5 Minutes With: Asheesh Chanda, Founder & CEO, Kristal.AI

Photo Credit: Silicon India

Founded by Asheesh Chanda and Vineeth Narasimhan in 2016, Kristal.AI started as an ambitious idea sketched out on a black-board.

Now present and thriving Singapore, Hong Kong, and India; Kristal.AI is committed in providing the best investment strategies to investors and building a community of portfolio managers, affiliated partners, and investors. 

WealthUp speaks to its CEO and Founder, Asheesh Chanda on his vision to build a seamless ecosystem that solves all financial needs for its clients.

Q:  Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining popularity amongst businesses – could you share with us a little more about Kristal.AI?

Kristal.AI is a licensed artificial intelligence-powered Virtual Wealth Manager. We provide a free Robo-Advisory Solution to retail investors up to USD 50,000, where small investors can use the platform to invest their savings in ETFs with no execution, custody or advisory fees.

For investors looking to deploy higher amounts, we have customized offering allowing access to large number of portfolios, funds and even leverage at advisory fees of 0.30%.

We can broadly split our services into 2 parts:

  • Kristal Investment Account that caters primarily to the retail segment in which we provide a completely free offering (no advisory fee, no brokerage fee, no custodian fees, etc.) to amounts of up to 50k USD.
  • Kristal Managed Account for accredited investors for the more complicated structures and underlying.

Q: With technology at the core of fintech businesses worldwide, how does Kristal.AI stand out?

We aim to synergize our technology offer with robust human capital. With an Investments Committee that has over 150 years of experience in the financial industry, sales representatives are empowered with an in-house built RM-app that enables them to get up-to-speed, and provide a much more personalized service to clients on-the-go.

These are just a few ways we leverage on technology to maintain better quality touch points with our clients.

In fact, while we are typically compared to a robo-advisor, our offerings are anything but. For example, ETFs are just one of the offerings, but we also provide a host of other solutions such as option-linked strategies, thematic baskets, funds etc.        

We aim to create a seamless ecosystem that solves all our clients financial needs – globally.

– Asheesh Chanda, CEO, Kristal.AI

Q: Let’s talk about the future. How do you see the company developing in the coming years?

We want to be the largest independent advisor for retail investors in the region; using technology to bring transparency, improve efficiency and address the problem of miss-selling and conflicts of interest in the investment advice provided by human advisors, especially to the smaller unexperienced investor.

We provide an end-to-end B2C solution from KYC/ Onboarding to investing to portfolio tracking. We are already managing over USD 75 million for hundreds of clients and hope to grow this USD 1 billion+ over the next year. We are looking at expansion into the ASEAN region, Europe, and USA by either expanding our footprint organically or via partnerships.  

In a nutshell, we aim to create a seamless ecosystem that solves all our clients financial needs – globally.

Q: Speaking about your clients, what do you think your clients love the most about Kristal.AI?

Clients think of us as their go-to one-stop financial advisor, wherein we not only provide advice but also manage their investment assets with our quality of service and depth of offering – all provided in an extremely economical fashion.

Overall, most of our clients are extremely pleased with the platform as we have enabled them to make investments in a transparent, seamless, and cost-effective way which is exactly what they were hoping to achieve.

Q: Share us your secrets – what advice would you offer individuals who are looking for a Private Wealth Manager?

Every individual has their respective unique requirements and risk profile/appetite. If you are worth over 10 million USD, then definitely banks will be clamoring up to service you. But for the majority of the public, there are also options that meet your needs.

For smaller investors, ETFs are more than enough to meet your savings requirements.

Trust; I believe is the most important factor while looking for someone to manage your hard-earned assets. So, what clients are interested in should be net return.

One should always ask their Private Wealth Manager to explain their cost structure and the total fees that they will be getting for the product recommended by them.

About Asheesh Chanda

Asheesh Chanda is the Founder and CEO of Kristal.AI. He has 15+ years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to Kristal.AI, Asheesh was managing KrisCapital, a global macro hedge fund. Previously, he spent 8 years at JP Morgan Chase heading South and South-East Asia.

He has also worked with BNP Paribas as a Vice President of Institutional Sales and Structuring, and at CitiBank overseeing FX and Fixed Income Structuring. Asheesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Delhi. He has held several accomplishments during his studies including holding an All India Rank of 51 in IIT Entrance examination, and is an Indian National Math and Physics Olympiad Scholar.

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Written by

Cheryl Toh

Last updated on

July 31st 2019, 5:36 pm

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