In spite of the fintech boom, asset managers do much more than they did 30 years ago. With Etops Pius Stucki starts again – and wants to abolish part of the manual work.
It has been more than 15 years since Pius Stucki started working as a business information specialist at the Zürcher Kantonalbank. Since then, everyday life has changed fundamentally through technology.
What Stuckis opinion has changed too little, is the way in the financial industry. The number jugglers still use the same tools as at the turn of the millennium.
“Nothing has changed. Still, everyone is working with Excel, “he told finews.ch. “Where have all the fintechs gone?”
Recently on the road alone
In fact, Stucki is now the owner of a fintech company. Etops provides various back office services for asset managers and can also deliver customized software.
The company, which Stucki has run alone for a few months, has 41 employees, ten of them in Switzerland, the rest is employed in Bratislava. Before that, Etops was part of Nectar, a company that recently wanted to position itself as a digital asset manager.
Reason for the separation were different views on the strategy, as finews.ch reported. By buying his current company from Nectar, Stucki parted ways of two fintech entrepreneurs from the very beginning.
Conquer Excel niche
Stucki and Nectar CEO Michael Appenzeller founded the company in 2010 under the name Etops. In 2016, the rebranding to Nectar followed, Appenzeller became CEO and Chairman of the Board, co-founder Stucki was content with the vice-presidency. The two worked together before that, including Horizon21, the hedge fund of Rainer-Marc Frey.
Among the employees of Etops are also six software developers in Switzerland. With their help, Stucki wants to conquer a niche, which is probably still occupied in many places by hand filling Excel spreadsheets: the aggregation of multiple bank accounts and other assets on a single platform.
Do not be afraid of Credit Suisse
The fact that there are already some rivals in this area – including Canopy, which works with Credit Suisse – does not frighten Stucki. Etops has developed an algorithm that can read the bank statements created as PDF.
He said he could offer customers two advantages that go beyond the competition: Etops processes transactions every 15 minutes in the daytime, giving customers a more up-to-date picture than competing products.
In addition, it is possible to see exactly which transaction affected the asset, rather than simply receiving the sum. In the user interface on the PC or the smartphone app can also look at the actual extracts.
Still, the application has no more than a good handful of users. For the most part, Etops has been providing the outsourcing services the company has been offering for the past nine years.
“I am sure that I can have 30, 40 or 50 users by the end of the year” says the entrepreneur. However, he does not need venture capital, for example from a bank. “We are profitable and grow stable, unlike most fintechs” he says.
Pius Stucki is not only talked about as an entrepreneur. The Swiss also shines sporty: Already his studies in the US, he financed himself on a scholarship as a runner. Back in Switzerland, he switched to cycling, where, among other things, he won the 1000-kilometer nonstop race Tortour in 2017 as part of a four-man team (picture above with Stucki on the far right). The training is for him relaxation, he likes to swing, for example, over lunch on the bike.