FINANCIAL SERVICES | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

This young female investor wants to introduce ‘robo-advisor’ to Asian women

She founded Miss Kaya.

For young women, interest in long-term financial planning is paramount. Millennial women will live longer, and also face the added constraint of interrupted earnings due to pregnancy and child-raising. This is coupled with a shift in behaviour patterns, as women become more educated and their horizons expand. Therefore, it is crucial that they focus on their finances from an increasingly younger age.

However, recent research from Mastercard is concerning. It shows that in Asia, people under 30 are less financially literate than their older counterparts. Singaporeans in particular registered low scores when it came to financial planning in the Mastercard study. This is an issue that a young entrepreneur, Gina Heng, wants to address by putting up Miss Kaya, a digital financial provider for the modern Asian woman.

Gina,35, observes that women coming of age now have different expectations - they treasure their Asian heritage and sense of duty but with a Western taste for experiences. As she shares their values of putting family needs first while juggling her own dreams, helping women achieve this balance has become her professional mission, one that is coming to life with the launch of Miss Kaya.

Gina boasts that through their proprietary financial tools and strategies, Miss Kaya is uniquely positioned to address this issue.

“The types of online based wealth management services in Asia today are still limited to financial education and product comparisons. We want to bring a new wave of innovation by providing a robust, automated, algorithm-powered, wealth management platform. Miss Kaya, by being the first women-driven robo-advisory platform in Asia that caters to their very needs, serves to empower them to achieve longer-term financial goals and allow them to pursue their dreams,” she said.

Gina and team are pre-launching the site in July, initially offering financial education and beta version of personal portfolio management services. Eventually, they will offer full financial advisory services for women to get engaged with managing their own finances. According to Gina, one of the main services will be a women-focused robo-advisor, across a full range of financial products and Asian markets. “To get there, we are happy to work with various financial service providers in order to develop a strong platform to serve the modern women of Asia, starting with Singapore,” said Gina.

A robo-advisor (robo-adviser) is an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use of human financial planners.

Concurrently, Gina serves as a co-founder and CEO of Marvelstone Group. Prior to this, she was a venture partner at Yozma Ventures (Korea) and co-founded asset management firms, One Asia Investment Partners and Leonie Hill Capital in Singapore.

Like many entrepreneurs, Gina has been heavily influenced by her family. Her father was a businessman who started a cake shop that then expanded into baked goods distribution. He taught her to be future-facing, to recognise opportunities, and continuously innovate. It is his tenacity and diligence that she has tried to emulate in her own career.

“My first job after graduation was with an asset management research firm. This opportunity taught me about investment trends, kick-starting my own interest in how to grow money for the future. Having a good understanding of financial markets, I decided to take the leap to build my own hedge fund business to help investors grow their wealth, said Gina.

Do you exhibit exemplary leadership and influence in your respective industry, or know anyone who does? Nominations for Singapore Business Review’s 2016 class of 40 and under is on going. Nominees will be featured individually online before we select those who will make it to the final list during the end of the year. For inquiries, send an email to Krisana at krisana@charltonmediamail.com.

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