Singapore-based private market exchange ADDX has tapped investment banking veteran Oi-Yee Choo as CEO, pending regulatory approval.
Choo had moved to ADDX in January 2020 from UBS, where she was head of investment banking. She is expected to lead the company into a new phase of growth. Officials are eyeing a rise in total transaction volume to date to rise to $1 billion by the end of 2023.
The projected volume level far exceeds the $150 million in transactions as of the end of 2021. Total deals totaled 24 at the end of last year and will likely grow to 100 in 2023.
In October, ADDX announced the tokenization of a private equity fund offered by $119 billion Partners Group, making it one of the first major private equity firms to be tokenized with the aim of broadening investor access to alternative investments.
ADDX sees a trend toward greater private market participation in search for improved return outcomes for younger investors, particularly among Gen Z allocators. The democratization of alternatives has been an ongoing theme of platforms in the U.S. as well.
“Large institutional investors see this trend and they have the tools to diversify into the private markets, which now make up 20% to 30% of their portfolios,” said Choo in a statement. “Not allowing individuals to diversify in the same way is — to put it bluntly — unconscionable.” She added that saying to younger investors that they shouldn’t expect a decent rate of return, an estimated 2% per annum, implies they will need to stay in the workforce longer to meet their retirement needs.
Asset classes on the platform include private equity and venture capital, private debt, real estate, hedge funds and crypto funds. The ADDX platform expects to onboard more global general partners (GPs) this year, after launching deals last year by blue-chip names such as Partners Group, UOB, Investcorp, Mapletree, Azalea, SeaTown and CGS-CIMB.
“Reaching a critical mass will signal that we are the primary venue for any issuer or investor looking to deal in private market investments,” Choo added. “It will strengthen our ability to achieve our mission of ensuring fair and equal access to the private markets for all — including, ultimately, retail investors,” she added.