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#PeopleofAlta - Nicholas’ growth as a Team Leader at Alta Malaysia

Shaping the Future of Malaysian Businesses

Fundnel Group recently rebranded to Alta Group, and this is just part of their consistent growth through the pandemic and emergence as a leading private investments platform fuelled by the rebound post-pandemic. One of the key drivers of Alta’s success is the regional expansion, and a key market for the group is Malaysia.

Introducing Alta Malaysia

Alta Malaysia was launched in November 2018, and received their licence to operate, from Securities Commission Malaysia, at the same time. With a mission to shape the future of Malaysian businesses with Equity Crowdfunding, the company’s vision is to help companies raise capital and grow by empowering investors to invest in Malaysian startups and SMEs from as little as RM2,000. Their track record in Malaysia over the past 4 years is impressive, with notable deals like CapBay, Eatcosys, Fish Club, and the first ever micro-VC fund with Emissary Capital.

Introducing Nicholas Kew

At Alta Malaysia, the team is like a family that works hard and plays hard together. Their results have been recognised and the team has been rewarded with progression, and in this spotlight feature, we introduce Nicholas Kew who was recently promoted to Associate Director of Alta Malaysia.

Nicholas has over 7 years of experience in corporate finance, loans, property, manufacturing, F&B, and tourism, which has shaped his unique regional experience and perspective in finance, as well as giving him the edge in providing focused insights that are anchored on driving businesses forward. He holds a Bachelors in Commerce from University of Wollongong with specialisations in Corporate Finance and Management.

Having joined Fundnel on Valentine’s Day in 2022 (you could say he fell in love with the company) as an Account Manager, Nicholas “broke the record” for swiftest promotion in just 8 months when he was recognised for the immense impact he has created at the company.

A surprise!

Nicholas, congrats and well-deserved! How did you feel when you learnt of your promotion?
I was surprised! I am very certain that if I work hard and contribute value to my partners, investors, and team with their success as my number 1 priority I’m sure everyone will be prosperous together. But honestly, I wasn’t expecting it.

We’re sure the team was proud of you, were there any celebrations?
Haha we did! It was an emotional one for me to get this goodwill from my teammates because I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s hard work and commitment to our unified goal to make Alta's Malaysian business great, and bringing awareness of equity crowdfunding and private capital markets to the Southeast Asian region.

What was your motivation to join Fundnel, and what are your aspirations for the company moving forward?
I wanted to be able to contribute to startups which luckily for me has also become one of the key national agenda items for Malaysia. And I expect to be able to continue to make a positive difference by providing a stable and consistent delivery of value for startups in Malaysia.
Even if we have to chart through a challenging environment, I am confident that as a team we will pave the way for new frontiers and discover exciting solutions. I aspire for Alta’s equity crowdfunding business to provide a channel for startups to engage and grow.

“Nicholas has been instrumental in growing and grooming the team in Malaysia! He exemplifies everything we look for in a team leader - passionate, empathetic, relentlessly committed to personal and professional growth.”
- Kelvin Lee, Co-Founder and CEO

How have things changed for you since the promotion?
I now have the added responsibility of ensuring that the team continues to overcome challenges alongside the companies that we are helping. This is in addition to my commitment to deliver on our business’ promises to its stakeholders. What hasn’t changed is that I remain as committed to the success of my clients as ever!

Culture is the nucleus of the team

We learnt that your team is very tight, tell us more about the team and how you have shaped the culture?
Culture is, for me, super important. It forms the nucleus of how our team operates. I strongly believe that a group like ours should continually encourage open dialogue, where every person’s opinion matters, and we celebrate individual diversity. I want the team to grow, be successful, but most importantly have a fun and fulfilling experience at Alta.

"Nicholas has impeccable leadership qualities that exemplifies what is needed to bring the company forward. He showcases empathy for his team by creating a safe space for growth and shares his finance expertise in an easy to digest manner. I have no doubt that he will accelerate Alta Malaysia to exponential heights."
- Riya Aris, Malaysia Marketing Lead

What are Alta Group/Fundnel Malaysia’s values that speak really strongly to you and you particularly endeavour to champion?
Under the guidance of my direct manager, who was a strong influence on me, I saw how she wove a strong sense of inclusivity and empathy in the team. That spoke really strongly to me.

Alta Group is expanding in more markets, yet across borders the company is close-knit. What is the “secret ingredient”?
The starting point for any team is really in a commitment to build genuine relationships. Apart from that, there’s no real playbook. It means finding time to bridge gaps and understanding each other, which today with tools like Google Meet and Zoom make it easier than ever to do that, even if you’re sitting in another country. There’s no substitute for making time to know each other well, especially beyond work.

As a leader, what do you look for in new hires for the team?
Above all I look for the person’s character. They must be easy-going, know how to adapt when in different situations, and must bring positive vibes to the team - this is really important to ensuring that everyone in the team would continue to enjoy spending time with each other!

Maintaining a professional edge

In such a fast-expanding company, your schedule must be insane. What do you do when you have a break/what do you enjoy as a past-time/how do you unwind?
I recently learnt that unwinding is essential to productivity and maintaining my professional edge. So I’ve made a conscious effort to hit the gym, and recently got into hiking. I love the challenges both have and that’s what motivates me to get over the finish line.

There’s plenty to learn from Nicholas, from his tips on unwinding, to his views on team culture, and commitment to stakeholders’ success. Not only is Nicholas able to power Alta Malaysia’s growth forward, Alta Group has also provided a nurturing and rewarding environment for Nicholas to flourish with his team, and it seems like that will be the ingredients of success for the continued progression of Alta Group! With Alta Malaysia leading the private investments space alongside the national agenda of supporting startups, there’s many career opportunities and you can join Nicholas and team!

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