Cornerstone FS continues with its strategy of increasing its direct business by acquisition and team hires. The firm has appointed a new team, based in London, that will focus on high-net-worth individuals acquiring real estate in the UK.
The sales team, who will market services to businesses located in Asia, has joined Cornerstone from Vorto Trading, specialized in international payment services to individuals and organizations primarily in European and Asian markets and Cornerstone’s largest white label partner.
The sales team moved to Cornerstone with the mission to deliver a substantial increase in revenue by tapping into demand for the UK real estate market, an established investment destination for high net worth individuals in Asia.
The growing trend of high net worth individuals in Asia investing in UK real estate seems to be only accelerating as Asia is forecast to see the fastest regional growth in ultra high net worth individuals over the next five years.
The team consists of Chen Xu, Qianjun Wang, and Qian Wan, who will receive compensation packages that are likely to include performance-based shares.
Julian Wheatland, Chief Executive Officer at Cornerstone, said: “We are pleased to have appointed this new team to focus on expanding our direct business from companies servicing HNWI investment in the UK from Asia.
“This is a large and growing market opportunity, which has been accelerated by the pandemic and desire for the lifestyle that is offered by prime residential property locations in the UK. This also represents the first step since our IPO towards executing on our strategy to expand our business. This team has previously driven transactions through our platform on a partner basis and will now be doing so directly, thereby generating higher margins.”
Cornerstone is a provider of international payment and currency risk management services. The firm expects its first-half revenues to return to near pre-pandemic levels.
Trading volumes increased in the period following a contraction in the second half of 2020, according to Cornerstone FS, who expects to report 6% revenue growth to £837,000 in the first half, representing a near-return to pre-pandemic levels.
Significant revenue increases from clients it serves directly accounted for 28% of total revenue compared with 12% for both the first and second halves of 2020.
This should result in gross margin to climb towards 38% in the first half, a five percentage point increase sequentially and an 11 percentage point increase compared with the first half of 2020.