When Asheesh Chanda started Kristal.AI six years ago, little did he imagine that his journey to redefine the private wealth experience for investors will lead to building a global business out of Asia.
Asheesh grew up as a bright student and graduated in Computer Science at IIT Delhi and then in Business Management at the prestigious IIM Bangalore. That’s where his love for numbers found its true calling and he opted to specialize in finance.
Over the next 15 years, he held leadership roles at marquee financial institutions such as Citibank, BNP Paribas and JPMorgan Chase. His last corporate stint was as the Head of FICC Sales to Private Banks, where he delivered fixed income and currency solutions to private banks and boutique asset wealth managers for JPMorgan Chase.
But the predictability of a 9-5 job didn’t appeal to him much, and he soon took the entrepreneurial leap by starting his own Hedge Fund, KrisCapital.
One afternoon in 2016, as Asheesh was trying to open a private wealth account for himself, he discovered that even after having a few million dollars, he couldn’t get access to the best products and advice at the bank. Just because he was a million short. This struck Asheesh as an opportunity to change something for the better.
He discovered that there is a segment of investors between Retail and Private banking, seeking better access and personalisation. Kristal was born to meet their needs.
Kristal reduced the barriers to entry for investors. One could now get a private wealth account for as low as $50,000 as compared to $5M at other banks. It also made the experience very transparent and seamless. Kristal.AI created a combination of Algo + Human intellect, i.e., AI + Real Intelligence to advise clients and create personalized portfolios for investors. The offering was lapped up by affluent investors. Within 5 years it amassed 20,000+ clients across 20 countries.
In early 2020, Kristal entered the India market, where it encountered a new competitor; the personal financial advisor. These advisors had, over the years, earned the trust & confidence of their clients. Asheesh decided to join hands with wealth managers instead of competing.
Kristal launched its Channel Partner business in mid-2020. It believed that combining the trust of clients that wealth managers had, with the tech capability of Kristal would help it grow. The hypothesis turned out to be true. Within 12 months of launch Kristal has been able to partner with more than 180 leading distributors & advisors who manage around $10B in client assets, offering them curated access to global investment opportunities, quality advisory, and seamless execution.
As Asheesh looks to scale Kristal to new frontiers, the roadmap includes geographic and product expansion, use of emerging Blockchain technologies, and a “Shopification” strategy to offer a Plug & Play Wealth Management solution to Banks & Wealth Managers.
In Asheesh’s words, “We’re off to a good start on our journey to Reimagine Private Banking, and I’m excited to see what we’ll do in the coming years.”
IFSC CODE : KKBK0000203
MICR No.: 110485046
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