Aster launches digital-first wealth management platform for MENA

Aster launches digital-first wealth management platform for MENA 

Aster is targeting the $2.9 Trillion HNWI Middle East market.

Aster has launched the world’s first digital wealth management platform designed for the MENA market. The platform has been developed to meet the rapidly expanding needs of the Middle East's digital native wealth owners, marking a first for investors. Aster is user-centric and delivers pricing and reporting simplicity, reducing the average time of an individual’s wealth reporting to minutes instead of days or weeks.

Aster is a mobile-first, seamless & intuitive personal wealth management platform that provides an actionable, holistic view of your bankable and non-bankable assets any time, anywhere. Designed with banking-grade security & privacy in mind, the platform helps investors manage their assets through timely price-, position- and portfolio composition updates, enabling data-driven investment decision making and a proactive approach to managing wealth.

The Aster team is led by Talal AlAjeel, Founder & CEO, Aman Singh, Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer, Christopher Pruijsen, Chief Product Officer, and Abdelhamid Attaby, Chief Technology Officer and a growing team of engineers, designers and data analysts.  

Talal AlAjeel, Founder & CEO said, 

“The WealthTech market has evolved significantly over the last few years but the tools to manage assets and associated liabilities have not kept pace with the needs of the market. Aster is the first of its kind for our region, designed to bridge the gap between the cumbersome nature of current experiences and the digital demands of today’s investors.

The millennial and Gen Z generations will be the largest asset holders globally within the next decade yet their needs and attitudes to investment have been overlooked. We expect instant access and gratification with direct control over our investment portfolios. At Aster we aim to deliver on that demand by offering a unifying digital experience and unparalleled support where detailed risk profiles and hyper-personalized updates and advice are made possible, at scale.”

In May 2020, Aster conducted a series of in-depth interviews with 95 High and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) across the MENA region, living in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey and Egypt. 

“A digital-first environment is not a luxury but a necessity. Our experiences have been shaped by technology throughout our lives and we've seen that the region's approach to wealth management has not kept pace. 

Trillions of dollars worth of assets will change hands in the next few years and as this asset shift between generations continues, it will have far-reaching implications. How millennials and gen z live, work and invest is dramatically different from previous generations. Through our conversations with HNW investors, the desire to take greater direct control of their investments was key. Understanding the wider impact of their investments is now a guiding principle of the new generation. Investors in the region want to understand the potential environmental, social, and corporate governance footprint and manage their portfolio more responsibly and sustainably. Using Aster’s impact scoring metrics, based on Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) benchmarks for over 12,000+ companies, investors will be able to evaluate if their capital is truly aligned with their values.” - AlAjeel added. 

The Aster study explored the changing dynamics of the population, current attitudes and digital expectations towards managing wealth across the region. 

  • Currently, inheritance stands at 13% as a primary source of wealth but this will spike within the next decade. 
  • 77% of investors work with two or more advisors in managing their wealth
  • Only 20% had access to consolidated asset management reports. The majority of the respondents are interested, but not currently getting any consolidated report of accounts and investments.
  • 95% have a quarterly or monthly update frequency due to its time-consuming nature, wherein management is reactive and incurs high opportunity costs as a result of delayed updates
  • 100% would love to get their holdings updated at market closing or real-time
  • 98% had a desire to use such a secure digital wealth management platform

Aster is set to be the future of wealth reporting and management, allowing users to take complete control of their wealth, and critically, invest responsibly. With timely data, global integration, 360° wealth reporting, API-first architecture and machine learning, users will be able to make crucial decisions proactively, making this a first for the MENA region.

Aster is MENA based and has both a local and global footprint, with offices in Kuwait and ADGM, supports global integration of external data sources, and automated price updates for over 1 million financial instruments across asset classes including stocks, bonds, alternative funds, cryptocurrencies and more.

Aster’s iOS application will be available from September 2021 with cross-platform support and new feature rollouts in the roadmap. 

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