Valuable discussion with five top experts
• Caduff: Gentlemen, the market environment is challenging. What can you inspire existing and future customers with?
Hetzel: We can offer clients an access to a new return driver in the portfolio. We invest in private aerospace & space companies. Exposure to this asset class is well positioned against current investment headwinds like geopolitical volatility or inflation. We see a unique combination of growth opportunities and resiliency.
Wenger: The market environment is challenging. Despite that, Crypto as an asset class has performed really well so far in 2023 and with various positive developments happening, be it the upcoming Bitcoin halving in 2024 or the successful Ethereum upgrades, we expect a renewed interest by investors. At 21Shares we offer the broadest range of crypto ETPs in Europe. These solutions have the same advantages as ETFs in traditional asset classes when it comes to safety, transparency and liquidity. An efficient way to gain access to this still new and growing asset class.
Töllke: In an environment that is constantly turning more bureaucratic and regulated funds (and AMCs) can help to reduce complexities. If regulatory tasks are delegated to a FINMA licensed entity (like MRB) this can help to reduce costs, risks and complexities while additional time becomes available for revenue generating activities. Outsourcing of activities is the way to better profitability in this highly competitive industry.
Rista: KraneShares strives to be a thought leader around China’s capital markets by providing clients research and thoughtful commentary to help navigate a challenging market environment. KraneShares CIO Brendan Ahern writes a daily newsletter (chinalastnight.com) to keep investors informed on key developments in China’s markets.
Jahrstorfer: Source For Alpha offers Swiss investors a long-term successful, science-based US equity value strategy with a proven track record and consistent outperformance.
• Caduff: How does your company cover the Lugano financial centre?
Wenger: We have a comprehensive coverage of the Ticino region with our Southern European team and our two Italian native speakers Chiara El Rikabi and Massimo Siano. Both of them are regularly in Lugano and are making sure 21Shares is a well known Crypto brand in the region.
Jahrstorfer: We want to convince with our awarded US equity strategy. Highly present, with professional relationship management and client servicing.
Rista: Lugano is an important financial centre to KraneShares as we have developed strong client relationships over the past several years through our outreach efforts.
Töllke: MRB does not have its own presence in Lugano as a company. However a portfolio manager who started his own fund project with MRB’s support is living here and can interact on the fund from this decentralised position while other important activities are delegated to MRB’s team in Zurich (Risk Management, Compliance, IT). Decentralised work is another source of improved efficiencies.
Hetzel: We are always happy to come to Lugano to discuss our strategies with allocators from the region. After the great Fundplat lunch today, we will make the trip even more often.
• Caduff: What is your greatest professional wish for the next few months?:
Rista: My greatest professional wish in the coming months would be for a strong market rebound in China leading to an increase in client interest and asset flow into our suite of ETFs.
Hetzel: My greatest wish is one for peace and stability in world. This will also lead to more open-mindedness when discussing new investment opportunities.
Töllke: We are striving to make our project partners happy with their project involving MRB. If they are happy we will be happy too with our partners spreading the message of a positive experience.
Jahrstorfer: Stable markets with a positive investment perspective.
Wenger: Ideally, I would have more than one wish, but all in all it is that investors both private individuals and institutional investors alike will be able to understand the bridge between the various use cases of crypto or the blockchain technology overall and the investment case. Adding a small proportion of Bitcoin or crypto baskets can add good value to a diversified portfolio and improve its risk/return profile. At 21Shares, with our renowned Research team, we offer unique analysis and insights into the crypto world to assist investors in their decision making process be it via our regular analyst calls, research publications or tailored to investor’s needs.
Jacob Hetzel is a Partner at Green Eight Capital, a mission driven private markets investment firm, based in Pfäffikon SZ and New York. The company recently launched the stage-agnostic «Aerospace Innovation Fund», a Luxembourg RAIF, to act as a partner to cutting-edge aerospace and defense companies. The «Aerospace Innovation Fund» intends to address a global need for reconstituted supply chains, resilient industrial bases, and foundational technologies with the aim of delivering positive impact and generating competitive financial returns for clients. He is a Board Member of the «Aerospace Innovation Fund». Before he joined Green Eight Capital, Jacob Hetzel was Head of Distribution at Scalable Capital and a portfolio manager at a wealth manager in Luxembourg. He started his career at Quirin Privatbank in Germany.
Franz-Xaver Jahrstorfer is responsible for developing the funds business in Switzerland and Austria at Source For Alpha. Before joining the company, he trained as a banker and worked for more than 25 years in the finance and funds industry in leading positions. He worked for Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank and DZ Bank, among others, in the areas of business development, investment funds sales and relationship management.
Brian Rista joined KraneShares in 2017 as Director, Client Service to help the firm achieve its mission of being a leading provider of China-focused Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Chinese investment education for clients. He is responsible for leading the team’s sales efforts in the Southeast region of the U.S. and Switzerland with a focus on deepening relationships with financial advisors, independent broker-dealers, RIAs, institutions, and banks. Prior to joining KraneShares, he was a financial advisor at an RIA providing clients with personalized wealth management solutions. He was also a Sales Associate at an asset manager specializing in separately managed accounts, mutual funds and ETFs. Brian Rista attended the College of Charleston where he received his BA in Communications with concentrations in finance and media studies.
Markus Töllke is a partner and CEO of MRB. After training as a banker (Commerzbank AG), studying business administration (Albertus Magnus University in Cologne) and five years as a portfolio manager at Delbrück & Co. Privatbankiers (Cologne), he was head of private client asset management at Merck Finck & Co. Privatbankiers in Munich from 2002 to 2008. He was then Managing Director and CIO at the investment boutique FIDUKA GmbH in Munich, founded by investor legend André Kostolany, where he was responsible for a number of funds in the equity and bond sectors. From 2011 to 2014, Markus Töllke was head of fund management at a Finma-regulated asset manager in Bern (Investas AG) and personally managed two large Swiss pension funds.
As Head of Northern Europe, Bernhard Wenger focuses on building sales and business development for the region. Previously, he was Managing Director of the Swiss office at State Street Global Advisors. Prior to that, he worked at ETF Securities in London in various roles, including Head of European Distribution. He has also held senior positions at Morgan Stanley, HSBC and BNP Paribas.
Thomas J. Caduff is the CEO of Fundplat LLC. He has worked in the financial industry for over 40 years. His professional experience includes roles at the stock exchange commissariat of the Canton of Zurich, Bank Vontobel, Credit Suisse and UBS. Thomas J. Caduff also served for three decades in one division and multiple brigades of the Swiss Army, as a communication/media officer.