FinTech Interview Series: Leopold Gasteen of Edgefolio
As part of a continuing monthly series, RiskSave will be sitting down with some of the leading thinkers and entrepreneurs in FinTech to get the benefit of their insights. This time it is the turn of Leopold Gasteen from Edgefolio.
Leopold Gasteen is the Founder and CEO of Edgefolio, a FinTech company bridging the data gap between investors and fund managers. Leopold picked up on the data inefficiencies that are present in the industry whilst working within sales at Sector Asset Management (Oslo), and at RAM Capital (Geneva). Edgefolio was founded in 2013, and has since evolved into a sophisticated web platform that empowers thousands of the world's leading investors, and provides managers with total control over their data and its dissemination. They are headquartered in London, and plan to open a New York office in early 2018.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Geneva, a small city filled with people from all corners of the globe. I'm an engineer with a background in hedge funds and finance and I'm passionate about marketplaces, which helps to explain why I founded Edgefolio - a global marketplace for fund managers and investors.
Tell us about the awards you’ve won
We've won a handful of awards that highlights our technology edge. I suppose the most relevant being that we won most innovative cloud application at the Hedge Fund Technology Awards this year - a humbling recognition given the competition we were up against.
How is the FInTech environment different to Hedge Funds and asset management.
Whether it be mobile wallets, payments, transfers or lending, the one thing Fintechs have in common is that mostly focus on the retail market (billions of consumers looking for smarter ways to conduct their day to day). Our market, the asset management world, comprises institutional investors and money managers. This world is ultra conservative, and late adopters of mainstream technology. This world is also where the majority of money is managed and flows to various products - so, naturally, $billions are left on the table through inefficiencies every year. As such, asset management as a whole is a huge opportunity, but a super tough nut to crack.
You’ve created a truly international business, do you have any favourite destinations?
To my eyes, Lugano is the most charming, Tokyo has the best food scene, but my favourite destination in terms of energy and buzz is New York City.
Will FinTechs stay loyal to London now that Brexit is moving forwards?
London is a diverse melting pot of talent and creativity, and to build great products you need great people. I don't see Brexit impacting that appeal of London. What's more, if Brexit ends up with 70,000 fewer banking jobs (as banks move their clearing businesses away from London to Frankfurt and co), then there will be a huge supply of talent that can be expected to join the next wave of of FinTech innovation.
Which cities are the most attractive alternatives to London?
New York and Hong Kong. Although the cost of living in these two cities is a tad higher than London.
Are the wheels coming off the FinTech bandwagon?
No chance, I think we're just getting started.
What are your favourite FinTech innovations
Transferwise & Revolut - two great products that I use consistently.
What are your favourite WealthTech innovations
RiskSave and Monzo are pretty neat.
What are the biggest trends in Asset Management/WealthTech to watch for in 2018?
Can we start a trend? If you drop the buzzword 'Blockchain' you need to be able to explain what it is to a five year old. Otherwise, just don't.