In Conversation with Kevin Tok (Aggregate Asset Management)

Singapore-based Aggregate Asset Management (AAM) is a fund management company that holds a Capital Markets Services (CMS) Licence for fund management activities under the Securities and Futures Act, Singapore; and is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. One of the earliest and rare fund management companies that aligns clients’ interests with their own – AAM does not charge management fees and clients only pay performance fees when they enjoy absolute returns.

AAM is the very first company to be successfully listed on 1exchange, a private securities exchange backed by Singapore Exchange. Kevin Tok, Co-Founder of Aggregate Asset Management shares some insights about the company and its plans in the coming months.

Can you share a brief introduction of Aggregate Asset Management?

Kevin: Aggregate Asset Management (“AAM”) is a highly visible Singapore-based boutique value fund manager with a focus on listed Asian securities and a pioneer of the 0% management fee structure. Its flagship fund has approximately S$550M assets under management (“AUM”) with more than 800 unique high-net-worth individual investors. AAM has an established track record in fund performance and growth in AUM and client base.

What was the intent of the fundraising?

Kevin: The fundraising was undertaken to achieve the following objectives:

  • Build middle and back office functions in operations, processing, compliance etc
  • Boost research capabilities
  • Build capability to eventually offer investing opportunities to the general public
  • Realign capital structure - Founders to unlock value and increase ownership of company

We observe a trend of more companies opting to stay private. What are the advantages and benefits for them to do so?

Kevin: Companies are opting to remain private longer so that they remain in control of its vision and strategic direction. This is especially important for companies on a growth phase. Also, listing comes with ongoing reporting obligations and other information disclosure requirements – this can be taxing for the company in terms of time and money and may also compromise on its growth strategy and operational flexibility.

There are risks when investing in private exchanges. What are some of the steps that private companies such as AAM take to mitigate these concerns investors may have?

Kevin: Compared to investing in a completely private company, by investing in private shares that are listed on a private exchange, investors enjoy the flexibility to trade in and out of the shares as and when they wish to, as well as higher access to company information. On that note, the choice of private exchange is also important – we have chosen 1exchange (“1X”) as it is a reputable exchange backed by the SGX and other well-established partners and fully regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). 1X’s light-touch reporting obligations provide investors with information transparency while at the same time allow companies to maintain their operational flexibility.

What are your initial considerations that brought you to 1exchange?

Kevin: As a private company in the fund management industry, it is difficult to obtain a bank loan for growth; in fact, there were not many options available in the market all along. We have been following 1X for a while and felt that it is a good platform for private companies like us to raise capital and enable tradability in our shares for investors.

What are the appealing factors of 1exchange?

Kevin: We see several appealing factors of 1X. It is a reputable exchange backed by the SGX and other strategic partners like Deloitte, Consensys, CIMB, UOB, etc. 1X provides investors with a new asset class, tradeable private equity – which means direct access into promising private growth companies like us, at smaller ticket sizes and with continuous trading in a regulated, transparent and orderly environment. In other words, investors do not have to wait for an exit, which could take 5-7 years, before they can cash out of their private investments.

Going forward, what plans do you have for your company, after it has been listed on 1exchange?

Kevin: AAM will use the proceeds from the listing to beef up its operations, hire new staff and invest in data tools to support its quantitative investment methods. We are fully focused on growing the company and are targeting an AUM of S$2 billion by FY2028. Our vision is to be publicly listed at the right time and for our current shareholders who believe in us, we are committed to a dividend payout ratio of 50% of net income.

With the first launching of AAM on 1exchange, investors can look forward to more exciting updates to from companies of different industries. For investors who wish to explore the 1exchange trading platform, you can sign up for an account on www.1x.exchange.

For Investors who want know more about Aggregate Asset Management, set up an appointment with them directly by clicking here.

*Participants must be accredited investors as required and as defined by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

CapBridge’s associate entity 1exchange (“1X”) is a regulated private securities exchange that provide investors with a unique trading platform to buy and sell private securities in a regulated, centralized and transparent manner.

1X provides an easier and much flexible way to unlock shareholder value and recycle capital for private companies. 1X is designed for private operating companies seeking capital, or preparing for liquidity events; late-stage venture-backed companies with shareholders and employees seeking to monetise their shareholdings; and family-owned businesses seeking to diversify shareholder base or planning for management transitions. Our platform allows for professional investors and business owners to trade in and out of their positions.

1X has a Recognised Market Operator License and is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Singapore Exchange (SGX) is a strategic partner and shareholder. For more information on 1X, visit www.1x.exchange.

 

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