Matthias Hunn, Founder of FinGuide, tells us how they help their customers find the provider that perfectly fits their individual needs using their data and experience.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded FinGuide.
Matthias Hunn: The call of entrepreneurship reached me quite late in my life. I started a career in banking, and new opportunities kept arising, so everything stayed exciting for a long time. But during my whole career, I have always had a lot of respect for founders and entrepreneurs. When the time was right, I wanted to find out of I could succeed as an entrepreneur myself and founded FinGuide. It is now exactly five years ago that I started the company, and it is going stronger than ever.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Matthias Hunn: Next to doing what needs to be done, I try to find one thing that adds additional value every day. It does not have to be anything big but trying to add something special every day is a challenge I like very much.
How does FinGuide market its product/services online?
Matthias Hunn: The focus lies clearly on being found organically by search engines. The special challenge FinGuide has is that our potential customers don’t know that a service like ours exists at all. FinGuide is a pioneer in what we do. We bring transparency to Swiss private banking and analyze the offerings and performances of private banks and independent wealth managers. With our data and experience, we help our customers find the provider that perfectly fits their individual needs. Our customers think they have to do that work themselves and soon find that the necessary data is not publicly available. We, therefore, have to make sure they find us when they look for the best Swiss wealth manager.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Matthias Hunn: We strongly rely on Google’s tools. When we need additional specialized knowledge, we source it externally. But of course, the essential ideas of how to market a service always have to come from the company itself; you cannot outsource that. Every excellent company offers something truly unique that offers added value to its customers. All marketing activities focus on finding the right target customers for our service.
How did you develop this unique selling proposition?
Matthias Hunn: Offering something valuable to your potential customers means understanding their pain points. In my view, there are basically two ways to come up with this understanding. The first way is to have a deep understanding of how a market works, how customers choose their products, and their providers. That’s where FinGuide comes from. The second way that I see quite often happens is that people stumble upon an unfulfilled need for themselves and find out that no one offers a good product or service for that need. Innovative people don’t complain about that. They find a solution to the problem and deliver it to the market.
How are you funding your growth?
Matthias Hunn: FinGuide is entirely self-funded. That may slow down growth, but it keeps up the independence and the customer focus. One of the major problems in banking is that profit-maximizing companies dominate the market. Now in a business of strong asymmetry of knowledge like finance, this inevitably leads to companies ripping off their customers with expensive and unnecessary products. FinGuide does not maximize profit, which is something that potential investors don’t really like. But then that’s okay for us because our reason for existence is our customers, not investors.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Matthias Hunn: One or two companies offer services that are somewhat similar to our offering, but there is no direct competitor. Our main competitors are the private banks and wealth managers themselves because they try to acquire their customers directly. This, of course, is not ideal for the customers because they lack the information to find out if this provider is the best one for them. What keeps us in the game is our independence, credibility, and obsession with doing what is the right thing to do for our customers. We never compromise on that and never think of our own profits first.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Matthias Hunn: Every single customer who profits from our service is a success story that we are proud of. For me, as an entrepreneur, it is incredibly satisfying to have entrepreneurs who choose FinGuide’s advice to find a wealth manager for the proceeds of selling their company.
Did COVID have an impact on FinGuide?
Matthias Hunn: There were two major impacts on us. The first one was that people do not like additional change in a time of uncertainty. Finding a better wealth manager is something that is not a high priority for many people in a crisis. Therefore it slowed down our growth. The good thing for us was that our customers got used to video conferencing, which helped us offer our service to people from countries outside of Switzerland. Even a majority of local customers now prefer a video conference to a personal meeting. I wonder if that is ever going away or if that was a permanent change.