Prominent Swiss Banker Invests in Fintech Company Advanon

Eric Sarasin

Eric Sarasin

Advanon is having a banner year: the Zurich-based fintech company is posting strong growth rates, has now won the former head of private banking at J. Safra Sarasin and is planning an international expansion.

Eric Sarasin, formerly head of private banking and deputy chief executive of J. Safra Sarasin, is investing in the Zurich-based fintech company. Sarasin brings wide-ranging expertise and experience in finance, Advanon said in a statement.

The extent of Sarasin's investment in Advanon wasn't disclosed, but control remains with the current owners. Plans for Sarasin to join Advanon's board are currently being discussed with Finma.

Expansion to Other German-Language Regions

The fintech firms plans an expansion into other German-speaking markets with Sarasin, helped by his network as a private banker and as the former president of the German-Swiss Chamber of Commerce.

Advanon, founded by three former Google employees, is specialized in liquidity planning for small- and mid-sized companies. The firms can pre-finance their invoices through Advanon's platform, which provides a bridge during the customary 30 to 120 days grace period that customers typically have to pay.

Heady Growth

This fintech business model appears to work: Advanon posted its first revenue last September, and this year is expected to be buoyant. The company expects growth of almost 40 percent – on a monthly basis, according to Chief Executive Phil Lojacono. Advanon has hired more people as a result and employs now 13.

Sarasin resigned from J. Safra Sarasin at the end of 2014 following a probe into potentially dicey tax vehicles, so-called cum-ex deals.

Banker as Fintech Investors

Prosecutors mothballed the probe in January and the former Safra Sarasin deputy was not subject to charges, but did pay a low six-figure sum.

He has resurfaced as a fintech investors, like many in his guild including former UBS boss Marcel Ospel or former Clariden Leu banker Mike Baur.

Potent Investors

Sarasin won't be the first prominent investor at Advanon. Daniel Gutenberg joined the fold last autumn. He made his money in Silicon Valley, having been an early investor in Netscape and Facebook.

Advanon's founds are CEO Lojacono, Philip Kornmann and Stijn Pieper. The company is subject to the regulation of Finma, the Swiss financial market authority.


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