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Endowus launches its full-service digital wealth platform; leading conflict-free investment advisory and fund distribution in Hong Kong

April 17, 2024
  • Asia’s first and largest independent digital wealth advisor is reinventing how investors can invest, monitor, and manage investments via a zero subscription fee and non-commissions-based advisory service. Endowus clients can easily invest in a curated list of Best-in-Class funds and goal-oriented portfolios across passive and active public markets, private equity, private credit, and hedge funds
  • Endowus clients can now enjoy an enhanced digital-and-in-person investing experience through the top-rated Endowus app, and also access to a team of client advisors who are not incentivised to maximise fees through churning portfolios or recommending high-commission products. Endowus is the first in Hong Kong to offer a 100% Cashback of all Trailer Fee Commissions back to its clients, which keeps it independent in its advice to clients. 
  • The full-service launch also includes the release of the Endowus Flagship Portfolios comprising strategies from global leading fund managers  Amundi, BlackRock, Dimensional, and PIMCO. The bestselling portfolio includes funds at institutionally low fees, previously unavailable to retail investors in Hong Kong.

Endowus, Asia’s largest and Hong Kong’s first independent, conflict-free digital wealth advisor, today announced the full-service launch of its wealth management platform, as the result of its continued investment in its technology to better serve the needs of Hong Kong investors. This announcement was made at the Endowus Investment Summit, the firm’s flagship Hong Kong event showcasing a comprehensive agenda featuring industry leaders such as Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, John Studzinski CBE, Managing Director & Vice Chairman of PIMCO, Helen Zhu, Managing Director & CIO of NF Trinity, and Joel Kim, CEO Asia ex Japan of Dimensional Fund Advisors. 

Endowus’ mission is to provide individuals, family offices, charities and endowments with evidence-based advice, access and execution to globally best-in-class funds across public markets, private markets and hedge funds, at a fair, transparent fee. The full-service launch empowers Hong Kong-based investors with better choices, curated advice and control over their wealth. 

Endowus’ unique fee-only business model removes all commissions traditionally paid to banks and private banks and returns them to the client as cash back. This effectively reduces the cost of investment and enhances the returns by the same amount. This alignment with the client’s best interests establishes a strategic focus on only ensuring client suitability and client success. This is unlike most traditional and digital players in the industry that impose high subscription or transaction fees, which may create the incentive to churn investments. Furthermore, trailer commissions from investment product providers may also create a conflict of interest whereby financial advisors may recommend high commission products to their clients. 

Endowus’ conflict-free business model mirrors that of developed markets such as Australia, the UK, Switzerland, parts of the European Union, and the US, where regulations have already banned such commissions. Endowus aims to proliferate the model in Hong Kong and Singapore, where it has crossed US$5 billion in group assets.  

This launch includes the release of an enhanced, full-feature bilingual version of a top-rated Endowus app that empowers clients to seamlessly invest towards their life goals. The app experience has been optimised to allow all investors to access custom-built portfolios after gaining an understanding of their unique goal-based needs, and also for experienced investors who prefer to invest directly in single funds or build their own multi-funds portfolios through Endowus Fund Smart, an independent mutual funds platform.

Investors can also look forward to the Hong Kong launch of the Endowus Flagship Portfolios, currently the most popular portfolio of choice in Singapore. The Portfolios have been expertly-curated with globally diversified funds, with different options to suit one’s individual risk tolerance level and investment horizon. 

Gregory Van, co-founder & CEO of Endowus, said, “Our full-service launch in Hong Kong is a testament to Endowus' commitment to meeting the sophisticated needs of Hong Kong investors through continuous innovation. Through our proprietary investment technology, we are not only able to enhance the digital wealth management experience, but also democratise access to investment opportunities that were previously out of reach for many. We are deeply committed to the Hong Kong market, and are excited to empower our clients here to invest better, and on their own terms.”

The New Endowus Flagship Portfolios - One-Stop Access to Truly Diversified Multi-Manager, Multi-Asset Class Target Risk Portfolios

The new Flagship Portfolios are designed to be a one-stop solution for clients seeking diversified and optimised risk-adjusted returns. Available from May 2024, these portfolios are constructed with different compositions of equity and fixed income according to an investor’s risk profile, with building blocks of mutual funds from leading global fund managers , Amundi, BlackRock, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and PIMCO.   

The new Flagship Portfolios are discretionary portfolios, and are managed by the Endowus Investment Office, a twelve-person regional team with strong institutional backgrounds, who focuses on the curation of best-in-class building block funds, optimised portfolio construction, and ongoing performance monitoring. The fund managers Endowus has selected are some of the largest global experts with decades of history of investment management expertise, and are known for their track records in demonstrating consistent investment returns over the long term. Apart from the Flagship portfolios, the Endowus Investment Office continues to leverage its extensive experience across public and private market investing, family offices, and wealth management, to perform all the heavy lifting needed, freeing clients from the need to monitor the markets constantly.

For the first time in Hong Kong, funds by Dimensional, a renowned US-headquartered fund manager with US$719 billion in assets under management globally as of 31 March 2024, will be a part of individual Endowus client portfolios. Dimensional funds have traditionally only been accessible to institutional investors in Hong Kong, or through a select number of financial advisors for ultra-high-net-worth clients.

Joel Kim, CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors for Asia ex Japan, emphasised, “For more than 40 years, Dimensional has sought to provide investors with evidence-based, diversified low-cost investment strategies. We believe that firms like Endowus play a crucial role in broadening access to such investment strategies and we share their belief in the potential for Hong Kong to embrace a model of wealth management that prioritises clients.”“Dimensional’s investment process reflects years of innovation and refinement, and this has historically translated into better returns for investors. Our commitment to research, rigour, and the pursuit of truth has helped transform the industry toward more transparent, data-driven solutions for investors. That commitment continues to propel Dimensional and firms like Endowus forward today.”

Enhanced App Experience with New In-app Private Markets & Hedge Funds Investment Opportunities 

The enhanced Endowus app unveils many new capabilities for professional investors in Hong Kong, including instant access to investments in semi-liquid and liquid private equity or private credit funds and hedge funds at lower minimums in a seamless experience. 

Endowus has taken another step forward in improving access to some of the most sophisticated and previously difficult-to-access asset classes and investment solutions for individual investors. This empowers self-directed professional investors to invest directly in hedge funds offerings managed by firms such as Millennium, Point72, and Balyasny. Endowus’ private market shelf includes private equity and credit funds from Carlyle, EQT, KKR, and Partners Group, many of which are traditionally reserved for high-net-worth individuals with substantial assets under management, available only through relationship managers or financial advisors in priority and private banking segments. 

Leveraging technology, Endowus is levelling the playing field by making investments in private markets and hedge funds directly accessible to Hong Kong’s affluent. Clients who prefer a human touch to complement their digital wealth experience can reach out to Endowus’ client advisory team, many of whom have decades of experience at leading global institutions such as Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Mercer, Morningstar, and UBS.

Samuel Rhee, co-founder and chairman of Endowus, said, “At Endowus, we have built a unique digital wealth platform that is both ‘deep-tech’ and ‘deep-fin’. We solve complex problems such as access to private markets and hedge funds, or the introduction of first-in-class pension solutions by leveraging technology. This allows our clients across the whole spectrum from retail to professionals, from individual small investors to large family offices, to benefit from the advancements made by Endowus in the three pillars of investment success — advice, access and cost.  Our unique hybrid client advisory marries the best of human expertise and digital-first solutions, designed to meet the unique needs and aspirations of our clients, ensuring they have the best tools and insights to achieve their financial goals.”

Specifically tailored for the Hong Kong market, the rollout of Endowus’ full-feature digital wealth app also introduces a suite of functionalities designed for retail investors to navigate their investment journey with ease. Highlights of the enhanced app include intuitive goal-based investing, ‘Collections’ of curated funds, instant investment top-ups using eDDA (Electronic Direct Debit Authorisation), a seamless transfer of fund holdings into Endowus accounts for greater fee savings, a dual-language interface in English and Traditional Chinese, and more. In the coming quarters, Endowus will also be progressively launching other highly-sought-after features including the ability to invest in multiple currency funds, automatic currency conversion, financial literacy content in-app, and personalised “next best actions” based on the unique needs of our clients, enabling them to make smarter and better investment decisions on the Endowus platform.

Industry-First 100% Alignment to Clients’ Best Interests and Life Goals

As Hong Kong's first truly independent digital wealth manager, Endowus is committed to ensuring investors not only have access to world-class investment solutions, through a world-class digital wealth experience — but they also benefit from low-cost, fair, and transparent pricing that allows them to keep more of their investment returns and achieve their goals. 

Steffanie Yuen, head of Hong Kong of Endowus said, “With every new product launch, Endowus will continue to champion its fee-only, non-commission-based model for wealth management services. The firm does not receive any sales commissions and provides an industry-first 100% Cashback on Trailer Commissions to its clients. This allows Endowus to remain independent and conflict-free when serving in its clients’ best interest as their trusted fiduciary advisor. This means all decisions on the portfolios are solely driven by the investment merits of an underlying fund, rather than any external influences.” 

The firm’s business approach is deeply rooted in aligning with clients' life goals, offering a variety of curated portfolios tailored to meet specific wealth and life objectives. In addition to the new Flagship Portfolios, Endowus also currently offers the CashUp and IncomeUp Portfolios focused on cash management and passive income needs respectively, thoughtfully designed to cater to varying financial needs across different life stages.

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