Detroit-based Benzinga, a media and data provider bridging the gap between retail and institutional investors, sent its team to Switzerland June 2-3, for Crypto Valley.
During that time, Benzinga sought to recognize the innovation in digital assets, speaking with founders, investors and beyond.
The following is a conversation with Esty Dwek, chief investment officer (CIO) at FlowBank, a multi-asset trading platform that offers a wide range of online banking and investment services to brokers and corporate clients.
The following text was edited for clarity and concision.
Q: Hi Esty, nice to meet you. Care to start off with an introduction?
Esty Dwek: I started off my career in financial markets.
In 2006, I worked for HSBC Holdings PLC HSBC in private banking, almost always on the investment side.
Later, after that, I was at Natixis Investment Managers before joining FlowBank, a digital online bank with a full FINMA license headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
We cover all assets, including crypto.
What inspired the transition to FlowBank? What do you like about working there?
Well, I worked for one of the largest private banks and, then, one of the largest asset managers. I loved the idea of something smaller and entrepreneurial. Something dynamic and flexible.
You can get a lot more done. There are fewer layers and less justification needed.
What does your day-to-day look like?
As CIO, the job is to have, maintain, and communicate a house view for the bank. So, we write a lot of publications, have blogs and video outlooks, and engage in a lot of press.
A lot of the day is also following the market and seeing whether what happens changes the outlook and perception. I also look after our product offering and its development.
It’s also about coordinating projects and the team, and addressing what clients are asking for.
Tell me what are some of the main focus points for FlowBank?
We have themes that we’re trying to build out as either structured products or other vehicles that are easy for clients to buy and sell.
Then, you want to try to find a balance because we have a bigger part of our client base that is a little more trading oriented and then, a smaller part is more longer-term investing oriented.
Structured products. I’m assuming those are catering to institutional interests, right?
Yes. We haven’t launched them yet. The idea is to provide structured exposure in the indexes and some of our themes like sustainability and digitalization.
We are looking at structured products in crypto that could, even, have an income component. We’re one of the rare banks that offer CFDs, allowing for access to crypto without having to own them so they can avoid headaches.
There are tax advantages, depending on the country, as well as the ability to leverage your money and hedge.
How do you gain and maintain a competitive edge?
Unlike a lot of the neobanks, which are typically trading platforms, we’re a licensed bank. That often strikes people by surprise when I explain what we do.
They’ll question: “So, you’re a full Swiss bank with Swiss regulation?”
That carries a lot of weight, especially outside of Switzerland.
Do you work with an organization that facilitates or helps with the trading side of the business, at least?
We’re working with a specialized company in Switzerland that is close with regulators. We’re also partnered with CoinShares International Ltd CNSRF. They are shareholders in FlowBank and so, for a lot of our offerings, we have knowledge coming from them.
Looking into the future, where do you see the organization a year or so from now?
We’re a fintech with a banking license and strong technology foundation. You need your app to be easy and intuitive for clients, whether beginners or advanced.
We can open accounts in less than a day and you don’t have to come to Switzerland to sign papers. There is also full customer support you can call and a person will answer.
Going forward, we’re looking to combine the strong stability and safety of a Swiss bank with everything technology can offer.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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