Following up on our success as this year’s Best Structured Products Solution at WealthTechAsia Awards, Tom Burroughes, Group Editor at Wealth Briefing Asia, talks to our Co-Founder and CEO Rico Blaser about setting standards and digitising active management.
What sets you apart from your peers this year and why?
vestr is a Swiss FinTech company founded in 2017 by an experienced team of traders and quants with a focus on providing modern technology solutions to the field of Actively Managed Certificates. With an easy-to-integrate platform that digitizes the life-cycle management of issuers’ actively managed investment products, we not only digitize but set the standard for active management.
How have your colleagues contributed towards the success of your organisation?
After onboarding the first client two years ago, we expanded the team from a technology-driven company to a diverse organization with team members across Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, and the Ukraine. Our skill sets have equally diversified.
While retaining and extending our client base in Europe, we started our operations in Singapore fully remote.
What are you going to do to stay on the front foot in a fast-growing but also challenging region such as Asia?
With our global ambitions, we believe that having local representation is inevitable. For engaging in the local ecosystem, we employ regional team leads. In Singapore, we aim to assess legal and regulatory concerns together with partners, and wish to stay close to our clients to offer customer-centric solutions and adapt the product to their respective needs.
What have been the challenges you have had to overcome to reach such a standard?
One of the most obvious and trying challenges have been the existing systems of our clients. Integrating our solution with their legacy systems is possible by maintaining industry standards such as FIX protocols. With our open APIs, we empower our clients as they can leverage our open APIs and integration is possible in a step-by-step approach. Gradual integration allows faster time-to-market without compromising security and privacy concerns.
How has your business and business model reacted to the pandemic?
vestr is a digital native; with our cloud-based solution and tech savvy team, we have operated digital even before the pandemic. Switching to a remote setting was no additional challenge for our organisation and thus did not have a major impact on our activities. We have always coordinated update meetings for the whole team on a regular basis, so business as well as tech teams are up to date about topics such as product or expansion plans, client engagement activities or hiring.
Have your differentiators become more important to your business? Are they still relevant?
We started out as a technology company with a focus on Actively Managed Certificates. Our current platform is growing with a multitude of features we are adding on a monthly basis. The key to our growth is customizing the integration with large clients.
What are the prospects for wealth management in the future bearing in mind a new social and economic environment ahead?
We observed an increase in mass customization for end consumers. This means that if retail or institutional investors wish to invest based on personal values, portfolio managers and issuers need to get creative to serve those needs. While also remaining profitable and efficient. New custom indices, custom legal wrappers or personalised recommendations are among many such phenomena.
Whom do you look to for inspiration and ideas?
Our clients – through ongoing discussions we make our platform more powerful.
What do you hope will be the result of receiving this accolade?
We are new in Singapore and seek to raise awareness in Asia for active management. We believe that we built a solution that benefits many large existing issuers. As well as new entrants of actively managed investment products. That is why we participate in awards, competitions and conferences to make our offerings known.
published by ClearView Financial Media in ACCLAIM I Wealth Briefing Asia
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