Photo, Stephanie Magnus

Stephanie Magnus

Principal
Wong & Leow LLC

Biography

Stephanie Magnus co-heads the Asia Pacific Financial Institutions Group and heads up the Financial Services Regulatory Practice Group in Singapore. Stephanie is ranked Band 1 for FinTech in Singapore by Chambers FinTech 2020. She is also ranked as a Leading Individual for Financial Services Regulatory: Local Firms in Singapore by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020. She is recognised as a leading lawyer for Banking & Finance: Regulatory in Singapore by Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers Global 2020.

Stephanie was quoted in Chambers Asia Pacific for her "timely, practical and business-oriented" advice, with a "deep understanding of the regulatory regime." She is also recognised as "very business-savvy and brilliant every time," and is admired for her "very strong grasp of the legal issues from both a technical and practical perspective."

Practice Focus

Stephanie regularly advises international banks, capital markets intermediaries, fund managers, insurance companies, fintechs and other financial institutions on financial services compliance and regulatory matters, and works closely with her clients to navigate these matters.

She has significant experience in compliance, and focuses on regulatory issues, particularly in the financial services, insurance and commodities sectors. Her practice also includes mergers and acquisitions in the financial services sector. She also actively helps financial services clients in merger and acquisition transactions, particularly where these transactions involve the acquisition or sale of regulated financial services companies.

In the fintech space, Stephanie has been involved in contributing to policy formation, and regularly advises on fintech models including equity and debt crowdfunding, roboadvisor platforms, payment service models, consumer credit models, e-wallets, digitalisation and tokenisation. She has been recognised as being "deeply involved" in the discussions around payments legislation along with being "very good at marrying traditional financial advice with innovation."

Representative Legal Matters

Financial Services and FinTech

  • Advised private capital platform CapBridge Platform Pte. Ltd. on its successful application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore to operate a private markets securities exchange known as 1exchange in Singapore. 1exchange is the first regulated private securities exchange in Singapore.
  • Assisted M-DAQ, an affiliate of Ant Financial, Alibaba's financial arm, on its successful application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore on a payment services licence, and provided general advice on ongoing compliance and regulatory requirements, taking into account M-DAQ's unique business model.
  • Advised Asia Wealth Platform (operating under the name "StashAway") on its successful application for a capital markets services licence for fund management. StashAway is a digital wealth management platform providing personalised and automated portfolio management services to both retail and accredited investors. StashAway is one of the first fintech start-ups and robo-advisors in Singapore to obtain a fund management licence.
  • Advised Goldbell Evolution Network (GEN) Pte Ltd (GEN) on its successful application for capital markets services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, for the setting up of an electronic private debt investment platform, GEN.
  • Advised Blue Whale Group on its successful application for a capital markets services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore relating to setting up a crowdfunding platform which operates through the tokenisation of assets using blockchain.
  • Advised Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited on its acquisition of First Capital Insurance Limited, one of Singapore’s largest non-life insurers.
  • Advised China Galaxy International Financial Holdings Limited (CGI) on its conditional acquisition of a 50% stake in CIMB Securities International Pte. Ltd. (CSI), from CIMB Group Sdn Bhd (CIMB), for a total value of approximately SGD 167 million. The acquisition and partnership with CIMB strengthened CGI’s footprint in Asia Pacific and represented its first foray into the ASEAN market and beyond.
  • Advising financial institutions on consumer protection and financial protection laws under the Securities and Futures Act and Financial Advisers Act in Singapore.
  • Advising and running investigations for banks and other financial institutions in respect of various potential breaches of financial regulation, including AML/KYC, market misconduct and/or insider trading provisions.
  • Advising banks, insurers and capital market intermediaries in respect of the feasibility of setting up operations in Singapore, and assisting clients with licensing and regulatory issues. These include assisting with and securing a licence for (i) recognised market operators under the Securities and Futures Act, (ii) general and life insurers (and reinsurers) under the Insurance Act, (iii) capital markets services licences under the Securities and Futures Act, (iv) payment services licences under the Payment Services Act (v) financial advisers licences under the Financial Advisers Act and (vi) credit card and credit-type businesses under the Moneylending Act and Banking Act.

Professional Honors

  • Ranked Band 1 for FinTech in Singapore, Chambers FinTech 2019 and 2020
  • Ranked Band 2 for Banking & Finance: Regulatory in Singapore, Chambers Asia Pacific since 2017
  • Ranked Band 2 for Banking & Finance: Regulatory in Singapore, Chambers Global since 2017
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual for Financial Services Regulatory: Local Firms in Singapore, Legal 500 Asia Pacific since 2016
  • Recognised as an Acritas Star in 2019, based on a global study involving over 6,500 clients who nominated lawyers they consider as stand-out 

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Academy of Law
  • Law Society of Singapore

Admissions

  • Singapore (2001)

Education

  • National University of Singapore (LL.B. Honors) (2000)

Languages

  • Chinese
  • English
  • French

Previous Offices

  • London