Introducing Bankorus, a new paradigm for HNWIs and private wealth management.
High net worth individuals (HNWIs) — people with more than $1M USD to invest — represent more than $60 trillion globally. But much of their capital is tied up in illiquid assets like real estate. What if a fraction of HNWIs’ wealth could be invested in crypto? That’s our mission at Bankorus.
Bankorus applies AI and the blockchain to crypto-investing. Founded by Greg Van den Bergh and Eagle An, Bankorus presents a fundamentally new way for HNWIs to move their wealth into crypto.
Bankorus — from China’s first robo-advisor to today
As a thought leader and innovator in the fintech space, we launched China’s first robo-advisor in 2013, offering wealth management firms access to powerful robo-advisory services that streamline how they obtain financial information and make investment decisions on behalf of HNWIs.
Today, Bankorus handles a combined AUM of $30B with more than 200,000 of the world’s wealthiest clients across China, Europe, and the US, and we’ve grown to a team of forty around the world from Beijing to London. We’ve raised more than $5M from leading venture capital funds and angel investors, and we’ve been featured on Bloomberg TV, China Central Television (CCTV), the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, INC, The Economist, Tech In Asia, and TechCrunch. We’re proud to have been nominated for the Best Technical Innovation of 2015 for the Geekpark InnoAwards, the Best New Financial Innovation Award 2017 by Hurun New Finance, named an XTecher 2017 Top Financial Technology Company, admitted to China’s #1 accelerator, Microsoft Accelerator, in H1 2017 and elected Best Blockchain Application at the 2017 Shanghai Blockchain Awards in December 2017.
Our investors include the CEO of Morgan Stanley Bank AG and Crystal Stream Capital, and we have existing relationships with key industry stakeholders, including Noah Holdings Limited (NYSE: NOAH), Quark Finance, Phoenix Finance, PangMaoBao, and Allenbridge.
The birth of Bankorus
The story of our origin can be traced to two events that shaped the life and motivations of our founder and CEO, Greg Van den Bergh.
Greg grew up in a family of modest means in Belgium. When he was a child, his parents invested in a fund to help pay for his college education. At the time, it seemed like a safe, responsible way to ensure their son could one day go to the college of his choice. An excellent student, he was one of the few Belgian teenagers admitted to Oxford University.
All was good. That is, until Greg started his first classes at Oxford in the eye of the worst economic storm since the Great Depression. It was the fall of 2008. Lehman Brothers, finance, and the world economy were in freefall. And as the crisis hit, Greg and his parents made an awful discovery — their investment was suddenly less than half its pre-crisis value. Shocked, they soon realized the fund looked reliably profitable in good years, but when the value began to slide, the additional fees wiped out nearly all the positive value.
It was a devastating loss. But necessity is the mother of invention. Without the money to pay for an Oxford education, Greg picked up a job at Morgan Stanley, where he became interested in finance. An additional experience working with a less-than-reputable fund pushed him to think further about finance, transparency, and its impact on real lives. The old model seemed riddled with blind spots for the investor.
While studying at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in 2012–2013, Greg finally got the chance to bring all his prior experiences to bear. His ambitious roommate was crestfallen at having just lost over 1M RMB (around $150,000) in an investment scheme. It was a lot of money. Even worse, it had been pooled from his entire family. Knowing first-hand the shock and sadness a sudden loss of money can cause, Greg wanted to do something; he wanted to help his roommate. So he created a basket of RMB-denominated funds — a custom ETF — for his friend.
Once the custom fund began generating healthy returns, word spread from his roommate’s family and their friends, and beyond. And a business was born.
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