BANKING TECHNOLOGY VETERAN JOINS ADDITIV FOLLOWING MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR FUNDING ROUND.
PRIOR TO HOLDING A WEBINAR WITH BUSINESS REVIEW, HE ANSWERS OUR QUESTIONS ON WHY HE JOINED ADDITIV, WHAT HE SEE AS UPCOMING TRENDS IN THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY AND HIS PLANS.
Thomas Achhorner is a passionate business leader with a vision and the ability to execute it. By connecting the dots between digital transformation, technology opportunities and financial services disruption he has been able to chart a new course for many industry players, be they incumbents or challengers.
Thomas, you have been working with various banks around the world, where do you see the biggest challanges?
Indeed, I’ve seen a few financial institutions and the challenges in their markets. If I boil it down to a single point that would be technology. IT ressource allocation is the bottle neck in almost all banks, even some fintech startups struggle sometimes to set up the right IT infrastructure. We live in a age where 80-90% of IT resources are allocated to «run-the-bank» tasks. By running the bank I mean implementing new rules and regulations and so on. Only a fraction of the budget is available to change the bank, to adopt new communication channels the customers or to create new services.
At the same time, customers, especially younger and wealthier ones live more and more in a digital and hybrid world. They search for information in a digital way, interact digitally and sometimes physical with the bank and expect that the answers are consistent, independent of channel, device and time.
You recently joined Additiv, a company that wants to build the digital future of the financial industry. What are you doing exactly in Switzerland?
We are solving the digital dilemma for Banks, Insurers and Wealth Managers, and that not only in Switzerland. Our headquarters are there, but we are close to our customers with offices in Singapore and soon in Frankfurt and London. 70% of our customers are located outside of Switzerland. But their requirement to quickly enter the digital age is comparable across geographies.
Demand for Robo Advisory appears significant and urgent. CapGemini asked: Would you ever consider having a portion of your wealth managed by an automated advisory service? And wealth managers worldwide answered with 20% Yes – while 48,6% of customers would consider a Robo Solution. This gap is even higher in Asia (57%) … Wealth managers need to listen to customer demands now to avoid a ‘Kodak Moment’.
Additiv just went through a 21m financing round, its very first and a strong signal into the market. What are you guys planning?
We have been delighted at closing this very first round of financing. Additiv is not a startup but we were keen to turbo charge our growth. Amongst other objectives, we are keen to bring our Wealth Management Robo Advisory Solutions on to a new level of automation and cost effectiveness for our customers.
I guess in the upcoming Webinar you will show use some more details about your ideas, we look forward to it. But, when it comes to Robo Advisory, many media are talking about Artificial Intelligence or ChatBots, is this a real trend or just a hype?
For sure it is the future, but many banks or wealth manager should not only think of it as a solution for cutting costs and improving customer service. This is also about fundamentally re-thinking and digitalising their advisory process and all the auxiliary tasks hanging off it, such as middle office controls, queue management, ID verification and electronic document management. To many players, this is a new world and they are struggling to find the right place to get started.
So what will you show use in the Webinar?
Together with Loïc, my collegue from Additiv Singapore, I will touch upon the market needs and then explain how an ‘as-a-service’ solution works and what its benefits are. Participants learn what customer needs are emerging in wealth management and get an overview of different types digital wealth platforms incl. so-called robo advisors. We will share practical take aways wealth managers can use to start on the path of digitalization right after the Webinar.
Thanks for your time Thomas and good luck with the Webinar!
Join Thomas Achhorner on 29th August for a webinar entitled ‘How To Launch Digital Wealth Management As-a-Service‘ at 9AM CET / 3PM SGT