Bernard Wijaya: CEO of Sucor Sekuritas

Bernard Wijaya: CEO of Sucor Sekuritas
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#MaganiMen: Meet Bernardus Setya Ananda Wijaya, CEO of PT Sucor Sekuritas, and is class of Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 2021: Finance & Venture Capital. At 29 years old, Bernard is the youngest financial securities company CEO ever approved by Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK). Learn how Bernard has leveraged technology and digitalization to grow Sucor Sekuritas’ online trading platform and #SucorCuanTroopers community.


Bernard Wijaya Sucor Sekuritas


Can you tell us about your background before becoming CEO of Sucor Sekuritas?  

I used to work at Citibank as a Management Associate from 2013 to 2016. I worked in different departments: securities and mutual funds services, consumer technology, and transaction services. I joined Sucor in 2016, and I became the project manager to develop Sucor’s online trading platform called SPOT. I collaborated closely with developers to create this application. From then, we started to campaign and promote our online trading platform. To date, we have more than 10,000 users and daily trading value of more than IDR 200 billion. Actually, Sucor Sekuritas is now one of the top 30 securities companies in Indonesia. In 2018 we were ranked 47th, 2019 ranked 35th, and 2020 ranked 28th. Starting from 2018 until 2021, our average daily trading value has increased about 60-70%. This is why today we’re doing this photoshoot in this war room with all stock information as a symbol of what I have developed over my career here at Sucor.

After successfully creating the online trading platform, management gave me authority to develop the Retail Equity Team. In 2019, I officially became the Head of Retail Equity Team and Business Development, including leading all of our branch offices across Indonesia. In 2020, I became Director of Equity and Business Development, which covers Institutional Equity, Research, Retail Equity, and Business Development. As of September 2020, I became CEO.

As CEO of Sucor Sekuritas, can you walk us through a day in your life?

My day consists of strategizing how to grow market share and enhance brand value. This means growing our market share in terms of trading value, stock equity and fixed income brokerage activity, mutual funds, and primary market (investment banking). I control and monitor all the teams so that we can accomplish our goal - which is to become the top 10 brokerage companies in Indonesia in terms of trading value by 2025, and also top 5 for fixed income trading and investment banking.

Bernard Wijaya Sucor Sekuritas

What challenges do you face as a relatively young CEO leading such a large company in Indonesia?

The first challenge is internal - how to gain respect from people who are much older than me with more than 10-20 years’ experience, compared to my 5-years’ experience in this industry. From my experience building the online trading platform and upgrading our back-end infrastructure, I was able to understand end-to-end aspects of the business, including all the operational details related to securities trading. The online trading platform has been successful, and it is a key success growth factor for securities company such as Sucor, therefore I have gained respect from others through this. 

Another challenge is external - how to gain respect from industry leaders in other security companies in Indonesia, who have 20-30 years more experience than I do. To overcome this, I used a different method by acquiring more clients and increasing our brand equity, and I did this through our online trading platform and leveraging the millennial way of digital marketing and education, such as IG Live, webinars and so forth. Currently financial literacy in Indonesia is very low, with only 0.5% of the population investing in the capital markets such as stocks. In general people think that investing in the stock market is difficult, thus my mission is to make investment in stocks more fun and accessible, educating people to have an investment mindset. I want to create value for our customers through stocktainment: stock media, stock education, and stock entertainment. The core point is that Sucor is not only the trading platform, but also an educational platform and community. This is the differentiating point of Sucor because other securities firms also have trading platforms, but we focus on giving education to people so that they can understand stock investment fundamentals properly. With this approach we have grown in number of users and trading value consistently year on year, and this has also helped me gain respect from other industry players. Not only because I am young, but also because I was able to create a breakthrough in the traditional securities industry by leveraging technology and digital ecosystem.

Bernard Wijaya Sucor Sekuritas

What’s your leadership style?

I think my leadership style is being a servant leader and problem solver and leading by example. I have to show people that I understand and can manage all aspects of the business from management, investment, to operations so that I can lead by example and gain respect from those around me. For instance, if I give particular stock recommendations, I also do the proper research on the stock so that I can provide critical analysis to convince our retail clients whether the stock is a buy or not. Another example is when I was working on enhancing our online trading platform. I was the bridge between users and our IT team since the language and logic of investment and coding are different. I’m also a solution-oriented person, and I always try to find solutions to problems that I face. With this I also hope to lead by example so that people don’t just complain, but also try to find solutions themselves.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?

The biggest challenge is actually building the online trading application. Before 2016, Sucor didn’t have an application that was compatible for mobile and the interface of the desktop version was quite old school so not every user can use it. When I joined Sucor I was given this task of developing this new online trading platform and engaging with a developer. I had worked on it for more than a year, and when the first version launch - it failed. I realized I didn’t fully understand the stock trading process and having come from the banking industry, it was a big jump to financial securities. I felt really discouraged at the time. Users didn’t like the application, people pulled out their money because they didn't trust the system, and I lost a lot of confidence. Thankfully I was given a second chance to rebuild the online trading platform. This second time around I engaged a new developer and learned from all the mistakes from the first trial. We were able to successfully launch the second version in 6 months, with less bugs and a much more user-friendly experience. This online trading platform has been instrumental in growing our customer base and generating revenue.

Bernard Wijaya Sucor Sekuritas

What is your ultimate career goal? 

Actually my ultimate goal is to acquire more than 100,000 users for Sucor Sekuritas. This way, we can help the government organizations such as OJK and IDX to increase financial literacy and access to investment in the Indonesian capital market. As we know, only 0.5% of the Indonesian population are directly investing in the stock market. In the future, I hope we can be like South Korea, where 14-15% of the population are stock investors. Our goal is to help the government increase the number of stock investors in Indonesia, not only in terms of number, but also in properly educating them about stock investing. With 100,000 users joining the #SucorCuanTroopers (name of our community), I believe we will be the largest stock trading community in Indonesia.     

What would you do differently if you can start your career all over again?

I would have learned about stock trading earlier before I became the project manager of the online trading platform development. At that time, I was still really blank about stock trading. I couldn’t think in the perspective of the user since I wasn’t a user myself, so it was difficult to do the system development to address users’ requirements and needs. I should have learned minimum 3-6 months prior so that I can understand the user experience much better. 

Bernard Wijaya

You live such a busy life as CEO. How do you balance your passion in music and work? 

Before the pandemic, every week I would go out to restaurants and listen to live music. I also sing at the cafes or restaurants and invite my friends. It can help me relieve my stress. I used to be a wedding and café singer actually, and it makes me happy to entertain people that I know. Now with the pandemic I cannot perform live anymore, so I decided to post videos on YouTube instead. Besides singing, I also enjoy tennis. Playing tennis makes me happier and gives me a chance to hang out with close friends. 

Tell us fun fact about your industry that outsiders wouldn’t know.  

Before 2020, 55% of trading value in Indonesian capital market came from institutional investors. Since May 2020, there has been a huge increase in retail investors. With everyone working/studying from home during the pandemic, more and more people have become interested in investment. Now 70% of trading value in Indonesian capital market comes from retail investors, so we can say that the future of Indonesia’s capital market comes from retail investors. As I mentioned before, only 0.5% of Indonesian population are stock investors, compared to 15% in South Korea, therefore there is a massive upside as more and more people invest in the stock market.

Another fun fact is that I am the youngest CEO of a financial securities company approved by OJK (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan - Indonesia Financial Services Authority). Usually the approved CEOs are above 40 years old. 

Bernard Wijaya Sucor Sekuritas

Is there anything in particular that you would like to highlight?

 For me personally, it was hard to focus on my job and career without having a mission. I found my life mission - which is to help people find financial freedom through stock investment - and I became more passionate and excited for my life and work. I would say that every millennial can achieve anything as long as they know their goal, vision, and dreams.

What about Magani resonated or appealed to you? 

I love Magani because the design of the batik is very millennial! Everyone, including my high net worth clients, all compliment me when I wear Magani shirt and it also gives me more confidence. I think the designs are young but also looks elegant. I can wear Magani everyday - at the office, before I play tennis, when I meet my friends out and about - I can wear anywhere and it’s really flexible.

Bernard Wijaya Sucor Sekuritas

Click here to follow Bernard on Instagram.

Click here to learn more about Sucor Sekuritas.

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