Co-Founder and CTO
Headquartered in Singapore, StashAway was founded in 2016 upon the principles of providing bespoke, affordable and high-quality digital solutions for wealth management, and it’s a mission that continues to this day. Nino Ulsamer, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, spoke with us about how the company started and its goals in the APAC (Asia-Pacific) market.
“It was more than five years ago that I met Michele (Ferrario, CEO and Co-Founder), who, at the time, was looking for a business partner to start a new company,” recounts Ulsamer. Ferrario, a successful and experienced entrepreneur with established businesses in North America, Europe and Asia, was dissatisfied with investment products offered to him by banks in the latter and wanted to develop something comparable to those in other regions. He immediately went to Ulsamer as his first port of call. A seasoned veteran of the European robo-advisory market, he too shared an interest in a different investment model because of his own experiences. “I didn't know much about investing at the time, but the idea of having a digital wealth manager that acts as a guide for your investing journey and isn’t incentivised by commissions or trying to sell you random products was very attractive.” Bringing on board Freddy Lim, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, provided the final piece of the puzzle, and StashAway was created.
Having founded several tech companies prior to StashAway, Ulsamer states that his primary concern was to achieve “simplicity” in the overall user experience, “Ultimately, what our product does is not actually that simple, but, for the customer, it’s extremely intuitive.” Next, he introduced automated processes to boost cost-efficiencies and keep expenditures low, savings which subsequently benefit users in the form of very low fees. These highly customer-centric priorities demonstrate the StashAway executives’ decades of experience in the tech sector investment; they know what matters most to the end user, and this is what gives the company its edge. “Our team is now around 150 people strong and that depth of experience translates into our results,” states Ulsamer.
Regarding the increasing digitalisation of wealth management and investment, he is optimistic about the potential being unlocked: “I really believe that it will help to democratise both for everyone. Digitalisation, at the end of the day, reduces costs, increases efficiency, and really allows players like us to provide a sophisticated investment framework, one that traditionally was only available to high-net-worth or even ultra-high-net-worth individuals. StashAway believes that being able to provide this to everyone is going to change the industry dramatically.”
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“It's very different recruiting people for something you're building from scratch, compared to recruiting for something that is already running.”