Ata Plus appoints Elain Lockman as CEO
By Digital News Asia May 14, 2021
- Cofounders Kyri Andreou & Aimi Aizal Nasharuddin assume ED roles
- Listing will be key catalyst for continued growth in fast-moving ECF sector
Ata Plus Sdn Bhd, an online Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) platform and a registered Recognised Market Operator with the Securities Commission Malaysia, announced today that it has appointed its cofounder, Elain Lockman as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in addition to her role as director. This appointment took effect 1 May 2021.
In line with this appointment, fellow cofounders and directors of Ata Plus - Kyri Andreou and Aimi Aizal Nasharuddin will respectively assume the roles of executive director. This reassignment of roles will enable Kyri and Aimi to focus on regional and global
expansion, as well as launch new verticals for related financial services.
“Elain has been instrumental, not only in the expansion of Ata Plus, but also in the country’s regulated crowdfunding space,” said Kyri.
“Being also the president of the Registered Digital Markets Association Malaysia, Elain has always worked hard alongside the Securities Commission (SC) to push impactful agendas that promote wider access for startups and SMEs to raise capital. Her passion to spur the industry’s growth has also led her to work closely with the SC in providing a more diverse investment portfolio to the Malaysian public. Her contributions as CEO will further mark Ata Plus’ commitment to innovation and integrity, and continued need to raise the standards,” Kyri added.
Aimi asserts, “Elain’s appointment as CEO goes to show that Ata Plus believes in female leadership and welcomes diversity of thought while empowering stakeholders regardless of gender, creed, race or ethnicity. Elain’s unique ability to think strategically as a business owner and an industry player will also greatly benefit the company to expand on its services and offerings to Malaysian entrepreneurs.”
Aimi, a pioneer in Malaysia’s startup ecosystem from the late 1990s, also believes that Elain’s new role will be a catalyst for more gender equity in the industry.
The founders also believe a listing will be a key catalyst for their continued growth in the fast-moving and changing space they operate in, which requires continuous innovation.
“Our vision requires us to make considerable investments in both technology and regulatory infrastructure so as to readily facilitate the new products and services we plan to launch in the short to medium term,” said Aimi. “We feel that going public serves our needs best as it is in line with our philosophy to democratise investments by allowing public participation at this relatively early stage of our growth,” he adds.
Since its launch in 2016, Ata Plus has seen a steady growth in revenue of approximately 2,693% and a 128% increase in global investments. To date, despite economic uncertainties inflicted by an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the company has achieved encouraging success with the listing of 50 companies on its platform, harnessed its pool of 400 over investors from across 10 countries, inspired 58% of equity crowdfunding (ECF) participation from Gen-Y investors, and welcomed a 427% increase in average investment amounts.
Focused on strengthening Ata Plus’ partnerships, deal flows and operational framework, Elain’s leadership to promote empowerment for all parties mirror the company’s mission to uphold financial inclusion and the democratisation of wealth.
Some of her notable efforts with the SC include the introduction of the Malaysia Co-Investment Fund (MyCIF), the recent lifting of Malaysia’s equity crowdfunding limit to RM20 million, the enhancement on requirements for qualified entities for ECF and the tax rebates for investors who partake in ECF.
In 2020, Elain was recognised by tech news portal, Digital News Asia, as one of its ‘2020/2021 Digerati50’ for “being bold, brave and inspirational in pushing the boundaries of Malaysia’s Digital Economy”.
The year before that, Elain was presented the ‘BERG 2019 Women Icons Malaysia’ - an award to honour her involvement, achievement and leadership in FinTech.
Graduated with a BSc in Actuarial Science and MSc in Operational Research from the London School of Economics, Elain currently sits as a board member of Reservoir Link Bhd and Daya Materials Bhd.
Elain has served notable organisations that include Petronas, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia Debt Ventures, Digi Telecommunications and Packet One Networks. She was also on the Board of Western Union Payments Malaysia and served as Chairman of Western Union Internal Audit Committee.