Claude Baumann: «The Rush to Asia is no Walk in the Park»

Claude Baumann

Claude Baumann, Co-founder and CEO of finews.asia

Swiss financial news portal finews.ch is expanding to Singapore, launching finews.asia in the new year. In an interview, co-founder Claude Baumann explains how this came about.


Mister Baumann, do you enjoy the quiet holidays?

Of course, I can finally work in peace. Joke aside: the time between the years is perfect for reflection. With New Year's Eve wedged in between, everything awaiting us next year is still far away. That's the illusion I enjoy for a few days before reality catches up with me with the new year.

2015 was another busy year at finews.ch.

Yes, we've been able to further increase our readership. We now have significantly more than 200,000 regular readers with a million site impressions a month. We also expanded our staff. Antonio Prosperati as digital manager is making sure that finews.ch is properly visible in the social media.

«finews.asia is starting January 1st, 2016»

This has already resulted in a significant increase of site impressions. We now also have a former «Bloomberg» editor at the company. Andreas Britt is responsible for our English language texts in the so-called «English Corner» since a couple of few months.

The name finews.asia has circulated in the industry for some time. What's hiding behind it?

A couple of months ago, we've moved into an office on Orchard Road in Singapore, which will be the base for finews.asia, starting January 1st, 2016. With this new, English-language website we want to reach all employees in the financial services industry between Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, much like finews.ch in Switzerland.

«Banking in Asia is experiencing a boom, quite to the contrary of Switzerland»

Tom King, an experienced financial journalist, who has lived in Asia for more than 20 years, will be in charge of the Singapore office.

To establish a financial website in Singapore seems pretty ambitious. What makes you so audacious?

We've asked ourselves over the past 18 months, where we could still expand, as we're highly profitable in Switzerland. Asia soon was on our radar. Banking is experiencing a boom, quite to the contrary of Switzerland.

«We target a clearly defined audience that is very consumer-oriented and well-heeled»

There's an enormous potential not least thanks to the numerous Swiss financial institutes present. Our evaluation of the market revealed that there was no portal that worked as conclusively, accurately and fast as finews.ch.

And like the sister website in Switzerland, finews.asia will finance itself through advertising?

Yes. We target a clearly defined audience that is very consumer-oriented and well-heeled. That way, advertisers avoid wastage. Today, we are known to all international media agencies, which also have branches in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Do you harbor further expansion plans apart from Asia?

The expansion into Asia is no walk in the park for us. We're investing lots of energy in this project. It is very important to us that at the same time finews.ch continues to be successful.

Which is why I'm happy that Peter Hody is ready to assume more responsibility. As an experienced business journalist and former manager at «Cash» and «Stocks» he knows what it takes to manage a newsroom.

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