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Michael Appenzeller: «Close to Break-Even» – finews.com

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Fintech Nectar won Swiss private bank Julius Baer as a financial investor. The Swiss firm’s Chief Executive tells finews.com what Nectar will do with the investment, and how close it is to turning a profit.

You’ve won two prominent investors in the last nine months. What part of your business is viewed as the most promising in the marketplace?

It is no single module of our solution but the combination of our experience in wealth and asset management based on close collaboration with demanding clients, and our approach to leveraging technology to empower our clients. Technology is a tool, not an end in itself.

What will Julius Baer’s financial investment specifically enable you to do?

It allows us to execute on our vision and strategy full-steam, in short on growth and innovation. Focus is on enhancing our platform according to our roadmap, investing in talent in the areas of technology as well as launching the Nectar digital lab that works on concrete and usable innovation on the future of wealth and asset Management for the good of the end client and its service providers.

Are you talking to any more strategic or financial investors?

We have a selective approach with regards to potential investors who bring more value to the table than just an investment, but share our vision of a wealth management industry that truly and sustainably adds value to end clients and the generations to come. We will continue to explore opportunities for strategic investors to join Nectar Financial.

What are your next milestones?

Our priority is to expand Nectar’s wealth management platform and to further strengthen its position as the standard market solution for professional wealth management. We are excited to fully exploit the opportunities that will come out of the digital lab where we bundle interdisciplinary know how and talents to work on the forefront of this industry. We are working with very exciting and new approaches on a fully digitally produced asset allocation and investment modules for professional clients.

Where is your biggest competition?

We regard certain players in the U.S. and in the U.K. as our biggest future competitors. Technology development in these markets can tap a deeper pool of resources both from a finance and recruiting perspective. Entrepreneurs are also used to thinking more radically than most of the players for example here in Switzerland, incumbents and start-ups alike. Our advantage is the wealth management know-how and network. Switzerland remains the global center for Wealth Management, and this is a huge advantage for us. There is great talent in Switzerland, we just need to empower it with state of the art tools and enough courage to do the right things.

What is your business plan in terms of breaking even?

We have been funding our business and innovation for years from our cash flow. Investments will be very targeted at ensuring our technology leadership and at aiming to scale quickly in response to the strong client demand we see. Break even is close, and basically, we can be break even, when we decide that it makes the most sense for the business.

Michael Appenzeller co-founded Etops in 2010, which was renamed Nectar Financial last year. Appenzeller is also a co-founder of Fundbase, a hedge fund monitoring database. Previously, he was operating and finance chief at convertible bond boutique  Aganola. He also worked as head of business management in wealth management at Horizon21, Rainer-Marc Frey’s family office.