Fintech and Robo Advisors: Booming in Japan

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28 August 2016


This report addresses trends in Fintech, with a focus on the burgeoning robo advisor industry and the unique attributes of Japan’s market. This report examines pioneering robo advisor efforts, technology, business areas ripe for development, and the outlook for the Fintech boom.

Four trends can be distilled in the global wealth management sector:

  • Retail services fragmentation.
  • The emergence of next-generation investors.
  • A shift to passive investing.
  • Digitalization.

Against this backdrop, it could be argued that the confluence of these trends made the emergence of automated investment programs largely inevitable.

At the same time, Japan differs from other markets in terms of the diversity of individual asset holdings, the retail investment environment, and the level of financial literacy. Despite this vastly different business environment there is immense potential — a blue ocean — for robo advisor services. This report introduces a spate of recent, innovative initiatives in Japan, identifying technology and business areas ripe for development and challenges that will require attention.

After reviewing the essential and universal functions of financial systems, this report considers the direction of Fintech today as well as its outlook.

“Robo advisor services will have many positive effects. On the demand side these include supplementing investor literacy and enhancing the accuracy and transparency of information for asset management products, such as risk information. On the supply side, these services will mitigate incentive problems that interfere with business and disrupt the domination of value chains by a few companies,” says Eiichiro Yanagawa, a senior analyst with Celent’s Asian Financial Services practice and author of the report.

This 34 page report contains 16 figures.