Alibaba-backed fintech giant Ant Financial and US asset manager Vanguard have obtained approval from China’s securities regulator for a joint-venture that will focus on the provision of investment advisory services to Chinese retail investors.
The joint-venture has registered capital of 20 million yuan, and first appeared in an online national registry six months ago.
The tie-up will seek to provide more financially inclusive wealth management services to Chinese retail investors by making them accessible via both the Alipay and Ant Fortune platforms, as well as setting a minimum investment threshold of just 800 yuan (approximately USD$113.00).
“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,” said Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley in an official statement.
“Today, millions of Chinese investors lack access to professional investment advisory services,” said Peter Zhang, CEO of the joint venture.
“Through this partnership, we will reduce complexity and significantly lower the threshold for individual investors to access high-quality wealth management advice in China.”
“Alipay is committed to making finance more inclusive for individuals and 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,” said Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial.
“Combining our technology with Vanguard’s investment advisory expertise will make high-quality wealth management services simpler, smarter and more inclusive.”
The Chinese government has pushed heavily for greater financial inclusion in 2019, prompting players such as Ant Financial-backed online lender MYBank to focus on the provision of funds to micro and small clients that have long been overlooked by China’s traditional banks.
Vanguard manages global assets worth USD$5.9 trillion, and previously launched its own wholly foreign-owned enterprise in Shanghai in 2017.