Bifrost offers a new way of connecting investors with wealth managers, using technology to improve B2C communications, wealth planning processes, portfolio management and wealth management client acquisition. Due to a traditionally constrained business model, wealth managers today only service a limited number of clients and to compensate for the lack of scalability, wealth managers tend to focus on high net worth individuals (£1 million or above). This creates a gap in the market because investors with lower investible assets only have little or no access to the wealth management services with human interaction. This is why Bifrost creates an innovative market place which enables investors with lower investable assets to access the traditional wealth management services. Besides making wealth management accessible to regular people, we also aim to solve the challenge that 75% of wealth managers face today – the digital transformation.
On one hand, Bifrost creates an innovative business model for the wealth managers. We provide a platform which assists investors with lower investable assets and wealth managers to connect while enhancing the scalability of their operations. With the assistance of matching algorithms and a robust system Bifrost will equip wealth managers with all the building blocks necessary to perform their business activities, from wealth planning to portfolio management.
On the other hand, from the perspective of an investor with lower investable assets, robo-advisory might seem like the only reasonable option. Indeed, robo-advisory has stepped into this mass market where algorithms guide investment. However, even though robo-advisory platforms are very convenient, they lack human interaction, which is a crucial requirement for many investors. According to Accenture’s (2017) report, even though 70% of investors welcome robo-advisory, 66% still require human interaction for financial services. Therefore, leaving a gap in the market, unserved by both wealth managers and robo-advisors.
Our unique selling point is that our clients get access to an exclusive service, mostly used by the top 5%, high net worth individuals. In fact, Bifrost will deliver wealth management service with a range of portfolios accessible to everyone – the minimum investment in this product will be as low as £100, whilst the clients will still benefit from the professional portfolio management. We will also offer a premium product which will include wealth planning. This product will consist of a dedicated wealth coach who will plan milestones and timeframes for financial goals so that an investor can have a better idea of his or her financial journey. This alternative will be available for investments above £30,000 which is equal to only a tiny fraction of the sum traditionally required to access the wealth management services.
Clients will benefit from a machine’s efficiency while receiving top of the line wealth management and advice. It is the scalability and the relatively cheap maintenance of a bionic infrastructure that allows investors with smaller account sizes to afford a wealth manager. Bifrost aims to transform the traditional wealth management industry into a digital market place accessible to everyone.
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Back in 2013, Dino started a new business model for his wealth management company, while studying in the US, he started to carry out his business remotely. Back then, even though the level of digitalization was already high, wealth management industry, especially in Brazil, was still operated in a very traditional way. After seeing that the model was successful, Dino started researching in building his own wealth management online tool. However, the investment and knowledge required to build a platform that would be good enough to interact with clients, was too high for a small wealth management company like his.
After identifying a gap in the market, Dino has realised that the lack of digitalisation and scalability in the wealth management industry was in fact a business opportunity. However, as the task of building a wealth management digital market place is a task too big for a single person, Bifrost needed more human capital. The University of Glasgow was a great catalyst in forming the Bifrost team. Through the university network of societies, Bifrost team grew quickly. After reaching out to Andreas from the FinTech Society, who has been developing the Bifrost platform and is now our CTO, the preliminary team acquired two more team members dedicated to the financial markets – Viktor and Lorenzo. Consequently, to get more partners on board the team did a shout-out at one of the FinTech society events. After several interviews, Zoe and Martina became part of the Bifrost team. At that point, the Bifrost team has become confident to possess the range of skills necessary to bring the initial idea to life and to successfully execute the plan.
In November 2017, the team was formed and started to carry out research related to the FinTech industry ecosystem and potential competition. After doing a research and developing wireframes for the product and for the business model, the team decided to look for prospective mentors. Through the university network, the team acquired its first mentor, Doug Heron, who has been helping the company until the present day. Doug has been advising Bifrost on the matters related to the business plan as well as the issues related to the formation of the company. After reaching the stage at which Bifrost has developed a well-defined product and business model, the team approached its second mentor, Huw Evans, who has helped the team by giving advice on efficient project management and further development of our technology demonstrator. After this stage was completed, the company approached its third mentor, Mani Honigstein, who is now helping Bifrost to prepare itself to receive funding from investors.
CEO: Dino Ubatuba
COO: Zoe Balek
CFO: Lorenzo Berg
CTO: Andreas Poyiatzis
Tech Developer: Martina Lofqvist
Secretary, Business Analyst: Viktor Torstenius