Asset Management in the fintech era: trends and news from the community

In the midst of the digital revolution, it is necessary not to lose sight of how the asset management sector, closely linked to the banking sector, is evolving, and how it is involved in a process of disruption. It is impossible to pretend nothing is changing so we decided to go one step further and organize an evening on this topic inviting three startups from our community that will teach us some new investment strategies for different target investors. They are Euclidea, Moneyfarm and Gimme5.

The appointment is on June 5, in our headquarters in Copernico Isola for S32, (via Sassetti 32 – Milan).

Sign up here and follow the live event on our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@fintechdistrict) with the hashtag #talkingheadsFD

Before going into what the individual startups will talk about during the in the evening, let’s see what their point of view is with regard to the current growth of asset management and the challenges the sector will have to face in the coming months.

Luca Valaguzza, Founder and Chief Product Officer of Euclidea, confirms the growth has occurred, “after a difficult end of 2018 due to the negative markets” and observes that in Italy the most important challenges “are played on two irreversible trends and these will substantially change the industry and services that will benefit savers: the entry of digital interaction for the end customer and cost transparency, through the introduction of MIFID2”.

Sebastiano Picone, Business Development Manager at Moneyfarm, also talks about MIFID2. Compliance with this regulation “will be an important test bed for financial intermediaries, since it will have an impact on the customer service model and the distribution model of products – explains Picone – Moreover, the change that intermediaries will have to face in the current context of pressure on margins due to the increasing competition on the costs of investment products will not be a trivial one”. As for the growth of the sector, Moneyfarm speaks of a slight slowdown in the recent past “but it remains sustainable thanks to the enormous growth recorded from 2012 to the present”.

Iacopo Massei, Business Development Manager at Gimme5, explains that digitization “should not be seen as a threat to the asset management sector but as a plurality of opportunities to be seized. Technology allows us to be closer to the customer, smarter in the use of leaner data thanks to the optimization and automation of operational processes, faster in the implementation of ideas, real-time reporting and especially in the onboarding of the customer”.

In the face of the current disruption, the banking sector, which has always been an ally of asset management, is reacting with strong investments in fintech or with partnerships that exploit the strengths of the latter: lean-innovative-open-customer-oriented. Gimme5 is part of the second example, focusing on the collaboration between the Bank and Asset Manager, creating win-win situations.

On June 5 there will be an opportunity to deepen the point of view of the three startups protagonists, starting with the new investment strategies that will be illustrated to the public. Euclidea will talk about “Wealth tech independent”, a term that has become the pay off of the company as it represents it so strongly “In these three words there is our response to the changes that will affect asset management in the coming years – explains Valaguzza – Technology is essential to offer a different service from the past, it must bring both innovation and disruption in a sector that lives on income and must innovate. Independence is essential to offer services and products in the sole interest of the end customer. This is what we, as Euclidea, are proposing”.

Given that the challenges introduced by regulation and cost competition are strongly intertwined with the digital distribution of services and investment solutions, Moneyfarm has chosen to address this issue. “In a phase of the transformation of the industry – explains Picone – the distribution model is one of the elements that will change most to allow the sector to remain economically virtuous”.

Massei will talk on the other hand about small investors. Gimme5 is in fact a startup that, in front of a system that is currently not inclusive, wants “to make savings shareable and encourage new generations to do so, giving useful tools for this and, focusing for example on automatisms which allow you to link habits to saving, so as to encourage the creation of a heritage over time.

Massei will illustrate the dual strategy of Gimme5, which focuses on both the banking system and the end user. “Through an already predefined product, we allow banks to diversify the source of their revenues and to reach a new target of customers – explains Massei – and at the same time we meet the end user who is unfamiliar with the investments but already knows how to save”.

If you wish to stay updated about news, events and initiatives of the Fintech District, subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Equity crowdfunding: what’s new?

It’s the right time to talk about Equity Crowdfunding and we’ll do it on the 24th of January, during the first appointment of the year of “Talking Heads”, our event format dedicated to innovation, technology, and trends with the participation of leaders, startuppers, and experts in the sector.

Equity crowdfunding also allows small savers to buy shares of startups on authorized sites. It is growing globally and shows no signs to let up. 2018 was a special year for Equity Crowdfunding: € 30 million were raised just on the 10 major platforms in Italy alone.

2019 could also be a decisive year for this form of investment. This appears evident reading the maxi amendment made to the Italy budget law containing measures designed to create a high number of new technology companies and project the economy towards new structures enabled by technology.

The big news concerning Equity Crowdfunding as to do with the simplification of investments through crowdfunding portals meaning people can invest in bonds and debt instruments via online portals. This already takes place in many other countries and will also occur in the European Union when the Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers will give its approval.

During the event “Talking Heads – Equity Crowdfunding: Italian & European Regulatory Frameworks”, together with lawyer Giovanni Cucchiarato (Partner @ DWF Italy), we will discover what is new in the Italian and European regulatory framework and what is the real effectiveness of this new legislation. Matteo Masserdotti, CEO of 200crowd, will explain why access to the capital market has never been easier. Giacomo Bertoldi, CEO of Walliance, will focus on equity crowdfunding in the Real Estate sector.

We look forward to seeing you on January 24th, sign up at this link!

“I think that we should distinguish between the general principle introduced by the new law, which is beneficial and with which I certainly agree, and the formulation of the rule, on which I have some doubts. In principle, extending the business perimeter of the online portals to debt instruments creates exciting opportunities. It offers to SMEs the possibility to raise new financial resources in a quicker and more affordable way compared to the traditional channels and allows crowdfunding portals to expand their business to the issuing of bonds and other debt instruments (in addition to the issuing of equity instruments).

However, the rule limits the possibility to subscribe to bonds or other debt instruments through the authorized portals “to professional investors and to specific categories of investors identified by Consob”. This limit, on the one hand, is not applicable to the (riskier) investments in equity, and, on the other hand, frustrates in practice the objective of the rule, since it is doubtful that professional investors will be actually interested in using online portals to make investments in bonds or other debt instruments issued by SMEs”

Giovanni Cucchiarato (DWF Italy)

“I firmly believe that Italian fintech can benefit greatly from the use of equity crowdfunding. In addition to Soisy, companies like Revolut and TransferGo have also used this tool with incredible success. The market, personified by both consumers and investors, is looking for instruments that bring innovation and transparency to the market. Equity crowdfunding can, therefore, be extremely effective to convince consumers themselves to invest in fintech.

The same concept can be applied to SMEs in traditional sectors such as the restaurant business, real estate and retail in general. When there is a strong relationship between the product offered by a brand and the consumer, investment becomes a simple consequence “

Matteo Masserdotti (200Crowd)

Traditional forms of financing have an increasingly less significant presence on the market, due both to the difficulty of access and cumbersome bureaucracy in granting a loan. Crowdinvesting platforms have therefore arrived on the market to make alternative sources of funding accessible to SMEs. So far these platforms have raised over 50 million euros of investments, much more than a typical small Italian Venture Capital fund would”.

Giacomo Bertoldi (Walliance)

If you wish to stay updated about news, events and initiatives of the Fintech District, subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Talking heads meet WiMLDS

Talking Heads meet WiMLDS is the second round of our new format launched before summer discussing digital strategies for Fintechs with Derev, Hoopygang and Plick. This time the Fintech District community meets a new reality that has just started writing its first chapter in Milan. We interviewed one of the two Italian organizers, Claudia Volpetti. Make sure you don’t miss the 12th of September to meet her and listen live to what she does.

What is WiMLDS and what is its mission?

WiMLDS is an international community of women interested in machine learning and data science. WiMLDS’s mission is to support and promote women practicing, studying or interested in the fields of machine learning and data science. We create opportunities for women to engage in technical and professional conversations in a positive, supportive environment by hosting talks by prominent female or non-binary data scientists and engineers, technical workshops, networking events and hackathons. We are inclusive to anyone who supports our cause regardless of gender or technical background. However, in support of our mission, priority for certain events and opportunities will be given to women.

When did it arrive in Italy?

The WiMLDS Milan Chapter was established at the beginning of 2018 as a local meetup group of the international non-profit community of Women in Machine Learning and Data Science. This is a group for women who are interested in Machine Learning and Data Science

Which kind of activities does it do?

We meet to share knowledge and working experience in these fields, with the purpose of building a community of professionals. Our meetings are open to anyone and any support to our events is welcome. The WiMLDS Milan Chapter is organized by Carlotta Orsenigo and myself who are members of the Machine Learning and Big Data Analytics research group at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano. On the meetup page “Milan Women in Machine Learning and Data Science” you can find any update on the forthcoming events and meetings. The one organized with the Fintech District is our next event.


What will we talk about at the meeting organized by Fintech District on the 12th of December?

More and more companies are using data science and machine learning for optimizing their business processes. This event, jointly organized by Milan WiMLDS and FinTech District, will host data science and machine learning professionals and researchers and who will share their experience in these fields describing applications used in finance and entrepreneurship. The presentation of WiMLDS will be followed by Carlotta Orsenigo’s speech on the theme “Green or non-green? Detecting sustainable crowdfunding campaigns via text mining “and that of Katarina Milosevic on” Forex forecasting with Deep Learning “. The meeting will end with a moment of networking

Make sure you have a place at the meeting, sign up here. If you wish to stay uptodated about news, events and initiatives of the Fintech District, subscribe to our newsletter HERE