We talked to Matthias Hunn of FinGuide about Swiss private banking during the pandemic times.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Matthias Hunn: Everyone is doing fine, thanks! Fortunately, we didn’t have to endure a second lockdown so far in Switzerland. I do hope we will act responsibly and get through the second wave without too severe measures.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded FinGuide.
Matthias Hunn: I went through a classic career in banking. Starting as an assistant and climbing up to executive board level. Although I always had this dream of founding my own company, the time was never right until three years ago when I founded FinGuide. The firm supports wealthy private persons in finding the best Swiss wealth manager fitting their individual needs.
How does FinGuide innovate?
Matthias Hunn: We look at things from a customer’s perspective. Swiss private banking is a completely non-transparent market. All the relevant data a customer needs to find a fitting provider is not publicly available. FinGuide assesses the quality of private banks and independent wealth managers and picks the best ones. We collect data about them and provide it to our customers. Therefore we enable them to easily find what they are looking for. We bring transparency and new movement into a stale market for the benefit of the customers.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Matthias Hunn: The pandemic shifts people’s priorities. For some, that means looking for a better wealth manager loses urgency. But others have more time at hand and tackle things they wanted to do for a long time. FinGuide’s consulting has shifted from in-person meetings to video conferences and phone conversations. This has worked quite well so far.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Matthias Hunn: An entrepreneur constantly has to make difficult choices, right? The pandemic made it a bit harder as it slowed business down. But the goals remain the same. FinGuide wants to empower private banking clients. The most important lesson learned was certainly how good video conferencing with new customers works today. This is certainly encouraging when thinking about tackling new markets.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Matthias Hunn: In my time as a corporate executive, I learned to call it a day when I have nothing more to contribute, and I still do that. I like to be out in nature in my spare time, be it on a mountain bike, swimming in Lake Zurich, or scuba diving in warmer waters. I also enjoy working in different places. It always gives you a new perspective on what you’re doing.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Matthias Hunn: The most important competitors are the private banks and the independent wealth managers themselves acquiring customers directly. The possibility of using an information provider like FinGuide in the search for the best provider is still new in the market, and most potential customers don’t know about it yet. Staying in the game has to do with quality. FinGuide offers an excellent service, and that leads to recommendations from existing clients.
Your final thoughts?
Matthias Hunn: Stay safe and healthy. We are all in this together.