The content displayed on this website is exclusively directed at qualified investors, as defined in the swiss collective investment schemes act of 23 june 2006 ("cisa") and its implementing ordinance, or at “independent asset managers” which meet additional requirements as set out below. Qualified investors are in particular regulated financial intermediaries such as banks, securities dealers, fund management companies and asset managers of collective investment schemes and central banks, regulated insurance companies, public entities and retirement benefits institutions with professional treasury or companies with professional treasury.
The contents, however, are not intended for non-qualified investors. By clicking "I agree" below, you confirm and acknowledge that you act in your capacity as qualified investor pursuant to CISA or as an “independent asset manager” who meets the additional requirements set out hereafter. In the event that you are an "independent asset manager" who meets all the requirements set out in Art. 3 para. 2 let. c) CISA in conjunction with Art. 3 CISO, by clicking "I Agree" below you confirm that you will use the content of this website only for those of your clients which are qualified investors pursuant to CISA.
Representative in Switzerland of the foreign funds registered with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority ("FINMA") for distribution in or from Switzerland to non-qualified investors is Robeco Switzerland AG, Josefstrasse 218, 8005 Zürich, and the paying agent is UBS Switzerland AG, Bahnhofstrasse 45, 8001 Zürich. Please consult www.finma.ch for a list of FINMA registered funds.
Neither information nor any opinion expressed on the website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. An investment in a Robeco/Robeco Switzerland product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, articles of association, prospectuses, key investor information documents and annual and semi-annual reports, which can be all be obtained free of charge at this website, at the registered seat of the representative in Switzerland, as well as at the Robeco/Robeco Switzerland offices in each country where Robeco has a presence. In respect of the funds distributed in Switzerland, the place of performance and jurisdiction is the registered office of the representative in Switzerland.
This website is not directed to any person in any jurisdiction where, by reason of that person's nationality, residence or otherwise, the publication or availability of this website is prohibited. Persons in respect of whom such prohibitions apply must not access this website.
The traditional banking business is being radically transformed. Major trends, such as the revolution in financial technology, or fintech, are creating exciting investment opportunities in the financial industry.
Imagine a world in which you can arrange all your financial affairs online. You don’t go to a bank but to a Google, Apple or Amazon app store to take care of a whole range of financial matters, including your bank account, financial planning and your mortgage. Behind the financial platform might be an innovative bank or insurer, or even a tech company. State-of-the art financial technology will enable you to integrate all your data from various banks, pension statements from the government, etc. The technologies used will vary from artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), to distributed ledger technology (blockchain). Welcome to the world of digital finance, brought to you by fintech.
To keep up with the rapid changes in their sector, such as digital payments, blockchain or robo-advice, financial institutions will need to make significant IT investments in the coming three to five years. In the not too distant future, online payment methods will become mainstream, and cash will be the exception. Fintech companies will benefit from this trend.
Apart from the technological improvements it enables, fintech will also have a major social impact, as it will open the way to 2 billion people who currently don’t manage their financial affairs.
Although it’s still mostly venture capitalists and other private equity companies that currently invest in fintech companies, fintech is definitely investible from a listed perspective, with an average market capitalization of more than USD 10 billion. One of the benefits of listed fintech is its higher liquidity, as venture capital assets tends to be locked up for seven years or longer. Moreover, listed fintech is less risky. Many start-ups don’t make it and when they do come to the stock exchange, their viability is reasonably proven.
The lower risk doesn’t have to be at the expense of return. Some listed stocks have increased multiple times in value. We do expect many fintech IPOs in the coming years, especially in software and Asia. Research by Citigroup shows that the annual spend on banking software and IT alone is ten times as large as what’s currently invested in global fintech and is expected to grow to EUR 255 billion in 2020.
Banks, insurers, asset managers and tech companies are looking to create financial platforms which enable easy client access to a whole range of financial solutions. This will prompt cooperation between large technology companies and financials. Larger tech companies have the IT capabilities and flexibility to stay on top of developments, but are often held back by the jungle of regulatory requirements. Smaller fintechs prefer cooperation as they lack a customer base.
The new EU Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) can give a substantial impulse to fintech. One of the consequences of this directive, which will come into force in January 2018, is that clients can allow banks to make their data available to other parties (including other banks), which can then offer them additional products or services. As banks will gain more information about their clients, the shift towards financial platforms accelerates.
Of course, this new development is accompanied by the necessary regulation. Towards mid-2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in the EU, creating a tremendous administrative challenge. This is where specialized regtech companies come in. Using sophisticated algorithms, they make reporting and record-keeping easier and enable compliant client onboarding.
Where does bitcoin fit in all of this? For a listed fintech fund, it’s still impossible to invest in cryptocurrencies, as they are not listed. On top of that, they are extremely volatile, often have no economic basis and lack regulatory oversight. We do see the attraction of the distributed ledger technology behind it such as blockchain or ethereum.
Cryptocurrencies may become more interesting if they are backed by a central bank. Poland is already doing this with the billon, which is traded 1:1 against the zloty by the Central Bank. If 1,000 billon is created, the Central Bank takes 1,000 zloty out of circulation. In our view, regulatory approval is essential for cryptocurrencies to become globally accepted.
Fintech is moving from the experimental, start-up phase to the mainstream. This opens up a lot of opportunities for investors. Investing in fintech is especially interesting for investors who believe in the long-term strength of fintech and who want to benefit from the investment opportunities in new fintech, insurtech, regtech and other companies that benefit from the digitization of the financial sector.