset products and services. Now, Fireblocks will offer banks and traditional financial institutions the ability to seamlessly plug into the broader decentralized finance ecosystem and all of its market participants. Using Fireblocks’ platform, banks and fintechs can rapidly deploy custody, tokenization, asset management, trading, lending and payment solutions across public and private blockchain networks.

“Fintechs and banks require not only a specialized custody and settlement infrastructure to ensure customers funds are safely managed, but a platform that enables new lines of digital offerings,” said Michael Shaulov, CEO of Fireblocks. “While we have no plans to become a bank, we believe our infrastructure will lend itself perfectly to power an entirely new era of financial services. We are humbled to have the top VCs in Fintech, and the most important strategic partners support our mission to re-platform the financial ecosystem into digital assets. Their financial backing guarantees the long term stability, technology superiority and service delivery to our exponentially growing customer base.“

Fireblocks began with serving crypto-native institutions and exchanges, and has grown over the last three years to become the first and only institutional digital asset transfer and wallet network trusted to secure more than $400 billion assets for its customers. Strategic investor, BNY Mellon, the world’s largest asset servicer, announced earlier this year their commitment to accelerate the development of enterprise solutions to service the rapidly evolving digital asset space.

“Developing products to bridge digital and traditional assets is foundational to the future of custody,” said Roman Regelman, Chief Executive Officer of Asset Servicing and Head of Digital at BNY Mellon. “Following significant due diligence and market research, we recognize Fireblocks as a market leader in providing secure technology to support digital asset services.“

“Our partnership with Fireblocks is consistent with our belief that a new financial ecosystem is emerging and that companies like Fireblocks are essential,” said Kris Fredrickson, Managing Partner at Coatue. “We have been thoroughly impressed with Fireblocks’ team, technology, and vision for the future. We believe that Fireblocks can help set a new industry standard for companies looking to participate in the digital assets industry.”

“We are standing at the cusp of the biggest transformation that the world’s financial system has ever seen,” said Micky Malka, Managing Director of Ribbit Capital. “Fireblocks is standing right at the forefront of this revolution, and we believe that their technology will play a critical role in driving tremendous innovation in the financial sector for decades to come. We are excited to join their team and help fuel their exciting journey ahead.”

“Fireblocks has built the most powerful technology stack for anyone that’s looking to get into the digital asset business,” said Ken Fox, Founder and Managing Partner of Stripes Group. “Fireblocks is leading the breakthroughs in MPC wallets, settlement network and access to DeFi and tokenization services. It has the versatility that banks and fintechs need to continue competing in this market.”

###

About Fireblocks

Fireblocks is a leading enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Fireblocks enables banks, fintechs, exchanges, liquidity providers, OTCs and hedge funds to securely manage digital assets across a wide range of products and services. The technology consists of the Fireblocks Network and MPC-based Wallet Infrastructure. Fireblocks serves over 200 financial institutions and has secured over $400 billion in digital assets. Fireblocks has a unique insurance policy that covers assets in storage & transit and offers 24/7 global support. For more information, please visit www.fireblocks.com.

Digital Tokens With Exposure to Astrea VI Bonds Issued For The First Time, Enabling iSTOX To Reduce Minimum Investment By Up To 10 Times

iSTOX tokenises Temasek-linked Astrea private equity bonds lowering minimum investment by 10x

  • The tokenisation of bonds linked to the Singapore government-owned Temasek is a strong validation of both digital securities (also known as security tokens or digital tokens) and the iSTOX platform.
  • With the efficiency gains from tokenisation, iSTOX was able to reduce the minimum investment size in Astrea VI bonds for individual investors by 10 times – from US$200,000 to US$20,000, significantly expanding access to the bonds.
  • This ensures the benefits of private equity are spread more equally among smaller investors, and was made possible by issuing securities using blockchain and smart contract technology.
  • Founded in 2017, iSTOX is a fintech company backed by Singapore Exchange (SGX), Temasek-subsidiary Heliconia Capital and Japan government-backed investors Japan Investment Corporation – Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ).
  • iSTOX Chief Commercial Officer Oi Yee Choo said, “Over time, as issuers and investors become better acquainted with digital tokens, we expect market forces to shift much if not all of the global bond market to digital issuances.

 

The Astrea VI private equity bonds issued this month by Astrea VI Pte. Ltd. have been tokenised by iSTOX (through Prometheus-3 Pte. Ltd.)  to reduce the minimum investment ticket by up to 10 times, private market platform iSTOX, which handled the digital token allocation, announced today. This marks the first time digital tokens with exposure to bonds in the Astrea series have been offered.

The manager of the Astrea VI transaction is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Azalea Group, which is in turn an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. iSTOX’s digital tokens lower the threshold for accredited investors to gain exposure to the private equity bond asset class.

The digital issuance, or tokenisation, covered bonds from the two USD-denominated tranches – Class A-2 and Class B bonds, which saw interest rates fixed at 3.25% and 4.35% per annum respectively. iSTOX was able to reduce the minimum investment size for Class B security tokens to US$20,000, from the typical US$200,000 minimum denomination for wholesale bonds. Class A-2 security tokens were also made available from US$20,000, instead of the bonds’ US$50,000 minimum denomination. Under Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulations, the Class A-2 and Class B security tokens were open to subscriptions from accredited individual investors and institutions.

With tokenisation, bonds or other types of securities such as equity or funds are issued on a blockchain network that uses smart contracts. This enables the automation of manual processes in the issuance, distribution and post-sale management of the bond, including coupon payments. The efficiency gains make it cost effective for the bond to be offered to a much larger group of smaller investors via lower minimum ticket sizes.

Investors who successfully subscribed via iSTOX to the security tokens that provide Astrea VI bond exposure can now begin trading them, as the tokens have been listed on the iSTOX exchange. New investors can participate in secondary trading by signing up as iSTOX users. The speed of the blockchain network reduces transaction costs and allows trades to be settled instantly, instead of the usual 2 working days for exchanges not powered by blockchain technology.

Oi Yee Choo, Chief Commercial Officer of iSTOX, said, “Like Azalea, iSTOX aims to democratise the private markets and ensure the benefits of private equity and other private asset classes are spread more equally among smaller investors. Studies have shown that global private equity averaged returns roughly double to that of global public equity over the past 10 years.  Since 2018, Azalea has offered Astrea Class A-1 Private Equity Bonds to retail investors. At iSTOX, we believe the next logical step in democratisation is to help individual investors gain access to the other two USD-denominated tranches as well – Class A-2 and Class B bonds. With this latest digital token issuance, iSTOX further levels the playing field by lowering minimum investments significantly, putting these tokens within the reach of many accredited investors – hundreds of thousands in Singapore and tens of millions worldwide.”

“Digital tokens are transforming the financial markets in a profound way,” she said. “The technology is fundamentally more efficient. Over time, as issuers and investors become better acquainted with digital tokens, we expect market forces to shift much if not all of the global bond market to digital issuances.”

She added, “The issuance of digital tokens with exposure to the Astrea VI Private Equity Bonds is one of the most significant deals on the iSTOX platform to-date. Since the Monetary Authority of Singapore granted iSTOX a full license in February 2020, our strategy has been to offer high-quality issuances to accredited investors, as the issuers of these securities lead the market in embracing innovation and set standards that other issuers follow.”

The Astrea VI bonds are backed by cash flows from a diversified portfolio of 35 private equity funds managed by reputable general partners. The portfolio consists of buyout funds (81%) and growth equity funds (19%), with exposure to 802 underlying companies at launch. The US$228 million Class A-2 bonds are rated Asf by Fitch, and have a scheduled call date in March 2026. The US$130 million Class B bonds are rated BBBsf by Fitch, and are amortizing after the full redemption of the Class A bonds. This means Class A-2 bonds could be fully or partially redeemed in March 2026, while Class B bonds could be fully or partially redeemed after the redemption of Class A-2 bonds. Interest is paid to bond holders every 6 months.

At a time when global interest rates are at historic lows, private equity bonds can offer steady returns with relatively low risk. Furthermore, like in earlier Astrea issuances, Astrea VI investors benefit from structural safeguards such as a credit facility and diversion of cash to bondholders when the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 50%.

iSTOX is fully regulated by the MAS as a multi-asset digital securities platform for the issuance, custody and secondary trading of private market products, such as hedge funds, wholesale bonds and private equity. Founded in 2017, iSTOX is backed by Singapore Exchange, Temasek-subsidiary Heliconia Capital and Japan government-backed investors Japan Investment Corporation – Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). Individual accredited investors using the iSTOX platform today come from 24 countries, spanning Asia, Europe, the Americas (excluding the US), Australia and New Zealand.

###

About iSTOX

iSTOX is a future-ready capital markets platform set to usher in a new era for capital fundraising and investment. Through digital securities, iSTOX offers a more innovative, flexible, inclusive, and efficient system for an emerging generation of investors and issuers. As part of its mission, iSTOX seeks to enable all users to transact exactly the way they want to and extends capital market access to a wider segment of the community. iSTOX is owned and operated by ICHX, which has been approved by MAS as a recognised market operator (RMO) and has a capital markets services (CMS) license to deal in securities and collective investment schemes, and to provide custodial services. For more information, visit www.iSTOX.com.

 

Is Life Insurance the solution to building a resilient financial portfolio

Is Life Insurance the solution to building a resilient financial portfolio?

The insurance landscape – vibrant and fast growing especially among the High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), gained significant traction in 2020. With the world coming to a standstill, the HNWIs were forced to slow down in 2020 as well. Consequential conversations with regard to lifestyle, health, longevity and succession took center-stage. Life insurance – an answer to these conversations, was thrust into the spotlight. To fully understand how HNWIs can leverage off the benefits of the current day insurance services, we interviewed Brandon Caneer, Head of Proposition Development & Advanced Marketing at Transamerica Life (Bermuda) Ltd.

As unpredictability and uncertainty continue to shape 2021, what are some of the trends that are currently shaping the HNW segment?

Brandon Caneer, Head of Proposition Development & Advanced Marketing at Transamerica Life (Bermuda) Ltd.

Brandon Caneer: High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) often have complex needs and considerations, varying from paying potential estate taxes, protecting the family’s lifestyle, ensuring business continuity, to funding children’s education, amongst others. Coming to terms with the global health crisis coupled with continued economic uncertainty, we noticed that the needs of HNWIs haven’t changed during this challenging time – in fact, their demand for financial solutions are greater than ever.

We have actually seen increased awareness from HNWIs in the areas of health, longevity, and legacy planning. As a result, many HNWIs are now looking to include life insurance as part of their overall wealth management plan, while those who already have life insurance plans are revisiting them to make sure they are still relevant, reviewing if they have sufficient coverage.

While the insurance industry has been around for the longest of time, could you tell us how insurers today are well poised to offer wealth management solutions to the HNW and UHNW segment?

Brandon Caneer: Asia is leading the global population growth for HNW and UHNW individuals.  Many of these HNWIs and UHNWIs are approaching retirement and are facing the prospect of passing on their wealth for the first time. According to Transamerica Life (Bermuda) Ltd.’s (TLB’s) latest study on HNW succession planning, Succession Planning 2019: Converting Challenges to Actions, we found that Asia’s HNWIs today are still less prepared for wealth transfer/succession planning than their counterparts in other regions — with 57% admitting they have done nothing regarding estate planning and wealth transfer, compared to 32% in the West.

With over 85% of businesses in the region being family-owned, the transfer of wealth is very much linked to Asian values around duty and family, which brings about a unique set of challenges to succession planning for this segment.

Life insurance can play a critical role in any successful wealth transfer plan as it can provide a solid financial foundation and serves as a versatile tool to protect business assets, family, partners and key employees from an unexpected death. Despite the myriad benefits of life insurance and its ability to help mitigate jurisdictional, compliance, legal and tax issues, the lack of knowledge and misconceptions about life insurance point to a growth opportunity for life insurance providers and brokers.

How is the insurance industry as a whole evolving to cater to HNWIs changing preferences?

Brandon Caneer: While many HNWIs already have life insurance in place, many of them are now revisiting them to make sure they are still relevant. For HNWIs that do not yet have life insurance coverage, there is now greater interest to have one in their overall wealth management portfolio.

Traditionally, the HNW life insurance business has been a high touch, face-to-face model. This is not surprising when one considers the large amounts and level of personal and business details involved, which is why trust and the quality of advice provided are critical to HNWIs. HNWI’s from around the region tend to “fly to buy” HNW life insurance in sophisticated financial jurisdictions, such as SG or HK, to sign applications and forms.

The biggest challenge the insurance industry faced was that people can’t easily travel, therefore the current situation challenges this traditional business model. We’ve developed new business processes which allow our brokers to have non face-to-face conversations with their HNW clients (covering both onshore and offshore clients), including new paperwork, more flexible underwriting, and the adoption of e-signatures amongst others.

As HNW look to diversify and find stable financial solutions, what role can the insurance industry play here?

Brandon Caneer: Today, many HNWIs/UHNWIs have assets that are spread globally, and they often have family members that are living abroad across several different countries. This leaves them facing jurisdictional and compliance issues as well as legal and tax challenges in their efforts to financially plan for their retirement and the future preservation and efficient transfer of their wealth.

Life insurance, therefore, is an ideal tool for providing liquidity in exactly the right amount at exactly the right time – helping HNWIs to protect and efficiently pass their wealth to the next generation. This can be used to cover:

  • Immediate obligations: e.g., estate taxes, medical costs, outstanding liabilities or the cost of replacing the HNWI, especially if he/she was a key person in the business.
  • Ongoing costs of living: e.g., lifestyle maintenance for family heirs.
  • Future obligations: e.g., education funding for children or philanthropic desires.

In addition to protection, HNWIs use life insurance for savings and investment diversification, attracted to its generally stable returns, which are not directly correlated with other asset classes.

How is Transamerica Life Bermuda shaping customer experiences, considering that the financial services landscape is undergoing continuous disruption?

Brandon Caneer: At TLB, our business revolves around people and partnerships and we are always looking for ways to add more value to our customers and partners. The demand today for diversification of financial solutions in order to meet different HNWIs’ needs is increasing. Additionally, there is no “one-size-fits-all” life insurance solution. With the current market volatility and low interest rates, there is also an increased need for wealth management solutions that provide greater growth potential, whilst also preserving capital and providing flexibility.

This is something we recognized and addressed with the recent launch of our new Genesis Indexed Universal Life (Genesis Indexed UL) plan in Bermuda and Singapore. Genesis Indexed UL is designed for HNW customers who are seeking more opportunities to grow and protect their wealth, whilst being shielded from market downturns. It is a testament to our continual commitment to providing innovative solutions that meet real HNW market needs.

We also recognise that digital expansion is critical to meet the growing expectations from both our partners and customers for digital accessibility and services. Hence, TLB is taking key steps to utilise technology, for example, virtual conferencing and e-signatures, as well as adopting streamlined processes and flexible underwriting that allows us to conduct non face-to-face business, while still maintaining the personal relationships we have with our HNW customers.

TDB Digest

TDB Digest – What’s Cooking in the FinTech and Banking Industry (Issue 22)

FUNDING UPDATES

Stripe raises $600m in new funding

Stripe – a payment infrastructure recently announced that it raised $600m funding at a $95B valuation. Primary investors include Allianz X, Axa, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Sequoia Capital, and Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). This funding will be used to support its European operations and expand its Global Payments and Treasury Network. John Collison, President and co-founder of Stripe, remarked, “We’re investing a ton more in Europe this year, particularly in Ireland. Whether in fintech, mobility, retail or SaaS, the growth opportunity for the European digital economy is immense.”

Koho secures CAD 70M in Series C funding

Koho – a Canadian fintech aiming to provide an alternative to traditional banking services, recently announced that it raised CAD 70M in Series C funding. The round was led by new investor TTV Capital. Returning investors were Portag3 Ventures which followed-on for the Series C round, and Drive Capital, which led Koho’s Series B extension in November 2019. The new financing will be used to create awareness about Koho’s existing product stack. Founder and CEO of Koho, Dan Eberhard remarked, “Koho is a leader and has both the responsibility and opportunity to be a market-defining company and a leader, not just in terms of the consumer FinTech space but in terms of the Canadian regulatory payments ecosystem.”

BlockFi raises $350m in Series D funding

BlockFi – a wealth management services provider for cryptocurrency investors recently announced the completion of its Series D fundraising round. This round was led by new investors including Bain Capital Ventures, partners of DST Global, Pomp Investments and Tiger Global. New investment from this round will be used to augment current core product offering, foster innovation across its product stack and expand into new markets while also provide sufficient capital to consider acquisition opportunities. Flori Marquez, Senior Vice President of Operations and Co-Founder of BlockFi, commented, “Our goal for BlockFi has always been to facilitate cryptocurrencies going mainstream, and each day provides more evidence that is exactly what is occurring. I’m incredibly proud of how quickly we have added new professionals and products to meet market demand, and excited to continue adding talent and products in the months ahead.”

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

WeLab and Allianz X join forces for a WealthTech proposition

WeLab, a fintech company in Asia, recently announced it has completed the initial close of Series C-1 funding round, led by Allianz X for $75 million. Further, it was also disclosed that WeLab and Allianz X have also established a strategic partnership to drive fintech collaboration across Asia’s financial services landscape. The two companies will work together to roll-out digital wealth management services in Asia as well as move to new markets and grow their product offering. Simon Loong, Founder & Group CEO of WeLab, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Allianz as an investor and strategic partner to the WeLab Group. We see this as a first-in-market 4-way partnership where there are abundant synergies between WeLab, as a fintech leader and a pioneer in digital banking, and Allianz, as a global insurer and asset manager. We look forward to expanding WeLab’s geographical presence and bringing our technology into these new markets with Allianz.”

SUSTAINABLE BANKING

Starling Bank issues debit card made from recycled plastic

Starling Bank – a U.K. challenger bank, recently launched its new debit card which are made from recycled plastic. According to the bank, the new cards will be made from 75% recycled rPVC plastic which comes from EU industrial waste and 25% (chip and laminated surface) from non-recycled materials. The card is also the first UK Mastercard debit card to be made from recycled plastic (rPVC). Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank said: “The environment is important to our customers, so launching a recycled plastic debit card was the right thing to do. We’re proud to be a branchless, paperless bank that runs on renewable energy. And now we’re delighted that we’re building on this with our new recycled cards.”

 

 

CIO Insights Featuring James Cheo, Chief Investment Officer, Southeast Asia, HSBC Private Banking and Wealth Management

CIO Insights Featuring James Cheo, Chief Investment Officer, Southeast Asia, HSBC Private Banking and Wealth Management

Considering the turmoil and scepticism that plagued 2020, the global economy is starting to look considerably more positive in 2021 on the heels of a vaccine roll-out strategy, markets reacting positively to a new administration in the U.S.A and the slow, but steady opening up of most economies. As we head into a new decade, questions with regard to wealth creation, strategic investments and key investment themes may overwhelm global investors. To aide our readers and worldwide investor community, we interviewed James Cheo, Chief Investment Officer, Southeast Asia, HSBC Private Banking and Wealth Management. James Cheo, in this interview, elaborates on investment insights further discussing the macros and markets which could shape 2021 and beyond.

Macro-economic Indicators: Steady economic growth, corporate performance and accommodative rates will aid 2021

As global economic growth steady improves, there is a noted broadening of economic activity beyond manufacturing and digital. To aid this steady growth, a global vaccine roll-out should allow the consumer confidence to pick up, and the all-important consumer sector to become an additional engine of growth. At the same time, governments are rebuilding their economies, and the healthiest companies are investing to adapt to the new post COVID-19 realities and opportunities. Collectively, there is indication that global economy and corporate profits will significantly grow and also become healthier in 2021 as compared with the current circumstance. Further, accommodative rates on a global level by most central banks will also build investor confidence. With this in mind, we continue to see several interesting investment opportunities in EM Asia, which we prefer over other emerging markets. China’s dual circulation strategy, focused on measures to boost domestic demand, technological innovation and market liberalisation should further boost growth, give long term direction to investors and lead to fund flows into the region.

Asset Allocation: Some volatility and reflation will guide 2021

We believe it is key to be mindful of positive growth and rate fundamentals throughout 2021 to avoid being blown off-course. While we do foresee volatility on several fronts, much of it could also turn out to be just noise. Hence a cautious approach is advised. During 2021, oil price base effects may give the impression that inflation is picking up, and the economic recovery may trigger speculation about policy normalisation. Rising inflation is due to economic improvements. With this said, we remain invested with a pro-risk and cyclical stance, but with a selective approach and plenty of diversifiers, including gold, high rated bonds, hedge funds and other alternative assets.

Global Markets: Technology sectors and enablers will continue unabated

The broadening of the economic activity is aiding the sector leadership in the stock markets, and we thus hold overweight positions in technology, industrials, materials, consumer discretionary, financials and communication services. However, this broadening does not mean that technology – which had been principal engine of stock markets – will underperform in 2021.

The digital revolution, according to us, will continue unabated, and technology leaders should continue to see strong growth in the medium term. As tech leaders can be found outside of the tech sector as well, in areas such as automation, health technology and 5G, all related or impacted sectors will also witness growth. Technological leadership is one of the key determinants of whether a company is fit for the future. Hence it is safe to say that many value stocks have outdated business models which investors should be aware of and avoid.

Investments: Guided by China

The Themes: Most of our themes that are related to Asia is led by China.  The key investment trends that will shape 2021 and beyond are: (1) New Asia Consumers; (2) Riding on China’s Five-Year Plan and (3) Hunting for income in a Low Yield World; (4) Digital Transformation; (5) and China’s Green Revolution.

The Ideal Portfolio: We have a risk-on stance in our model portfolio, with overweights in global equities, investment grade and BB-rated high yield bonds, and hard currency emerging market bonds. We fund this principally through our underweight on safe haven bonds. In equities, we have a cyclical sector stance. Our stance and current positions are of the view that the global economy is recovering and rebuilding, hence earnings should improve. In addition to this, equity and credit valuations are supported by the low yield environment.

The Preferred Alternatives: 2021 should provide a rich opportunity set for good hedge fund managers. Markets’ focus on where inflation and rates are going can create volatility and opportunities. Hedge funds can pick winners and losers from the changes around COVID-19 and the digital revolution. Defaults and restructuring in this space will continue to provide opportunities for distressed hedge fund strategies. Further, Hedge funds continue to play a critical role in diversified portfolios, providing potential for uncorrelated and still attractive returns. We continue to adopt a barbell approach, looking for opportunities in credit and some equity strategies, while keeping our overweight exposure with macro and multi-strategy managers.

ESG Investing: ESG credentials could augment valuations in the new decade

In our view, ESG integration and responsible investing are no longer sufficient. In this new decade, we will see substantial migration of investors towards sustainable investing approaches, which we classify as Inclusion, Thematic or Impact investing. With such investment strategies, we not only look at ESG risks, but also ESG opportunities. ESG integration could have been sufficient if we were talking about a small change, but in our view, sustainability is a real revolution. In this respect, we think it is helpful to draw some parallels with digital revolution, to illustrate how investors should be handling it. When investors consider the effects of the digital revolution, they want to actively pick companies in each sector that use technology to their advantage, to help them to win the race against their competitors. Similarly, when it comes to ESG investing We think investors should keep these things in mind, and take a similar approach for sustainability. They should actively select companies with strong or improving ESG credentials to boost performance (inclusion approach) or seek out companies that are exploiting specific sustainability trends (thematic approach). The sustainability revolution is arguably as much as a game changer as the digital revolution. Sustainability should therefore be integrated both in the core portfolio strategy- where it can help investors outperform or reduce risks, and in thematic satellites – focusing on the opportunities.

Singaporean led Arrow Capital Co-sponsors $240 million Nasdaq tech SPAC in

Singaporean led Arrow Capital Co-sponsors $240 million Nasdaq tech SPAC in partnership with Silicon Valley-Based VC Tribe Capital

Arrow Capital (“Arrow”), a regulated financial and investment advisory business, with offices in the Dubai International Financial Centre and Mauritius,  announces the closing of the initial public offering of a $240 million technology SPAC, Tribe Capital Growth Corp I. Arrow has co-sponsored the SPAC, in partnership with leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Tribe Capital. Tribe Capital Growth Corp I’s units are trading under the ticker ATVCU on Nasdaq.

The blank check company will seek a target in the technology sector, pursuing M&A opportunities with top private technology companies showing inflection points in their growth trajectory.

The SPAC listing marks an exciting step for Arrow and its investor base in the Middle East and South East Asia. The deal marks a first for Arrow Capital, which joins an elite, exclusive group of Middle East investment firms, including Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Capital and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund who were both involved in recent SPAC investments earlier this year.  The listing is the culmination of Arrow’s 12 months of intense due diligence and risk assessment to identify the right SPAC co-sponsor. In its collaboration with Tribe Capital, Arrow has partnered with one of the most prominent venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, offering to its investors some of the most attractive technology investment opportunities coming out of the West Coast of the United States.

Tribe Capital’s team of experts combines data scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs from some of the most prestigious technology companies in the world such as Facebook, Yahoo!, Slack, Lyft and Bridgewater. Combining this expertise with Arrow Capital’s finance pedigree facilitated the resulting successful initial public offering of the SPAC.

With this collaboration with Tribe, whose recent investments include software developer Carta, 3D-printing rocket maker Relativity Space and self-driving simulator Applied Intuition Inc, Arrow will be one of the first firms in the Middle East to present its investors the opportunity to invest in some of the most cutting edge, fast growing technologies, spanning autonomous vehicles, AI, machine learning, and enterprise software. Arrow will stand differentiated to the region’s investment managers, in granting its investors coveted early access to investment opportunities in innovative technologies alongside sophisticated tech investors around the world.

Arrow sees significant opportunity and economies of scale for technology investing in the Middle East and Asia, where the firm has significant expertise and an expanding investor base. Arrow boasts a strong track record of investment management and advisory for Asian investors, managing 70% of its assets under management out of Singapore.

Rohit Nanani, Arrow Capital’s CEO and Founder and Singaporean national, has more than 20 years’ experience including senior executive positions at UBS and Barclays Bank, and has enabled Arrow to build good access to UHNWIs and financial institutions in South East Asia. The SPAC and partnership with Tribe will only broaden further the firm’s reach in the region, enabling the company to play an increasingly active role in technology investments, on both the buy-side and the sell-side.

Arrow believes SPACs will be instrumental in facilitating greater access and adoption, enabling investors to get in early and allowing greater room for long term value creation. The rapid rise of SPACs as an effective, alternative route to growth capital has led to substantial interest from institutional investors globally. On the funding side, many blank-cheque companies have looked to Asia for M&A targets and Singapore companies are very well positioned to attract these acquisition vehicles. Arrow is energized by the potential that exists in the Middle East and South East Asia.

“The SPAC, and our collaboration with Tribe, is a major milestone for our business and our investors”, comments Nanani. “As innovators in our industry, we are constantly seeking new, exciting investment opportunities for our clients. In Tribe, we have a trusted partner right at the heart of Silicon Valley’s innovative technology ecosystem. We are very excited to be able to extend their expertise and insights to our network of investors in the Gulf and in South East Asia, where growing demand from investors and family offices for wealth creation, rather than wealth preservation, means appetite for new and innovative investment structures is set to increase rapidly. We are delighted to share in this journey with Tribe and are proud to be an investment bridge for Tribe into the emerging markets. We are very excited about the potential for our collaboration and look forward to the bright future ahead.”

Arjun Sethi, Tribe Partner and Co-Founder adds, “The Middle East has fast become an increasingly attractive marketplace, hub for innovation and a valuable conduit into other emerging markets like South East Asia. To be able to access South East Asian markets and provide local investors with high quality, high return technology deals is something we are very excited about – and we are honoured to be collaborating with Arrow to enable this. Arrow’s seasoned investment experience, quality of due diligence and entrepreneurial vigour makes them an ideal collaborator for us as we continue to evolve our offering for our clients around the world.”

Tribe Co-Founder and Partner Arjun Sethi is leading the company as the SPAC’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Sethi is joined by Omar Chohan, also a Tribe Partner and leader of Tribe’s Special Situations and Capital Markets Groups, who will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the SPAC.  Sumit Mehta, Arrow Capital’s Managing Director, will serve as Vice President of the SPAC and Tribe Co-Founder Ted Maidenberg, will act as the Secretary of the SPAC.  Arrow Founder Rohit Nanani will join the SPAC’s Board of Directors.

Cantor Fitzgerald was the sole bookrunner on the SPAC initial public offering.  The SPAC initial public offering is being made only by means of a prospectus. When available, copies of the prospectus may be obtained by contacting Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., Attention: Capital Markets, 499 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022, or by e-mail at prospectus@cantor.com.

A registration statement relating to the securities has been filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and became effective on March 4th 2021. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

***

About Arrow Capital

Arrow Capital is a registered investment management company with offices in Dubai and Mauritius.  Arrow Capital (DIFC) Limited is regulated by DFSA and Arrow Capital Mauritius is regulated by Mauritius FSC. Arrow Capital services include Wealth Management, Investment Advisory& Corporate Finance services to ultra-high net worth individuals, families, trusts and corporate entities around the world. As a boutique financial and investment advisory firm, Arrow Capital aims at incorporating superior values of trust and integrity while providing excellent advisory and execution. Arrow Capital has a strong network of global banks, financial institutions, investment companies across domain such as Venture Capital, Private Equity and special opportunities funds, which enable our team to curate bespoke solutions & services for our clients based across multiple jurisdictions.

For more information please visit www.arrcap.com

About Tribe Capital

Tribe Capital is a team of Silicon Valley technologists and engineers who harness data science and leverage our hands-on operating experience to accomplish two goals: to identify the most significant companies of our generation, and to generate outsized returns by driving growth at each inflection point. The firm has approximately $540 million in assets under management and has made notable investments in Bolt, Carta, Front, Instabase, Momentus, and Relativity Space.  An affiliate of Tribe Capital, Tribe Capital Management, LLC, is a United States registered investment advisor.

To learn more, visit tribecap.co.