專訪：市場及項目總經理Daniel Hui (Cypher Martin Systems Ltd. 馬田電腦系統有限公司) http://www.cypher-it.com/ 甫踏進Cypher Martin的辦公室，即見到植物上「青蘋果紅蘋果」。Daniel說近年公司的目標是「遍地綠一抹紅」，除了視覺上顏色跟公司標誌很接近之外，亦有意將發展計劃形象化，令同事們更容易明白了解公司目標。 遍地綠一點紅 自2001年轉型以來，Cypher Martin除了提供網路硬件外，更是無線網絡、網絡安全及通信系統解決方案的表表者，提供一站式到位服務。而無線網絡架設殊不簡單，每每先由專業網路工程師配以偵測儀器作實地考察，再擬訂網路架設方案及購置合適設備等，全由系統工程師們包辦。游走於各式各樣的解決方案與顧及不同客戶的多方面考慮，總不能每個方案都花上最多的資源，所以定下遍地綠一抹紅這方展方向，為客戶度身訂造「紅蘋果」；以基本技術支援和定立標準套餐的「綠蘋果」，兩者間取得平衡使公司與市場及受惠者都能豐收！ 遍地綠一點紅 -…
FinTech or TechFin?
Interview with Alex Medena, CEO of FinFabrik and Advisory Board Member of WTIA’s Fintech Core Focus Board.
Hi Alex, can you tell us a little about your company and where its value lies?
Alex: Sure, FinFabrik is a capital markets and wealth management technology solutions builder, comprising of three products; BrokerFabrik a fully integrated software system which caters to brokerage firms, AlgoFabrik which specializes in investment management using automation capabilities, and WealthFabrik which is a bespoke wealth management platform powered by machine learning layers for wealth management businesses.
We basically started 11 months ago by acquiring the IP (intellectual property) of InvestLab, a HK-based retail brokerage platform focused on global retail trading.
Imagine you have a brokerage license, RO, capital but you don’t have front, middle, and back end technology or the architecture to make financial advice and trades on the fly for your clients. This cloud-based technology aims to change all that: our solutions are B2B or B2B2C SaaS model.
For us, it all boils down to customer experience. Now there are two types of retail-investment experiences; active trading where a client may have intrinsic motivation to buy stocks based on hearsay or market news, and then there’s passive trading where a client wants to save for future plans such as college, retirement or for a rainy day which is more under wealth management that today involves robo-advisors. FinFabrik deals with both kinds of experiences: we marry retail trading to wealth management.
Unlike most startups; they start with an idea, a little capital, a powerpoint, they do an MVP and try to pitch to market and sell, we have technology from the get-go.
What’s the current direction FinFabrik is taking to develop its business?
Alex: We have a 1-2 year roadmap where we will bring more sophisticated data analytics tools and machine learning technologies to help end-users or end-investors to make the best decisions for their financial goals. It could be highly customized to the individual with risk-level assessments, bespoke research report and advice based on personal investment preferences and habits. Machine learning is aimed at helping customers learn much more about themselves than they would on their own, especially when they are overloaded with so much market information available everywhere.
And where do you find challenges in your business?
Alex: We do find that many brokerage firms and wealth management companies have either full or partial inflexibility in their infrastructure, meaning they are unable to shift or change due to technical complexities or costs. What we do is we built our solutions in modules and through APIs which could plug into their current existing infrastructure and deliver the functionalities they need. For example, a company may need portfolio management tools, fix connectivity or a dashboard for brokers; they can add that to their existing infrastructure.
Your company stresses on something called “financial inclusion”, can you talk a little about that?
Alex: Yes, this is absolutely important to us. There is the misconception that wealth management is only for the wealthy. Our mission, and myself as well as our other two cofounders strive to create a legacy to change things which include engaging and opening doors of financial education and wealth management access to under-served or unserved population; this includes middle-to-low income earners, minorities, women, or the financially illiterate who have the same kind of financial goals as the higher earners though at a lower scale. That scale doesn’t make it less important for the people in that “segment”.
We are in 2017 and we still talk about financial inclusion which means we haven’t done enough in Fintech. The technology is there and the cost of running these platforms is lower than before.
Banking in general and private banking in particular is a relationship based business though the latter is not scalable anymore and there is limit as to how many clients a relationship manager can service properly. Second, technology helps understand clients’ needs better and service them efficiently. Thirdly, and again technology plays a big part here, financial literacy is a key aspect particularly with gamification.
And what is FinFabrik’s role in Fintech?
Alex: While most companies tout the word “FinTech” and call themselves “FinTech companies” they are more “TechFin” companies.
The technology is actually irrelevant and merely an enabler to enhance customer experiences and business processes. We honestly believe that FinTech should mean that finance comes first.
We have a vision that is further than individualised solutions based on demographic segments: we want to create hyper personalised content catered to each and every individual and this could be done through AI (in the broad sense), but the end goal is not to build a business on machine learning or AI, the goal is to provide financial services to people in the best possible way.
Therefore, we market ourselves as such and we are doing what we can in terms of public speaking and education to bring more awareness to easier financial management enabled by technology.