Sustainable, Ubiquitous and Accessible Investing: Velexa’s North Star


Headquartered in London, the mission of WealthTech firm Velexa is as simple as it is ambitious – financial health and access for all. Given macro-economic circumstances and new technologies, the need to meet the growing demands of new markets has proven to be a clarion call for Velexa.

“Velexa was born with the vision of securing financial health for everyone,” said Tamara Kostova, CEO of the company. “Despite this, it’s very difficult to talk about financial health when 1.4 billion people are still unbanked and lack access to financial services – therefore the democratisation of the wealth management industry became our core mission.”

Velexa seeks to give every individual the ability to control their finances through investing and trading, as recent studies have shown that savings will not be enough. According to Kostova, while several market players may have already used the slogan of wealth management democratisation direct to consumer, the next big thing is to focus on transforming the wealth management industry as a whole – which is Velexa’s core vision.

“Our vision is to become the go-to wealth platform – a single connecting piece for everyone in the investing ecosystem. Consumers already trust their banks, so shouldn’t their banks also provide them the services they require, like investing?,” quipped Kostova. Velexa is enabling any institution to offer a unique, digitalised wealth management journey for their end-clients.

Velexa has three key components of its platform. The ‘backbone’ is a front-to-back brokerage platform, with an extensive API integration framework on top of it, as well as four different fully brandable front-end solutions.

“The front-end should uniquely address the maturity of the investor, from simple interfaces for nascent investors to advanced data visualisation for professionals” stressed Kostova.

What sets Velexa apart from its competitors? In the opinion of the Velexa CEO, one of the key differences is that the company is ‘agnostic’ towards any player or integration in the industry.

“No market or audience is the same. With Velexa, every institution is able to build their own investing ecosystem by creating their own network of partners, from a preferred brokerage to an ESG data provider. The ability to build a very unique journey is what makes us different,” she said.

While the company is strongly focused on Europe at the moment, the firm is ‘extremely excited’ about the Southeast Asian and Latin American markets. Kostova explained, “There are limited investment options but increasing customer sophistication, which means incumbent banks can really leverage their existing trust to tap consumer interest.”

WealthTech innovation

The rise of innovation and saturation in the wealth management space has meant that businesses across the markets have faced the need to push the boundaries as expectations of consumers are changing.

She explained, “We want to be a company that ultimately partners with other firms to get them on our platform and help them build a full end-to-end journey. I know that we cannot be the best at building everything in-house, so where we add value is to work with other WealthTech companies.”

Furthermore, Kostova believes that the sector as a whole has been redefined. “Due to consumers’ different attitude towards technology, wealth management is now about the customer journey,” she stresses. “How do you address the needs of the nascent investor with a strong view on sustainability as well as the long-term investor who is coming towards retirement? We ignore nobody in this journey – this is what wealth management democratisation is all about.”

Investment decision approaches

In the area of WealthTech, the importance of helping customers make informed investment decisions is paramount.

In light of this, Velexa is striving to solve three big challenges. The first includes the forementioned market democratisation. However another key area surrounds technology. “Consumers would like to use WealthTech services from their own financial services providers – and oftentimes there is no simple way for them to consume these services,” said Kostova.

She added that many financial institutions – especially in Europe – are struggling to include impact investing types of services into their portfolios. The reason for this is the rigid legacy infrastructure, which also causes their profitability to suffer, remarks Kostova.

The third key pillar in the Velexa mission is that of approaching investment management as education. “We believe that investing is a continual learning process,” said Kostova. “You constantly need to expand information that you can provide to your investors and at the right time in order to help them build their confidence and reduce their risks.”

Importance of financial education

An often-raised topic of debate is whether there is a need for schools to impart greater knowledge on their students around economic and financial management such as learning how to invest and money budgeting.

This is an area that Kostova is highly passionate about. “I always say that investing in the next generation of consumers is an investment on its own,” she stated. The Velexa CEO cited a recent study that revealed 44% of UK adults said they would be in much better shape financially if they had been taught basic money management skills at school.

Kostova continued,” I think the long-term solution to close this financial literacy gap is to have financial education as part of a really early school-age programme.”

“It’s interesting to see that you can instil this kind of money management and financial literacy skills at a younger age, as there are a number of startups addressing this. We are going to see a younger generation of consumers take more proactive decisions about their finances with less fear and less risk,” said Kostova.

The future of WealthTech

The future of the WealthTech industry for those in it can be exciting as well as unnerving, as they consider what is to come. In the opinion of Kostova, chief among the destinations for the industry is greater financial access.

“I think financial inclusion is what WealthTech is all about – to offer a disruptive technology to the existing wealth management industry. Financial education and the access to financial services are key.”

She also remarked that another key future trend is that of AI. “This involves a better ability to process information to understand who your client is and to help them make a final decision that is adequate to their financial needs and risk appetite” Kostova concluded.

Velexa was recently featured in the fifth annual WealthTech100.

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