From an early stage of her career, Jacqueline Pang was driven by one burning ambition: to become an entrepreneur.
‘If you look at my risk profile, it may not seem to fit the typical profile of an entrepreneur, but I didn’t let that deter me,’ says the managing director and co-founder of Artius Global, a regulatory technology (RegTech) company focused on the financial services sector.
‘I discovered that there was still a lot more that I would need to succeed as an entrepreneur’
But with valuable experience in both investment operations and technology, Pang recognised that she was uniquely placed to design and provide tech-based solutions for complex financial institution challenges. ‘Having experienced the pain points first hand as a practitioner in asset management, I knew the importance of innovation,’ she says.
‘I thought to myself: if I could be successful working for someone else, I should be able to translate some of these skills to be a successful entrepreneur.’
Pang’s idea started to take shape during a career break when, alongside spending time with her young children, she began planning her entrepreneurial journey. The launch of Artius Global – which is headquartered in Singapore – couldn’t have been better timed.
‘Even though RegTech had been around for a long time, it was always viewed as one of the less sexy verticals of FinTech,’ Pang says. ‘Soon after I started Artius, however, this began to change with disruptions in traditional financial services in an increasingly regulated environment and FinTech was at the forefront of transforming the landscape.’
The on-stream of regulations to increase transparency in capital markets, and in new areas such as cybersecurity, environmental, social and governance, data governance and artificial intelligence, greatly increased the level of operational complexity for financial institutions, she notes.
Managing director and co-founder, Artius Global
Director, head of APAC, operations and technology, Russell Investments
COO, Investment, Income Insurance
Director of internal audit, Prudential Asset Management
Regional director of operations (Asia), Prudential Asset Management
‘Fortunately, the complex regulatory landscape also presented us with many opportunities to adapt our technology to deliver agile and adaptable solutions to our clients. We were able to put our flagship product, which covers complex shareholding disclosure rule regimes across more than 100 capital markets, to good use.’
‘There were very few technologies available in the market to tackle complex regulatory requirements’
However, with the sea of opportunities came challenges, too. As Artius Global navigated the new and complex regulatory landscape, Pang soon discovered that the entrepreneurial journey was anything but easy and that her previous experience could only take her so far.
‘Even though I had accumulated all these experiences and skillsets, I discovered that there was still a lot more that I would need to succeed as an entrepreneur,’ she says. ‘In the past, I was used to problem-solving, managing large-scale projects and stakeholders; now I had to learn many new skillsets and sharpen existing expertise, including sales, persuasiveness, strategising, adaptability and resilience.’
In founding Artius, Pang drew on a formidable skillset, having taken on senior asset management roles in a number of companies, including a stint early in her career at Prudential’s asset management arm as regional director of investment operations. From there, she went on to become director of internal audit for the business’ Singapore hub. She then took on the role of COO, investment, at Income Insurance, before becoming the head of APAC for operations and technology, at Russell Investments.
In her time in asset management, Pang became increasingly aware of a widening omission in the landscape. ‘There were very few technologies available in the market to tackle complex regulatory requirements, while internal solutioning was expensive and time-consuming,’ she says.
As she continues to face challenges head on, Pang attributes ACCA’s training with providing her with the skills to succeed. ‘The recognisability of the ACCA qualification certainly opened many doors for me,’ she says. ‘But what I really appreciate is the strong mental attitude that I developed while going through the rigours of the course. It was a very challenging qualification that definitely built up my resilience and thinking. Being able to deconstruct a complex problem is certainly a skillset that is always transferable and applicable.’
‘Women need to develop their confidence and be willing to take key leadership roles’
Having benefited so much from ACCA’s support for her own career, Pang is now committed to passing on her knowledge and is an active advocate, regularly volunteering in roundtable discussions and stepping up to participate as a panellist or moderator at member events.
Artius Global is a RegTech focused on simplifying regulatory disclosures for the global financial services sector. The team comprises industry practitioners from financial services with a collective experience of over 100 years in compliance, operations and technology. Artius’ flagship technology provides an end-to-end solution that automates the complex task of shareholding disclosure across more than 100 capital markets.
Room to thrive
Pang is quick to recognise the many inspirational bosses and mentors that have helped to guide and shape her into the professional she is today. And she is committed to creating a positive work environment where everyone can thrive.
‘To develop talent, it is important to provide meaningful work and have continuous learning and regular feedback,’ she says. ‘At the same time, I also try to make time for individuals who need advice for career matters as well as personal matters. In particular, I have a heart for women, and I really hope to see many more succeed in fintech and financial services.’
Women, she notes, ‘tend to under-sell themselves and often place mental limits on themselves. What they need is to develop their confidence and be willing to take key leadership roles.
‘I hope that through my example, I can encourage other women that even in industries like asset management and fintech, where men still outnumber women in executive roles, it is possible to succeed and reach the top.’