In Korea’s robo-adviser market, Quarterback Investments has reigned for the past few years. However, appears to have dethroned the perennial champion last year.
According to the Korea Financial Investment Association on March 13, Fount managed funds amounting to 137.6 billion won ($121 million) as of the end of 2018, to nudge past the 102.4 billion won of Quarterback.
The runners-up group struggled to catch up with the two run-away leaders as they could not even reach 20 billion won in their fund sizes.
Fount Investment, which was founded in 2016, saw its funds jump almost four-fold last year alone. Banks, insurers and institutional investors knocked on the door of the Seoul-based outfit to boost the size of the funds.
Its popularity is attributable to its good performances – last year when the country’s share prices plunged more than 15 percent, Fount funds lost just 2 to 3 percent. During the bullish run, it also outperformed the market.
Advancing into Asian markets
Based on its expertise and experience in the domestic market, Fount founder and CEO Kim Young-been said the company would make a foray into offshore markets.
“As a leading company in the robo-adviser industry, we feel the responsibility to offer services good enough to realize investors’ economic freedom,” Kim told The Korea News Plus.
“In the firm belief that robo-advisers have to benefit as many people as possible, we will advance into other Asian markets.”
Robo-advisers provide financial advice based on mathematical rules, or algorithms, with minimal human intervention. These algorithms are typically executed by software.
Numerous robo-advisory services are available across the world; some substantially outperform human advisers although some are underperformers.
But observers point out that the services’ outlook is bright because the capabilities of robo-advisers are expected to get better in line with the improvement in related technologies.