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Interview of Sophie Echenim, CEO of Raise Partner

Can you tell us a bit more about Raise Partner more broadly? How would you differentiate yourselves?
We are focused on delivering digital solutions to the wealth and asset management industries. In an increasingly complex, highly regulated and volatile investment market, trust is more important than ever in investment decision-making. We exist to bring trust and purpose to investment decisions. We do this by using cutting-edge models and digital technology to leverage the human touch and expertise in the advisory process.

We have two offices in France, one in Paris, and the other in Grenoble, which gives us direct access to leading talent and a unique, innovative, and academic ecosystem. Our team has over 20 years of industry expertise.

How are we different? Three main points: our team has market-proven pre-trade expertise; we use cutting-edge API and Cloud-based technology; and most important of all, we offer unbeatable time-to-market for customised and scalable web applications.

Can you give me a bit more background on the solution? What does it do, and why do you think it is relevant in today’s market?
Given the dynamics of today’s volatile market, it is ever more important for investors to make informed investment decisions with the support of a trusted partner. Investors are operating in a context where there is a growing range of products; they have high expectations, they are more interested in where their investments are being placed, so ESG criteria are more relevant in the decision-making process, and they are – literally – drowning in data. They need a solution that can cut through the noise, and deliver investment decisions quickly and reliably. Smart Risk does all of this. And more! 

Can you describe your new application, Smart Risk Decisions, in a nutshell? In simple words, what it is, what does it do, and who is it aimed at?
Smart Risk Decisions empowers your advisers with a game-changing web app to support the client/adviser relationship and deliver tailored and proactive investment proposals. Essentially, it offers:

  • Interactivity: it allows you to onboard your end-client with an interactive discussion and a “four-hands” investment decision.
  • Explainability: the solution offers explainability and transparency, which are key to a trust-based and successful advisor/client relationship.
  • Simplicity: it offers easy-to-use scenario simulations with impact analysis that allows clear and comprehensive understanding of the impact of investment decisions.

Smart Risk Decisions helps advisors focus on their clients’ needs, build confidence through transparent and tailored investment proposals, and thereby develop new business by attracting new clients, and driving greater client loyalty.

The solution has already been deployed in two major French private banks with 500+ international users (mainly advisers, private bankers, relationship managers, and is also being used by CIO office teams responsible for building model portfolios and strategic allocations.

When is the solution best deployed? At what moment in the investment-making process? 
Smart Risk Decisions can be used at different stages to support the adviser-client relationship:

  • Ahead of a client meeting to analyse the client’s situation and prepare simulations.
  • During client meetings to support the discussion, illustrate the investment proposals with unbiased criteria and onboard the client in the investment decision.
  • After the client meeting to follow up immediately with automatically generated personalised reports.

If I were going to deploy the product, how would I get started? Is this a big-bang approach, or can this be done in stages?
Smart Risk Decisions is a very light stateless web application hosted on the Cloud and connected to a bank’s ecosystem, namely:

  • CRM: to get client’s portfolios and profile information (anonymised).
  • Portfolio management system or core banking solution: to get positions and send back buy-sell instructions.
  • Internal research: providing forward-looking trends on asset classes.
  • Internal authentication system for the users for a seamless user experience.
  • Market data feed when relevant.

We typically deploy the solution in progressive stages, to facilitate adoption and to mitigate risks

  • Stage 1: CIO office and Ultra-High-Net-Worth (UHNW) advisers for hyper-personalised portfolio construction.
  • Stage 2: selected relationship managers beta users with simplified settings to get feedback, adapt and ensure adoption.
  • Stage 3: A global roll-out to RMs with full connectivity to the bank’s IT system:
    • Phases one and two can be achieved within a couple of months as they do not require complex connectivity or volume issues.
    • The white-labelling and configuration of the application is usually done in a matter of weeks, covering look and feel as well as language settings, labels, disclaimers, and export templates.
    • Phase three is highly dependent on the bank’s data and IT framework.

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