Article by Olivier Collombin, Founder and Chariman of Planet of finance
When starting our project in early 2016, our goal was twofold. First, to support individuals with available capital, regardless of the amount, in their search for a reliable financial advisor, based on objective and concrete criteria.
Secondly, to help investment advisors – independent asset managers, private bankers, multi-family offices, etc.– to find new clients while respecting the strict rules on compliance and cross-border management.
Indeed, a few decades of experience in private banking led me to reach the following conclusions: private investors’ satisfaction with their financial advisor has been eroded over time, and even more so since the 2008 crisis. Professionals in the industry who are focused on the retention of their existing customers have neglected the acquisition of new clientele considered expensive and risky, despite the increased pressure to develop their asset under management.
The emergence of social networks and dating sites in the mid-2000s made us think about the development of a digital platform. Based on new trends adopted by adults in their private lives, we set the goal of reducing the frustrations experienced by both private savers and professionals. Therefore, noticing the lack of a “matching” platform between private individuals and financial advisors, even from Silicon Valley, we launched a first version of Planet of finance in 2016.
The first objective was to bring together on the platform a broad range of qualified financial advisors who could serve potential clients around the world. The challenge was all the greater as the professionals involved operated within a highly codified system that was still hostile to social networks. The second was to attract private individuals willing to provide sensitive information about their financial situation online. Unsurprisingly, it was first retail customers, with investable assets less than €100,000, or even the mass affluent (€0.1 to €1m) who were attracted to the platform. We found that there was a gap between our private members and our professional members, who were looking primarily for high-net-worth individuals with investable assets of more than €3m. In 2019, after several technical and communication adjustments, we launched the third version of Planet of finance.
Free for private individuals and paid subscription-based for finance professionals, the platform offers its members a simplified registration process, an online booking feature and a “virtual reception lounge” in the form of Video Call. All available on PC and mobile.
Finally, in recent months, the influx of private clients with assets of €2m to €25m on Planet of finance has, unsurprisingly, caused an explosion in the number of online meeting requests.
Times are changing. Online research has become the norm for almost any type of service. Wealth management is shortly to follow. From the 40 million millionaires worldwide, many are still struggling to find a reliable financial advisor. There is a huge potential of growth for Planet of finance.
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