Family offices have thrown their weight behind a Singapore-based ‘virtual intelligence sharing hub’ for asset allocators that will be launched in early September.
AssetOwner.CO said family offices and investment officers of pension funds, which manage an aggregated $500bn in assets, are already using its beta version.
Around 41% of beta users are from the Asia Pacific region, with a concentration in Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China and India. The rest are based in the US, Europe and the Middle East.
The invite-only platform expects users to collectively manage $1tn by its launch. They will get complimentary access to a peer-to-peer community of ideas, insights and investment perspectives.
CEO Pravin Raveendran said: ‘We developed the platform in response to the information gap that exists between asset owners globally.
‘As a matter of fact, we are currently funded by a group of family offices and individuals associated with institutional investor organisations who saw the need for a platform like this, because they experience this pain point themselves.’
Asset allocators typically had to travel to conferences to network with their peers, that is time consuming and expensive, Raveendran said.
In addition, information disseminated at these conferences may not be entirely objective. Covid-19 has also made the need to discuss navigating market volatility more crucial, he added.
AssetOwner.CO promises to be a user-driven and ‘secure, confidential space where there is no sales agenda or unsolicited messaging’.
It will screen prospective users to ‘assure the calibre of the user base and the quality of information shared on the platform’.
Raveendran told Citywire Asia that the platform has been able to screen users within 48 hours. ‘All we can disclose is that we have a funnel with a quantitative process initially, followed by a qualitative process to determine whether a user would be the right fit for our platform.
‘Ultimately we are ensuring that the users are capital allocators in family offices, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, insurance companies, foundations, and other asset owner organisations,’ he said.
The executive has held a string of senior investment roles, most recently as chief strategy officer of Eurekahedge, a Mizuho Bank hedge fund data and research subsidiary.
Some have even warmed up to virtual deals. Sidney Wheatley, CIO of the family office of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, signed a major engineering, procurement, construction contract via Zoom this week.
‘I was just thinking about how much time, energy and resources this has saved,’ Wheatley said in a LinkedIn post.
‘Normally I would travel and spend two days getting this one thing done. This time we were finished in about 15 minutes.’