This week, we start the first of a series on FinTech Devonport. Increasingly, FinTech is coming to represent technologies that are disrupting traditional financial services, including money transfers and currency conversions, loans, fundraising and asset management. In this series, we meet the disruptors, the innovators and the trailblazers operating in this sector. Some are Level One residents, others hail from further afield.
Alex Raison, JHC Systems and Level One resident
What are your views on the state of the NZ fintech industry?
The firm I work for, JHC Systems Ltd, is predominantly UK based so it’s interesting to compare the two worlds. NZ is less mature but that means that firms aren’t tied down by legacy software and processes. It’s an exciting time for FinTech everywhere so it will be great to see what comes out of NZ (and Devonport in particular)!
Where do you see the greatest opportunities for your business over the next year or two years?
Over the last few years, we’ve seen technology as the catalyst for explosive growth in every industry, where entrenched businesses suddenly find themselves battling to stay relevant in a world full of billion-dollar startups and finance is no exception.
Over the last few years, JHC has invested heavily in new technologies and products to support the digital transformation of the Wealth Management industry. We’re helping our clients stay relevant, agile and compliant in a world where customers no longer want lunches with their financial adviser while they talk through their portfolio, they want on-demand, interconnected dashboards and visualisations which is something we can help with.
Are you expanding your markets overseas and if so, where?
Traditionally we’ve focused on the UK market but we recently opened an office in Dubai to target the Middle East and we’re currently looking at partnership opportunities in New Zealand and Australia.
What are you currently working on?
In 2017 JHC released our new product, Neon, which is a cloud-based compliance monitoring solution aimed at transforming how Wealth Management firms approach the monitoring of their client’s portfolios. We automate compliance checks to flag problems up immediately rather than this being a manual, time-consuming task run every 3 months or so. Senior management get an up to date picture of the state of their firm, compliance staff can focus on the big picture rather than getting bogged down in the process and investment managers get more timely notifications of problems with their client base.
Is blockchain part of your roadmap?
The core of Figaro, our investment management platform, allows stockbrokers and wealth managers to buy and sell securities on exchanges around the world. Although blockchain seems perfect for disrupting this process where it could remove all the intermediaries between two counterparties, we’ve yet to see any practical way of transitioning from the current settlement systems to a blockchain, so at the moment we have no plans to integrate any blockchain technology.