Q&A- Startups

7 Questions with Anna Voronina of quirion

1. Who are you?

quirion is Germany’s first web presence for asset management and fee-based advisory services. quirion offers professional asset management strategies that are based on latest scientific research in finance. At quirion, we share the vision that professional asset management should be made available for everyone in an easy, accessible and web-based way. A big part in this vision is that our portfolio strategies are designed independent from predetermined products. The quirion approach ensures the highest possible return for our clients and makes asset management easy and transparent for everyone. Our portfolio strategies achieve these goals by investing into exchange traded funds (ETF) according to investment strategies that are informed by latest scientific approaches of last year’s Nobel laureates in economics. quirion makes smart investing easy! quirion’s asset management portfolios are designed by experienced portfolio managers who also track the developments of our clients’ portfolios. If necessary, these portfolio managers will rebalance clients’ portfolios in order to keep the risk exposure at a low level. quirion clients can just lean back and let their wealth grow.


2. Which services do you sell and who are your competitors?

quirion sells the services of web-based professional asset management though standardized asset portfolios. quirion also offers fee based financial advisory over the phone.

We believe that professional asset management should not only be available to a small elite. Based on latest scientific research of the Nobel laureates Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller, our portfolio managers have developed efficient portfolios that enable everyone to invest profitably and easy.

Many studies have shown that no single active investor or fund manager can outperform the market in the long run. Investors that chase after every investment trend in order to outperform the market shift the composition of their portfolios too often. This behavior costs up to 2% of  return every year. At quirion, we offer the service of excellent quality asset management at low cost. With our service we address clients and investors who want to increase their wealth in an easy and efficient way. On our web presence, clients can inform themselves about the advantages of passive, ETF-based investing. Step-by-step, our clients are asked about their investment goals. This approach leads to an individual portfolio for every client that reflects his or her investment attitude. The service of quirion consists also of professional investment support of our portfolio managers. They monitor the different standardized portfolios and rebalance them if it becomes necessary. Quirion offers all these services of professional asset management at only 0,38 % flat on assets per year. Clients do not pay any commission, kick backs or active management fees at all.

Additionally, customers can get fee based financial counselling over the phone at quirion. Our experienced financial experts offer their advisory to clients in six types of financial questions. This service is offered at a cost of only 150 € per hour.

In Germany, not many companies have similar business model. Brands as financescout24 or easyfolio have comparable Service.


3. How did you get your start-up idea and how did you finance your startup?

quirion is a brand of quirin bank AG and receives finance from this parent company. The idea to found quirion arose from our banking experience in the quirin bank and from our own experiences and impressions. Clients in banking have changed. They are more self-informed, more critical and the web gives them better access to information. This lowers the degree of information asymmetry which banks traditionally exploited in their business models. Moreover, the trust that bank clients have towards their banks is at historical low levels. Big parts of the banking industry have slumbered away the trend towards digitalization. This is critical because in fact, the majority of banking services can be digitalized like it was the case in the music industry. Also, over the past few years it could be observed that more and more competitors enter the market for banking products that originally stem from other industries or a new start-ups. Examples are devices like iOutbank, Mint, Finanzblick, nutmeg and wealthfront.

At the same time bank business still is a matter of personal trust and comfort. Clients want to experience a feeling of objective financial counseling and a relationship to their financial service provider that they can trust in. This is exactly where quirion picks up these new customers. quirion makes investing easy and offers professional, transparent and comfortable investment service.

quirion delivers self-determined and cost-conscious customers transparent guidance for investment decisions. But quirion is not only addressed to these customers. quirion addresses every customer who is looking for professional wealth management and objective fee-based financial counseling and makes these services already available to everyone and not only to the affluent.

The quirion-investment strategies are professional, because our financial experts take care of every portfolio and rebalance them if necessary. Furthermore, it is the mid-term vision of quirin bank to spread the concept of fee-based financial counseling in Germany. With quirion, the quirin bank opens up its excellent services and investment strategies to a broader customer segment.


4. What were the biggest challenges in starting?

The biggest challenges in starting were meeting the regulatory requirements of the banking supervision institutions in Germany for our web-based asset management. Moreover, we are working hard to inform the german customer about the sometimes false counselling on bank products of conventional, commission-driven banks. Getting our innovative asset management concept into the hearts and minds of the german customers is difficult but with the high quality of our offered services and products, we are convinced that we will succeed.


5. What areas within FinTech do you personally find most interesting and why?

Counseling in financial investment. The following claim was accepted as true for far too long: “Financial investments counseling has to happen face to face in a bank.” The service of financial investments counseling can be digitized. Counseling in financial investment consists of explaining and assisting with the investment decision. The advantage of the web and digital world is that it provides more and more transparent information than a single person can ever achieve to know. Customers can inform themselves better about the risks and chances on the financial markets online or by mobile devices. Especially self-determined digital natives often want to make their own investment decisions based on the information that they gathered. Additionally, latest developments in the science of finance point at investment strategies that are standardized and thus more easy to implement.


6. What opportunities do you see for FinTech start-ups in the DACH region and how can we help to accelerate it?

It is obvious that the big players in the financial industry in the DACH region have clearly slumbered the latest technological developments away. Furthermore, the client base of banks has changed. Clients have less confidence in the advices of their bankers and the general reputation of banks is bad. Clients expect better advisory and are better informed than in the past. This new IT-affine clientele is a big opportunity for FinTech start-ups in the DACH region as start-ups can move quicker and are more innovative than bigger competitors. In order to accelerate this, more venture capital in the DACH region is needed. First real big IPO’s and buy outs could make especially foreign investors more optimistic to provide money in the DACH region.


7. What tip would you like to give FinTech entrepreneurs? 

Show endurance. You will encounter many more difficulties than you think right now. Be sure about your story and about your product. What do you want to sell to whom? Be patient, there is a market out there! Have fun!