Today on FinTech Profile we are delighted to talk to Mash Patel, founder of Kurtosys, who provide digital services for asset managers. Kurtosys will be attending the FinTech Growth Forum in London Next week. See here for more details of the event hosted by Innovate Finance.
Over to Mash for his responses to our questions (in bold):
Who are you and what’s your background?
I am a graduate of Warwick University (Computer Science & Maths) and London Business School (Master in Finance). I started my career as a management consultant with PWC and worked on strategy and technology projects all over the world. I then completely switched careers and joined the commodity derivatives group at Merrill Lynch, where I was a structurer on their London desk and provided long dated derivative structures for oil, mining, airline and power companies. I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and get back into technology; the transformation of how we do things in financial services was just beginning and I wanted to be a part of it. Having raised capital in Silicon Valley, I set up Kurtosys to change the way the financial services industry thinks about the web as a sales and marketing enabler.
What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?
CEO. I do very little other than “hold our culture and values”.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
Kurtosys aims to provide the most innovative in digital experiences for asset managers. Whether that be creating a great-looking responsive website, to the increased production and distribution of fund factsheets, we want to change the way the industry adopts digital transformation. Our new platforms FundPress, InvestorPress and WordPress for Finance provide fully branded, customisable experiences for our clients to service their investors. As our tagline suitably stresses: Your Investors Matter.
Tell us how you are funded.
We are funded by two venture capital firms based in Silicon Valley: True Ventures and Triangle Peak.
Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
The financial services industry has needed to change for over a decade now; the Internet is one key driver. I wanted to address the challenges of “Digital Transformation” in the context of a heavily entrenched (and regulated) industry. We have built an enterprise content platform specifically to address these industry problems.
Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?
Any asset manager, asset servicer or wealth manager in the world. We charge “per use” based on the consumption of our solution.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?
I would personally cut the number of employees by 30%. Every pensionee in the world would benefit in retirement if we did this.
What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
Wake up! The combinatorial effect of ETFs, regulation, investor malaise and a changing population is going to have a dramatic effect on us. Let’s not be the new “Kodak” story. Let’s change our industry and benefit every single human on earth that needs to, somehow, save money for their later years.
What phone are you carrying and why?
Apple iPhone 7. It’s simply the best.
Where do you get your industry news from?
I read all major publications to keep abreast of everything that concerns the financial industry.
Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech sector that we should be following on Twitter?
Chris Skinner @Chris_Skinner
Chris is a prominent thought leader in the financial industry, hell-bent on shaping its digital future. He travels the world over to discuss his views on the future of finance – his Twitter and blog The Finanser usefully display his often humorous and insightful musings.
Whilst not a person as such, this Belgian fintech news company is the first-stop shop for all the latest fintech news around the globe, and particularly the most pertinent stories and events in Europe. Their regular newsletter is a must.
Pascal Bouvier @pascalbouvier
A VC who shares the majority of the most recent fintech news, but also isn’t afraid to offer his more sceptical opinions on matters. His articles on personal blog FiniCulture are brilliant written, so well worth a read.
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
Monzo and Revolut – both digital banks have found the perfect way to disrupt the industry by focusing on user experience. Users can spend spend abroad with no added fees and manage their accounts via mobile. Digital transformation is paramount to financial professionals, but also account holders that need assistance with their finances – these services are the perfect start.
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
It will be interesting to see whether tech giants such as Facebook, Google or Amazon enter the financial services fray as challengers, and also whether regulation will become more relaxed after many years of aggressive regulatory enforcement. In the age of digital, the financial services industry should embrace a new era of cloud, open architecture and the API economy – we’ll have to wait and see if this happens quickly, if at all, in the coming years.
Our thanks to Mash for his thoughts today. You can connect with Mash on LinkedIn here or find out more about Kurtosys on their web site: https://www.kurtosys.com/
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