Swiss Fintech Platform Set to Be Launched

Presentation of Descartes at Finovate Conference 2016 in London

Presentation of Descartes at Finovate Conference 2016 in London

Exponents of the Swiss financial services industry are set to launch a fintech platform with the not so modest label of «iTunes for Wealth Management». There are also plans to expand to Asia.

Adriano B. Lucatelli (pictured below) is the brain behind the planned fintech platform for Switzerland. The former UBS and Credit Suisse banker in recent years has been working as an independent entrepreneur and lecturer at the University of Zurich. His platform will be called «Descartes» and was presented at the Finovate financial technology conference in London last week.

Adriano Lucatelli 501 kopie

Descartes Finance, a company based in Zug, will be promoting a wealth-management platform whose functionality goes far beyond existing ones operated by Glarner Kantonalbank or TrueWealth, for example.

«Intelligent» Strategies

The investment principles of Descartes are based upon so-called «intelligent» strategies, or Smart Beta. Smart Beta concepts are geared towards indexes, in which equity is weighed according to the market capitalization or bonds according to the gross domestic product.

Finovate 502

Descartes plans to offer every Smart-Beta strategy that it can recreate with an algorithm. Customers of the company will be able to pick and chose instruments according to their preferences from the selection on offer – hence the comparison to the U.S. technology firm's media shop.

Cooperation Agreement to Be Signed

Pius Zgraggen 500

OLZ & Partners Asset and Liability Management is the source of the know-how necessary for the business concept. OLZ in 2001 was founded by Claudio Loderer, professor at the University of Bern, Carmine Orlacchio and Pius Zgraggen (pictured above).

Descartes is close to signing a cooperation agreement with a big Anglo-Saxon asset manager, Lucatelli told He is also in talks with a number of other companies eager to participate.

UBS and Vontobel

Switzerland's UBS and Vontobel will be used as custodian banks for private and institutional investors. With companies of their reputation backing the project, Descartes seems indeed to be a broadly based initiative reaching further than other platforms already installed in Switzerland.

Michael stemmle 500

For technological support, Lucatelli has taken Michael Stemmle (pictured above) on board. Stemmle's Additiv fintech company is programming Descartes' applications. Rino Borini, the organizer of Finance 2.0 fintech conference is sitting on the board of Descartes Finance.

Descartes will be launched next month. The company already has plans to expand to Asia and is in early-stage talks with potential partners. Customers need to invest a minimum of 50,000 Swiss francs and will be able to build their own Smart-Beta strategies if they have 500,000 francs capital to begin with.


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