To provide retail consumers in China with a new widely available and streamlined investment advisory service, Vanguard and Ant Financial Services Group announced a partnership. Their joint venture will provide individual investors in the country with a fund investment advisory service as approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), bringing together the advisory as well as investment management service expertise of Vanguard and the technology of Alipay, according to an announcement.
The joint venture will offer customized services for investors based on their time horizons, risk preferences, and investment goals that are accessible via the Alipay app. They will have a minimum investment of approximately USD 113 or RMB 800. According to the companies, professional investment advisory services were only accessible by a small number of high-net-worth individuals in China in the past.
Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley said in the announcement, “Since opening our Shanghai office in 2017, we have been dedicated to bringing Vanguard’s way of investing to Chinese investors.” Buckley continued, “This venture marries Vanguard’s time-tested investment philosophy and approach with Ant’s digital platform and technology to fundamentally change for the better how individuals in China invest.”
Alipay serves more than 1.2 billion users globally with its local eWallet partners, offering a wide variety of services required for everyday life such as paying utility bills, booking medical appointments, hailing cabs, and managing wealth. Users can buy money market funds via the spare cash management platform in the Alipay app, Yu’e Bao, in addition to other wealth management products that companies offer on the Ant Fortune platform.
Ant Financial Chairman and CEO Eric Jing said in the announcement, “Alipay is committed to making finance more inclusive for individuals as well as small and micro businesses through technology, and we’re partnering with financial institutions around the world to achieve this by building an open and technology-driven ecosystem.” Jing continued, “Combining our technology with Vanguard’s investment advisory expertise will make high-quality wealth management services simpler, smarter and more inclusive.”
Vanguard is broadly known for bringing low-cost and high-quality solutions to over 30 million investors globally per the announcement. Charles Lin, CEO of Vanguard Asia and chairman of Vanguard Investment Management (Shanghai) Limited, said in the announcement, “We are excited about the opportunity to help millions of investors. Through this partnership with Ant Financial, investors will have access to investments and advice previously unavailable to them. Ant Financial has been a true partner as we work together to improve the investing lives of the people of China.”
Peter Zhang, CEO of the joint venture, said in the announcement, “Today, millions of Chinese investors lack access to professional investment advisory services. Through this partnership, we will reduce complexity and significantly lower the threshold for individual investors to access high-quality wealth management advice in China.” Zhang continued, “We are delighted to bring this important service to more people in China and look forward to supporting the sustainable growth of the wealth management industry.”