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Ping An unveils wealth platform Lu Global in Singapore; eyes 20-30% AUM growth

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PING An Group's Lu International on Thursday launched its online wealth management platform, Lu Global, for accredited investors in Singapore as well as investors in Asia, with an aim to grow its assets under management by 20-30 per cent next year.

PING An Group's Lu International on Thursday launched its online wealth management platform, Lu Global, for accredited investors in Singapore as well as investors in Asia, with an aim to grow its assets under management by 20-30 per cent next year, a top executive told The Business Times.

Lu Global, which is based in Singapore, also aims to reach 10,000 customers in the next 12 months, having just run a pilot test with a "small" customer base, said Kit Wong, CEO of Lu International. The firm declined to reveal its current asset base. 

"Our mission is to make investing intuitive, accessible and self-directed," said Mr Wong, who has had more than 20 years of experience in technology and financial services. He was previously director of sales strategy and operations at Google Asia-Pacific.

"With our business model and use of technology, we operate on lower costs and are able to pass on the benefits to customers in the form of attractive returns. As Lu Global gets more scale, the economics will further improve."

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Lu Global aims to offer premium wealth management products with a minimum investment amount of less than US$1,000. At present, there are 15 products on the platform, comprising both open-ended and closed-ended funds. A check on its website showed funds from BlackRock and Pimco listed for sale by Lu Global. 

Mr Wong said that its mutual funds have a flat subscription fee that ranges from no fee to US$25, a range that is "highly competitive". It also offers an app through which investors can make investments. 

Lu Global is exploring alternatives such as private equity based on customer demand, and will also consider adding a robo-advisory function to the platform next year, said Mr Wong, 

The platform has 23 employees at the moment, and will look to double that in a year.

Lu Global uses Ping An's technology to ensure risk management that the process is "robust". Facial recognition is used to run several checks on investor details. It said that it has "strict" know-your-customer and anti-money laundering compliance procedures. Lu International was granted a capital markets services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in July 2017.

In a media statement, Jessica Tan, deputy group CEO of Ping An said that the launch of Lu Global in Singapore marks "a big step in Ping An’s business strategy". "We are looking forward to seeing what a difference our technology will make to investors and their investment experience, through Lu Global."