Since 2018 Rayol Hwang has been the CEO of Hillstone Partners. With over 20 years of start-up experience in music, cosmetics, games, IT, fashion design, blockchain and other web developments, Rayol is revolutionizing Hillstone Partners, one of Korea’s oldest and most respected financial institutions. Rayol is working to combine traditional finance with blockchain technology to provide new and innovative financial solutions for Hillstone’s investors.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve always been interested in what is new. When I was at Seoul National University, I alternated between going to school and working to pay for school. After eight years, I realized that I was more excited to start businesses and bring innovative ideas to whatever I was doing. So, I quit school and got started with my first business venture in fashion design. Then I got involved in music, dance, cosmetics, IT, game design, and finance. I’ve been involved in eighteen start-ups over the last 20 years or so. Some succeeded, some didn’t, but they were all exciting to be a part of. For me, being an entrepreneur has been about being a pioneer. I want to bring something new to people and I’m excited when I see people connect with that product.
What does your company do?
Hillstone Partners is a traditional finance firm in South Korea. Founded in 1993, we are one of the oldest and most respected financial firms in the country. In fact, we’ve been recognized by the Korean government for our work, and we were the first mergers and acquisitions company in Korea. Hillstone has been focused on investment solely in Korea, but now our use of blockchain technology will facilitate global investments and build a border-less investment that overcomes geographical and legislative constraints.
What sets Hillstone Partners apart from other investment firms?
With our new products – “Fundy” and “Investors” – we want to leverage blockchain technology in a way that allows people to more easily invest in opportunities. Suppose you want to invest in one of the local financial institutions in Korea. If you want to send dollars to them, there are a lot of regulations and laws that limit transactions. Blockchain is a method for investing that doesn’t have limitations on it like traditional currencies. Currently, there are a lot of blockchain projects going on right now. It’s the hot new thing. But there are no attempts to try to merge with traditional finance. Hillstone is on the cutting edge of this technology.
What’s something about Hillstone Partners that you’re proud of?
I’m proud of our team of innovators at Hillstone Partners. The strength of our organization is based on the people I get to work with every day. There were some doubters on the team when I first proposed taking Hillstone in this new direction. Blockchain technology can be intimidating for people who don’t understand it. Everyone on the team now is 100% invested in making the technology work for our investors. It’s exciting to go to work every day and see what a difference our team makes.
What exciting projects are on the horizon for you?
I’m so excited about our new platforms – “Fundy” and “Investors” – which are launching worldwide this September. These platforms will merge traditional finance and investing with blockchain. No one is doing that! “Investors” allows global investors to connect with Korean business opportunities in a way that they never could have imagined. I’ve always believed that the final purpose of technology is to make life better for people, and we want people to invest in a new paradigm.