ALLINDEX is among the startups selected to present at the FinTech Forum event on 18th Nov. 2021 at the Airport Club, Frankfurt: check out the line-up and register here.
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
Work: Before starting ALLINDEX, I was global COO of STOXX and Head of Markets at Royal Bank of Scotland, Switzerland. I have a professorship for data science which is a synergetic activity also for building our FinTech.
Leisure: I live in Switzerland and hence very much enjoy the hiking and skiing opportunities, spending my free time with my family.
2. Which product or service do you offer, and who are your competitors?
Our platform allows investors across segments to build customized indices and portfolios. Our indirect competition are providers of active and passive investment products whom we are disrupting but also enabling with direct indexing – helping them to provide a more holistic offering to their clients. Our immediate competition are direct indexing providers, most of them sitting in the US. Our edge over them is our open-architecture platform where clients can directly interface with service providers and co-create products, our cross-asset approach which apart from equities includes fixed income and digital assets as well as our machine learning capabilities that allow thematic index creation at scale.
3. How did you get the business idea and take it from launch to the first customers?
The idea emerged based on the background of our founding team which comes from structured products, indexing and asset management. We have successfully launched client-interfacing platforms in trading and structured products in our corporate careers, the lessons of which we took to heart when creating ALLINDEX. Our ex-BlackRock CIO Chairman on the other hand, built a multi-asset franchise with Larry Fink and gave us the impetus to widen our scope to be the first cross-asset direct indexing company, which turned out to be a great move.
4. How have you financed your startup? Any lessons you would like to share from the fund-raising journey?
We have raised money from business angels who come from financial services, understand our business case and believe in our vision. Apart from their financial contribution they made value-adding introductions. Our philosophy is to continue building this network of partners that help us to create value. Other (former) senior executives and experts have introduced relevant people to us without expecting anything in return. They like our approach and want to see us succeed.
5. Which are the key trends and opportunities in (European) financial services?
We see the biggest opportunity in direct indexing, where Europe is lagging behind the US, where this trend started. Active Management has been disrupted by passive products, now those products are being disrupted by direct indexing. It is the perfect mix between a passive approach where portfolios don’t need to be actively managed on an ongoing basis but with active choices that investors can make, based on their convictions and investment policies (e.g. ESG criteria, religious views, etc.). We see this trend becoming increasingly relevant across client segments and are among the first ones globally who are taking it all the way to the retail investor.
6. What’s on your bookshelf/ reading list?
Literature from the beginning of the 20th century from authors such as Stefan Zweig and Robert Musil
7. Your favorite place for a coffee and/ or a drink?
Having an apéro in my garden with my family