Mercatus is excited to welcome Brett Angwin to our growing team as our first employee in the Asia Pacific region. Brett comes to us from BlackRock Solutions, where he led sales of its eFront solution for the region. We recently sat down with him to learn more about his new role and what brought him to Mercatus.
What is your role at Mercatus and what are you hoping to accomplish?
I joined Mercatus on January 17th as the Head of Sales for APAC. Our first employee in Singapore. Best way to describe my role is that I will lead our efforts to push forward our brand, our product offering and our services across the APAC region. APAC is a high growth region for us and one where I see tremendous opportunity across every route. This includes the combination of everything Mercatus has been doing for the past 10 years in the private markets with everything Charles River Development has been focused on for the past decades with the public markets and State Street with custody, middle office outsourcing etc. I’m excited to collaborate closely with the different teams to reach our ambitious goals in 2022 and beyond. In fact, we’re already looking to bring in a number of new people to support our growing business aspirations here in APAC more generally, including a Solutions Engineer. These new hires will more than double the size of the APAC office by the end of the year.
What is your career background / story?
I’ve been in fintech sales in APAC now for 20+ years, the last 8 years in the private markets industry so I know the Asian markets well and have maintained a good network of contacts that I hope will help the team locally. I’m joining Mercatus from BlackRock Solutions in Singapore where I had been successfully leading the sales effort across Asia Pacific & Japan for the eFront business. In that capacity, I addressed a client portfolio made of fund managers and asset owners.
Prior to joining BlackRock Solutions, I held multiple positions in similar sales leadership roles at FIS (formerly SunGard) and eFront (now part of BlackRock) prior to the acquisition.
Having seen the private markets industry from a number of different angles will be invaluable to my role at Mercatus.
In your past role(s) what are some unmet needs from private market investors around data management technology?
There are quite a few examples but I would say the Covid 19 pandemic has heightened awareness of ESG. From a very broad perspective, we are hearing rising LP expectations in this regard across APAC. So as an absolute baseline LPs are expecting GPs to now have an ESG or responsible investing policy in place but it’s now beyond just do you have a policy in place. It’s very much moved into how ESG is implemented, how it is being reported on how it is being integrated into the investment lifecycle. Just as technology has come into play into other areas in private markets, there is now a tremendous opportunity to use technology to automate and streamline ESG data collection, analysis and reporting, which ultimately helps investors focus on the value creating objective of ESG integration.
What excites you about Mercatus?
I will answer this in two parts: 1) Integrating Mercatus with State Street – to get ahead of the game and to build on their significant global platform. 2) Culture — One of the things that excites me is the distinctive talent. For me it’s all about high quality talent. I’d also add
how positive and welcoming people have been. It fosters a sense of partnership and openness from day one.
How do you see private market technology evolving over the next decade?
I think it’s still early on in terms of the digital transformation journey but it’s not an industry that hasn’t focused on tech (at least the big names here in APAC). I almost think of it in 3 chapters:
Chapter 1 – 10 years ago. It was all around the model of best of breed. Lots of different systems, lots of Excel spreadsheets and private market fund managers needing to figure it out.
Chapter 2 – Over the past 5 years or so, a dramatic shift towards consolidating, simplifying and landing on a handful of larger systems or service providers where they were looking to do more in one place.
Chapter 3 – Now we are entering what I think is the third chapter over the next decade which is going back to a much more flexible option-oriented approach where there are different systems and technologies that are fit for purpose. There is an increasing need and desire to innovate yourself, build your own proprietary technology but through these data standards and API’s connect them back to centralized sources of data. So I think the next 5-10 years is going to be all about having the ability to differentiate yourself on both the investment process as well as how you interact with your clients but having a really strong foundation. Workflow and data both sit at the core.
What is your favorite / go-to Karaoke song?
“Mr Brightside” The Killers… I discovered I could do it by accident 🙂