Zurich-based fintech company Avaloq helps financial institutions around the world achieve greater efficiency and innovation. But it is also focusing on the Greater Zurich Area: new premises were opened in the canton of Ticino at the beginning of the year, and in Zurich it is undertaking a major new build.
Avaloq is your typical fintech company in many respects: innovative, internationally oriented and with an eye to the next financial revolution. But there is also something that sets it apart: for the past 30 years, Avaloq has also written its own history of innovation in the financial sector by focusing on a basic principle: helping clients give momentum to innovation through digitized processes and an innovative ecosystem.
Major global financial institutions such as HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Barclays, as well as several specialized banks, including Edmond de Rothschild, use software and services developed by the Swiss fintech company. In total, more than 150 banks and wealth managers work with Avaloq to manage assets of over 4 trillion Swiss francs worldwide.
At the source of talent
The Greater Zurich Area has played a major role in ensuring Avaloq’s ability to achieve great things while still act innovatively like an agile startup. Avaloq has more than 2,000 employees worldwide, the majority of whom are located at its headquarters and development center in the Greater Zurich Area.
“Switzerland has a long tradition in the financial sector, and Zurich is one of the most important and strongest financial centers in the world,” says Pascal Föhn, Group Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Avaloq. He is convinced that this, together with the presence of leading global universities such as ETH Zurich, is what makes the Greater Zurich Area the ideal location for a company like Avaloq.
“This is where we operate from and where we are growing internationally very strongly. This is also where we gain access to highly qualified talent with thorough industry experience, which is important for our success,” says Föhn.
Growth in the cantons of Zurich and Ticino
Avaloq operates three development centers worldwide: Edinburgh, Manila and Zurich-Manegg, which is not only largest center but also where new buildings are currently being constructed to accommodate 1100 employees, up from 750, including many software developers, analysts and IT consults from local universities, such as ETH Zurich.
The Zurich development center brings together different disciplines because its emphasis is on total solutions that focus on the big picture. For this reason, the fintech company is investing in the area of process outsourcing in the canton of Ticino, another fintech hub in Switzerland, with its company Avaloq Sourcing. In February 2019, Avaloq Sourcing opened the expanded Center for Banking Operations in Bioggio, Ticino, with 800 workplaces. Its aim is to create a stimulating and innovative environment for its employees.
Ecosystem drives innovation
At Avaloq, everything comes down to making customers part of an innovative ecosystem. For example, financial service providers can work together with fintechs using the new avaloq.one collaborative platform, which simplifies and accelerates the implementation of new solutions through standardized open programming interfaces or APIs.
“All our customers are automatically part of an innovation community,” says Föhn. “They are given access to an open marketplace where they can select from over 150 digital banking apps and adapters and integrate them with their own systems.”
Customers also benefit from the innovative strength of highly competent Swiss startups, such as Spitch, an Avaloq partner and Zurich-based specialist for automated voice recognition that offers voice-banking services.
In times like ours, when the market demands increasingly higher innovation speeds, innovation can be driven either by the company itself or through acquisitions, explains Föhn. But there is also a third option: you can use the innovative strength of partners within an ecosystem that has its epicenter in the Greater Zurich Area.
Von Yvonne von Hunnius