Florian is Associate Director – Germany, Austria & Switzerland at Rize ETF. Previously, he worked at Bloomberg where he close to three years as a financial products sales account manager for the DACH region, focusing on south Germany. Prior to this, he worked as an analyst at Third Bridge for a year. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Birmingham in the UK.
1. When and how did you start your career in the financial industry? What brought you to the financial sector?
I began my career in financial services at Bloomberg. The role gave me a great deal of exposure to the financial industry, from banking to asset management and products and services as well as an understanding of how financial markets work. My coverage at Bloomberg was on the DACH region. Making the move over to asset management therefore was seamless for me. I was particularly inspired by Rize’s mission statement to create novel approaches to investing; thematic investing is getting bigger and as a young individual I can empathise with this style of investing and believe wholeheartedly that it is the future of asset management.
2. What is the most exciting thing of your role at Rize ETF?
The ability to speak daily to clients and help them think thematically through their investment allocations. We have a truly unique approach in how we put our products together, purpose-building each investment strategy (i.e. index) in partnership with a dedicated thematic expert / company, and this makes all client conversations engaging and interesting.
3. Rize ETF focuses on thematic investment, and you have funds that invest in the Medical Cannabis sector or the Sustainable Food sector, which do you think will be the next trends and themes in the market?
For us, thematic investing is about investing in the future we want to live in. We believe acute change in the way capital is currently being allocated is needed if we want to accelerate the most meaningful and transformative growth stories of tomorrow. Our product development approach seeks to uncover these megatrends early, and capture them in investment products. We have a number of new ETFs in development and although we cannot speak specifically about any of these, we believe a lot of the future growth will come from sustainability-oriented capital. Hence this is an area of interest and focus for us.
4. What are the key drivers for a successful ETF’s distribution?
Know your target audience for your given region and understand how different investors use different thematic ETFs because no two themes are the same. Moreover, as the world of asset management changes it’s becoming more important to be an ‘educator’. We focus heavily on educational and informational content around our themes and we find that this brings our themes to life with investors. We believe investing should be a journey, and we believe our content-driven approach helps investors stay up-to-date with our themes as they evolve and change over time.
5. What themes are the most popular for the investors from all the thematics ETF’s you have available at the moment?
At the moment, our Sustainable Future of Food theme is getting a lot of traction. Our investors, who are also consumers, recognise that we need to transition to a food system that is more secure, equitable and sustainable across both production and consumption. More broadly this is a theme that is buoyed by climate and environmental tailwinds because the world has accepted that, with 26% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from the food system, we need to take drastic action today. On the consumption side, we believe conscious consumerism is here to stay and this – we believe – sets up the companies in our portfolios for strong, secular and long-term growth.
6. Some of your funds focus on sustainability, environmental impact, etc – do you believe sustainability is important when choosing investments?
Without a doubt — climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. No later than this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered a stark and blunt report about the impact and causes of climate change. Climate change is here, it’s a crisis, and it’s manmade. And on top of climate change, we have issues like air pollution, waste disposal, water depletion, soil cover destruction, ocean acidification and biodiversity loss, which too must be addressed if we want to avoid irreversible damage to our planet and ecosystems. Today’s investors thankfully want to back the leaders and innovators that are helping tackle some of these climatic and environmental challenges. This is good news. For that reason, we believe that sustainability will be at the heart of asset allocation for a long time to come.
7. Would you give any advice to anyone wanting to start a career in the asset management industry?
Don’t be afraid to go down the route less travelled, often you will learn a whole lot more. Ultimately our careers should be a journey of learning, and smaller or mid-sized firms in asset management can truly offer that experience. The learning curve is steep yet the impact one can have at these firms is likely to be greater. The industry is changing rapidly, yesterday is already old news, and it’s possible therefore to find great opportunities across the industry and these should be considered great launchpads as opposed to great risks.