1. Who are you?
My name is Felix Röscheisen and I am a co-founder of Werthstein – a digital Wealth Manager with a strong media flavour.
2. Which services do you sell and who are your competitors?
Werthstein provides both journalistic information and portfolio management on a single platform. This allows our clients to think about investments purely on the level of investment ideas without having to worry about how to make an idea investable – we do that for our clients. It dramatically simplifies investing. The Werthstein Institute, an independent panel of senior economists and investment professionals, creates these investment ideas and we produce professional articles and videos to explain them. Our main competitor is traditional Private Banking.
3. How did you get your start-up idea and how did you finance your start-up?
All of us have many years experience in Private Banking and we were frustrated by the inefficiencies of having to transport investment ideas and proper portfolio management through many organisational layers and hundreds of sales people to clients – it is just very difficult to control what clients really experience in this model. There had to be a direct-to-consumer way of doing this. We want to give our clients excellent investment ideas and information of highest journalistic quality. So one catch-phrase in our early development phase was “The Economist with a trading button”. We are currently financed by private individuals.
4. What were the biggest challenges in starting?
A key challenge was assembling a panel of undoubtedly renowned experts for our Werthstein Institute. We want our clients to have access to the best economists and investment professionals, and establishing a first-class expert panel was therefore crucial for us. In addition to that, taking all the necessary regulatory hurdles is of course quite some effort in terms of hours worked, money spent and paper consumed – but it is the easier part because there are clear guidelines.
5. What areas within FinTech do you personally find most interesting and why?
There are many interesting ideas in FinTech and for example, both Blockchain and RegTech promise to address huge inefficiencies in the way banks operate today. While in both those cases FinTechs will probably help banks improve their business, there are other areas in which FinTechs have the potential to make a better job than the incumbent banks in one of their core businesses – and Digital Wealth Management is one of them.
6. What opportunities do you see for FinTech start-ups in the DACH region, and how can we help to accelerate it?
At Werthstein we have a very international mindset and don’t limit our thinking to the DACH region. At least throughout Europe, the opportunities are very similar while the way of addressing them in local markets may be different. The situation in Europe, the US and emerging markets is very different, but our approach can be adapted to all those markets. Specifically in emerging markets we have identified a great need for financial education, so we have developed some ideas specifically for these markets.
7. What tip would you like to give FinTech entrepreneurs?
Banks will not be the same in ten years. This is a time of huge opportunities. If you spot a great idea, go for it now!