StashAway, one of the largest digital wealth managers in South-East Asia, has expanded its operations to the UAE to tap into a rising segment of wealthy investors seeking low-cost ways to build their wealth.
After securing an asset management license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) the company will be based in the Dubai International Financial Centre, it said in a statement.
StashAway, which was established in Singapore in 2016, also operates in Malaysia and has users from more than 145 countries.
“We launched StashAway in Singapore to provide an effective platform for individuals to build their wealth, as we were personally frustrated with the lack of effective investment options offered by financial institutions. Our platform has quickly become the benchmark for the financial services industry in South-East Asia not only because of our ability to deliver such strong returns, but also because we’re giving our clients the investment experience they need: one with ease of access, transparency and unbiased education.”
A new law regulating the growing wealth management sector of the country was approved by the UAE Cabinet in October. Excluding financial free zones, the Federal Decree Law on Financial Covenants offers a regulatory structure aimed at improving the efficiency of the wealth management sector, enabling a competitive environment, protecting investors and attracting foreign investment.
With low fees, no minimum balance and unlimited withdrawals, StashAway’s technology enables investing through an easy-to-use platform. Its digital interface, available both on desktop and mobile phones, personalizes the investment priorities of customers. According to the company statement, a portfolio that demonstrates their risk preferences is also recommended to clients.
“The UAE has a large mass affluent segment that has had to rely on traditional investment products that are often expensive and generic. We identified this gap in the market for sophisticated, accessible, global investment options,” said Ramzi Khleif, general manager of StashAway in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.
The wealth manager holds a retail fund management capital market services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, a retail fund management capital market services license from the Securities Commission of Malaysia and is governed by the DFSA to provide investment advisory and asset management services.
In the past 12 months, the company has seen its assets under management rise more than 4.3 times, the statement said.
In four funding rounds, the wealth manager has so far raised $36.4 million. The financial backers of the company include Eight Roads Ventures, the Fidelity-backed multinational investment firm and an early investor in Alibaba, and Square Peg, Australia’s largest venture capital fund.