In het Today’s nieuws


Dit verhaal verscheen 19 maart 2024 in het Nederlands eerder onder titel:

Today’s Group komt met eigen fintech-platform



Today’s will come with fintech platform

Today’s Group is about to roll out its own fintech platform, which will allow customers to get an overall view of their invested assets, regardless of the custodian bank where the investments are managed. Several family offices and wealth managers are already lining up for this new service.


‘Technology was our Achilles heel for many years, but that is no longer the case,’ Frits Vogel (pictured left), managing director of Wealth Management, and commercial director Cees Smit told Investment Officer.


In January last year, the Hilversum-based asset manager, which now manages assets of around five hundred million euros, found a partner in South African DMA. DMA immediately took a 9.9 per cent stake in Today’s. Together, they worked on a SaaS solution, in which it will be possible to house things like KYC (know your customer), CDD (client due diligence ) and portfolio management in one platform. ‘A client who holds three different custodian banks with us will thus get integrated portfolio reporting on all parts of his assets. Normally, all kinds of bells and whistles are needed to get that integrated, but we have now automated that, as well as the onboarding piece. For us, this is revolutionary,’ states Vogel.


The complete picture


The top executive argues that customer data should come from ‘everywhere and nowhere’. ‘Customers are busy filing tax returns and we are waiting for annual statements, dividends and other loose data that customers have to pull together. I think that is suboptimal. That should come in one statement just like the pension statement. That is the future.’


Vogel envisions a future where he can look at the total picture with clients – who often have portfolios with multiple asset managers. ‘It will then become much easier to get an overview of the total investment portfolio and to see where you can add or subtract risks to achieve a balanced portfolio. Now clients have to weigh up each time what the impact of their choice with one asset manager is compared to what they do with a competitor. Of course, in the light of kyc, we already ask a client’s entire asset position now, but you are still just missing important up-to-date information to arrive at good advice. Many asset managers run into this.’


Smit: ‘The European Commission prescribes that every bank has to deliver certain reports in set formats so that they can be loaded by anyone, but in practice this is still far from being the case.’


Today’s is in the final stages of implementing the new DMA platform. After an extensive test phase within the walls of the Hilversum-based asset manager, Today’s hopes to also connect other asset managers and family offices to the system, both within and outside the Netherlands. Several parties have already signed up, Smit says.


Deposit banks do not offer a total solution


Today’s sees that many customers are still running with different custodian banks because there is no single party that can offer a total solution. ‘At Interactive Brokers, it is not possible to buy an investment fund, in which case you have to go to Caceis or Saxo Bank, for example, but the US broker, on the other hand, scores excellently in terms of risk management. At Caceis, the due diligence phase is again much more complicated and you cannot trade in options. These are sometimes small differences that have a big impact on the choice of a custodian bank’.


However, being a client of several custodian banks also has its advantages, says Vogel. ‘You can switch to other custodian banks if certain services are no longer supported.  Then, if you don’t have a relationship with another depot bank, you have to adjust your product palette. By working with multiple depot banks, you are a bit more independent and maintain a certain degree of flexibility.’


Opportunities in chunk market


Besides the management side, the asset manager is looking to make inroads into the brokerage market. The acquisition of execution-only platform Easybroker was announced at the end of February. ‘We want to grow further in the brokerage market,’ Vogel explains. ‘There is also a cross-selling effect in that. We often see that customers are inclined to invest themselves first, before putting it under management. With Easybroker, we bring them in in a low-threshold way and over time we can offer them an alternative with our wealth management service.’


Is there a place for Today’s in the competitive brokerage market? ‘With several parties, the credo still seems to be “mass is cash”, but in case of problems, customer service is not available. We want to do that differently. Therefore, we do not target the small private investor directly.’


Smit explains to focus mainly on entrepreneurs and foundations that are ‘pushed out’ at big banks. ‘We see added value for entrepreneurs who encounter problems in the onboarding process at large banks.


Vogel adds: ‘The market is big and a lot is still happening. Everyone is looking for what their business model should look like into the future. That includes scalability, automation and commercial strength.’


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